As he accumulates his "Occupy Rap Sheet" over at BigJournalism.com, John Nolte has made some excellent points about the nature of the press's coverage which should not be missed. His incident count is up to 151. It will certainly grow based on more recent events which haven't yet made it to his compilation (this is just a sample): A $10 million arson arrest in Fort Collins, Colorado (really; HT The Other McCain); pushing a 78 year-old woman down a flight of stairs (she required a hospital visit); and a lack of basic safety so pervasive at Zuccotti park, the headquarters of the "movement, that "protesters put up (a) women-only tent to prevent sexual assaults."
Nolte's count is clearly an understatement of all that is actually happening. He also notes that the nature of the press's coverage serves to understate the disorder- and violence-based inclinations of the Occupiers (internal link is in original; bolds are mine):
If it's Saturday, I must be pointing out more simply stunning stupidity coming from the mouth of Bill Maher.
Never letting me down, the host of HBO's Real Time Friday said the financial crisis was caused by "something new in politics where Wall Street was sort of betting on things to fail as opposed to for things to succeed" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It would be funny if it weren't so transparently sad. We've seen "name that party" games for a long time in the press. Today, the Associated Press played "name that company."
In an unbylined report Friday evening which oddly has Dina Cappiello's Twitter address at the bottom , the identity of failed solar manufacturer Solyndra isn't revealed until the third paragraph. The item's headline refers vaguely to "a failed solar firm," while the opening paragraph describes "a failed solar panel manufacturer." Really:
It's truly delicious when the outfit which calls itself the Essential Global News Network essentially admits that a certain economic theory which begins with a "K" has become such an undesirable word -- almost an epithet -- that it avoids its mention.
That was the case with a pathetic critique of GOP candidates' economic plans written up by the wire service's Charles Babington on Sunday. When I saw its headline ("Studies challenge wisdom of GOP candidates' plans"), I blew past the story because I expected the same-old, same-old. Then an emailer with a journalistic background informed me that it was even worse than usual. He's so right that I can't possibly pick it apart without writing a book; so I'll just concentrate on the paragraph containing the theory with no name and the one which immediately follows it:
NPR's Philip Reeves slanted towards the Occupy Wall Street on Wednesday's All Things Considered as he played up the "huge outcry" over St. Paul Cathedral in London's dispute with the left-leaning movement, which has an encampment outside its doors. Reeves spotlighted a local official who "called St. Paul's a 'national laughing stock,'" and omitted sound bites from the opponents of the movement.
Host Guy Raz noted in his introduction to the correspondent's report how St. Paul's was a "national treasure" associated with Churchill's funeral and the wedding of Charles and Diana, and continued that it was now "the backdrop for another kind of drama: a protest camp modeled on the Occupy Wall Street movement. NPR's Philip Reeves says it's causing upheaval in the heart of British society."
Consider this post the print and online follow-up to the report early Tuesday evening by Matthew Balan at NewsBusters on the failure of the Big Three TV networks to note the Democratic Party/Obama fundraising affiliation of former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, whose now-bankrupt MF Global financial firm has apparently admitted to diverting client money in a futile attempt to battle its financial free-fall.
Balan found that the Big Three's morning shows "omitted the party affiliation of Jon Corzine as they reported on the federal investigation into his brokerage firm," and that ABC didn't even mention Corzine's name. This is not surprising, as the wire services which provide much of the raw material for these shows for the most part similarly failed, and have continued to do so. A rundown of much of what the wires have produced, along with a look at several New York Times items, follows the jump:
On Tuesday, the morning shows of the Big Three networks omitted the party affiliation of Jon Corzine as they reported on the federal investigation into his brokerage firm, something that even the liberal New York Times gave in their coverage of the story. ABC's Good Morning America also failed to include Corzine's name during their news brief on the investigation.
News anchor Josh Elliott noted in a 13-second brief that "a Wall Street brokerage firm run by New Jersey's former governoris filing for bankruptcy. Regulators say some $700 million belonging to MF Global's customers is apparently missing." Apparently, the name of the Democrat's firm is newsworthy at ABC, but his name and his party ID isn't.
CBS's Early Show on Monday found yet another excuse to report on Occupy Wall Street, spotlighting the diehard protesters who stayed in Zuccotti Park during a winter storm. While correspondent Debbye Turner Bell noted the $3.4 million spent on police overtime in New York City and the complaints from businesses near the demonstrators' campsite, she didn't play one sound bite from the opposition.
Turner Bell first highlighted the "freezing temperatures and record-breaking October snow" over the past weekend in the Northeast and added, "And that does raise the question of how committed are these Occupy Wall Street protesters? But there's another question: can local city governments afford to pay the price tag that goes along with expressing this basic American right?"
On Wednesday's Early Show, CBS's Erica Hill downplayed the instances of violence and bigotry found at Occupy Wall Street protests as simply "the actions of a few," after GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich denounced the "frightening level of anti-Semitism in some of these gatherings." Hill questioned Gingrich over his supposedly "pretty outspoken words" about the left-leaning movement [audio clip available here; video available below the jump].
The anchor raised the demonstrations towards the end of her interview of the former House speaker, after Gingrich claimed that "people are pretty sick of the lack of civility...they watch Washington, they watch gridlock, [and] they watch a president who's more comfortable on [Jay] Leno than he is in trying to govern the country." Hill replied that "people, too, are fed up, as we know- we see a lot of this with the Occupy Wall Street protests. The latest CBS News/New York Times poll finds that 46% of Americans say that their views reflect a sentiment that most Americans share."
The Occupy Wall Street demonstrators are demanding "people before profits" — as if profit motivation were the source of mankind's troubles — when it's often the absence of profit motivation that's the true villain.
First, let's get both the definition and magnitude of profits out of the way. Profits represent the residual claim earned by entrepreneurs. They're what are left after other production costs — such as wages, rent and interest — have been paid. Profits are the payment for risk taking, innovation and decision-making. As such, they are a cost of business just as are wages, rent and interest. If those payments are not made, labor, land and capital will not offer their services. Similarly, if profit is not paid, entrepreneurs won't offer theirs. Historically, corporate profits range between 5 and 8 cents of each dollar, and wages range between 50 and 60 cents of each dollar.
The morning shows of ABC, CBS, and NBC on Tuesday devoted just 19 seconds to the arrests of 75 people in northern California, after police evicted Occupy Oakland from their encampment in front of city hall there. The Early Show devoted a news brief to the story during its last half hour, noting the violent reaction from some of the protesters. Good Morning America and the Today show both punted.
News anchor Jeff Glor gave the news brief 35 minutes into the 8 am Eastern hour, and reported that "police are confronting 'Occupy Oakland' protesters this morning in northern California...Officers were sent before dawn to kick out about 300 demonstrators who have been camped out in downtown Oakland. Some protesters threw rocks and bottles. Police responded in some cases by making arrests, tearing down tents, and firing tear gas."
Appearing on Sunday's NBC Today, Meet the Press host David Gregory proclaimed that the Occupy Wall Street protests would "...dovetail nicely into a big message that the President's selling, which is that the wealthy should pay more....that banner of going after Wall Street and the banks, talking about unfairness that a lot of protesters that are complaining about." [Audio available here]
Gregory's observation was prompted by co-host Lester Holt wondering: "...the protesters are calling for the wealthy to pay for more taxes. Should we look for the Obama campaign to embrace that message as it – as it takes the stretch to November?" Gregory went on to declare: "I think the President's in a mode right now where he'd like to get out in front of this parade and really harness some of this energy."
The Big Three networks' seeming desperation to report on "Occupy Wall Street" reached a new level on Friday, after they led their morning shows with New York City's decision to not clear the park where the protesters are camped. NBC touted how the demonstrators were "proclaiming victory" in response to the move. ABC highlighted the "celebratory" atmosphere, while CBS played up the "mood of jubilation" there.
Today show anchor Ann Curry noted that a "showdown [was] averted at the site of the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement here in New York." She then turned to correspondent Maria Schiavocampo, who reported live from Zuccotti Park, the home base of the left-leaning protesters for about a month. The correspondent immediately zeroed-in on how one could "hear the celebrations taking place behind me here as protesters are proclaiming victory in their showdown with the park's owners."
