The quarterly report on home prices issued by the government's Office for Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) is the most comprehensive and most reliable measure available of what is happening in the housing market.
For the first time in nearly thirteen years, U.S. home prices experienced a quarterly decline. The OFHEO House Price Index (HPI), which is based on data from sales and refinance transactions, was 0.4 percent lower in the third quarter than in the second quarter of 2007. This is similar to the quarterly decline of 0.3 percent (seasonally-adjusted) shown in the purchase-only index. The annual price change, comparing the third quarter of 2007 to the same period last year showed an increase of 1.8 percent, the lowest four-quarter increase since 1995. OFHEO’s purchase-only index, which is based solely on purchase price data, indicates the same rate of appreciation over the last year.
Are U.S. journalists missing the news right in front of their eyes? Even as the violence ebbs and Iraqi refugees are returning home by the thousands, a new survey of Iraq war correspondents finds most are still deeply pessimistic about conditions in Iraq, with one in six (15%) saying that they believe news coverage "makes the situation look better than it is," compared to just three percent who think news reports have been inordinately negative.
The poll of 111 U.S.-based journalists who are now covering the Iraq war or who have been posted there over the past four-and-a-half years was conducted over the past several weeks by the Pew-funded Project for Excellence in Journalism, which promises to release a content analysis of the media's Iraq war coverage later in the year. At the same time, polls show the public is having growing faith in the success of the war effort.
Thursday’s “American Morning” program, while reporting retired Brigadier General Keith Kerr’s connections to the Hillary Clinton campaign, failed to mention one key revelation made by debate moderator Anderson Cooper during the post-debate coverage - that Cooper knew that Kerr was “an activist of some sort.”
Co-host John Roberts not only reported on Kerr’s membership of Clinton’s “LGBT Americans For Hillary Steering Committee” during all 3 hours of “American Morning,” but conducted a live interview of Kerr during the 7 am Eastern hour. Six minutes into the 6 am Eastern, Roberts gave the following brief on the Kerr story.
Did you know that the US is still at war with Korea, Germany, Japan, Bosnia and Kosovo? Based on “Hardball” host Chris Matthews' recent claims, we are still at war with those countries and will be until our troops leave their soil. (h/t Weasel Zippers)
On his November 28 show (transcript here), MSNBC's Matthews discussed Iraq with Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, wondering when “will we be able to come home.” In the process, the former Carter speechwriter said, “If we can't ever come home, we can't ever say we won.”
Silly me, I thought WWII, the Korean War, the Bosnian War and the Kosovo War were over. I guess the US troops still stationed in those countries prove otherwise (bold mine throughout):
In the greatest of ironies, after Democrats refused to participate in debates sponsored by Fox News due to its supposed partiality, CNN has now shown itself in back-to-back debates to be as biased as biased can be.
After either participating in or allowing the planting of campaign operatives at November 15's Democrat presidential debate in Las Vegas, it has now become apparent that similar stocking of audience questioners occurred in Wednesday's Republican debate.
On Thursday morning, Michelle Malkin identified two plants from the Obama and Edwards campaigns. As her website is having some problems at the moment, Inside Cable News reported that according to Malkin, one plant was David Cercone, a declared Obama supporter, who asked the following question:
Here’s a headline that suggests an objective article will not follow: "Hillary Hatred Finds Its Misogynistic Voice." Newhouse News Service reporter Jonathan Tilove, whose beat is usually race relations, indicted John McCain, Rush Limbaugh, Tucker Carlson, former RNC spokesman Cliff May, "South Park," and Facebook groups as historic forces of hatred and vitriol, putting poor Hillary through a punishing gauntlet never run by men: "Thanks to several years of phallocentric history, there is no comparably vocabulary of degradation for men, no equivalently rich trove of synonyms for a sexually sullied male." The story began:
In the coming months, America will decide whether to elect its first female president. And amid a techno-media landscape where the wall between private vitriol and public debate has been reduced to rubble, Sen. Hillary Clinton is facing an onslaught of open misogynistic expression.
On his Daily Nightly blog, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams sent his happy-birthday wishes to liberal comedian Jon Stewart. In a Wednesday blog post playfully titled "Where Have You Gone, Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz?", Williams mourned how the writers' strike has taken Stewart away from his "vital comedic work" trashing Bush. Just like Tom Brokaw, Brian Williams thinks Stewart is an American treasure:
The serious fact is that Jon Stewart and his colleagues in comedy -- along with the writers who support them -- serve an invaluable purpose by skewering the pompous and deflating the egos of the high and mighty. They function almost as a separate branch of government. We need them, and we miss them.
