Government Agencies

By Tom Blumer | March 26, 2015 | 2:19 PM EDT

Employing a variant of the old surgeon's joke — "The operation was a success, but the patient died" — White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, on friendly ground on MSNBC this morning, essentially told viewers that the administration still considers Yemen a success, even as its government is on the fast track to being forced into indefinite exile.

Earnest told the "Morning Joe" show's Mika Brzezinski and the assembled panel that "U.S. policy should not be graded against the success or the stability of the Yemeni government" — although, just for starters, Yemen's President has fled, while the Los Angeles Times is reporting that, because of the Yemeni government's instability, Iran has obtained a treasure trove of U.S. intelligence. Video and a transcript follow the jump (HT Real Clear Politics):

By Tom Blumer | March 25, 2015 | 7:31 PM EDT

The Census Burau's February Durable Goods report, released at 8:30 a.m. today, "unexpectedly" (Bloomberg did the U-word honors) came in with a seasonally adjusted 1.4 percent decline compared to the 0.2 increase analysts expected. Additionally, January's increase was revised down to 2.0 percent from 2.8 percent. Not adjusting for inflation, unadjusted (i.e., actual) February orders came in 2.3 percent below February 2014. Pending adjustments to February's figures, durable goods orders have declined by 5.3 percent in the past four months.

Despite all of this, the Associated Press's primary story on durable goods by Martin Crutsinger was gone from its Top Business Stories page by 2 p.m.

By Tom Blumer | March 24, 2015 | 11:13 AM EDT

On CNN yesterday, after the network cut away from the press conference where Charlottesville, Virginia Police Department announced that it "found no evidence to support claims in a Rolling Stone article that a University of Virginia student was gang raped at a campus fraternity in September 2012," network panelist and CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin bizarrely resorted to "statistics" to defend "Jackie," the student-fabulist involved.

The panel discussion which followed the press conference seemed to be all about telling viewers that "Despite what everyone says, it's really not over." Hostin's major contribution to that meme was to essentially contend that because "only about 2 percent of rapes that are reported are false," any allegation that "Jackie" was making things up is unfair and likely incorrect because it "flies in the face of statistics." Video and a transcript follow the jump:

By Tom Blumer | March 23, 2015 | 3:57 PM EDT

The press's reluctance to let go of a popular but debunked meme — in this case, the nonexistent "epidemic" of college campus sexual assaults — is sometimes inadvertently humorous, though still intensely annoying.

Take how John Bacon and Marisol Bello at USA Today characterized the news that "Police in Charlottesville were unable to verify that an alleged sexual assault detailed in a controversial Rolling Stone magazine article ever took place at the University of Virginia":

By Tom Blumer | March 23, 2015 | 12:57 PM EDT

Today the U.S. Supreme Court, as the Associated Press's Scott Bauer reported, "turned away a challenge to Wisconsin's voter identification law," meaning that "the state is free to impose the voter ID requirement in future elections." Bauer then focused on the impact of the state's off-year primary elections on April 7.

Bauer's relatively tolerable (for him) report tagged the law as "a political flashpoint since Republican legislators passed it in 2011 and Gov. Scott Walker signed it into law." Meanwhile, demonstrating that he will accept leftists' claims at face value even when they can't possibly make any sense, Richard Wolf at USA Today relayed a ridiculous claim made by the law's opponents (bolds are mine):

By Tom Blumer | March 22, 2015 | 10:37 AM EDT

From all appearances, only Fox News, CNS News, and a few Israel-based outlets and U.S.-based center-right blogs care about the fact, acknowledged by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, that Iran and Hezbollah, in the words of Fox's Greta Van Susteren, "are suddenly MIA from the U.S. terror threat list."

DNI apparently has no plans to change its report, having told CNS News that “This year’s Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. intelligence community report was simply a format change,” while contending that "There is no ‘softening’ of our position." DNI's excuse-making tacitly acknowledges the absence of Iran and Hezbollah from this year's terror threat list.

By Tom Blumer | March 20, 2015 | 3:24 PM EDT

Over at Hot Air, I saw that Seth Meyers, as he was figuratively grilling Texas Senator Ted Cruz on his "Late Night" program — the first rule of these shows is that conservatives get attacked, while liberals get coddled — made his case for global warming by saying, “I think the world’s on fire literally.” I checked outside just a moment ago and "literally" saw no burning bushes or other burning objects, so I can say that Meyers, at least in regards to this small corner of the world, is "literally" wrong. In the language of Politifact, the leftist pretend-fact check site, he has his "pants (figuratively) on fire."

One would think that a fact-checking web site would have gone after Meyers for his out-of-control hyperbole. Not a chance.

By Tom Blumer | March 20, 2015 | 12:40 PM EDT

In all the hoopla over the Federal Reserve's Wednesday's signals over its intentions to raise interest rates, its significant downgrades to expected growth of the U.S. economy during the next several years have mostly been ignored.

The Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, has played a part in that. Both of the wire service's reports following the Fed's actions and predictions on Wednesday saved its downwardly revised growth projections for very late paragraphs, even though reporter Christopher Rugaber described them as indicators of a "much slower" economy than was anticipated just a few months ago. Further, the Fed's revised projections indicate that what is by far the longest streak of economic mediocrity since World War II will likely continue unchecked.

By Tom Blumer | March 18, 2015 | 11:22 PM EDT

Many media myths won't die because those who should know better — and I believe in many cases do know better, and don't care — perpetuate them.

One can't divine his mindset, but Politico's Michael Crowley, in his coverage of Benjamin Netanyahu's resounding Tuesday electoral victory, did his part to continue the myth that the Israeli Prime Minister's "March 3 speech to Congress (was) arranged by Speaker John Boehner behind the Obama White House’s back." It wasn't, and claiming that it was a million times won't change that.

By Tom Blumer | March 16, 2015 | 10:06 AM EDT

After his appearance yesterday on ABC's "This Week," Hillary Clinton may be wondering whose side James Carville is on.

Never mind Carville's frequent and rude interruptions of other guests, his seemingly calculated incoherence, and his false claims about the Clintons' past record of corruption. Even though that behavior doesn't represent the Clintons well, they have to know that's part of the package when they use Carville as a defender. What wasn't expected is that Mr. Mary Matalin would admit that Mrs. Clinton may have set up her private server at her home in Chappaqua, New York specifically to hamper any future efforts by congress to carry out its consitutionally assigned oversight functions. But he did, as will be seen after the jump.

By Seton Motley | March 16, 2015 | 9:26 AM EDT

As we know - America’s media is for the most part decidedly Leftist, often befuddled and rarely right.  So when they wade into an intricate issue like President Barack Obama’s Net Neutrality Internet power grab - we can only expect even more Leftism, befuddlement and wrongness.

On February 26, the Obama Administration’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) pretended to be Congress and rewrote law.  To suddenly start regulating the Internet under the 1934 Telecommunications Act - under rules written to regulate the landline telephone. 

By Tom Blumer | March 15, 2015 | 11:09 PM EDT

Here is a clear case of media reluctance to acknowledge a drop-dead obvious fact — one even the often fact-averse New York Times has admitted.

In an 8:40 p.m. report tonight, Jim Salter at the Associated Press spent eight paragraphs avoiding any mention of the race of Jeffrey Williams, the 20 year-old man arrested today and charged in connection with the shooting of two Ferguson, Missouri police officers on Thursday. Finally, in paragraph 9, the AP reporter only partially relented, writing that "Williams, who St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said is black, is being held on $300,000 bond." An easily found mugshot of Williams relating to a prior arrest indicates that the law enforcement system classified him as black six months ago: