CNBC reporter Santelli's Thursday morning "Shout Heard Round the World" (CNBC's term) objecting to the Obama administration's mortgage modification program on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange quickly went viral, and struck two nerves. First, it ignited a groundswell of support from the over 90% of the of the nation that pays its bills and plays by the (normal) rules. The other nerve it struck was at the White House, whose spokesman Robert Gibbs struck back with a level of poorly concealed fury and contempt that I don't think I've seen publicly displayed by any other administration in my lifetime.
Larry Kudlow had Santelli as a guest on CNBC's Kudlow Report Friday night (CNBC video here; YouTube here [HT Scott's Slant]). As one would fully expect by this time, Santelli made a few huge, emotionally-charged points of his own. The gratifying stunner is Kudlow's passion in the final third of the interview, where he sounded the alarm over freedom of the press, basic respect, and bullying.
Looking around the web, at least at this point, this interview has gained relatively little exposure, leaving the distinct and incorrect impression that Gibbs has the rhetorical upper hand.
No way. The CNBC pair of Santelli and Kudlow has the White House on its heels. Common-sense, passionate, principled assertions rooted in truth will tend to do that. Here's the full transcript (bolds are mine):
South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn appeared on WIS-TV yesterday in a round table setting to discuss how the stimulus bill will affect South Carolina. During the debate he stated that he was insulted by opposition to the plan; specifically targeting GOP Governors of Southern States by implying that their opposition was a "slap in the face of African-Americans" as if race was a determining factor.
"The governor of Louisiana expressed opposition. Has the highest African-American population in the country. Governor of Mississippi expressed opposition. The governor of Texas, and the governor of South Carolina.
These four governor's represent states that are in the black belt. I was insulted by that," Clyburn said. "All of this was a slap in the face of African-Americans. It had nothing to do with Governor Sanford." (src - WIS-TV)
On Friday’s Newsroom program, CNN anchor Heidi Collins failed to mention ACORN’s role in sponsoring a rally against foreclosures in an Oakland, California neighborhood. During her brief, video clips from the protest clearly showed the presence of the group’s signs, name, and logo.
Collins characterized the rally as “[a]nger over the foreclosure crisis pouring out into the streets of Oakland, California -- protesters had a rally in a neighborhood where last month, more than 165 people lost their homes, or now face the possibility of foreclosure. They’re vowing to stop the banks from taking control of the properties.”
Local media in the San Francisco Bay area did a better job of covering the protest. A news brief in the San Francisco Chronicle on Friday mentioned ACORN by name: “Community group ACORN...is launching a campaign to encourage families in foreclosure to refuse to leave their homes. The group staged a rally...at the East Oakland home of Rosa Gonzalez, who has been foreclosed upon but not evicted. ACORN held similar events at foreclosed homes in Los Angeles, New York, Tucson, Baltimore, Orlando and Houston. About 100 ACORN members and local residents listened to speeches urging a moratorium on foreclosures.”
Yesterday, The New York Times Company suspended its quarterly dividend. The company's stock slid 5% to close at $3.51, yet another all-time low in the company's nearly 23 years as a public company in its current form (the Times has been a public company since the 1960s).
Henry Blodget at Silicon Valley Insider noted, even before yesterday's announcement and share-price dip, that the company's share price is lower than the $4 cost of its flagship publication's Sunday newspaper.
It has been nearly seven years since its New York Times newspaper slid into serious Bush Derangement Syndrome, and a bit over a year since the onset of its Obamamania obsession (the Times essentially wrote off Hillary Clinton's presidential candidacy after Super Tuesday last year). Since June 2002, the stock is down 93%:
Amy Sullivan’s article on Time.com on Thursday, “The Catholic Crusade Against a Mythical Abortion Bill,” tried to downplay President Obama’s past and current support for abortion, and tried to use a technicality to “prove” that there is no chance of passage for the staunchly pro-abortion Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA): “...FOCA has also provided ammunition for those on the right who want to paint Obama as ‘the most pro-abortion president ever.’ It’s been less than a month since he took office, but so far the President has given social conservatives little evidence to back up that charge. He did repeal the Mexico City policy banning federal funds to foreign family planning organizations that provide abortion referrals or services — but so did Bill Clinton.” In reality, the Obama adminstration’s record on the issue consists of much more than merely support for legislative proposals and signing executive orders.
