Diane Sawyer kicked "Good Morning America" off this morning with economic worries about Wall Street, the "credit crunch" and "record" foreclosures.
“We do begin with the week on Wall Street, where the Dow took another huge hit, plunging 280 points in just two hours. The cause of the worst credit crunch in almost quarter a century and you’ve seen it in the neighborhoods – a record number of foreclosures,” said Sawyer.
But according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBAA), foreclosures are not at a record when viewed by percentage. GMA’s one-sided talk of a “record number of foreclosures” misled viewers. Foreclosures are up compared to 2006, but so are the number of home loans.
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," guest host George Stephanopoulos pressed 2008 Republican candidate Mitt Romney over whether he will "do more to address" the issue of his Mormon faith.
This is the same ABC program that has repeatedly raised questions about whether the former Massachusetts governor’s religion could damage his ‘08 chances. In June, reporter Dan Harris speculated on how "uncomfortable questions" about Mormonism could harm the campaign.
In contrast, GMA gushed over a CNN sponsored event in June where Democratic candidates discussed their faith. An onscreen graphic wondered, "Are evangelicals embracing Democrats? New party of God?" For that segment, co-host Robin Roberts marveled, "...Senator Obama out on the campaign trail has, has freely talked about his faith." She also played an extended clip of Hillary Clinton discussing the important role faith played in her life.
The lesson from this post isn't bias as much as it is making sure not to get taken in by Old Media overreactions.
Jim Cramer of CNBC's "Mad Money" went mad on Friday, declaring Armageddon in this video rant on Friday (watch the whole thing to see just how out-of-control he was; his declaration is at 1:40 in the vid -- "in the fixed-income markets, we have Armageddon.").
The first trading day after Cramer's declaration of Aramageddon went thusly (from a CNN e-mail after the markets' 4PM close):
Liberals can rest easier knowing that despite her outspoken views on newsworthiness and ethics, MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski can still be counted on to go to bat for the Democrats. The reporter and "Morning Joe" regular showed off her famous sense of journalistic integrity while filling in for host Joe Scarborough on Monday morning. In the first half hour, Brzezinski played a video of a journalist trying desperately to get an interview with Antonio Villaraigosa, the Democratic mayor of Los Angeles. Villaraigosa has been surrounded by controversy since revelations that he had engaged in an extramarital affair with Spanish language reporter Mirthala Salinas.
The video clip showed one female reporter and at least two cameramen chasing the embattled mayor hoping for an interview. Before she could reach the mayor however, one of Villaraigosa’s hired thugs intercepted the reporter, sending the much smaller woman barreling into what appears to be a dumpster.
New York Times political blogger Kate Phillips (who tried to wish away news coverage of John Kerry's "botched joke" on the eve of the 2006 congressional election) posted on the Times' "Caucus" blog Saturday from Chicago, the site of the YearlyKos convention put on by the liberal activist campaign blog The Daily Kos.
Phillips pushed Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, the founder of the politically active blog, into the center:
Slate magazine found out that Rudy Giuliani's daughter Caroline has a crush on Obama.
Well, maybe not a crush, but she had joined a pro-Obama Facebook group and describes herself as "liberal" (but then that's also how many Republican voters would describe Caroline's father).
The article, complete with evidentiary screen grab, was written this morning by Lucy Morrow Caldwell, like Caroline Giuliani also a student at Harvard University. Caldwell has a profile on Facebook in the Harvard and Washington, DC networks, and has poor taste in sunglasses, as the screencap below shows:
Republicans held a debate on Sunday, but CBS’s Hannah Storm seemed more interested in Rudy Giuliani’s personal life and then Mitt Romney’s crankiness. On the August 6 edition of "The Early Show," at 7:19 AM, Storm kicked off the segment noting there was a Republican debate the previous day but, "they did not talk about an issue hanging over front-runner Rudy Giuliani and that is his wife, Judith, who has become a controversial topic in his campaign."
