Washington Post "Fact Checker" blogger Glenn Kessler has given "Four Pinocchios" ("a whopper") to a pro-Democratic group's political ad opposing the U.S. Senate candidacy of Louisiana Republican Bill Cassidy. The claim: The Koch Brothers, who are prominent financial supporters of the pro-GOP group Americans for Prosperity, want to protect, in the ad's words, “tax cuts for companies that ship our jobs overseas.”
Unfortunately, I have been told that Kessler's post did not make the paper's print edition; to no one's surprise, the Post has a tendency to give Kessler posts which fact-check Republicans greater print edition visibility. Additionally, at least one other Post writer and career race-baiter Al Sharpton have praised the anti-Koch ad and the strategy behind it. The likelihood that either will acknowledge Kessler's debunking is extremely low. Here are the key paragraphs from Kessler's work (bolds are mine throughout this post):
February's retail sales as reported may have been expectations of a 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted rise, but the 0.3 percent increase turned in was still far from impressive, especially after considering that the Census Bureau revised January's result down to -0.6 percent from an originally reported -0.4 percent.
Naturally, that didn't stop the Associated Press's Josh Boak and his story's headline writer from celebrating the news as a "rebound." Even more absurdly, Boak claimed that "Last month's rebound almost brought retail spending back to its December levels." Excerpts follow the jump:
NBC ignored its own poll Wednesday evening that had President Obama at an all-time low approval rating.
Obama received just 41 percent approval and 54 percent disapproval in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, but NBC only reported the findings on Wednesday morning's Today show in a news brief. NBC ignored that ObamaCare's approval was also underwater.
[Update, 3:45 pm Eastern: Cuomo angrily responds to NewsBusters; see below.]
On Wednesday's New Day, CNN's Chris Cuomo played up how Florida Republican David Jolly's campaign played The Price Is Right theme music at his victory rally on Tuesday, and remarked that its use was somehow a perfect sign of the influence of big money in political races: "What a metaphor for what politics has become – that they are playing the theme song of The Price Is Right when they celebrate a victory, because it's about the money! It makes me sick."
What Cuomo didn't realize is that the former host of The Price Is Right, Bob Barker, endorsed Jolly. NewsBusters executive editor Tim Graham noted NPR's reporting on Barker's endorsement in a December 2013 item: [MP3 audio available here; video of Cuomo below the jump]
Last night, I noted that the Associated Press had not deigned to consider Republican David Jolly's victory over Democrat Alex Sink in the FL-13 Congressional race a "Top U.S. Story" as of 10:13 p.m. To AP's credit (or perhaps because of yours truly's and others' razzing?), a story about the race was at the Number 6 spot in Top U.S. Stories as of 8:15 this morning.
CNN.com, on the other hand (HT to NewsBusters commenter "Jon"), is clearly playing "hide the story" with the Jolly-Sink race. Its worldwide home page as of 8:38 a.m. had one line item titled "GOP wins year's 1st election showdown" halfway down the page, and a tiny picture in the "Politics" section near the bottom of the page headlined "GOP Scores First 2014 Win." Could they be any more vague? Its U.S. home page as of 7:37 a.m. had no reference to the race at all.
We all know that if Democrat Alex Sink had defeated David Jolly in FL-13's special Congressional election tonight, the morning news shows would have been all over the story, crowing that her victory represented a convincing verdict in favor of Obamacare.
Well, that didn't happen. David Jolly won, despite being badly outspent and forced to survive a bruising January primary. He also had to deal with running against Sink, a former Sunshine State gubernatorial candidate with far greater name recognition, and a libertarian candidate who siphoned off almost 5 percent of the vote. Though the Associated Press has a fairly balanced and lengthy story on the outcome, it somehow wasn't important enough to be carried as one of its Top 10 U.S. stories at 10:13 PM tonight. One story which did make the "Top 10" cut was (not kidding) about "Oregon owners of a 22-pound housecat that trapped them in their bedroom after attacking their baby." The AP story itself also didn't present the result as quite the referendum on Obamacare the left was predicting when they thought their candidate would prevail.
On Friday, the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the economy created 175,000 seasonally adjusted jobs in February, with 162,000 of the additions occurring in the private sector.
That result exceeded expectations of roughly 150,000, and caused the business press to sing odes of high praise to an economy that was amazingly overcoming this year's difficult winter weather. Unfortunately, as readers will see after the jump, February's raw results demonstrate that it was all an illusion.
CNN's New Day on Tuesday devoted a 23-second news brief to the death of author Joe McGinniss on Monday, noting that "McGinniss made headlines again in 2010, when he moved next door to Sarah Palin's Alaska home in order to research his book, 'The Rogue.' Palin threatened to sue him, but never did."