Not only does CNN try their best to muddy Fred Thompson's stance on the Confederate flag but they use a picture that makes the candidate look ashamed of himself or pensive to accompany the piece, cementing the fact that CNN is trying their best to flavor Thompson's flag stance as a "bad" thing for him. This is one of the most manipulative articles I've seen this election cycle thus far, shameful for its slant and subtle enough that many won't recognize it for the anti-Thompson spin that it truly is. But, in many ways, this CNN presentation is a perfect example of the sort of spin that CNN specializes in making the lie to their claims of being purveyors of "news." They are, instead, purveyors of spin designed to harm GOP candidates -- in this case Thompson.
Wednesday night's CNN/YouTube presidential debate for the Republican candidates largely lived up to its promise to be a debate fitting for Republican voters as the vast majority of the questions used were asked from a conservative point of view. But the GOP debate's slant toward conservative questions was less than the July 23 CNN/YouTube Democratic debate's slant toward liberal questions. On Wednesday, out of a total of 34 video questions presented, conservative questions outnumbered liberal questions by 14 to 8, with the remaining questions ideologically ambiguous or neutral. During the Democratic debate, out of a total of 38 video questions, the slant toward liberal questions came in at 17 liberal to 6 conservative, with the remainder ambiguous or neutral.
On Wednesday's "World News with Charles Gibson," host Gibson highlighted a woman suffering from breast cancer who chose to keep her baby instead of having an abortion while opting to be treated during the second and third trimesters when her baby would likely be able to withstand the chemotherapy. Gibson recounted the story of the new mother who "spent her pregnancy fighting to save her baby's life and her own," relaying her choice not to have an abortion. Gibson: "Her doctor told her she could abort the baby, but Linda found specialists who told her there was another choice, that she could treat the cancer and carry her child to term." (Transcript follows)
Below is a complete transcript of the story from the Wednesday November 28 "World News with Charles Gibson" on ABC:
As the Christmas shopping season went into full swing in 2005, I sensed that journalists in general have a strong preference for using the term "holiday shopping" instead of "Christmas shopping" when covering business and commerce, but that when it came to people losing their jobs, they preferred to describe layoffs as relating to "Christmas."
My instincts have been proven correct, as you can see below from the results of three different sets of Google News searches in November and December in each of the last two years (links to last year’s related posts are here, here, and here; 2005's are here, here, and here):
[Update: Keith Kerr was known to CNN as a gay activist as far back as December 2003, when he was featured in this CNN article.]
CNN, as part of its Republican debate with YouTube, failed to mention that retired general Keith Kerr, who announced he was gay after his retirement from the Army, is a member of Hillary Clinton’s "LGBT Americans For Hillary Steering Committee." Not only did General Kerr ask the question via a YouTube video, but he was also present in the audience, and got to ask the candidates for a "straight answer" (pardon the pun).
General Kerr’s, whose question came 47 minutes into the 9 pm Eastern hour the debate, is also part of the Servicemembers’ Legal Defense Network's advisory council, an organization "dedicated to ending discrimination against and harassment of military personnel affected by 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and related forms of intolerance"
[See updates below: Bill Bennett mentioned Kerr's possible Hillary connection on CNN 30 minutes after the debate, and Anderson Cooper confirms this at the close of the 10 pm Eastern hour.]
Less than three weeks after the CBS Evening News used the indictments of Bernard Kerik to relay how “people” say he's “a poster child as to why Giuliani shouldn't be President,” Katie Couric pounced on a revelation not considered newsworthy by ABC and NBC as she teased Wednesday's newscast, “A potential political embarrassment for Rudy Giuliani: Questions about how he billed New York City taxpayers for his security. Was he trying to hide something?” ABC and NBC ran full stories on Bill Clinton's inaccurate claim that he “opposed Iraq from the beginning,” a remark CBS limited to a brief item from Couric following the Giuliani story.
Reporter Byron Pitts asserted “the Giuliani campaign is once again fending off new questions about an old affair,” explaining that “according to the Web site Politico.com, in 2000, as Giuliani was beginning his not-so-secret extramarital relationship with Judith Nathan, the woman who eventually became his third wife, he billed obscure city agencies thousands of dollars in expenses for his police security detail in the Hamptons off Long Island where Nathan was living.”
