The Los Angeles Times reported a run of Countrywide Bank by its customers as more and more are panicked about the potential of the nation’s largest home lender to go bankruptcy – something fueled by many of the reports in the media.
“[S]ales of existing homes fell in 41 states from April through June,” said CBS correspondent Susan McGinnis on the August 16 “The Early Show.” “Meanwhile, foreclosures continue to soar. And there are growing worries about the nation's biggest mortgage lender; Countrywide Financial could be forced into bankruptcy.”
But some experts seem to think this scare from the media over Countrywide’s bankruptcy is a little premature.
President Bush, left looks on as outgoing White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove makes a statement on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Monday, Aug. 13, 2007. Rove, President Bush's close friend and chief political strategist, plans to leave the White House at the end of August.
The TIME headline is ironic: “Study Finds Abortion Pill Safe.” Safe for whom exactly? Certainly not for the millions of pre-born children who have died when their mothers took it. Nor is it “safe” for their mothers.
The August 15 article by Sara Song (and the story run by AP on August 16) touts the findings released in the New England Journal of Medicine that show use of the RU-486 abortion pill “in the long term, is safe.”
That’s a message the feminist influenced, pro-choice media want to promote. In her article Song wrote “women who use mifepristone (RU 486) are no better or worse off than those who choose surgical abortion” and that “most existing research shows that surgical abortions have no effect on overall health risks.”
Of the three morning shows, only ABC’s "Good Morning America" has reported the comment by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama that part of the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan is made up of "air-raiding villages and killing civilians." Both CBS’s "Early Show" and "Today" on NBC have ignored the August 14 comment. On Friday’s GMA, however, reporter David Wright filed a report on the statement and wondered if Obama is ready to be president. An ABC graphic pointedly asked, "Obama’s Foot in Mouth Disease? Too Inexperienced For Campaign?"
After playing a brief clip of the Illinois senator’s comment, which he made during a speech in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Wright mentioned previous impolitic statements by Obama, such as threatening to invade Pakistan. The ABC journalist noted that Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai, raised the issue of civilian casualties with President Bush. He asserted, "...Presumably, Hamid Karzai used language that was more diplomatic, more presidential."
Soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore is now encouraging citizens "to engage in peaceful protests to block major new carbon sources" stating that he "‘can't understand why there aren't rings of young people blocking bulldozers, and preventing them from constructing coal-fired power plants.'''
I kid you not.
Yet, as amazing as it might seem, these weren't the most absurd statements penned by the New York Times' Nicholas D. Kristof yesterday in a column available only to TimesSelect subscribers.
Some of the real inanities included (emphasis added throughout):
Reliably liberal New York Times movie critic Manohla Dargis lauded activist-actor Leonardo DiCaprio's "The 11th Hour," the latest documentary of environmental apocalypse.
"To judge from all the gas-guzzlers still fouling the air and the plastic bottles clogging the dumps, it appears that the news that we are killing ourselves and the world with our greed and garbage hasn't sunk in. That's one reason 'The 11th Hour,' an unnerving, surprisingly affecting documentary about our environmental calamity, is such essential viewing. It may not change your life, but it may inspire you to recycle that old slogan-button your folks pinned on their dashikis back in the day: If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem."
In a recent blog post by CBS Evening News correspondent Cynthia Bowers we find that she has had some problems with the housing market herself. Bowers apparently didn’t grasp the fact that her Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) can actually adjust:
“For a while we were okay. Then that Fed rate started going up, and so did our ARM. Over a five-month period it increased the cost of our monthly mortgage by nearly 40%!” Bowers wrote.
But Bowers shouldn’t have been surprised about her rate adjustment. According to Nexis, Cynthia Bowers has been reporting on the mortgage and housing market since at least 1997. With a decade of industry reporting under her belt, you’d think she’d be able to anticipate the fact that rates shift and payments adjust.
