When last seen at NewsBusters in February, the Associated Press's Liz Sidoti was talking down to the public about its "collective obsession with the trivial" less than a week after AP reporter Ken Thomas wasted 500 words of print and bandwidth on how Florida Sen. Marco Rubio took a sip of water during a speech.
Now Sidoti, who is the AP's National Political Editor, is quite worried -- actually, obsessed -- that the public might waking up and contrasting what President Barack Obama is delivering compared to what he has promised at a most inopportune time, and that "controversies" might overtake Dear Leader's second-term agenda (bolds are mine):
What is it with state Democratic Party chairpersons these days?
South Carolina Chairman Dick Harpootlian, whose term just recently ended, has hurled repeated tasteless insults at Palmetto State Governor Nikki Haley, who is of Indian heritage. His final parting shot: Haley needs to be sent "back to wherever the hell she came from." Louisiana's Democratic Party chairwoman joined in the "fun" earlier this week on the floor of the state's Senate (HT Campaign Spot; bolds are mine):
One particular sentence has recently become a virtua meme at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press.
Its latest appearance is at Christopher Rugaber's report this afternoon on April's seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent drop in consumer spending. Rugaber, who infamously wrote "Gone are the fears that the economy could fall into another recession" in early April, perhaps betraying a bit of nervousness, called today's news "a sign that economic growth may be slowing." Deeper into his dispatch, he rolled out the meme:
When Covered California, the Golden States' health insurance exchange being set up under ObamaCare, initially announced its rates beginning in 2014, it claimed that rates will go down. Kevin Drum at Mother Jones ("if these early results hold up, Obamacare's structure seems to be doing a pretty good job at its core mission of controlling prices.") and Rick Ungar at Forbes ("the reality is that the early report card on Obamacare—at least in those states willing to give the law a chance to succeed—is looking pretty darn good") got suckered in.
It isn't so, as Avik Roy explained yesterday at Forbes (bolds are mine):
Appearing as a guest on Monday's The Daily Show on Comedy Central, Canadian actress Ellen Page criticized Fox News for negatively portraying Canadian health care as she defended her home country's national health care system. Page:
At Bloomberg Views, Al Hunt, formerly "the executive editor of Bloomberg News, directing coverage of the Washington bureau," referred to the controversies swirling around the White House as "faux scandals" and insisted that ... wait for it ... the Obama administration "is the most scandal-free administration in recent memory." No wonder Bloomberg News developed into such a hopelessly biased outfit while he was there. As much as I could stand to excerpt from Hunt's harangue follows the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
On Friday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, host Al Sharpton lambasted House Republicans for repeatedly voting to repeal ObamaCare, calling it a "scandal" and an "outrage," as he seemed to cite a questionable study from a left-wing source from 2009 claiming that 45,000 people a year die because they lack health insurance. Sharpton began the segment:
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is under fire for soliciting donations from health care companies to underwrite ObamaCare PR efforts to increase enrollment but you wouldn't know that if you only got your news from ABC and NBC or skipped Sunday's edition of CBS's Face the Nation.
The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks have effectively buried the scandal that was first broken by the Washington Post on May 10.
It has only been a week since the Associated Press learned that its reporters' privacy and the confidentiality of their relationships with sources were violated on a massive and unprecedented scale by Eric Holder's Justice Department in April and May of last year. DOJ has admitted that it secretly obtained the call records for 20 personal and business lines used by over 100 AP reporters and editors. Despite its insistence that they were looking for the person who leaked information about a foiled terrorist plot, there is reason to believe the DOJ's fishing expedition was a childish response to the wire service's refusal to let the government crow about the foiled operation before anyone reported on it.
In the wake of all of this, the AP, appears determined to soldier on as the wire service more appropriately described as the Administration's Press. That's about the only way one can view the Saturday afternoon dispatch from the AP's David Espo and its accompanying headline:
Clearly, the New York Times couldn't run with Jonathan Weisman's headline or opening sentence in the report he filed shortly after Friday's portion of Friday's testimony at a hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee in its Saturday print edition. And it didn't.
The original headline at Weisman's story, as seen here (HT Ann Althouse via Instapundit), was "Treasury Knew of I.R.S. Inquiry in 2012, Official Says." His opening sentence: "The Treasury Department’s inspector general told senior Treasury officials in June 2012 he was auditing the Internal Revenue Service’s screening of politically active organizations seeking tax exemptions, disclosing for the first time on Friday that Obama administration officials were aware of the matter during the presidential campaign year." Along came Jeremy Peters, who helped to "properly" frame these matters, turning it into yet another "Republicans attack our poor innocent administration" piece. That is what made it to today's paper -- on Page A12, naturally accompanied by a "better" headline. Meanwhile, except for excerpts captured at places like the indispensable FreeRepublic, Weisman's original has been flushed down the memory hole.
Appearing as a guest on Thursday's PoliticsNation show on MSNBC, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank mocked House Republicans for repeatedly holding unsuccessful votes to repeal ObamaCare as he suggested they should continue to "waste" time so "they'll be less of a harm to the country" because that way "they're not cutting food stamps." Milbank:
How do you know when a Democratic politician's or candidate's quote will either hurt that person or hurt President Obama (in this case, it's the latter)? When the Politico reports it, and the Associated Press avoids it.