Their infidels are committing suicide by the hundreds on the gates of Baghdad . . . Be assured, Baghdad is safe, protected. There are no American infidels in Baghdad . . . There is no presence of American infidels in the city of Baghdad. -- Saddam's Information Minister Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf, AKA "Baghdad Bob."
Not bad, Bob. But if you want to see how flackery is done at its supremely sycophantic best, you should have tuned into tonight's "Tucker" to catch Lanny Davis's act, as he defended Bill Clinton's claim to have opposed the Iraq war "from the beginning."
On Wednesday’s CBS "Early Show,"co-host Hannah Storm, who tvnewser.com reports will soon be leaving the show, teased an upcoming segment about the controversy over the atheist-inspired movie, "The Golden Compass": "And Nicole Kidman on why the Church doesn't want your children to see her new movie." Of course, the "Church" has said no such thing, but rather the Catholic League has called for a boycott of the movie.
Later during the segment, Storm talked with Catholic League President, Bill Donohue, as well as Ellen Johnson, the president of American Atheists. To Storm’s credit, she challenged Johnson by quoting the atheist author of the "Golden Compass" book trilogy, Phillip Pullman:
STORM: Now let's talk about some of the things that Pullman has said. Back in 2003, he was comparing himself to the Harry Potter series, he said "Hey, I've been flying under the radar, saying things that are far more subversive than anything poor Harry has said. My books are about killing God." Is he promoting atheism? Does he have an agenda here?
ELLEN JOHNSON: Killing has nothing to do with atheism. I think that the movies are about questioning authority, and I think that's a good thing. Questioning the authority of the state, questioning the authority of the Church. I think that if more children were taught to question authority, maybe a lot fewer of them would have been sexually molested by priests. Questioning authority is a good thing.
The Pew Research Center finds there has been a dramatic, double-digit jump in the percentage of Americans who believe that the military effort in Iraq is going well. You are the Washington Post. How do you play the story?:
a. You run a front-page story headlined "Study Finds Surge in Positive Public View of War Effort"; or
b. You run a story on page A10 headlined "Military Progress Doesn't Make War More Popular."
As reported by NewsBuster Matthew Balan, Barbra Streisand's endorsement of Hillary Clinton provoked liberal CNN columnist Jack Cafferty to call Streisand a 'reclusive, over-the-hill vocalist'. However, unlike supposed professional journalist Cafferty, 'Wheel of Fortune' host Pat Sajak managed to take an analytical approach to the entire celebrity endorsement system, and in the process, expose more than a few of them as emperors without clothes. Sajak has a remarkably clear view of the actual role of a celebrity and he appears to be well aware that most celebrities are experts in exactly nothing. He writes in Human Events online magazine,
If any group of citizens is uniquely unqualified to tell someone else how to vote, it’s those of us who live in the sheltered, privileged arena of celebrityhood.
Reporting news in third-world countries like Iraq can be a difficult task, especially for Western journalists who are unfamiliar with the language and the culture of the region. As a result, many times the media get tricked by terrorist sympathizers who want to make America look bad. Things are further compounded by the left-wing bent of most Western journalists which makes them, like Dan Rather and his Burkett documents, suceptible to believe false stories they want to be true.
Fortunately, anti-American lies don't always get as far as the Haditha "murders" did. Witness the tale of Dia al-Kawwaz, a jihadist supporter journalist who falsely claimed (h/t Gateway Pundit) that some of his relatives were massacred, even going so far as to hold a fake funeral service for them. Kawwaz's plans were foiled, however, when his family turned up, very much alive:
The angry family of an Iraqi journalist went on local television on Wednesday to blast him for claiming they had been massacred three days ago by Shiite militiamen in Baghdad.
"We are still alive. Thank God!" the sister of the journalist said, before bursting into tears.
Faux climatologist Joy Behar, who previously exclaimed drought stricken victims in Georgia should pray "to people who will fix global warming" again raised a provocative forecast after meeting with presidential candidate John Edwards
"But he said some scary thing- one of the things he said that I thought was very interesting was that in 23 years the polar cap will disappear."
Perhaps Joy Behar can inform the masses whether or not there will be a white Christmas this year given her ability to see into the future. Behar, who took such an alarmist prediction without question, may have believed Paul Ehrlich in 1969 who predicted that "England will not exist in the year 2000."
