New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on Sunday continued his campaign to get Barack Obama reelected by misinforming the public about the economy.
Appearing on CNN's FareedZakaria GPS, the Nobel laureate falsely claimed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wants to enact Greece's failed economic policies here in America (video follows with transcript and commentary):
I have a serious question for MSNBC's Chris Matthews: How many lies are you willing to tell on national television to get Barack Obama reelected?
On Friday's Hardball, the host gave viewers a plethora of falsehoods and half-truths to giving us an idea of just how far he's prepared to go this election cycle to make sure the objection of his affection remains in the White House (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Fresh off his humiliating defeat on Jeopardy! Monday night, MSNBC's Chris Matthews actually introduced a pair of guests Tuesday as "two of the most smartest people."
Almost as funny, "two of the most smartest people" in the Hardball host's opinion are Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and former Clinton labor secretary Robert Reich (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams attempted to conflate the JPMorgan $2 billion loss with Mitt Romney's business record as he declared: "The Obama campaign may have had this JPMorgan story in mind when it picked today to launch a new ad attacking Mitt Romney's former firm, the private equity giant, Bain Capital, as a middle class job killer."
Chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd followed by proclaiming that the Obama team was "...attacking Mitt Romney's time at Bain Capital for what, in some people believe, are rough ways that they went about buying up some companies, leveraging them...what the campaign believes...says about Mitt Romney's leadership on the economy, that he'll be ruthless in this."
Dutifully doing its part to find any excuse to expand government regulation, NBC News on Monday and Tuesday immediately touted Democratic efforts to exploit a $2 billion loss of private money for banker JPMorgan Chase to push for more government intervention in the banking industry.
On Monday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Anne Thompson used the news to pump up struggling Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren: "[She] worked to create a consumer watchdog group to oversee the banks after the 2008 crisis. She says what happened at JPMorgan shows there's still not enough oversight of the big banks." Thompson failed to mention Warren has been mired in a scandal surrounding her dubious claims of having Native American ancestry.
Psycho-capitalism? The overwhelmingly liberal readership of the New York Times is predictably eating up a charged story in the increasingly pretentious and hard-left Sunday Review section, "Capitalists And Other Psychopaths," by left-wing essayist William Deresiewicz, a critic who often writes for The Nation. Bringing the article to life is a cartoon of two men with painted smiles torturing ants with a magnifying glass. The text box: "Rich people are more likely to lie, cheat and break the law. No surprise."
As of Monday afternoon it was the paper's second-most read and e-mailed story (behind a more substantive Times magazine cover story on diagnosing children as psychopaths), as liberal readers ironically used tools honed and perfected by capitalists to spread a tale -- published by a capitalist organization, the New York Times Company, with revenues of $2.3 billion in 2011 -- of the utter wickedness of capitalists.
On Monday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose and Erica Hill touted Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren's past time as "the government's chief watchdog during the 2008 bank bailout" as she was brought on to discuss JP Morgan Chase's $2 billion loss. Rose and Hill asked all of their questions from the left, and completely ommited any mention of the recent controversy over Warren's claim of Native American ancestry.
The anchor set up the Senate candidate to push for more regulations on banks without rebuttal: "It's appropriate to have some government oversight, and notwithstanding the fact that we're just coming out of this huge crisis." Hill even wondered if the banks themselves"should be broken up into smaller entities."
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt gave a much-needed economics lesson to New York Times columnist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman on ABC's This Week Sunday.
During a lengthy discussion about liberal and conservative views on how to stimulate the currently soft recovery, Schmidt - a known Barack Obama supporter - marvelously said to his left-leaning co-panelist, "Surely you're not arguing that the government should hire all the unemployed people" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Has the New York Times Business section gone soft on former New Jersey Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine, now under the scandal spotlight for his service as chief executive of the failed financial services firm MF Global?