Tonight we're celebrating the second-year anniversary of NewsBusters. If you're in the DC vicinity, stop by and hoist a few with us over at Pat Troy's in Alexandria, Virginia. It's running roughly 5 to 7pm.
Update 21:18. Party's over! It was a great time. Great enough that I think we will have to do this sort of thing more often. Which leads me to this question...
In a post yesterday headlined Rarely Regretting the Errors, I discussed new research showing that the newspaper industry only corrects about 2 percent of the actual errors that make it into print, and wondered why newspapers don't implement one of the many "quality management" methods other industries use to reduce errors and improve quality, such as management guru W. Edwards Deming's Total Quality Management.
Craig Silverman, editor of RegretTheError.com and a Montreal-based columnist for Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper, emails:
Is the White House going to pull a Lucy again with the football trick all over again? For months, President Bush has been asking us to wait for a report from General Petraeus. How many times did we hear that phrase, Wait for the report from General Petraeus? Now we learn that the White House is going to write the report - the White House! - and that the general will testify publicly before Congress only after the report has been written by Bush‘s people.
And later as he hosted a panel discussion on the topic:
Day Deux of the "MSNBC Booed Bush" controversy, and Joe Scarborough was looking to make up ground . . .
For those who missed the story, in a burst of candor "Morning Joe" host Scarborough mentioned on yesterday's show that members of the MSNBC newsroom had booed President Bush nearly continuously during the 2003 State of the Union.
Today, Scarborough asserted that most of the boo-birds were gone from the network, and claimed for good measure that rival Fox News Channel is "all Republicans." Joe was peeved that Bill O'Reilly had expounded on the booing incident on last evening's O'Reilly Factor.
View video here[that's MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski making sympathetic sounds in the background.]
TVNewser is reporting that CBS News executives are in Cuba. While the Tiffany network won't say what for, speculation is there may be negotiations with the Castro government for a full-time Havana bureau for the network.:
A TVNewser tipster tells us, and a CBS News spokesperson confirms, that CBS News & Sports President Sean McManus and Evening News EP Rick Kaplan are in Cuba. The spokesperson could not tell TVNewser the mission of the trip. However, Kaplan has met with Cuban president Fidel Castro on past occasions, dating back to 1978.
>More: An emailer adds, "...being a past insider at CBS News I can tell you that this trip to Cuba is most likely an effort to open the first fully functional U.S. News bureau in Cuba."
Liberal Democrats and their allies on the Left are eager to restore the "Fairness Doctrine," which would empower the FCC to regulate the content of broadcast media, including talk radio. Besides their addiction to government regulation, the Left may be remembering "the good old days" where they used the "Fairness Doctrine" for partisan advantage in the 1960s.
NonPartyPolitics has picked up on how the liberal ThinkProgress blog smells something fishy in presidential daughter Jenna Bush's engagement to beau Henry Hager. Basically the lefty blog suggests that first lady Laura Bush lied to the press -- in 2005.
That's right, there's got to be something sinister and mendacious in Laura Bush's 2005 prediction that Jenna and Henry were "not serious." I mean, it's not like true love can blossom in a courtship in two years. Not for someone that close to President Bush!
A soon to be released study by the University of Oregon's School of Journalism and Communication will report that almost half of the articles published by America's daily newspapers contain one or more factual errors, and that less than two percent end up being corrected.
Of course, as Glenn Reynolds wrote of this news, "This research won't surprise many blog-readers."
Maybe so, but regardless of one's view of media, the numbers reported by Slate Wednesday are nonetheless shocking (emphasis added):
Possible talking point: Huge turnaround on Wall Street yesterday, Fed cut discount rate this morning, stocks look to explode to the upside today. Is the correction -- which did reach the magic ten percent level yesterday before the turnaround -- over?
I thought it was those French existentialists who were supposed to be the gloomy ones, morosely sipping their espressos at Left Bank cafés while contemplating the end of everything. But according to Agence France Presse, of all people it's Fred Thompson who wallows in the Slough of Despond.