Laura Ingraham brought up Diane Sawyer’s umbrage at Mike Huckabee yesterday for his ad stressing he was a "Christian leader" as somehow crossing a line of decency (see Scott Whitlock's blog here), and how Sawyer pressed Newt Gingrich with Peggy Noonan’s quote that we’re looking for a leader, not a Bible study teacher. After noting that Sawyer doesn't usually find anyone crossing a line on the Angry Left, Ingraham wondered: how often does Sawyer cite Noonan? Is it usually just to prod and poke Republicans?
A quick review of the Nexis database shows that ABC’s Good Morning America has interviewed Noonan quite a bit on her expert subjects, first on her old job of presidential speechwriting, and more recently, on her biography of Pope John Paul II. But in the Bush era, on the few occasions when Noonan’s writing is quoted by ABC anchors or reporters, it’s almost always to prod the GOP.
Trent Lott, once a favored whipping boy of the mainstream media for unfortunate and poorly-worded comments at Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday bash, is now being hailed by the Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman as a great statesman as he exits the U.S. Senate.
Weisman's page A4 profile, "As Lott Leaves the Senate, Compromise Appears to Be a Lost Art," paints a picture of a U.S. Senate descending into perpetual gridlock thanks to partisanship. Yet Weisman seems to lay all the blame for partisan gridlock on Republican shoulders, assigning no blame to the Democrats who now control the august deliberative body.:
States once represented by common-ground dealmakers, including John Breaux (D-La.), David L. Boren (D-Okla.), James M. Jeffords (I-Vt.) and Ernest F. Hollings (D-S.C.), are now electing ideological stalwarts, such as David Vitter (R-La.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.) and Jim DeMint (R-S.C.).
Only one of those "stalwarts" is a liberal, the socialist professor-turned-politician Bernie Sanders. Other left-wing ideologues like Sens. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), and of course Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) apparently escaped Weisman's attention.
Indeed, while Reid's Senate is one-half of a Congress with abysmal public approval ratings, Weisman lamented that with the Senate "almost dysfunctional" that "new power centers," such as "pragmatist" dealmakers like Trent Lott "are difficult to find."
Wednesday's editions of the CBS "Early Show" and NBC's "Today" show both ignored Bill Clinton's incredible assertion on Tuesday that he opposed the Iraq war from its inception. Only "Good Morning America" correspondent Jake Tapper pointed out the obvious fact that Clinton was no vocal critic of the military action. Filing a report on the subject, Tapper incredulously wondered, "Bill Clinton opposed the war in Iraq from the beginning?"
After acknowledging that the ex-President did call for the U.N. weapons inspectors to have more time, Tapper clarified the record: "...[Bill Clinton] was hardly, at least publicly, an opponent of going to war against Saddam Hussein." The ABC journalist then read from a 2003 speech on the Clinton Foundation's website that featured the former Commander in Chief asserting, "I supported the President when he asked the Congress for authority to stand up against weapons of mass destruction in Iraq." So, despite the fact that ample information exists calling into question the validity of Clinton's recent statement, only GMA covered the story.
Ben Bradlee, the longtime executive editor of The Washington Post, sounded off with Radar Online media critic Charles Kaiser. He professed to be unimpressed with Hillary’s team, denounced Carl Bernstein in French, praised Rupert Murdoch’s skill at newspaper publishing, and denounced wars as something America does perpetually "to keep the standing army in good condition." First, the Hillary questions:
What do you think of Hillary? Well, I'm not as against her as some other people under my roof. Sally [Quinn, his wife]—I find the women are really very, very strongly against her.
What's that about? I don't know. I don't think Hillary is a completely sympathetic person. But she is hard-working, she is monolithically devoted to policy—she's a wonk. I'm not terribly impressed with the people around her, though. Some of them I'm actively unimpressed with. You know, you can say about [Bill] Clinton, he had a hell of a good team. And Jimmy Carter had a hell of a good team. And you don't see those around now.
CNN's senior business correspondent Ali Velshi had an interesting question for viewers this morning.
Before telling viewers that consumer confidence is at the lowest level in two years, Velshi asked if the media have anything to do with it.
"Do you think we're feeding this thing? Do you think we're fueling this sort of misery?" asked Velshi on "American Morning" November 28.
A question for Newsbusters readers: How would you answer Velshi's question?
The Business & Media Institute has found that the media certainly don't reinforce the soundness of the economy when things are going well. BMI's "Bad News Bears" study that looked at one year of reporting, found that 62 percent of network (ABC, CBS, NBC) economic stories focused on negative news. Those stories were also given more airtime.
Other BMI research has shown that the media have emphasized the possibility of recession since the economic recovery began in August 2003.