Saturday's Business Day story by Azam Ahmed and Ben Protess buried intriguing details that reflect suspiciously on Corzine under the bland headline, "Congressional Memo Sheds New Light on MF Global." The paper didn't even identify the scandal-plagued former governor as a Democrat.
An item filed at the Hill on Friday afternoon by Peter Schroeder tells us that Bloomberg News was the first organization to report the latest development relating to former New Jersey Democratic Governor and Senator Jon Corzine. Bloomberg's report, via Phil Mattingly and Silla Brush, reveals that Corzine, who was CEO at the now-bankrupt MF Global Holdings until November, "gave 'direct instructions' to transfer $200 million from a customer fund account to meet an overdraft in a brokerage account with JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), according to a memo written by congressional investigators." That would be an MF brokerage account, meaning that customer money was used to cover company losses. If the memo reflects what really happened, Corzine committed a crime -- either by committing perjury in his congressional testimony several months, in ordering the transfer itself, or both.
Bloomberg's report identifies Corzine as a Democrat in its fourteenth paragraph. But at least Bloomberg did so. That did not occur in reports at the Associated Press, United Press International, MarketWatch.com, CNBC. The Hill's Schroeder did tag Corzine as a Dem. Here are several paragraphs from Bloomberg's report (bolds are mine):
On her eponymous MSNBC program on Wednesday, host Andrea Mitchell slammed congressional Republicans for voting down reauthorization and funding of the U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank: "If I'm sitting out there and watching this program, I would, you know, likely say right now these people in Congress are idiots." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell interviewed the bank's director, Fred Hochberg, and lobbed softballs: "What happens in the real world with an agency that is supposed to create jobs is going to have to lay people off if you don't get reauthorized?" What she failed to ask Hochberg about was the bank providing loans to companies fronting for Mexican drug cartels or to European companies hoping to buy solar panels from bankrupt solar energy company Solyndra.
The Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, and designated drone Derek Kravitz clearly haven't tired of putting smiley-faces on the ongoing, relentlessly awful conditions in the new-home market.
As shown on February 17 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), the number of single-family homes under construction is barely above its all-time low (since records have been kept), while January's figure for single-family units completed was absolutely the lowest on record. Yet Kravitz, as has been his habit, erroneously presented housing starts alone as a proxy for "construction" activity, made it appear to many typical readers that housing starts have been averaging about 500,000 per month (not per year), and pretended that the modest rise in starts "suggests builders are growing more confident that more buyers are ready to come off the sidelines." In his Friday report on new-home sales, Kravitz noted a seasonally adjusted January drop, but trumpeted a minuscule upward adjustment to fourth-quarter sales which was barely more than a rounding error:
The current system of economic growth is unsustainable, and people should “try to avoid banks,” “consider gardening to grow your own food,” and reject the advances of globalization. That’s not a clip from National Geographic’s “Doomsday Preppers.” That is the latest message of doom and gloom from the environmental movement.
Incubate Pictures produced a nearly 35 minute animated film titled “There’s No Tomorrow,” which depicted a gloomy future of unsustainable economic growth, diminishing natural resources, and environmental degradation. “There’s No Tomorrow” argues that since the modern economy is based on continuous growth fueled by fossil fuels, and oil production has already reached its production peak, the economy will eventually collapse.
When his tenure at the investment firm Bain Capital became an issue in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney responded by saying he "was disappointed ... to see one of my opponents attacking free enterprise, just like the president was."
It's understandable why Romney would want to see criticism of his resume as an attack on free enterprise. Seventy percent of Americans favor a free market economy over a government-managed economy. Whether in the primaries or the general election, Romney would like to say he believes in free enterprise while the other candidates believe government has a vital role to play in helping every industry and company succeed. Americans overwhelmingly reject that premise and don't want government in the business of picking economic winners and losers.