Check out this line that AFP, which has an odd corporate status by which it is partially controlled and subsidized by the French government, slipped into the end of an article on Thompson's campaign plans:
He harbors a dark world view of looming future threats and has accused NATO allies of slumbering through a showdown with Al-Qaeda's forces of "nihilism."
CNN released a poll on the 16th that claims that 53% of Americans don't trust the U.S. Military assessment of what is going on in Iraq and that 72% won't have their mind changed on their view of the war no matter what General Petraeus says about the surge next month. But if one reviews the questions of the poll and the method by which it was conducted is considered (at least the only hint of that method that was released), it makes one suspicious that it was anywhere near a fair and balanced scheme. In fact, there are so many questions about how this poll was carried out that the results must be viewed with skepticism.
To start with, of course, the poll is conducted by Hillary Clinton supporter Vin Gupta's Opinion Research Corporation, the organization CNN has hired to run their political polling -- a convenient situation for the Clinton campaign, to be sure. This single fact alone is enough to inform that the poll could likely be weighted to skew toward the ideas that Hillary Clinton is propagating in her campaign.
The MSNBC staffers who booed President Bush in 2003 were just following the tradition set in 2000 when those at the NBC News flagship cheered on Al Gore. In the wake of Joe Scarborough's revelation Thursday morning that on his first day at MSNBC, on the night of President Bush's 2003 State of the Union address, “people in the newsroom...were booing the President basically from the beginning to the end” (Mark Finkelstein's post), a look back at how on the night of the 2000 election, NBC News employees were openly “cheering for Gore.”
On the election night, the NBC News control room was full of people “all cheering for Gore,” retiring General Electric CEO Jack Welch told Vanity Fair as he denied he pressured anyone to call the election for Bush, “and two or three of us cheering for George Bush.”
Here's something you don't see that often: The major movie studios are engaged in a bidding war over a book written by someone who served in the military and is...an outspokenly conservative Republican.
[T]here's a frenzied Hollywood bidding war going on today over the No. 1 book on The New York Times non-fiction bestseller list: Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes Of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell. Studio toppers are interrupting their vacations to try to get this book which was sold to Little Brown by superagent Ed Victor for a seven figure advance.
It has been less than a day since Tropical Storm Dean has developed into a hurricane and already global warming is being mentioned in a news story about this weather development. Credit for the first known citing of global warming in a Hurricane Dean story goes to The Daily Green. Correspondent Chris Mooney starts out by giving his story, Nothing But Land to Stop Hurricane Dean … or Supertyphoon Sepat, an authentic all caps touch with this weather advisory from the National Hurricane Center:
CNN’s "from the Left" commentator Paul Begala apparently doesn’t want people to forget that Rush Limbaugh dealt with OxyContin addiction. During a panel discussion of Rudy Giuliani and the possible factor of his family life in his presidential bid, Begala attacked the GOP, accusing that the party "has made a practice of going after people’s families," and then singled out Limbaugh for doing this (though Limbaugh has never officially worked for the Republicans). "Not just attacking Bill Clinton, we remember Rush Limbaugh attacking Chelsea Clinton. Maybe it was just the OxyContin talking."
Though Austin Chronicle writer Robert Bryce is likely not a household name, his column published in Thursday's Energy Tribune is a must-read for all anthropogenic global warming skeptics.
In "Al Gore's Zero Emissions Makes Zero Sense," Bryce not only skewered the Global Warmingist in Chief's schlockumentary "An Inconvenient Truth," but he also deliciously mocked all the sycophant devotees of the former vice president that have failed to recognize the obvious as they tour the country professing imminent planetary doom at the hands of a naturally occurring gas that happens to be a necessity to all forms of life.
With that in mind, Bryce marvelously began with one of the world's greatest truisms (emphasis added throughout):
Matt Damon dressed as gas pump? Ben Affleck as an ear of corn? No, it’s not “Good Will Hunting,” the sequel. It’s a new set of videos promoting ethanol mandates on the Web site cleanmyride.org.
