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]:
It's not very often that a federal judge begins a ruling by saying that "Sometimes even a person with excellent vision does not see the forest for the trees." That happened yesterday in a case involving former First District Democratic Congressman and sore loser Steve Driehaus, whose district mostly comprised the western two-thirds of Cincinnati's Hamilton County. Yet it's not news at Gannett's Cincinnati Enquirer -- or anywhere else, for that matter.
After his 2010 defeat at the hands of Republican Steve Chabot, Driehaus sued the Susan B. Anthony List in federal court for defamation and -- get this -- "loss of livelihood." Why? Because, during that campaign, SBAL told Driehaus's constituents -- correctly, it has since been proven -- that his vote for ObamaCare was a betrayal of his pro-life principles. Yesterday, despite his obvious conflict of interest as former president and director of the Planned Parenthood Association of Cincinnati, Judge Timothy Black, a Barack Obama appointee, found a way to do what he should have done in the first place, and rejected Driehaus's nonsense.
It's pretty safe to say that a Monday evening story appearing at Buzzfeed which should thoroughly embarrass President Obama will continue to be ignored or seriously downplayed by the Associated Press, (aka the Administration's Press), the New York Times, the TV networks, and most of the rest of the establishment press. Longtime media followers will also recognize the story as the type of item which would become a press obsession if it occurred betweem the election and inauguration of a Republican or conservative president.
It seems tha former Obama campaign staffers are getting seriously dissed in the runup to President Obama's second inauguration. It turns out that they shouldn't be surprised. Buzzfeed's Zeke Miller notes that more substative dismissive treatment -- and even dismissals -- began shortly after the election was over. Excerpts from Miller's write-up follow the jump (HT Instapundit, whose mini-post is titled "Used Up, Thrown Away"; bolds are mine):
A search this morning at Google News on "Liverpool Pathway" (not in quotes) returned 69 items (Google's initial indication was over 800, but it was really only 69). Roughly 60 of them related to the National Health Service's "palliative care" protocols known as the "Liverpool Care Pathway" employed in the UK's government-run health care system to place hospital patients on a path to death. The latest news about the pathway has drawn the attention of a few prolife blogs in the U.S., but almost no attention from U.S. establishment press sources.
That's stunnning, given both the seriousness of the news about the pathway's real-world effects, and the reactions of those who insist that it's still a great thing in their brave new healthcare world. A UK Daily mail item on December 30 summarized the extent of the horror in three succinct sentences (bolds are mine throughout this post):
An unbylined Associated Press story at 1:34 p.m. (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) disgracefully covered a federal ruling which delivered a defeat (for now) against the enforcement of ObamaCare's contraception mandate.
Unlike the Hobby Lobby situation (covered earlier today at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), where the dispute is over certain portions of the contraception mandate requiring employers to cover abortifacient drugs and devices, the ruling in the case of Thomas Monaghan, the founder of Domino's Pizza who is now has a property management business, involves the entire contraception mandate. Monaghan nevertheless was able to get a temporary restraining order (TRO). The full five-paragraph AP report is after the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
One of the establishment press's favorite tactics to diminish the perceived strength of a position taken by people or companies they are inclined not to favor is to take objectively true facts and statements and reduce them to things only those people or companies "say" or "believe."
Hobby Lobby's court battle against the ObamaCare mandates is a perfect case in point, with both the Politico and Associated Press providing recent related examples of this fundamentally dishonest tactic. In the December 26 item at the Politico, Jennifer Haberkorn and Kathryn Smith also falsely framed the situation as an argument over "contraception" (more on that in a bit; bolds are mine throughout this post). But first, let's look at how the pair employed the "they say" tactic:
The UK's National Health Service has been around since the late 1940s. Despite over 60 years of trying to get health care right, it still doesn't come anywhere close. This long-term failure has done nothing to deter the Obama administration and Democrats from attempting to replicate the horror here in the U.S.
The latest example of scandlous neglect comes from a Labor MP, carried in the usually left-leaning UK Guardian and many other British news outlets. Readers can count on it not being noticed by the U.S. press (HT Samizdat via Instapundit). The second-last paragraph in the excerpt following the jump seems to give away a feeling by the dead victim's wife that she's somehow betraying her statist brothers and sisters by speaking out:
Just before Thanksgiving, the leftist think tank Demos issued a report by its own Catherine Ruetschlin advocating a $12 an hour minimum wage (stated as $25,000 per year by her) for those who work full-time in retail.
