It must be nice to blithely talk about how you would spend somebody else's money without thinking through the consequences.
Kendall Fells, the organizing director of Fast Food Forward in New York, told Yahoo Finance's Bernice Napatch at its Daily Ticker site that "McDonald’s made $5.5 billion in profits and there’s plenty of money to pay the workers who work there and new hires without firing anyone.” As was the case with a Detroit protester's claim that "McDonald’s made like $500 billion last year" noted earlier today, Napatch did not challenge Fells's fallacy. After the jump, we'll come up with a better estimate showing that the company and its franchisees couldn't pay their employees $15 an hour even if they burned through all of their current restaurant operating income in trying.
Vickie Thomas and the news department at Detroit TV station WWJ really ought to be ashamed of themselves. The open question is whether they even know enough to be ashamed.
In reporting on a Motor City McDonald's store which was forced to close — whether it was for a few hours or all day and night isn't disclosed — Thomas quoted a "protester" claiming that "McDonald’s made like $500 billion last year." Most readers would interpret "made" as the company's annual profit. The company's worldwide net income in 2012 was $5.5 billion, barely 1 percent of the protester's completely unchallenged figure. The "like $500 billion" cited and allowed to stand is also 14 times larger than the $35.6 billion in gross sales at all of McDonald's U.S. franchised and company-owned stores.
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, Jeff Pegues spotlighted the lack of GOP speakers at the 50th anniversary commemoration of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech: "Noticeably absent from this event, the GOP...the two most senior Republicans in the House...were invited to speak but declined." However, Pegues failed to mention that the event organizers didn't make much of an effort to get Republican Tim Scott, the only current black U.S. senator, to speak.
The correspondent also zeroed in on former President Bill Clinton's dubious claim during his speech at the commemoration – that "a great democracy does not make it harder to vote than to buy an assault weapon." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Reporter Josh Lederman is in on it too. He never specficially describes Obama's current actions as "orders." Alternate words include "announced," "proposing," "executive actions," and "new policy." It isn't until the second-last of his 13 paragraphs that Lederman informs readers that "the White House has completed or made significant progress on all but one of the 23 executive actions Obama had previously ordered in January" (but the actions themselves are not called "orders".
It would appear that Politico would prefer to see a Democrat win the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Saxby Chambliss. Otherwise, why would its Elizabeth Titus, in her coverage of Michelle Nunn on Monday, reference a statement by that party's candidate, Michelle Nunn, which articulates a position on abortion that is at odds with EMILY's List, the entity which gave her the reason to do a story by announcing their endorsement of her?
Nunn's supposed position on abortion, according to a July Associated Press item, is that abortions should be "safe, legal and rare and that women should be ultimately able to make this very difficult personal decision in concert with their doctor and their family." Trouble is, that's not how EMILY's List sees it.
At Slate, Mark Lynas tells the story of activist-orchestrated media deception — although one sometimes wonders whether the press even minds being deceived in these instances, and in certain cases whether some journalists are in on the scam.
The deception involves activists who are against any form of biotechnology advances laying waste to a field of genetically modified "golden rice" in the Philippines (bolds are mine; links are in original):
There are two key words missing from the report Bloomberg's Kasia Klimasinska & Shobhana Chandra published Tuesday morning — a writeup that is so incredibly sunny and over-the-top that is probably would have embarrassed the Old Soviet Union's Pravda in its heyday.
One is "income." The reason is obvious. Real median household income is still way below where it was when the recession ended four long years ago. The other absent word is "deficit." This enables Bloomberg's pathetic pair to glide though a discussion of the national debt-ceiling situation and make Republicans look like the heavies. The final problem is that they act as if we're in the fifth year of unbroken expansion, when we're not. Excerpts follow the jump.
Based on a review of the archive at Media Bistro's Evening News Category, NBC's Nightly News has just turned in its lowest consecutive two weeks of ratings in over six years. You'd never know that from reading Chris Ariens's narrative at today's ratings post there.
The Big 3 networks combined also failed to break 20 million during both the week of August 12 (19,859,000) and August 19 (19,994,000). That's probably not unprecedented, but it's definitely a rarity.