There's nothing in Santos's story Wednesday about the fact that the leader of this alleged "grass-roots effort," ACORN, receives funding from the federal government through various federal programs and third-party groups, or that it registered thousands and thousands of ineligible voters during the last presidential campaign. Instead, readers were treated to 1,260 words of "power to the people" sloganeering straight from ACORN without a single dissenting voice.
As resistance to foreclosure evictions grows among homeowners, community leaders and some law enforcement officials, a broad civil disobedience campaign is starting in New York and other cities to support families who refuse orders to vacate their homes.
Now it would be easy to say, "But of course she's a Democrat; she's from Chicago." Okay, but the Sun-Times, in five other reports spread over almost two years, mentioned her party only once. What's more, the Tribune's coverage quoted Assistant U.S. Atty. Joseph Alesia saying that Troutman had been on "a five-year crime spree. .... Even by Chicago standards, it's (what she did is) no small crime." Logically, this would mean that even by Chicago Democratic Party standards, what Troutman did stood out.
Troutman's "obvious" Democratic Party affiliation also doesn't exonerate the Associated Press, whose stories go national and worldwide, And yes, there are plenty of people around the country and in the rest of the world who do not know that Democrats own Windy City politics (a little reminder every once in a while to those who do know wouldn't hurt either).
Our friends at the Associated Press and local Portland KGW Channel 8 both note how some Oregon state lawmakers proposed a bill which would raise the tax on a barrel of beer by a staggering 1,900%.But guess what they leave out? The AP's story is brief:
Beer brewers in Oregon are hopping mad about a proposed bill that would raise their taxes by 1900 percent. The state bill would impose a nearly $50 tax on each barrel of beer produced by Oregon brewers.
Lawmakers who support the tax say the bill would fund prevention and treatment programs for those addicted to alcohol, as well as raise revenue for the state.
But brewers say the tax would cost jobs and could force small breweries to shut down. They say it could also mean a two to four dollar per six pack increase in price for consumers.
KGW's article is more in-depth, mentions the lawmakers who have proposed the bill, but leaves it up to the reader to determine their party affiliation:
On Tuesday’s American Morning, anchor Kiran Chertry and correspondent Jason Carroll failed to mention the left-wing politics of filmmaker Michael Moore during a report about his latest project, which targets the financial industry, and included a sound bite from People Magazine’s Leah Rozen, who expressed a desire to “see Michael Moore spank Wall Street.” Carroll emphasized Moore’s credentials, and agreed with Chetry that many would rush to assist him: “They loved that ‘gotcha’ kind of filmmaking, and Michael Moore does it better than no one else and he’s about to do it again.”
The segment on Moore’s new production began with a clip from “Sicko,” his last movie, as Chetry announced that “the controversial filmmaker is setting his sights on Wall Street. He’s actively recruiting people who’ve worked in the financial sector to expose what he calls the biggest swindle in U.S. history.” As she introduced Carroll, the anchor continued that Moore “probably has a rapt audience at this point, because everything that’s happened with this financial crisis and a lot of people are blaming Wall Street.”
About half-way through President Obama's press conference Monday night, he had an unscripted question of his own. "All, Chuck Todd," the President said, referring to NBC's White House correspondent. "Where's Chuck?" He had the same strange question about Fox News's Major Garrett: "Where's Major?"
The problem wasn't the lighting in the East Room. The President was running down a list of reporters preselected to ask questions.
In other words, the preselection by the President's team of who would be allowed to submit a question to His Excellency was obvious to anyone paying reasonably close attention, and his unfocused answers rambled on and on and on.