Elizabeth Colbert Busch, who is running against former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford for the congressional seat opened up when Tim Scott was appointed to replace Jim DeMint, apparently felt the need to appeal to those who oppose ObamaCare during a debate on Monday evening. Here's what she said, according to Politico's David Nather and Darren Samuelsohn:
On Friday's All In show on MSNBC, host Chris Hayes not only praised President Obama for being the first sitting President to speak to Planned Parenthood in the group's history, but he also seemed to lament the fact that pro-choice Democrats are not confident enough to actually use the word "abortion" more openly, as he noted that the President avoided the word during his speech.
The MSNBC host asserted that the President "made history" as he plugged the segement before a commercial break: "President Obama made history today doing something that took 97 years for a President to do. That's coming up."
In the health-care insurance debate, one of the mantras of the left is to condemn those evil, greedy insurance companies that would charge higher rates to people with "pre-existing conditions."
But in a commercial aired on last night's Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, there was "Progressive Insurance," whose chairman Peter Lewis is a huge donor to liberal causes including Moveon.org, condemning as "rate suckers" people with bad driving records who drive up good drivers' rates! View the video after the jump.
One of the more bizarre memes propagated by the proabort left about the trial of Kermit Gosnell, who "faces 43 criminal counts, including eight counts of murder in the death of one patient, Karnamaya Monger, and seven newborn infants," is that Fox News has been almost as negligent in covering the story and the trial as the Big Three broadcast networks, and that conservative media in general have also mostly ignored the story.
Through Monday evening, April 8, the Media Research Center's Matt Philbin noted that Gosnell's trial "has received exactly zero seconds of airtime on the broadcast networks." In a pathetic attempt at a response on Friday, Salon's Alex Seitz-Wald and several others are trying to claim that "conservative" outlets have also virtually ignored the trial. Seitz-Wald's own text shows that his argument is weak, as seen in excerpts following the jump.
On Tuesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC host O'Donnell fretted that people "suffer deprivations" in the United States because the U.S. is the "world's biggest tax haven" with a relatively low tax burden compared to other countries. After showing his viewers a chart recounting that the U.S. ranks 31st in the percentage of the economy the government collects in taxes, O'Donnell added:
On Monday's All In show on MSNBC, host Chris Hayes praised Britain's "beloved" national health care program as possibly "one of the great hallmarks of western social democracy," as he admitted to delivering criticism from a liberal point of view of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's administration.
After telling the world on Thursday that "Gone are the fears that the economy could fall into another recession," it seems that the Associated Press's Christopher Rugaber needed some help explaining away Friday's weak jobs report from the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The AP had four reporters on Friday evening's coverage, all seemingly in search of a viable excuse for another "unexpectedly" disappointing report: Rugaber, co-author Paul Wiseman, and contributors Jonathan Fahey and Joyce Rosenberg in New York. Several paragraphs from their report follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
I guess we had better start paying closer attention to how the establishment press labels -- and mislabels -- congressional districts.
The headline at the Associated Press at a lengthy column composed by Charles Babington bemoaning the lack of willingness of Ohio First District Congressman Steve Chabot to "compromise," i.e., sell out his principles, reads as follows: "PARTISAN DISCORD FINDS ROOTS IN TOSS-UP DISTRICTS." Uh, Chabot won the district in the 2012 elections by 20 points. Babington's attempt to justify the "toss-up" classification also falls flat:
Today, on the third anniversary of the enactment of state-managed healthcare, aka the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka ObamaCare, it's worth noting a precursor of what we can expect from the establishment press as the law's implementation presses on. It can be summed up in eight words: "Hype the alleged good. Ignore the obviously bad." Distilled in four words: "Toe the administration line."
Two examples of how the press is ignoring the obviously bad came from the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, in its March 6 caoverage of the contents of the Federal Reserve's "beige book" released that day. The Fed's report contained five specific comments, four of them negative and one neutral, about the current and imminent impact of ObamaCare. None made it into either AP report. Many other outlets also ignored or minimized those comments.
President Obama handily defeated congressional Republicans in the political fight over his health care law. But the law will now face a much tougher opponent — the creativity of Americans determined to gain more control over their own health care decisions. The end result will be a system much different than the president hopes for — and his opponents fear.
To understand why, consider how the nation's 50 million 401(k) retirement accounts came into existence. It was not what Congress intended when it passed the Tax Revenue Act of 1978. Congressional summaries of the legislation listed dozens of its "major provisions" without mentioning what would become its most lasting legacy. At the time, even reducing the top tax rate from 48 percent to 46 percent was considered more important.
Liz Sidoti's offering this morning at the Associated Press, which is clearly a serious competitor for Worst AP Item Ever, carries the "column" label. As such, I suppose we're expected to accept the idea that the "analysis" offered is hers alone.
But you would think that the self-described "essential global news network" would have enough business judgment to review a reporter's work to make sure it doesn't talk down to the general public and indict its own reporting on the economy at the same time. You would be wrong, as will be seen after the jump.