However, Tuesday's Today on NBC, which touted their interview of McGinnis in September 2011 by hyping his supposed "stunning allegations made about Sarah Palin in a bombshell book," omitted his passing on Tuesday. Anchor Savannah Guthrie gave the writer a platform during the segment to forward his unsubstantiated claims about the former Alaska governor:
Nowhere in her 15-paragraph March 11 obituary of Melba Hernandez did Associated Press writer Andrea Rodriguez find space to cite a critic of the late Cuban Communist revolutionary.
In her story -- headlined "'Heroine of the Cuban Revolution' was lifelong Castro loyalist" in the Washington Post -- Ms. Rodriguez paid significant attention to the role Hernandez played in aiding Castro's rise to power as well as to the "human rights awards" she received in 1997 from that great humanitarian Col. MoammarGaddafi, all the while using gauzy language to describe her exploits (emphasis mine):
In the past week, Radio Shack has announced that will close 1,100 stores, or over 20 percent of its U.S. outlets. Staples is shuttering 225 stores, or roughly 12 percent of theirs. Smaller downsizings earlier this year have been reported at Macy's (involving store and other personnel) and J.C. Penney.
One gets the impression from press reports that these are occurring primarily because of poor management or the ongoing trend towards more online sales. Though those two factors are obviously relevant, the fact that the economy began weakening during the fourth quarter, especially so in December, rarely gets a mention. When it does get noted, it's usually something mild, along the lines of "disappointing holiday sales." A Thursday afternoon Associated Press article by business writer Tom Murphy illustrates the kid-glove approach (bolds are mine; my responses to certain of Murphy's points are in italics):
When Obama IRS official Lois Lerner yet again pleaded the Fifth Amendment last Wednesday rather than answer challenging questions during a congressional hearing, the liberal media stifled yawns. To the extent the March 5 hearing was covered, media attention turned to the post-hearing fireworks between ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) rather than the substance of the questions Ms. Lerner refused to answer on the record under oath.
Fast forward to Monday afternoon with MSNBC.com lamenting how "Christie aides double[d] down on Fifth Amendment" in a state investigative probe of the Bridgegate scandal. Here's how staff writer Aliyah Frumin reported the story [emphasis mine; see screen capture below page break]
Alabama Democratic State Representative Alvin Holmes, who recently created a firestorm by calling Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas "a very prolific Uncle Tom," was at it again on Tuesday.
This time, the issue at hand was a "fetal heartbeat" bill restricting abortions. Holmes, who apparently needs no help seeing racism in just about anything, claimed, in the words of Kala Kachmar at the Montgomery Advertiser, that "99 percent of the white legislators in the chamber would raise their hand to say they're against abortion, and that same 99 percent would make their daughters get an abortion if they were impregnated by a black man." Holmes was also robbed of his wallet and $300 earlier in the week. Guess which story was worthy of coverage at the Associated Press? With rare exceptions, the rest of the U.S. press also appears to have ignored Holmes' raging racism.
Few have defended the Obama administration, and especially Obamacare, as vocally and in my view often unreasonably, as Fox News's Juan Williams. He has gone so far as to call Republican Party opposition to Obamacare its "original sin," and absurdly claimed that "massive opposition" from Republicans is what forced HealthCare.gov's rushed rollout.
One blind spot Williams does not have involves how consistently horribly leftists treat African-American conservatives, or even African-Americans who express an occasional sensibly conservative thought. One reason the left is so brazen in its persecution attempts is its knowledge that no matter how uncivil or unreasonable, their attempts will almost never gain wide exposure in the nation's establishment press. The latest example concerns calls by the faculty at Rutgers University to prevent former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from her scheduled appearance as commencement speaker there this year. Williams expressed his outrage in a Thursday Fox News column (HT Hot Air; bolds are mine):
Viewers of ABC's morning and evening newscasts on Friday would have been left unaware of President Obama's gaffe of elementary proportions during a White House concert on Thursday evening. Both Good Morning America and World News omitted how the Democrat left out the first "E" in the title of Aretha Franklin's most famous song: "When Aretha first told us what R-S-P-E-C-T meant to her."
By contrast, the network's competitors at CBS and NBC covered the President's trip-up on their morning shows and evening news broadcasts. NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams even mentioned a infamous spelling flub by a former Republican vice president: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Early Wednesday morning, Josh Lederman at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, opened a report on President Barack Obama's upcoming afternoon trip to Connecticut by writing that "Obama wants the U.S. to follow Connecticut's lead by raising the minimum wage." In a dispatch after Obama's speech in New Britain, Lederman wrote of "a show of support from like-minded governors," including those from the Nutmeg State, Massachusetts, Vermont and Rhode Island, all of which have minimum wages higher than the federally mandated rate of $7.25 per hour.
Correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation, but the four states Obama highlighted as examples to follow have economic performances ranging from mediocre to horrid during the past several years arguably tie to poor policy choices like high minimum wages — something Lederman should have noticed and didn't.
You don't even need to know the specifics to realize that today's economic reports were weak. All you need to know is that there was no mention of them in the Associated Press's list of Top 10 business stories as of 3:35 p.m. Among stories considered more important: a product review of Apple's tiny market-share program called iWork and three dozen passengers suing Carnival Cruise Lines.
This morning's release from ADP on February private-sector employment growth reported 139,000 jobs added; the previous four months were revised down by a total of 138,000. The Institute for Supply Management's Non-Manufacturing Index came in at 51.6%, showing relatively slow expansion (anything above 50% indicates expansion) compared to January's 54.0%. The reports missed expectations of 155,000 jobs added and 53.5%, respectively. AP coverage of these two reports somewhat understated their weakness, one quantitatively and the other qualitatively.
On Wednesday, CNN's Daniel Burke gave liberal-tinged spin/extrapolation about Pope Francis's answer to an Italian newspaper's question about secular civil unions. Burke asserted in a CNN.com article that the pontiff "reaffirmed the Catholic Church's opposition to gay marriage...but suggested in a newspaper interview that it could support some types of civil unions."
However, the journalist left out that despite the Bishop of Rome's generalized answer, he concretely opposed a proposed civil unions bill in Malta near the end of 2013. More recently, the Pope's spokesman lashed out at the Italian media in January 2014 for spinning a separate remark from the native of Argentina as "an opening to legal provision for civil unions for gay couples, a subject of debate in Italy."
Illegal immigration might be a hot topic for the media, but the networks remained mum when the government denied asylum to a German family seeking the freedom to educate their own children.
Uwe and Hannelore Romeike along with their children came to the United States in 2008, seeking political asylum because home-schooling is illegal in Germany. The family wants to homeschool due to its Christian beliefs. Obama’s U.S. Justice Department refused asylum status, and chose to defend its decision in litigation. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by the Romeikes on March 3 which initially signaled a deportation for the family. Despite the win for the Obama Justice Department, ABC, CBS, and NBC have not mentioned the story.
Lois Lerner, the IRS figure at the center of the Tea Party targeting scandal, once again pleaded the Fifth on Wednesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. In more than 20 minutes of testimony the former director of IRS exempt organizations refused to answer Committee Chairman Darrell Issa on nine different occasions. The hearing also ended with a bit of fireworks between Issa and Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings.
So now that networks have dramatic footage of a government official repeatedly taking the Fifth and a heated clash between congressmen, will they actually report on the IRS scandal? [Video after the jump]
It appears that Aron Heller at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's press, might have been applying lessons learned from the wire service's U.S. business and economics writers in his coverage of Israel's settlement activity. Heller also seems strangely fond of this mythical thing known as the "international community."
AP business and economics writers like Martin Crutsinger and Christopher Rugaber have regaled us with the wonders of the alleged housing recovery during the past two years, but haven't been quite as good at telling us that over 4-1/2 years after the recession officially ended, new home sales and construction activity is still only about 60-65 percent of what is seen as healthy by most economists and analysts. Heller pulled an analogous trick in his report; fortunately Evelyn Gordon at Commentary (HT Powerline) was astute enough to catch his misdirection, one in which President Obama has also engaged.
The people who pretentiously call themselves journalists at the News Media Guild-represented Associated Press are really having a hard time getting over the representation election the United Auto Workers union lost two weeks ago at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The latest whine came from Erik Schelzig Friday afternoon. He must have believed he was being really hard-hitting in trying to hold Volunteer State Senator Bob Corker to his word that "If the UAW is voted down they're going to come here ... and affirm they're going to build a line here" within two weeks. Well, Erik, Corker clearly miscalculated. The Senator never dreamed that the UAW would appeal a secret-ballot vote it lost by 6.4 percent of the ballots cast, and also underestimated the chances of retalation by the U.S. government and the company's German union. Several paragraphs from Erik's execrable essay follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
NPR's Lauren Frayer repeatedly emphasized the conservative ideology of the ruling party of Spain on Thursday's Morning Edition, as she reported on proposed legislation there that would be, in her words, "one of the toughest abortion laws in Europe – a near-total ban, except in cases of rape or threats to the mother's health." However, she didn't point out the left-of-center political affiliation of opponents of the proposal.
Frayer noted how "topless women" shouted "abortion is sacred...surrounding a Catholic cardinal on his way into church a couple weeks ago," but failed identify that these protesters were from Femen, the radical feminist group that got its start in Ukraine by cutting down a memorial cross to victims of Soviet communism. The correspondent also played up how the party that proposed the pro-life law is "moving to the right – trying to keep members from defecting to a new far-right political party, similar to the Tea Party in the U.S."
In December, NPR, the New York Times, National Journal, and other establishment press platforms gave the Republican National Committee grief over the following tweet: "Today we remember Rosa Parks' bold stand and her role in ending racism." The tweet erronseously shortened the following sentence from a longer GOP statement: "“We remember and honor Rosa Parks today for the role she played in fighting racism and ending segregation." Juliet Lapidos at the Times noted that the tweet was corrected in 3-1/2 hours, and seemed to lament that it took so long.
The Associated Press and The Hill both reported on Noah Kai Newkirk shouting down the Supreme Court justices in their chamber, but ignored his far-left political affiliation. On Thursday, the wire service merely identified Newkirk's organization as "protest group 99Rise." Mario Trujilo of The Hill gave some a bit more information on Friday, but failed to disclose that 99Rise was founded by "a group of Los Angeles organizers active in Occupy" Wall Street.
By contrast, Lawrence Hurley and Joan Biskupic of Reuters explicitly mentioned the protester's ideology and his organization's background in a Thursday report:
Patrick Moore is one of the early members of Greenpeace, and was an important official in that organization from 1971 to 1986.
Moore is among the last people one might expect to be a "climate change denier," as those who irritate us with the idea that human-caused global warming is "settled science" like to characterize people who disagree with them. But he is, as seen in Congressional testimony earlier this week. The establishment press is ignoring Patrick; the few identified results at the link come from British newspapers and center-right outlets. An Investor's Business Daily editorial yesterday highlighted what Moore had to say (bolds are mine):
Separately, left-leaning law professor Jonathan Turley warned a Congressional committee on Wednesday that President Obama's extensive use of executive orders, executive actions, and unilateral regulatory moves threatens to enable the President, as Turley phrased it in a Fox News interview on Thursday, to "effectively become a government unto himself." If Turley had made his statement in 2006 or 2007 during the Iraq War, it would almost certainly have become a media obsession. Instead, as will be shown after the jump, Turley's testimony is being completely ignored by everyone except center-right news outlets and bloggers.
The news in two government reports on the economy today was not good. One showed that initial unemployment claims last week rose to a seasonally adjusted 348,000; raw (not seasonally adjusted) claims were virtually identical to last year's comparable week. To avoid the dreaded U-word ("unexpectedly"), a pair of Bloomberg News reporters described the result as "exceeding all forecasts." In the other report, durable goods orders in January fell by a seasonally adjusted 1.0 percent, while December's steep decline of 4.3 percent was revised down even further to -5.3 percent.
In separate reports at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, Christopher Rugaber and Josh Boak did their best to excuse away the results and to find something positive to say. As readers will see, they had to dig pretty deep, and their efforts were unconvincing.
Even leftist groups like the ACLU and Sierra Club are worried about being crushed by the IRS, but the Big Three networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) aren’t telling their viewers about it. The comment period for new IRS rules, that would regulate political speech of groups on the left and right, ends on Thursday and it turns out the left is now fearing they will join the Tea Party in being targeted out of existence by the IRS.
On Tuesday, in an opinion piece headlined Liberals vs. the IRS, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) observed that: “The media have remained quiet about the IRS targeting of conservative nonprofit groups and even quieter about the proposed IRS rule to restrict their political speech.” The editorial writers then pondered: “Maybe our colleagues will snap out of their slumber now that the objections are coming from liberals.” The resounding answer to that question from ABC, CBS and NBC is NO.
Double standards in the establishment press's treatment of Republican and Democrat politicians is an unfortunate reality. Evidence that it's getting worse — to the point of begging the question, "At long last, have you no shame?" — can be seen in the disparate treatment of Florida's two major-party March 11 congressional special election candidates, Republican David Jolly and Democrat Alex Sink.
At the Associated Press, it is headline-making national news, via reporter Tamara Lush, that Jolly "was not charged and not at fault in a 1989 car crash in which he fatally struck a pedestrian, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report." Again: "NOT at fault." Meanwhile, it is not news at AP's national site that less than 30 hours ago, Sink, in a televised debate, resorted to offensive stereotyping in advocating changes in immigration law when she asked, "Where are you going to get people to work to clean our hotel rooms or do our landscaping?" Excerpts from Townhall.com's story, plus a video containing Sink's statement, follow the jump.