Now the American Spectator's Prowler reports that the White House's communications crew is trying to do something about that. Not the preselection, no-no-no. They're trying to use high tech to hide that element of the briefings as much as possible, and further, to assist the supposed "greatest orator of his generation" in handling the questions he receives (bolds are mine):
Heritage's points are even more valid today than they were 16 years ago.
At the time, which "so happened" to be the first year of the last Democratic administration, there was legislation in Congress called the "Fairness in Broadcasting Act of 1993" that would have restored the doctrine, which had been overturned by the Federal Communications Commission in 1987.
Here are the three faulty premises highlighted by Heritage's Adam Thierer, followed by why they are even more faulty now:
The battle between New London, Connecticut and the residents of its Fort Trumbull neighborhood began in 1998 when the City decided that it would redevelop the area for ultimate ownership by others and, if necessary, take the residents' properties for that "public purpose" -- not for "public use" (i.e., roads, bridges, schools, etc.), as the Fifth Amendment clearly intended.
Susette Kelo and other Fort Trumbull residents pushed back and sued to try to stop the city's plans. Ultimately, the Supreme Court rendered its 5-4 decision in Kelo v. New London in June 2005, erroneously (as the Founders would almost certainly have seen it) siding with the city.
In July 2006, after intervention by Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell prevented the City from carrying out its declared intent to forcibly remove final holdouts Kelo and the Cristofaros if necessary, the city and the holdouts settled.
More than 2-1/2 years after the settlement, 3-1/2 years after the Supremes' decision, and 11 years after the city's initial plans, oh boy -- a new tenant has finally moved into the Fort Trumbull Neighborhood. It's a government tenant (link at New London Day will be available for about a week), and the move is into an existing building:
To be clear, we don't fit into any template here, Democratic or Republican or otherwise. I play it down the middle.
Anyone who's seen Sanchez at work knows how funny that is. Throughout his program posts from the microblogging service Twitter crawl across the screen. Known as tweets, the messages Sanchez selects to air come overwhelmingly from liberals.
SANCHEZ: So, by the way, among those participating these days, Rush Limbaugh. He was watching us again this week, when we broke the news about a breakthrough on the president's stimulus package.
And now, as you listen to Rush, see if you can decide who he's more mad at, me for reporting the news of an apparent legislative victory for President Obama, or the three Republicans who broke ranks with Rush Limbaugh and sided with the president?
This "Name That Party" situation has many of the usual elements. There are several stories about two Democratic judges involved in criminal behavior in Pennsylvania, and, with one exception, they "somehow" don't get around to identifying their party.
But this saga is different for two reasons:
The crimes to which the judges have pleaded guilty involve "thousands" of juveniles.
In one lonely exception, the Associated Press's coverage prominently identified the judges' party. But in what was apparently a subsequent longer revision, their party identification disappeared.
What follows is a side-by-side picture of the first four paragraphs of a February 11 AP story carried at topix.com (also saved at my host for future reference), and of the five paragraphs of the story as it now appears at MSNBC (also saved at host; red and green boxes are mine; portions of the Topix link were moved from their original locations on the page for demonstration purposes; MSNBC graphic is of the printer-friendly version):
On NewsBusters we have for a few years now been chronicling the constant failure of the media to label a criminal or troubled politician with his party affiliation when that politician is a Democrat, we all know. Every couple of days we detail a new "name that party" story where an Old Media outlet reports on a Democrat politician arrested, convicted, or accused of a crime though he seems never to be labeled as such. We've also noted many times the opposite tale where a recalcitrant pol that happens to be a Republican finds his party receiving top billing in the Old Media. We have dozens and dozens of examples.
Well, it appears that at least one member of Congress has noticed the same thing and has mentioned the media's penchant for Democrat Party passing on the floor of the House of Representatives. The Hill's Briefing Room blog gives us the story.
The Obama administration’s decision to have the White House supervise the 2010 Census -- a response to left-wing complaints that the Census was too important to leave under the authority of Republican Judd Gregg, the nominee for Commerce Secretary -- has thus far (as of Tuesday morning) drawn absolutely no attention from the three broadcast networks, with not a single mention on the ABC, CBS or NBC morning or evening newscasts.