I wanted to go to the YearlyKos event but circumstances did not permit. Thankfully, at least one sane person did go. Rick Moran gives this account:
I can assure you that they are at least as similar to us as chimpanzees – except chimps are cuter and don’t constantly interrupt you when you’re speaking and trying to make a point. However, all that aside, liberals are pretty normal. They have a different sense of humor of course. And they may not laugh as much as conservatives although I wonder who will be doing the chuckling on election day 2008? [...]
One observation I would never have dared put in a piece for PJ Media or anywhere else I write is that for a movement and party that prides itself on inclusion, the gathering appeared very white. There were definitely more people of color than there would be at a conservative or Republican event. But as I scanned the faces of attendees to the Presidential Leadership Forum where almost all YKos was gathered, my rough estimate was 75% white – perhaps larger.
The nation’s top newspaper men think only an unsophisticated rube sees liberal bias as a persistent, intentional application of media muscle. In his book Cheney: The Untold Story of America’s Most Powerful and Controversial Vice President, Stephen Hayes of Weekly Standard fame reprints an E-mail that New York Times executive editor Bill Keller sent to Cheney spokesman Kevin Kellems in 2004 in which he denied that his paper has an agenda, and there are “even a few people who think the news coverage and editorial page operate in lockstep as part of a liberal cabal. The vice president is much too experienced and sophisticated, I suspect, to really believe that.”
Keller admitted stories occasionally show “liberal assumptions,” but “I think those instances are relatively rare, and I fight to filter them our [sic] and deplore them when they get into the paper.” He also claimed in his own paper’s defense that Team Clinton “also had a lot of Times-haters at the top.”
The Washington Post's Jose Antonio Vargas reported in the August 6 paper about worries in the Yearly Kos crowd that the liberal blogosphere is too white and too male. Critiquing that August 6 article, Jack Turner of "Jack & Jill Politics" disagreed with Vargas' assessment that every attendee at YearlyKos was wringing his or her hands about how to "diversify" the attendance.:
In a move that might make some people scratch their heads, a loosely formed coalition of left-leaning bloggers are trying to band together to form a labor union they hope will help them receive health insurance, conduct collective bargaining or even set professional standards.
Recently Oklahoma officials announced a deadline extension to order special license plates dedicated to the global war on terrorism. Oklahoma is not the only state that has one. Virginia has had one for years that reads "Fight Terrorism" and features a Pentagon, the Twin Towers, and an American flag.
In other words, this is nothing new and its an unremarkable story. Except for MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, whose staff ran the item in his blog "The NewsHole" with no comment, letting his left-wing loyalists provide the yuks. The August 2 headline, however, was a snarky, dismissive phrase: "Ridin' In Style."
While some commenters found the new plate non-controversial and wondered what the big deal was, others took the chance to mock the design.
One "T. Brooks" from Oklahoma even pulled a Natalie Maines, all while referencing a classic country hit:
Here's a side of global warming the shills at Newsweek and alarmists such as Al Gore don't want to address: there are actually countries and peoples on the planet who would welcome a less frigid climate.
Take for example Russia, where a little warming would help such industries as agriculture, oil drilling, and tourism, while obviously cutting down on the number of cold-related deaths each winter.
As reported by Cox News Service Sunday (emphasis added throughout):
As NewsBusters reported, Newsweek published an absolutely disgraceful cover-story Saturday calling manmade global warming skeptics "deniers" funded by oil companies and other special interests making them as bad as folks who misled people about the dangers of cigarette smoking.
In fact, the article was so thoroughly offensive that it has received an angry response from Sen. James Inhofe's (R-Okla.) communications director.