Dr. Ben Carson has received little coverage in traditional media outlets for a speech he gave last Thursday at a prayer breakfast in which he advocated a flat tax and health savings accounts to improve the American economy and the health care system, respectively. The little attention he has gotten has been negative, with the media indignant that the world renowned neurosurgeon dared to "disrespect" the president by offering policy proposals that deviated from the government-centered ones of Mr. Obama's liking.
Even so, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted on the Tuesday edition of Varney & Co., because of talk radio, and the Internet, "the toothpaste is out of the tube" and while it may take longer for more people to become aware of it, "This story will not stop growing." "This proves why the networks are becoming increasingly irrelevant," the Media Research Center founder told the Fox Business Network anchor Stuart Varney. [MP3 audio here; video of segment follows page break]
In a lengthy article in March's Esquire "reported in cooperation with" the leftist-advised Center for Investigative Reporting, CIR Executive Chairman Philip Bronstein told readers that the unnamed Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden on May 1, 2011 was a year ago "wondering how he was going to feed his wife and kids or pay for their medical care." According to Bronstein, the answer is (read these words carefully): "[A]fter sixteen years in the Navy, his body filled with scar tissue, arthritis, tendonitis, eye damage, and blown disks, here is what he gets from his employer and a grateful nation: Nothing. No pension, no health care, and no protection for himself or his family."
The "no health care" portion of that statement is inarguably false. Yet Bronstein, as will be seen shortly, stands by it. On Monday, Megan McCloskey at Stars & Stripes explained something which would be known to any journalist genuinely interested in finding out how the military's pay and benefits arrangements work (link is in original; bolds are mine):
Buzzfeed's Ben Smith, who used to toil at Politico, must be blind in one eye and can't see out of the other.
In what appears to be a sudden revelation in his column ("Obama Prepares To Screw His Base") on ObamaCare's harsh treatment of young people, Smith notes how they "will pay disproportionately for ObamaCare." What this really represents is something which alarmed those who studied the bill both before and after its passage in March 2010. In other words, people who follow these things closely have known about this situation for years. But course, it has fallen on deaf, deliberately ignorant, or deliberately negligent establishment press ears. Thus, most low-information voters don't know what's coming. Beyond that, Smith acts as if the Obama administration hasn't been shafting young people ever since Barack Obama took his first oath of office in January 2009, when it has been doing so in a variety of ways on a daily basis. Excerpts from Smith's somnambulance, wherein he actually tries to blame Sarah Palin for what's coming, follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
At his keynote speech at the National Prayer Breakfast this morning, world-renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson laid out some ideas he had for improving health care in the United States of America. Seated to his right was the president of the United States, who appeared to not care much for the good doctor's market-oriented idea of tax-free Health Savings Accounts. [h/t email tipster Brian Plunkett for bringing this to my attention]
For two nights in a row, NBC, ABC, and CBS have ignored a story that would damage the liberal narrative they are helping the White House to push. Two days ago, the Congressional Budget Office reported that it has revised its projections of the cost of ObamaCare’s insurance subsidies. The CBO now estimates that the subsidies, which are to be offered through exchanges beginning in 2014, will cost 29 percent more than the CBO initially projected in 2010. The projected 10-year cost has increased by $233 billion.
In addition, the report estimates that 7 million workers will lose their employer-sponsored health insurance due to ObamaCare, almost twice as manyas the CBO previously estimated. Monetary penalties on those who don’t buy insurance are now expected to be $36 billion higher from 2014 to 2019 than was originally thought.
In a Friday editorial, Investor's Business Daily picked up a disturbing downside in the January 2013 jobs report released by the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics earlier that day: More people are working, but they're working fewer hours per week. In certain sectors, including retail, the industry's aggregate hours worked actually shrank compared to January 2012. Memo to Chris Rugaber at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press: That's another reason your description of Friday's report as "mostly encouraging" is rubbish.
IBD relied on seasonally adjusted data in arriving at its findings. The raw figures (i.e., not seasonally adjusted amounts), representing the government's best estimates of actual conditions during the month before seasonal smoothing, are even more disturbing -- and far more relevant. This is especially the case in retail, as January is a month when retailers retrench after the Christmas shopping season; whatever pullback takes place will mostly stick for the next several months. A few paragraphs from the paper's editorial, as well as a comparison of the raw and seasonally adjusted numbers in retail in January 2013 and 2012, follow the jump (HT frequent BizzyBlog commenter dscott):
When it comes to discussing religious objections to President Obama’s contraception mandate, MSNBC decided this afternoon that prominent feminist and liberal darling Sandra Fluke is the best person to comment. Speaking with Tamron Hall on the February 1 NewsNation, Fluke appeared on MSNBC to hype, “the [Obama] administration's process of clarifying how women will have access to this important health care service."
Fluke, a Georgetown Law student who "testified" before a Democratic policy committee -- not a congressional panel contrary to popular belief -- became a recurring guest on MSNBC, and even spoke at the Democratic National Convention last year. According to Politico, under the new policy announced by the Obama Administration [See video after jump. MP3 audio here]: