Double standards on story placement in the New York Times? A “Political Victory” for the White House over trade deals that promise only “small” economic benefits was trumpeted in the headline to Thursday’s lead story, while a “major setback” for Obama and his jobs bill was buried on Wednesday’s inside pages.
On Thursday's NBC Today, after acknowledging President Obama's low approval rating, co-host Matt Lauer and chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd cheered other results of the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, with Lauer proclaiming: "If there is some good news for the White House this morning it's that 63% of the people in this poll approve of his jobs plan."
Todd followed: "That's right. And also just about the same amount of folks, 64%, believe it should be among the wealthy and corporations that should be paying more money for government services and how we do this and whether it's for – to pay for the President's jobs plan. So philosophically, the President has the public on his side." But then lamented: "He's just not able to somehow convince Congress, not just Republicans, but all of Democrats, to take his position on this."
PBS's Charlie Rose opened last night’s Bloomberg/Washington Post GOP presidential economic policy debate by noting the round table format was like a “kind of kitchen table where families for generations have come together to talk and solve their problems.”
But through much of the debate it sounded more like Thanksgiving dinner with your liberal aunt and uncle as panelist Karen Tumulty of the Washington Post hammered the candidates from the left and moderator Charlie Rose used a 27-year-old Reagan sound bite to push candidates to come out in favor of tax increases.
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):
Interviewing Chicago Mayor and former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel on Sunday's Meet the Press, host David Gregory fretted over the 2009 stimulus not being big enough: "Do you think this president wasted it – the crisis you talked about – to do the big things at that moment, to really be a jobs president to create the demand in the economy that you're talking about through more government spending?" [Audio available here]
While Emanuel defended the stimulus package, Gregory continued to hit from the left: "What were the opportunity costs of not a big enough stimulus, of healthcare reform that hurt him [Obama] politically at a time when he now needs, as you say, more government spending, but he doesn't have the political capital to get it done, does he, Mayor?" [View video after the jump]
As shown in Part 1, this afternoon's report on long-term unemployment at the Associated Press by Sam Hananel attempted to create the impression but provided no actual evidence for the notion that complaints by many who have been unemployed for an extended time period that many employers are reluctant to consider and sometimes even refuse to consider their employment inquiries and applications equals support for provisions in President Obama's American Jobs Act which would for all practical purposes make them another protected class.
The AP reporter also completely failed to tell readers why the problem has reached an unprecedented post-Depression level, namely that the economy, largely due to failed public policy choices, has thus far taken three times as long to recover from its recession than it did during any other post-recession period after World War II. The following single paragraph is as close as Hananel got:
You would think that an Associated Press story about the Congressional Budget Office's preliminary estimate of the federal government's full fiscal year results would include things like total federal collections and total spending during the year and how they compared to the previous year.
Don't be silly. If the AP let numbers that big -- and their direction -- get into its report, readers and listeners might start thinking that spending is outrageously high, and that increasing taxes to try to cover today's ridiculous levels of spending would crucify the economy. We can't have that, not when President Obama and Democrats are desperately pushing for taxes on "millionaires and billionaires" who earn $250,000 or more per year. What follows are excerpts from the writeup, followed by important and obvious facts AP chose not to report:
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):
For the 33rd consecutive day, ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday omitted any mention of the Obama administration's Solyndra scandal, even though co-host George Stephanopoulos asked the President about it in an interview on Monday and elicited a newsworthy defense of the more than $500 million loan to the now-bankrupt company.
Tuesday's show instead focused on other questions from the ABCNews / Yahoo! online interview, like the best piece of advice the President has received from his wife and whether or not he would stop Bank of America's new monthly debt card fee.
Barely a week ago, we noted that the Morning Joe crew was blowing off the Solyndra scandal. "There's no there, there," they sniffed. But facts are pesky things. A devastating email, which Mika Brzezinski read on the air today, has turned up, indicating that top Obama aide Valerie Jarrett was warned about Solyndra's possibly impending bankruptcy before PBO made his photo-op visit to the company. That compelled Joe Scarborough & Co. to acknowledge that the Solyndra story has legs.