One day after lauding the persistence of the "Occupy Wall Street" protests, CNN's American Morning pressured conservative contributor Erick Erickson to "admit" that the protests are indeed "resonating," and that his own counter-movement is much smaller.
"You've got to – you've got to admit it. The 'Occupy Wall Street' folks are resonating," Romans insisted to Erickson. "I mean, we just had an ORC poll this week that showed that majority of Americans have heard of the movement. The 'We Are the 53' is much smaller." [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich during Tuesday's Republican presidential debate once again went after one of his favorite targets - the media.
In response to a question about the Occupy Wall Street protests, Gingrich said, "Everybody in the media who wants to go after the business community ought to start by going after the politicians who have been at the heart of the sickness which is weakening this country (video follows with transcript and commentary, file photo):
CBS's Bigad Shaban filed a puff piece about the "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrators on Tuesday's Early Show, trumpeting their "self-operating mini-community in lower Manhattan" and how they were "hungry for change," all the while ignoring the radical left wing politics of many in attendance. Shaban took more time to note that "this isn't your average protest. Yoga classes are taught in the off-time."
Co-anchors Chris Wragge and Erica Hill played up the "mini-village, complete with a daily newspaper, recycling, a free breakfast buffet, [and] yoga" during their promo for the correspondent's report. Shaban picked up where his colleagues left off with his "not your average protest" line, and added that "a makeshift library has been set up with at least 1500 books...and the grounds even has (sic) its own medical tent and newspaper, 'The Occupied Wall Street Journal.'" [video clips available below the jump]
On Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer interviewed Obama advisor David Plouffe and asked about the frustration of the left-wing Occupy Wall Street protesters: "These people are out there and they're angry at Wall Street, the so-called fat cats....They're also angry at Democrats and the administration for not taking them on and doing anything about it."
Yesterday, in a different post about long-term unemployment, I wrote: "Of all the reality-denying aspects of Obama administration press coverage, the usually implicit but occasionally explicit assertion that he and his people are just helpless bystanders in an economic calamiity is easily among the most annoying."
Bloomberg's Mike Dorning triggered the annoyance meter today with an "analysis" contending that President Obama's move from being a "conciliator" (quoting an alleged "expert") to supporting "populist causes" and sympathizing with the anti-capitalist Occupy Wall Street assemblage "may provide some inoculation" against the continuing bad economy -- as if Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and the their party bear no conceivable responsibility for current economic conditions. Here are the first seven paragraphs of Dorning's dreck (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Chicago Mayor and former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel went after GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney yesterday over the 2008-2009 state of the auto industry. Emanuel, as paraphrased by the Associated Press, believes that "had Republican candidate Mitt Romney been president the nation would no longer have an auto industry" -- though last time I checked, Ford Motor Company, which did not accept federal government bailout money, is still headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, which is still in the USA.
In his coverage of Emanuel's comments, the Detroit News's Dave Shepardson -- who infamously and falsely claimed in February 2010 that Toyota executives "bragged" and "boasted" about saving money on safety recalls when Japanese culture deeply frowns on the practice to the point of shunning people who engage in it -- headlined Emanuel's "no industry" howler, and committed several factual errors. In addition, he missed a quite relevant and critical March 2009 episode of support from Romney -- for better or worse (readers can decide) -- when President Obama engineered the ouster of General Motors' CEO. Here are excerpts from Shepardson's shilling:
CBS sided with supporters of the "Occupy Wall Street" protests on Monday's Early Show, bringing on former Democratic Senator Russ Feingold to boost the left-leaning demonstrations, with no Republican and/or conservative critics appearing as guests during the program. Feingold slammed Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain as "un-American" for his critique of the protests.
Near the end of her interview of the Wisconsin politician, anchor Erica Hill raised Cain's attack on the continuing anti-corporate rallies: "Republican candidate Herman Cain, weighing in over the weekend. He said that, basically, it's un-American to protest capitalism. Businesses have to make money, and if they can do a better job making money oversea- it's an unfortunate reality for many Americans- but they're concerned about their bottom line. Can there be some sort of common ground here?"