Writing at the Senate Environment & Public Works minority blog, Marc Morano made his objections to this article early and often (emphasis added throughout):
Anybody who reads Web forums dedicated to current events is familiar with the phenomenom of BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) in which leftwingers rant wildly about the supposed crimes of the EVIL Bush regime. Most of the time those postings can be written off as just another case of the left having mental problems handling the fact that they do not control the executive branch of government. However, we might now have a case in which BDS has the positive effect of actually causing a high level government leaker of super secret information to expose himself. The story about the alleged leaker to the press of the FISA (Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act) program details was written up in the August 13 Newsweek article, Looking For a Leaker:
The Washington Post website is not usually a place someone would go to find conservatives. But the Post has created a new Discussion Groups area, and one of those areas is "Right Matters" -- with National Review writer and deep-thinker Ramesh Ponnuru. Ramesh is also the author of the recent book Party of Death, which has some neat data on abortion and media bias.
Liberals still have plenty of options at the new area, including discussions moderated by Post columnists E.J. Dionne and Eugene Robinson. The Washingtonpost.com people have also added "Rights Watchers" from the left-leaning Human Rights Watch, and "The Secularist's Corner" with "Freethinkers" author Susan Jacoby, for the many Post subscribers who think God is an angry comic-book character manufactured by the vast right-wing conspiracy.
I don't know James Carroll, but if I were a friend or family member I might truly be concerned. His Boston Globe column of this morning, American Disconnection, is a disjointed lament about the state of the world and his feeling of disconnectedness, invoking the anomie of his youth. What makes it interesting for present purposes is the way in which Carroll, the prototypical MSM liberal, looks at the world, sees a litany of wrongs, and naturally concludes . . . It's All America's Fault.
Carroll seeks to reassure us, and no doubt himself, that "my adult connections are strong, and ever more interesting . . . My friendships are intact. Boredom is a word of absolutely no relevance in my life, nor has youthful moodiness left a stamp on me." He even claims that "I was part of a large, happy family." This from someone whose alienation from his Air Force general father was so intense he famously wrote a book about it: An American Requiem: God, My Father, and the War That Came Between Us.
Carroll recites his bona fides of psychic health as a prelude to admitting:
As a questioner, along with George Stephanopoulos, of Republican presidential candidates at the Sunday debate in Iowa carried on ABC's This Week, veteran Des Moines Register political reporter and current columnist David Yepsen pressed the candidates to raise taxes. For the last question in the first hour of the 90 minute session from Drake University, Yepsen urged Mike Huckabee: “Is it time we raise the federal gas tax to start fixing up our nation's bridges and roads?” After Huckabee answered it was a matter of budget priorities, Yepsen turned to Rudy Giuliani: “In Minnesota, Governor Pawlenty, who vetoed an increase in his state gas tax, said now he may consider one. Is this Republican dogma against taxes now precluding the ability of you and your party to come up with the revenues that the country needs to fix its bridges?” Giuliani suggested Yepsen's formulation presumed a “Democratic liberal assumption: I need money, I raise taxes.”
The Palm Beach Post was caught in a bit of deception by one of its readers over the weekend. At issue was another globaloney alarmist story the paper printed on July 25th, titled "This century hotter than last, group finds," supposedly by Post writer Dara Kam. Unfortunately for the reputation of Dara Kam and that of the paper, this "article" was merely a rewording of the press release of an environmentalist group calling themselves, Environment Florida. An alert reader who wrote in calling them on it also exposed several other papers across the country that did the very same thing.
Naturally, the article by Kam was all worried about how the summers are getting hotter and informing the reader of new globaloney legislation pending in the Florida state house in Tallahassee. It all seemed rather like our intrepid writer had done a whole bunch of research for this attempt at writing a “science” article.
But Post reader Gary Bokelmann wondered how this “article” could be nearly a word for word rehash of a press release put out by the environmental group and still be claimed an honest news article? And not only did the Palm Beach Post merely rephrase a press release, so did several other papers, Bokelmann found.
Kudos to Marc Morano of the Senate's Environment and Public Works Minority Staff (and former staffer for Rush Limbaugh) for surrendering several hours of his life in the cause of debunking an incredibly, almost jaw-droppingly bad article, "Global-Warming Deniers: A Well-Funded Machine" (by Sharon Begley with Eve Conant, Sam Stein, Eleanor Clift and Matthew Philips) in the August 13 Newsweek.