Perhaps even more significant was a clip Morning Joe played of President Obama defending his administration's decision to fund the soon-to-go-belly-up solar panel maker. In stating his case, Obama revealed his fundamentally socialist mind-set. According to the prez, unless the government funds something, it's not going to happen. Video after the jump.
As young, foolish, unemployed Americans Occupy Wall Street, liberals in the media have predictably cheered the protests.
Some, like schlockumentarian Michael Moore, participated in the goings on, telling the crowd last week that the folks inside the buildings surrounding them were solely responsible for the nation’s economic woes (video follows with transcript and extensive commentary):
In one of the least needed reassurances in modern political history, President Obama's top political man David Plouffe, "told Democrats late last week that the White House would not suffer from overconfidence. 'What I don't want to suggest is that we're sitting around and thinking everything is great,' he said."
With the White House's own economists predicting 9 percent or worse unemployment on Election Day, the president at about 39 percent job approval, college grads unable to find jobs, a quarter of American homes under water, no credible White House policy or strategy for changing things — and with most non-institutionalized Americans convinced we are in a recession that is going to get much worse — it is surpassing odd that Plouffe was worried that his fellow Democrats might think the president and his men believed everything to be hunky-dory.
Earlier this evening (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I cited a few of very many examples where the press has not hesitated during the Obama years, and really since Barack Obama became the frontrunner for the Democratic Party's nomination in 2008, to engage in uncalled-for creativity to avoid calling a statement made a lie or an unlawful action illegal. One of the lastest: A Raleigh New & Observer reporter concluded that in implying that North Carolina has bridges in imminent danger of falling -- specifically, by asking his audience: "Why would we wait to act until another bridge falls?" -- Obama "may have" merely "over-suggested the risk to public safety."
Jim Kuhnhenn's report at the Associated Press tonight on the President's visit to the Brent Spence Bridge over the Ohio River connecting Cincinnati to Covington, Kentucky appears to have taken the cover-up of the president's misleading statements to a new level, as seen in the following excerpted paragraphs (bolds are mine):
Bruce Siceloff at the Raleigh News & Observer had the task on Tuesday of writing up the results of his newspaper's follow-up investigation into the safety of bridges in the Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina area after Barack Obama's visit there last week. In a speech there, the President asserted that "In North Carolina alone, there are 153 structurally deficient bridges that need to be repaired. Four of them are near here, on or around the Beltline. Why would we wait to act until another bridge falls?"
I know this will come as a total shock to readers -- not -- but the president wasn't being truthful. Behold what Siceloff and his paper found, and how he felt compelled to come up with a new word to describe Obama's untruthful characterizations (HT to Rush Limbaugh, who brought this up on the air today):
New York Times White House reporter Jackie Calmes seemed to like President Obama’s new combative pose over his new big-spending, tax-hiking “stimulus” proposal. Her lead story Tuesday, “Obama Confirms New Hard Stand With Debt Relief,” framed the political battle as a personal conflict as a disrespected president betrayed by House Speaker John Boehner once too often.
With a scrappy unveiling of his formula to rein in the nation’s mounting debt, President Obama confirmed Monday that he had entered a new, more combative phase of his presidency, one likely to last until next year’s election as he battles for a second term.
Let's note the likely reason why what Julia Seymour observed earlier today is the case -- namely, that network news reports have taken to calling the Solyndra situation an "embarrassment."
The use of that term probably dates back to September 16, which is as far as I can tell the first time the Associated Press filed a beyond-perfunctory report about now-bankrupt Solyndra, the beneficiary of over $500 million in Energy Department loan guarantees. In January, the government also gave Solyndra's principal investors preferential treatment in advance of what was a clearly inevitable bankruptcy. Tuesday evening, the AP's Matthew Daly went to the E-word again in the final paragraph of the excerpt which follows:
So I figure that I need to catch up on the LightSquared saga. This is the company which, as Fox News reported on Thursday (the URL date is September 15, though the time stamp is the next day) is building "a nationwide, next-generation, 4G phone network."
The problem is, as Fox further noted, that there are concerns that "many, including (General William) Shelton, think (the network) would seriously hinder the effectiveness of high-precision GPS receiver systems, a product used most commonly by the United States military." Shelton told a congresspersons "in a classified briefing earlier this month" that he was asked by the Obama administration to change (but apparently didn't) his testimony about said dangers.