This would undoubtedly be a huge story if the White House were still in Republican hands and it was the GOP that was attempting to take over the Census. As the Wall Street Journal’s John Fund reported today: “‘There's only one reason to have that high level of White House involvement,’ a career professional at the Census Bureau tells me. ‘And it's called politics, not science.’”
Blogging at U.S. News & World Report on Monday, Michael Barone -- who knows more about the nuts and bolts of U.S. politics than practically anybody -- suggested the move could even be ruled unconstitutional:
A week ago (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that government bailout recipients General Motors and Chrysler had horrible sales in January, and that their declines are accelerating. GM was down 49% year over year in January, compared to -32% in December; Chrysler was down 55% in January, compared to -53% in December.
Meanwhile, the companies' main foreign competitors turned in January sales declines of roughly 30% that were just as bad, but at least not worse, than December. As a result, those companies took another 4% or so of market share from their US-based rivals.
Of course, no media outlets attempted to make any connection between the GM-Chrysler declines and the idea that consumers might either resent their bailed-out status, or might be worried about their survival and the potential impact of their bankruptcy or even disappearance on warranty and repair costs. Nor did any media reports that I'm aware of consider the idea that declining sales at those companies might jeopardize their ability to repay Uncle Sam's bailout "loans."
Now, despite the cash infusion from Uncle Sam, Reuters reports an analyst's belief that a bankruptcy filing by GM remains a possibility. More importantly, the wire service also claims that the government is actively involved in exploring that option. Finally (put down your drinks first), we learn that taxpayers aren't even first in line to get repaid:
The biggest story in local broadcast news Monday night had well-known names, controversy, plenty of TV reporters on the scene—and it didn't air on a single station that night.
WMAQ-Ch. 5 lead anchor Warner Saunders accused former Chicago Sun-Times TV/radio columnist Robert Feder of bias at the local American Federation of Television and Radio Artists chapter's annual meeting, where Feder was a guest.
The Washington Post's Mary Ann Akers, aka "The Sleuth," has (Tom) Delay Derangement Syndrome (DDS), and she's got it bad.
Akers's DDS outbreak occurred as she reported on the plan by the Obama Administration to have the director of the Census Bureau report to the White House instead of the Director of the Commerce Department.
(On Thursday evening, after my original post [at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog], CQpolitics.com separately updated its original coverage by reporting that "the White House but sought to define the relationship as one in which the director would 'work closely with' rather than report to President Obama’s senior staff." Uh huh.)
As if to justify the administration's plan, Akers incoherently compared the Obama White House's attempt to coopt the entire Census Bureau to what Texan Delay and other Republicans did a few years ago to maximize the number of GOP-majority districts in one state.
Here are the opening paragraphs of Akers's Friday evening bellyache (link is in original):
On January 25, as noted by yours truly here at NewsBusters ("Obama 'Shifting Power From Traditional Cabinet Posts"), Jonathan Martin at Politico.com reported that President Obama "is moving to create perhaps the most powerful staff in modern history – a sort of West Wing on steroids that places no less than a half-dozen of his top initiatives into the hands of advisers outside the Cabinet." (The picture on the right is at that report.)
I'm not aware that any Old Media outlet besides Politico itself, which is largely a collection of Old Media alums, has covered this development.
The power grab continues. My bet is that Old Media will also maintain its studied ignorance of this development, despite years of whining about alleged Executive Branch excesses during the Bush administration.
Now it looks like Barack Obama's inner circle is going to teach the Census Bureau how to count in 2010. CQpolitics.com this morning reported that the White House is taking the next decennial census away from the Commerce Department, and keeping it for itself.
A large grouping of newspaper publishers have joined together and launched a public relations campaign to inform readers that, yes, newspapers are still relevant -- despite the financial hardships and layoffs of thousands of employees industry wide.
Unfortunately, the PR campaign does not seem to recognize that one of the main problems that newspapers are having is with their own content, not just the economy and the Internet.