The Clean My Ride site is run by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, an arm of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress. The purpose of Clean My Ride is to urge Congress to mandate ethanol as a fuel.
Earlier this week, NBC’s Lee Cowan admitted it was ethanol’s fault milk prices were “skyrocketing.” So which is it? Do environmentalists want better gas mileage or cheaper milk?
One of the other main points of the Web site is to try and get people to stop “running scared from Big Oil.” The first video, which features Affleck in a corn costume – it’s better than “Gigli” – even shows a sequence where “Big Oil” executives are chasing down an ear of corn and then bludgeoning it to death.
Today's Washington Post story about the latest legal filings in a securities case echoes the bias of liberal blogs and publications on the case.
The Post leads the story this way:
The Bush administration yesterday sided with accountants, bankers and lawyers seeking to avoid liability in corporate fraud cases, arguing that investors must show they lost money after relying on deceptions by third parties in order to proceed with private lawsuits.
"The Bush administration yesterday sided with U.S. manufacturers and their 14 million employees, arguing against a reinterpretation of securities law that could lead to an explosive rise in litigation."
Randall Hoven at American Thinker has a catalog of over 60 instances of journalistic malfeasance and takes to task journalist Marvin Kalb's famous lament from 1998 that the Internet would usher in an era of damage to the media's ability to put forward "reliable, substantiated information." Below are 10 of the 62 Hoven cites:
Offenses include lying and fabricating, doctoring photos, plagiarism, conflicts of interest, falling for hoaxes, and overt bias. Some are hilarious, such as an action figure doll being mistaken for a real soldier. Some are silly, such as reporting on a baseball game watched on TV. Some are more serious. I leave it to you to judge whether the internet damaged "journalism's ability to do its job professionally", as Marvin Kalb accuses, or if the internet has in fact helped expose an already damaged "profession".
Today's Nashville Tennessean newspaper featured a misleading headline: Skipping Sunday School costs jobs at religious publisher. The headline makes it appear that a religious publisher fired employees who skipped Sunday school. The story, though, is much different - declining Sunday school attendance across a certain Christian denomination has led to less business for that denomination's main publisher of Sunday school materials, leading to job cuts.
The headline was accurate but false. I was still feeling tricked by that headline when I happened upon a blog post that lead me to this report from Slate's Jack Shafer about new research indicating that fewer than 2 percent of factually flawed articles are corrected in the nation's daily newspapers.
“But fundamentally it comes down to where you’re having the toys made. They’re being made in China, you don’t have oversight, there’s tremendous pressure for them to cut corners and keep costs down, because that’s how you make money. So allow me to ask you sir, how much money are you saving having these toys made in China?”
Admitting it was "smart-assed," CBS White House correspondent nonetheless defended his now-infamous "If he's so smart, how come you lost Congress?" quip from Monday's White House South Lawn farewell for Rove. Interviewed by CBSNews.com blogger Matthew Felling, Plante did concede that he welcomes scrutiny of how the press functions, especially in live press conference settings.
I’m absolutely and totally in favor of openness, even if it makes us look bad. The public is entitled to see what we see – and, increasingly, they do because of live coverage. If that means they see me or hear me asking what they think is an impertinent question, that’s fine. I’ve got no problem with it.
For a change, the media gave the government a hard time about air travel, instead of bashing the airlines. The media reported on new Federal Aviation Administration guidelines for better runway safety and on ABC's "World News with Charles Gibson" and CNN's "American Morning."
Lisa Stark said, "The FAA commission admits that runway collisions are an increasing threat," and cautioned that new rules could "lead to some more delays," but the report did not indicate that the airlines were a part of the problem.
This is in contrast to CBS's Randall Pinkston, who said August 12 that it would cost airlines more money to provide more services to passengers but charged: "airline analysts say [the airlines] can afford it," pointing to Northwest Airlines' $2 billion profit and neglecting to point out their bankruptcy status only a few months prior.