So I went to the Associated Press's main page at 9:50 this evening, did a search on the company's name, and got back the following:
Part 1 on the Associated Press's September 16 evening story ("Obama admin reworked Solyndra loan to favor donor"; saved here at my web host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) by Matthew Daly and Jack Gillum criticized the reporters and the wire service for making it appear as if all the findings in the story were the result of original work.
Two other paragraphs in the report in my opinion represent a blatant but clumsy attempt to give the impression that the bankruptcy of a major beneficiary of Department of Energy stimulus-driven loans was a bipartisan fiasco:
The public learned on September 3 from William McQuillen at Bloomberg (possibly earlier elsewhere) that now-bankrupt Soyndra's private investors restructured the company's finances in January by lending the company "$75 million." As a condition of doing so, they convinced the government to give the new loan senior status over all other creditors. Now taxpayers face a likely loss of hundreds of millions in Department of Energy loans, perhaps over $500 million.
But if you haven't stayed with or are unfamiliar with the story and read the Associated Press report this evening by Matthew Daly and Jack Gillum, you would think that the wire service did all of the dirty work to learn these things (credit-hogging language in bold):
CNN's American Morning brought on liberal academic Jeffrey Sachs to analyze Speaker Boehner's jobs plan Friday. Instead of hosting a conservative critic of President Obama the morning after he unveiled his jobs plan, the network actually interviewed the President's economic policy assistant.
While Sachs went on-air and criticized the Republican plan as inherently flawed, Obama's director of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling received a soft interview last Friday concerning the President's jobs plan. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor did appear on CNN shortly after that, but was pressed repeatedly about whether Republicans would compromise on the Obama's bill and was not asked to critique the President's plan.
Appearing on Tuesday's The Ed Show, MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Alter urged both liberals - euphemistically calling them "progressives" - and non-liberals to support President Obama's economic plan and advised Obama to "fight, fight, fight," and argue that Republican opposition would mean they are "standing in the way of you getting a job."
After host Ed Schultz asked Alter about the GOP response to Obama's plan, the MSNBC analyst soon appealed to Americans to support the bill:
CNN's business guru Ali Velshi argued that the stimulus did not fail, in a testy exchange Monday with CNN contributor Dana Loesch that followed President Obama's jobs plan speech.
"It failed!" exclaimed Loesch when Velshi mentioned the stimulus, to which he excitedly replied that it did not fail. That set off a back-and-forth between the two pundits, where Velshi argued that unemployment could have been higher without the stimulus – a rather tired hypothetical thrown around by liberals.
CBS's Early Show on Monday devoted two segments and a news brief to the Obama "jobs bill," but in none of the three stories did they allow a single Republican to speak. Correspondent Bill Plante filed a report that was almost all Obama soundbites -- and to make the sound of a sales job complete, it even included a clip of a TV ad from the Democratic National Committee to help push the $447 billion "stimulus" package.
Plante led the 7 am Eastern hour with his report on the President's legislation, and mentioned the Republicans only in passing: "He's [Obama] been saying that both Republicans and Democrats support the kinds of ideas that he's got in this job bill. But he knows that Republicans are reluctant to embrace the kind of spending he wants. So, he's taking his case directly to the voters, as he did Friday in Richmond, Virginia."
A day after the New York Times published an editorial praising President Obama for his "ambitious," "robust," and "far-reaching" jobs address the previous evening, the Gray Lady printed a front page story with the shocking headline, "Employers Say Jobs Plan Won’t Lead to Hiring Spur."
America was in a post-stock market bubble bursting recession, had just suffered its worst mainland attack in its history, and New York Times columnist Tom Friedman believes ten years later all would have been made right if the President of the United States on September 12, 2001, had raised taxes.
President Obama’s reaction to the latest lousy employment figures was framed by New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes on Saturday’s front page as “New Urgency in the Battle for Stimulus.” Calmes has long insisted Obama’s first multi-billion dollar economic “stimulus” was a success and did so again:
Nonpartisan analysts and the Congressional Budget Office have credited the first stimulus package with helping to end the recession and keep unemployment from growing even higher than it did. They say the winding down of the federal government’s help this year has contributed to the economy’s stall.