In the world of Jesse Jackson and the people over whom he has undue influence, if you oppose President Obama's agenda in any way, on any issue, you're a racist. No debate, no allowance for principled objection, discussion over. Apparently now, in Jackson's view, if you in any way oppose the frightening and financially reckless expansion of government we've seen during the past five years or the government's impending de facto takeover of healthcare — the two core issues which drove the grass-roots movement which became known as the Tea Party — you're not only a racist, you're automatically a secessionist.
In a starry-eyed, mostly incoherent item at the Politico ("Obama, race and class") which is so bad it could be the topic of three additional posts, Glenn Thrush completely misidentified Jackson's position in the civil-rights pantheon, while Jackson, once again, showed how utterly devoid of substantive arguments he is:
Two such instances occurred in one speech on Friday in Binghamton, New York, where Obama told the audience at a "town hall" meeting that "we don't have an urgent deficit crisis," and that the deficit has "now dropped at the fastest rate in 60 years." Neither statement made it into Julie Pace's onsite coverage of Obama's visit. Later that day back in Washington, the AP's Jim Kuhnhenn was still running cover for Obama (bolds are mine):
"With all the talk that took place" during the Bush administration "on Iraq about the need for congressional approval, before there was a military strike, have you heard anyone in the media question how unilaterally Barack Obama can decide to send us to war [in Syria] without congressional approval?" NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell asked Neil Cavuto on the August 26 edition of his Fox News Channel program Your World. Cavuto opened the segment by noting that many in the media were prodding Obama to use unilateral military action against Syria for having crossed a "red line" by deploying chemical weapons.
There's also the fact that "this administration, [and their] foreign policy is an incoherent mess, " Bozell added, noting that in 2011, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hailed Syrian dictator Bashar Assad as a "reformer," something the liberal media are not reminding the American public about now. "No one's asking the question, 'Do you folks in this administration have any idea what you're doing?!'" [watch the full segment below the page break]
Anyone remember all the huffing and puffing from the establishment press about how third-quarter economic growth was going to be great — so please stop worrying about how weak the past three quarters (annualized rates of 0.1%, 1.1%, and 1.7%, respectively) have been?
Oops. On Friday, the Census Bureau reported that new-home sales dropped over 20% in July to an annual rate of 394,000 from June's original reading of 497,000, which was itself revised down to 455,000. Today, the bureau revealed that durable goods orders fell sharply in July, bringing about yet another appearance at Bloomberg News of its favorite word during the past five years about the economy, and yet another instance of the stock market's apparent pleasure with bad news for the rest of us:
Anthony Mason played up President Obama's $89 restaurant tip on Monday's CBS This Morning, underlining that "when it comes to tips, President Obama is tops." However, the network has yet to cover a Monday story from the New York Times that pointed out the "uncomfortable reality for the White House: the administration has named no more women to high-level executive branch posts than the Clinton administration." [audio clip available here; video below the jump]
In fact, none of the Big Three networks have covered writer Annie Lowery's scoop on the air, which cited critics of the President from the left on the issue of the administration's Cabinet gender gap.
Maybe, in sync with the predictable press reactions to oft-seen bad economic numbers, the headline at Julie Pace's late-morning story at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, should have been: "Obama Foreign Policy Falls Apart ... Unexpectedly."
Pace's pathetic attempt at pathos in assessing the status of the Obama administration's foreign policy tells AP readers that some of it is due to "factors outside the White House's control" (as if previous administrations haven't had to deal with unanticipated developments), that Obama "misjudged" what would come in the Arab Spring's aftermath (we're supposed to ignore all of those contacts he's had with Muslim Brotherhood officials and their sympathizers), and that the NSA revelations have hurt our standing in Europe (without noting that the root cause is NSA's spying on U.S. citizens). Excerpts follow the jump.
In March, the Associated Press ran a 470-word "Big Story" item about the case of of Elaine Huguenin, an Albuquerque wedding photographer "who declined to shoot the commitment ceremony of a lesbian couple." The couple filed an anti-discrimination claim with the state's Human Rights Commission, which found that Huguenin, who runs her business with her husband, had violated state law.