CBS's Bigad Shaban failed to disclose the far-left politics of an "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrator on Monday's Early Show. Jesse LaGreca, a Daily Kos contributor who wrote in August that "Hurricane Irene is like having Christmas early" for Republicans, was identified on-screen as simply a "Wall Street protester." Shaban also barely devoted any time to critics of the nascent movement.
Appearing on Friday's NBC Today, Meet the Press host David Gregory discussed the political impact of the Wall Street protests and wondered: "How does the President try to harness this anger, this sense of unfairness about the economy, about income inequality in this country, about the middle class stagnating for the past 30 years? That's what the President wants to try to tap into here."
Gregory then declared that the left-wing movement, "allows the President to drive a populist message again." He went on to write talking points for Obama: "Here the President wants to say, 'Look, I'm on the side of the middle class here. I want more fairness in our country. The Republicans want to take you backward.'" The headline on screen read: "Can 'Occupy Wall Street' Protests Help Obama?"
In a report filed at the Los Angeles Times's Politics Now blog earlier today, Washington Bureau reporter James Oliphant relayed a number of whoppers delivered by Vice President Joe Biden without anything resembling a challenge. In Part 1, I noted how Biden, who in August described Tea Party sympathizers as "terrorists" and in September as "barbarians," today spoke in complimentary terms of how much the Occupy Wall Street crowd has in common with them. In Part 2, I dealt with the Veep's hit at financially struggling Bank of America for having the nerve to try to recover some of what the Dodd-Frank "financial reform" legislation took away by charging some customers a $5 monthly fee for debit-card use.
This final part will deal with Biden's rendition of how the "bank bailout" portion of TARP operated, which is quite different from the reality. The relevant excerpt from Oliphant, which necessarily overlaps the first two parts, follows (bolds are mine throughout):
In a report filed at the Los Angeles Times's Politics Now blog earlier today, Washington Bureau reporter James Oliphant relayed a number of whoppers delivered by Vice President Joe Biden without anything resembling a challenge. In Part 1, I noted how Biden, who in August described Tea Party sympathizers as "terrorists" and in September as "barbarians," today spoke in complimentary terms of how much the Occupy Wall Street crowd has in common with them.
This part will deal with Biden's hit at Bank of America and its $5 monthly fee for debit-card use. The relevant excerpt from Oliphant's writeup follows the jump (bolds are mine throughout):
In a report filed at the Los Angeles Times's Politics Now blog earlier today, Washington Bureau reporter James Oliphant relayed a number of whoppers delivered by Vice President Joe Biden without anything resembling a challenge.
Breaking Biden's bilge into three sections, they involve his claim about the historical origins of the Tea Party, which Biden characterized as a collection of "barbarians" only a month ago (and as "terrorists" two month ago); his hit at Bank of America and its $5 monthly fee for debit-card use; and the nature of the "bailouts" which followed the passage of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in the fall of 2008. In this first part, I will go after what Biden said about the Tea Party. An excerpt from Oliphant's writeup follows the jump (bolds are mine throughout):
A number of Democratic members of Congress came out Wednesday throwing their support behind the protest known as Occupy Wall Street.
Fox News's Neil Cavuto interviewed one of them on Your World marvelously asking Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Oh.), "So why didn’t you celebrate when Tea Partiers were running around the country and protesting all the spending and protesting the budget and the debt getting out of control? I don’t remember you glomming on to that one" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
At the top of the 8 a.m. ET hour of Wednesday's NBC "Today," fill-in news anchor Tamron Hall proclaimed: "Today could be the biggest day yet for the 'Occupy Wall Street' protests in lower Manhattan." Correspondent Mara Schiavocampo followed by gushing: "Three weeks in, and no signs of slowing. The 'Occupy Wall Street' protest growing in size and scope."
Schiavocampo touted how the "coalition is growing quickly, as several labor unions have now vowed to join demonstrators in their protests against corporate interests....demonstrations spreading to more than 50 cities, from Boston to Los Angeles." The headline on screen throughout the report cheered: "Gaining Ground; 'Occupy Wall Street' Protests Spreading."