I read the Newsweek article after having been alerted to it by Marc, and my thoughts mirrored some of his:
As NewsBusters reported Monday, two analysts for the liberal think tank the Brookings Institution published a rather shocking op-ed at the New York Times expressing extraordinary optimism about how the surge is working in Iraq.
The pair, Kenneth Pollack and Michael O'Hanlon, were Chris Wallace's guests on "Fox News Sunday" yesterday, and continued to share positive sentiments about what's currently happening in the embattled nation.
As the folks at Daily Kos scramble to explain what transpired at their convention in Chicago Friday morning when a soldier in uniform tried to speak at a breakout session called "The Military and Progressives: Are They Really That Different," it has been revealed that Markos Moulitsas supports such attired military members attending anti-war rallies.
In fact, so do many Kossacks.
Quite fortuitously, Moulitsas posted on this very subject on June 2, 2007 (emphasis added, h/t Charles Johnson):
Perhaps we should have expected this but apparently The Bourne Ultimatum which opened this weekend is chock full of liberal proganda. So who is making this charge? Some vicious rightwinger with an axe to grind against liberal Hollywood producers? Nope. This is the claim of a liberal movie reviewer, Anthony Kaufman, who wrote the following in his Huffington Post blog, Jason Bourne: An Anti-Cheney American Hero?
A stinging rebuke against Cheney-esque black ops and torture tactics, Universal Pictures' The Bourne Ultimatum is more than just a heart-stopping international espionage thriller: It is Hollywood's most direct attack against the Bush Regime since George Clooney's one-two punch of Good Night and Good Luck and Syriana. If those more "sophisticated" dramas preached to the choir about our deteriorating civil liberties and oil-fueled overseas obsessions, the third film in the mega-successful Bourne action franchise offers up a picture of corrupt clandestine leadership for all to see -- where every Matt Damon fan can also enjoy high-powered American government officials as arch-villains committing treasonous and reckless activities without oversight.
Newsweek political reporter Jonathan Darman provided a preview of sorts to the August 9 Democratic debate on the gay Logo cable channel with an article on Democrats seeking votes on the gay left playfully titled "Show ‘Em Whatcha Got: Conscious of their community's financial clout, gay activists want action on equality issues, not just talk." Nowhere in Darman’s story is there a single ideological label that would place gay supporters of the Democrats on the left. But a June story on the state of the Republican presidential race after Jerry Falwell’s funeral was studded with 12 uses of "conservative" or shifting "rightward" or "religious right."
Darman’s story in the August 13 edition began by touting how progressive Hillary’s been on the gay issues and has been "eager to bask in the gay love," but how gay activists are demanding more of a revolution:
Fans of the highly-respected British publications The Economist and the Financial Times are certainly familiar with Clive Crook, one of the leading economics journalists on the international landscape.
On Thursday, Crook wrote an article entitled "The Steamrollers of Climate Science," in which he took on the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as being "a seriously flawed enterprise and unworthy of the slavish respect accorded to it by most governments and the media."
In fact, Crook painted a picture of this U.N. outfit possessing the factual integrity of Baghdad Bob (emphasis added throughout):
The media frames America in anthropogenic global warming articles as the evil Earth Killer, and everything from a sparrow flying into a glass window to Darfur's genocide is America's and George Bush's fault, regardless of facts or science.
In an August 4 article which stated President Bush invited the world's leading economic powers to participate in a "climate change summit” that intends to set "voluntary goals for lowering greenhouse gas emissions while sustaining growth,” the Washington Post upheld this tradition by stating (emphasis mine throughout):
The United States, the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases, is not a party to the Kyoto agreement, which calls for the 35 participating nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Rapidly developing countries including India, China and Brazil are not bound by the deal, despite booming growth and worsening air pollution in those nations, a factor that has caused Bush to call the accord unworkable.