New Mexico's highest court upheld the commission's ruling against Ms. Huguenin on Thursday. Though the AP has an 11-paragraph story on the ruling by Barry Massey which several AP-subscribing outlets throughout the country have picked up, searches on Ms. Huguenin's last name which returned no results and no new "Big Story" result indicate that it is not present at the AP's national site. Especially since it was such a big deal five months ago, what explains the, well, light exposure? Excerpts from what AP management is apparently now treating as a local story follow the jump:
In advance of a month full of events oriented towards demonstrating displeasure with lawmakers who won't give carte blanche to President Obama's healthcare, gun control, "climate change," and immigration agendas, Organizing for Action Executive Director Jon Carson claimed that "We will own August." New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Mayors Against Illegal Guns also anticipated high levels of support during this months's "No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence" tour.
It hasn't happened in either case. If right-wing, tea party, or social conservative efforts fizzled as OFA's and MAIG's clearly are, those failures would be making headlines, and shown as proof that support for the related causes is weak. By contrast, the national establishment press is mostly ignoring and in some cases obscuring these left-wing implosions.
Note: This post contains graphic language and subject matter, and links to more of the same.
The UK Daily Mail has already reported that "The three boys alleged to have gunned down an Australian baseball player out for a run because they were 'bored' were influenced by an ultra-violent rapper." Specifically, "rather than being part of any gang, which had been suggested before, authorities believe the boys were just wannabes who were emulating the thuggish beliefs of their idols, with Chief Keef being prime suspect." The Chicago Sun-Times posted a similar story.
It turns out that Kenan Kinard, the unapprehended suspect in the murder of 89 year-old World War II veteran Delbert Belton in Spokane, Washington, whose full name, according to the Associated Press, is Kenan D. Adams-Kinard, also identifies himself (screen grab for future reference) as a fan of Chief Keef's "music" (I could not locate a Facebook page for Demetrius Glenn, the apprehended suspect). Who is Chief Keef, and what is he all about? That's after the jump, and it's not for the faint of heart.
It seems that beat reporters need to be constantly reminded that they have their hands full just discerning the facts, relaying them coherently, and leaving the "analysis" to others (while presenting alternative analytical takes when necessary).
The nagging is really for their own good. If they would stick to their jobs instead of "analyzing," which often is a cover for getting out their own opinions, they wouldn't be suffering the feelings of embarrassment Christopher Rugaber at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, should be feeling right now (I'm not saying he is; I'm saying he should be). You see, yesterday he said that a best-in-years report on existing-home sales meant one thing. Today, thanks to the Census Bureau's disastrous July new-home sales release, he said it meant quite another.
After a two-year hiatus, the Associated Press has apparently decided that Americans need a weekly reminder of how bad weekly layoffs were during the recession.
In June 2011, possibly as a result of some hectoring by yours truly, the wire service totally or almost totally stopped reminding readers that "(unemployment) claims applications peaked at 659,000 during the recession." That tired figure was already over two years old, and isn't even an all-time record (several weeks during the 1980s were higher, even with a much smaller workforce). So who cares? But in each of the past three weeks, AP has resurrected that tired number (since revised slightly upward because of changes to seasonal adjustment factors), as if a one-week stat from almost 4-1/2 years ago means anything to anybody right now:
While NBC, ABC, and CBS have censored coverage of the ongoing IRS scandal for weeks – even as new revelations have moved it higher up the rungs of the Obama administration – on Wednesday and Thursday, the networks all eagerly hyped 40-year-old tapes of President Richard Nixon discussing the Watergate scandal. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Perhaps the most infuriating was NBC, which hasn't touched the IRS story in 56 days, sending correspondent Peter Alexander to the lawn of the Obama White House to report on the decades-old Nixon recordings for Thursday's Today: "39 years have now passed since President Nixon abruptly resigned. Still, his life fuels our fascination. And these tapes, more than 340 hours worth, give us an unparalleled window into an unprecedented time of presidential turmoil." If only there was some current "presidential turmoil" Alexander could cover.
CNN's Erin Burnett has not covered the IRS targeting scandal since May 22, yet she had time on Wednedsay's OutFront to report the mock-controversy that President Obama does not own a cat.