What's interesting about Ruetschlin's suggestion is that there is a retailer out there which is actually doing that and more -- and it's not Costco, which "pays starting employees at least $10 an hour." To be fair to Costco, rapid wage advancement is apparently quite common there, but that's off-topic. Perhaps surprising to the press, the company involved starts its full-time employees not at $12 an hour, but at $13. Perhaps if it spent less time trying to figure how to discredit this company, the establishment media might instead focus on how this company is able to be profitable under such a wage structure. Before identifying the firm after the jump, we'll first see in an open letter from its CEO why it's not getting favorable press attention (in full; bolds are mine):
On Monday's CBS This Morning, Cheesecake Factory CEO David Overton spotlighted the looming economic impact of Obamacare's implementation, especially on small enterprises: "For those businesses that don't cover their employees, they'll be in for a very expensive situation." Overton also warned that the cost of the law would be passed on to customers.
Anchor Norah O'Donnell raised the issue of the still-controversial health care law: "One of the things that's going to change, of course, in the new year is ObamaCare, or the Affordable Care Act. How do you implement that at Cheesecake Factory, and how will you pay for health care for all of your employees?" [audio clips available here; video below the jump]
The third page of an unbylined report with an early Saturday time stamp credited to "USA Today" carried at the Jackson, Mississippi Clarion Ledger (like USAT, a Gannett Company) claimed that "Walmart heiress Alice Walton expressed solidarity with Walmart's striking workers."
Putting aside whether or not an action taken by what the company estimated may have been fifty associates is a "strike" or a "temper tantrum," the claim was not true. USA Today fell for a hoax. Following the jump are several paragraphs from the Clarion Ledger report and an LA Times writeup identifying the hoax. Additionally, I learned that Alice Walton's Crystal Bridges Museum was the object of Occupy and union movement protests when it opened a year ago.
In a Saturday PJ Media column ("A Physician’s New Reality: Patients Ask Me to Break the Law"), Dr. Peter Weiss, relays several important and ugly realities of what life will be like under the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare, which could easily have been reported any time during the past couple of years by members of the establishment press.
Most of what Dr. Weiss discusses has to do with ObamaCare's free annual exam. As will be seen, the administration and the press have made it seem far more valuable than what patients will see in the real world. If any of what the doctor describes below has been previously addressed in the press, I sure haven't seen it (italics are in original; bolds are mine):
In his Monday evening coverage of a federal judge's refusal to grant retailer Hobby Lobby injunctive relief from ObamaCare's mandate that it "provide insurance coverage for the morning-after and week-after birth control pills," the Associated Press's Tim Talley "cleverly" recast the government's argument over what constitutes an abortion (the government says that the morning-after pill isn't an abortifacient, when it really is) into one over when "pregnancy" (instead of life) begins. The company faces fines of $1.3 million per day (not a typo) starting on January 1 if it does not comply.
Several paragraphs from Talley's writeup will illustrate the misdirection (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Hector Camacho might be in tough shape in hospital, but someone is out there bobbing and weaving like a champ. Meet Karen Mills, President Obama's head of the Small Business Administration.
When Joe Scarborough asked her straight-up to state the cost per worker of Obamacare, Mills ducked like a pro, switched the subject, and wound up describing . . . how last year, she bought blueberry jam at a Maine farmers market as gifts for her friends! Not a joke—just a world-class non sequitur from an Obama administration that would rather talk about anything other than the cost of its big-government plans. View the video after the jump.
The latest and possibly last (we can hope) preelection poll from partnership between the Associated Press and GfK Roper International purportedly tells us that most of us "now express prejudice toward blacks" whether we "recognize those feelings or not."
That's the conclusion communicated by AP reporter Sonya Ross and wire service deputy director of polling Jennifer Agiesta. In case we don't get the point, the item's accompanying photograph at the AP national site, Yahoo News and likely elsewhere is of Barack Obama, who despite the recognized and unrecognized racism of most Americans managed to carry 53% of the vote in 2008. Contrary to the report's headline, the AP pair admit that the AP-GfK poll results alone (done online, to add insult to injury) don't prove the point they're trying to make; other bizarre tests are also involved.
Saturday evening, via Emerson Marcus and with the Associated Press contributing, the Reno Gazette-Journal, which I hope doesn't try to describe itself as a family newspaper, published an irony-free a 500-word story (HT to a NewBusters tipster) on an appearance by Sandra Fluke earlier in the day "in front of about 10 people at the Sak ‘N Save in north Reno." You can't make this stuff up.
The story is currently the "Most Popular" at the paper's rgj.com home page. The Gazette-Journal seems to have been determined to hype Fluke's appearance no matter what so it could take shots at Rush Limbaugh and employ the "s-word" ("slut") Rush Limbaugh used (and then apologized for having used) to describe Ms. Fluke. It even employed the word in promoting her upcoming appearance in advance in one of two items dated Friday which were apparently meant for Saturday's print edition.