Charlie Rose ripped a new liberal line of attack on Mitt Romney right out of the New York Times on Thursday's CBS This Morning, as he interviewed top Romney backer Chris Christie. Rose played up that Romney "seems to be dancing around the idea of what his wealth is. This is the New York Times today: 'Romney riches are being seen as new hurdle; complex web of assets is difficult to assess.'"
Midway through the segment, the anchor held up the copy of left-leaning publication and read the headline for the front page, above-the-fold article by Nicholas Confessore, David Kocieniewski, and Michael Luo. He continued by citing the New Jersey governor's own rebuttal to this class warfare tactic: "Your philosophy seems to be, tell him how much you're worth, and say you're proud of it. Every American wants to be rich."
Well, isn't this rich? And I do mean rich. President Obama, man of the people, will deliver his presidential nomination acceptance speech at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. — so that Democratic Party fundraisers can reward big donors with skyboxes and other lavish perks.
As usual, the White House and its allies are trying to camouflage naked partisan money-grubbing in populist garb.
Joe Scarborough said it about Rick Perry, but it could perhaps have applied to other Republican presidential contenders who are going after Mitt Romney's record at Bain Capital.
On Morning Joe today, discussing Perry's depiction of venture capitalists like Romney as "vultures," Scarborough said that the Texas governor: "sounds like a stoned NYU grad student in Zuccotti Park." Video after the jump.
In 1984, an Associated Press writer covering the Democratic primaries wrote that "In a presidential contest dominated by concerns over the economy, inflation, and unemployment, the Democratic candidates have been loath to acknowledge the extent to which Carter administration policies contributed to those problems. Democrats have also controlled Congress for most of the past three decades, which made it relatively easy to enact the policies Carter pursued."
Of course, that AP report really never happened. The establishment press never razzed Walter Mondale, Gary Hart, and the other 1984 Democratic presidential candidates about the ruinous Carter-Era inflation, 20%-plus interest rates, and high unemployment against which the Reagan administration was making significant progress in the early 1980s. But on Tuesday morning, Beth Fouhy at the Associated Press felt it necessary to wonder why this year's GOP primary candidates are rarely mentioning George W. Bush, even though the economy under Barack Obama is making relatively scant progress towards a genuine recovery and makes a much more appropriate target for criticism. Here was her comparable paragraph, plus the two which followed:
George Will on Sunday marvelously told liberal economist Robert Reich something that many conservatives have been dying to say for years.
During a fascinating Right vs. Left debate on ABC's This Week, after Reich predictably pined for higher income tax rates to solve all that ails us, Will struck back with the line of the weekend, "You are a pyromaniac in a field of strawmen" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
There was an astonishingly revealing moment on Sunday's 60 Minutes when President Obama said, "Some of the most damaging behavior on Wall Street, in some cases, some of the least ethical behavior on Wall Street, wasn't illegal."
For what should be obvious reasons, CBS's Steve Kroft didn't bother asking his guest who created, voted for or signed the pieces of legislation that allowed this "damaging behavior on Wall Street" to be legal (video follows with transcript and commentary):
No wonder President Obama adopted some of the language of the Occupy movement in his class-warfare speech this week. It's led by the likes of Alfredo Carrasquillo, a fellow "community organizer" with whom the president perhaps identifies. Carrasquillo specializes in breaking into foreclosed homes to dole them out to people—beginning with himself—to live in.
Chris Hayes gave Carrasquillo a sympathetic platform on his MSNBC show this morning. Making it clear that he was speaking as a "devil's advocate," not, God forbid, expressing his own opinion, Hayes gently inquired of Carrasquillo whether, you know, it could be said he has no right to break into and live in homes owned by others. Dismissing the notion out of hand, Carrasquillo described theft of others' property as "technicalities." That seemed good enough for Hayes, who helpfully pointed out that the homes Carrasquillo is breaking into "are just sitting there, no one's making use of them." Video after the jump.
NPR's Yuki Noguchi and Lynn Neary completely omitted Jon Corzine's Democratic affiliation on Thursday's All Things Considered, while mentioning practically every other prominent occupation he has held- Goldman Sachs CEO, senator, governor, even "multimillionaire." On the other hand, Noguchi gave the Republican party ID of two representatives who questioned Corzine at a recent hearing.
Neary outlined in her introduction for Noguchi's report that "former Senator Jon Corzine returned to Congress...Corzine was once CEO of the most successful bank on Wall Street. He left Goldman Sachs for the Senate, then was elected governor of New Jersey." The correspondent soon added that "until late October, Corzine was the CEO of MF Global."
Each year the Business & Media Institute looks back on the year's news and selects the top 10 worst economic myths. This year the media's myths were wide-ranging: from conspiracy theories about economic sabotage, to overpopulation panic and Occupy Wall Street's mantra "We are the 99 percent."
For conservatives, one of the bright spots of the Occupy Wall Street protests was when millionaire investor Peter Schiff went down to Zuccotti Park with video camera and a sign reading "I Am The 1% - Let's Talk."
On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of speaking with Schiff by telephone in a sweeping interview about his experience at OWS, how the financial media are doing, and ending with his rather frightening view of the economy and the future of our nation (video follows with transcript):
UPDATE: Scarborough Responds--Don't Twist My Criticism of Newt Into Support For Obama
In response to an inquiry from this NewsBuster, Joe Scarborough has made clear that he strongly opposes President Obama's "disastrous" record, urging people not to twist his criticism of Gingrich into support for Obama. Full Scarborough statement after the jump.
Anyone who made the easy prediction that the Associated Press would fail to bring up Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac in its fawning tribute to Barney Frank after his retirement announcement yesterday was correct. Anyone making the easy prediction that the AP would lionize him as a "gay pioneer" was also spot-on.
Also predictably, the wire service's Bob Salsberg and David Espo failed to mention that Frank advocated abolishing Fan and Fred as a dishonest survival tactic during his final reelection campaign in 2010, and of course did nothing visible to make that happen this year. What's really odious in this regard is that the AP pair gave him credit (pun intended) for how he "worked to expand affordable housing," when the Community Reinvestment Act-driven subprime crisis Fan and Fred engendered has sent the housing market levels not seen since World War II. What follows are excerpts from the AP. After that I have a few contrary and clear-headed paragraphs from an Investor's Business Daily editorial, and a little reminder of a 1999 "Present" vote which should have generated controversy, but didn't:
Reporting on Monday morning that Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) was not seeking re-election, CNN's political team whitewashed his controversial tenure in office with some fond words like "titan," "larger-than-life," and "teacher at heart."
CNN's Joe Johns lauded Frank's skills as a teacher -- especially as the first openly-gay congressman. "He's taught this country so much about the gay community in the United States and what it means to be an openly gay member of Congress. A leader, in fact, on Capitol Hill," Johns gushed.
Political editor Mark Preston praised Frank as a "titan" of financial sector matters in Congress while saying nothing of the failure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under his oversight. While noting that Frank was tough to deal with, Preston added that he was "one of the best debaters in Congress" and "always the smartest person in the room." [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
Talking to liberal author Michael Lewis on Monday's Rock Center on NBC about the Greek financial crisis, anchor Brian Williams wondered: "...what's the one thing you want to shout from the mountaintops, a message that is in all of your books that people aren't hearing, aren't paying attention to?"
Lewis called for an end to big banks: "...we still have at the center of our life these massive banks that are too big to fail. And they should've been broken up three years ago....why we are sitting here today...with these institutions that basically have us at their mercy...is beyond me." He then concluded: "So what I would shout from the rooftops is, get out into the streets with the Occupy Wall Street movement and protest."
The European Union might completely fall apart any day now as the countries in that region implode under their massive debt.
Despite this, CNN's Fareed Zakaria offered another America-hating love letter to the struggling continent Sunday actually claiming, "The American dream seems to be thriving in Europe not at home" (video follows with transcript and commentary):