"Now, there is a major story of controversy at the White House," Burnett began her "Outtake" on Wednesday about the Obamas' new dog. "Cat owners are up in arms that President Obama did not choose a cat. The cat lobby thinks with 39 percent of American households owning at least one cat, the President is cutting out a huge group of American voters."
Corrected from earlier | People who were wondering whether Jesse Jackson would ever respond to the killing of an Australian collegiate baseball player by three "bored" teens in Oklahoma, one of whom allegedly posted racist tweets, got their answer today. Jackson's early Wednesday morning tweet read as follows: "Praying for the family of Chris Lane. This senseless violence is frowned upon and the justice system must prevail."
A BBC report has police saying that "The boy who has talked to us said, 'we were bored and didn't have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody.'" The related Associated Press report doesn't carry the direct quote, instead impersonally relaying that "Police say the two killed 22-year-old Christopher Lane on Friday to overcome boredom." The AP has not reported Jesse Jackson's passive-voice reaction at its national site, effectively covering for a statement which comes off as "Well, I'd better say something, so let's get it over with." Let's compare Jackson's reaction to what he wrote on July 15 in a Chicago Sun-Times column about the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin situation:
Maybe because it's a UFO, we're not supposed to be able to explain it.
No, I'm not talking about unidentified flying objects at the recently acknowledged Area 51. I'm talking about an unexplained financial observation, the one made by the Associated Press's Christopher Rugaber on Monday after the release of the July Regional and State Employment and Unemployment report Monday morning. Rugaber observed that the unemployment rate rose in the majority of states and fell in a relative few, while July's national unemployment rate reported two weeks ago fell from 7.6% to 7.4%:
Tuesday's CBS This Morning stood out as the only Big Three network morning newscast to cover the latest development in the controversy surrounding the September 11, 2012 Islamist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. Gayle King gave a 26-second news brief to Secretary of State John Kerry clearing four mid-level diplomats to return to duty, after they were placed on leave by his predecessor, Hillary Clinton [audio available here; video below the jump].
Neither ABC's Good Morning America nor NBC's Today devoted any air time to Kerry's move. Instead, the two programs set aside full reports to Sunny, the new dog adopted by the Obama family.
Rather than focus on the myriad of problems plaguing the implementation of ObamaCare, on Tuesday, all three network morning shows instead provided coverage of the First Family getting a second dog. On NBC's Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander happily announced: "Move over Bo, there's a new dog in town, Sunny. And for her inaugural play date, the White House released it's own music video. A pair of presidential pets frolicking on the South Lawn, that'll get tails wagging." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On ABC's Good Morning America, news reader Elizabeth Vargas reported: "The one-year-old female Portuguese water dog is described as full of energy and very affectionate. First Lady Michelle Obama took to Instagram to make the announcement, tweeting, 'So excited to introduce the newest member of the Obama family – our puppy, Sunny!'" On CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose declared: "That is the same breed as Obama's other dog, Bo....The two dogs appear to be getting along just fine."
On Monday's Morning Edition on NPR, Minnesota Public Radio correspondent Elizabeth Stawicki featured Karen Pollitz of the Kaiser Family Foundation during a report about ObamaCare, but failed to mention the left-leaning political affiliation of the organization. Stawicki merely labeled the foundation "non-partisan".
The public radio journalist also failed to mention that Pollitz is an alumna of both the Obama and Clinton administrations, and previously worked for two Democratic politicians.
A November 15, 2010 blog post by Michael S. Derby at the Wall Street Journal ("San Francisco Fed Official Says QE2 Is Working") told us that "The Federal Reserve‘s recently announced plan to buy $600 billion in Treasury securities to improve economic growth is having a positive effect on growth." The Fed official involved also predicted "the U.S. gross domestic product to come in at 2.5% this year (2010), and at 3.5% next year and 4.5% the year after that."
Uh, not exactly. Actual GDP results: 2.5% in 2010 (that was a gimme), followed by 1.8% and 2.8% in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Almost three years letter, the San Fran Fed's acknowledged result of that effort at "quantitative easing" — it "added about 0.13 percentage point to real GDP growth in late 2010" — is starkly different, and is only "positive" if you think a football team managing one field goal in four quarters is "positive." Of course, though it should be, the news is getting very little coverage.