Yesterday was Pity the Poor President Day in Old Media.
Early last night, I noted how the Associated Press's Ben Feller chose to characterize an already-planned visit by Barack and Michelle Obama to a DC elementary school as an "escape" that "surely made him happy for a while."
A few hours ago, NB's Brent Baker reported with amazement the absurd attempts by CBS's Katie Couric and NBC's Brian Williams to portray Obama -- who either allowed poor vetting by his team or was nonchalant about the tax and other irregularities they found -- as somehow being a "culture of Washington" victim. Zheesh.
We have here a classic case of liberal bias in the Old Media. It isn't as dramatic as may others that we have seen since The One came onto the national scene, but it is the sort of bias that has been endemic in the Old Media for a very long time. In a February 1 story in the Chicago Tribune, we find the old trick of naming a think tank as a source, but not mentioning that it is a liberal think tank, yet also citing a second group that is, however, labeled as a "conservative" think tank.
This sort of bias is very common in the Old Media. How it works is that the liberal think tank is cited as a source for some statistic or claim but that think tank is not labeled as a liberal group. This way the reader sees the liberal group's advice or stats as unbiased or straight. Then the media will give a counter claim by the conservative think tank. But the conservative group is labeled as a conservative think tank so that the reader is led to be wary of that group's stats or advice because they are biased.
In this way, the Old Media outlet in question can claim they've been "balanced" and were giving "both sides" of the story while still leaning the story to the left and attempting to discredit the right. It's a typical smoke screen of leftward bias that is an old stand by for the liberal media establishment.
On Monday’s American Morning, CNN anchor John Roberts interviewed former Playboy CEO Christie Hefner, and introduced her as being “added to our roster of economic analysts.” Roberts also failed to mention Hefner’s long-time support for President Obama during the segment.
The interview, which started just before the bottom-half of the 8 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program, began with Roberts giving the following introduction of the former Playboy CEO: “...[T]he economy is issue number one here at CNN....We love to get expert commentary on this, and we are pleased and proud this morning to have added to our roster of economic analysts the former CEO and chairwoman of Playboy Enterprises, Christie Hefner.” He first asked Hefner about the jobs market, and the economy as a whole. Hefner touted how that the “sense that I’m getting, in talking to CEOs, is that people are hoping for a late 2010 recovery.” Later, the anchor asked the former CEO about executive bonuses, and played a sound bite from Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, who railed against the “bunch of idiots on Wall Street.” Hefner praised McCaskill’s “very good characterization” and labeled her a “pro-business Democrat,” despite her vote last year against a proposed increase in the exemption on the “death tax,” which would have aided small family-run businesses.
I'll betcha this won't get much notice in the Obamedia, so it needs some here.
Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe's Environment and Public Works Committee Press Blog released a statement last night reporting that Dr. John S. Theon, the former supervisor of over-the-top global warming alarmist James Hansen, has publicly rebuked his former employee's conduct, refuted Hansen's comedic claim that he was being muzzled, and has joined the ranks of AGW (anthropogenic global warming) skeptics.
Hansen's histrionics were last noted on January 18 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) when the UK Guardian carried his dire warning that the about-to-be-inaugurated Barack Obama "Has Four Years to Save Earth" from the impact of global warming.
For 8 years, life was good and easy for the liberal political cartoon community--they had George W. Bush & Dick Cheney to kick around. With hardly a care in the world, they boldly spoke truth to power, at immense personal risk to themselves, and quietly stacked their Pulitzers for being so bold and courageous and funny.
Then along came Barack Obama--the cool, handsome, African-American incarnation of JFK & Abraham Lincoln (no less). What were the professional sketch satirists to do?
"I had all my villains in place for eight years and they've been taken away," lamented Pulitzer Prize winner Pat Oliphant, one of the most widely syndicated cartoonists. "I don't know that I've ever had this experience before, of a president I maybe like. This is an antagonistic art. We're supposed to concentrate on finding things wrong. There's no point in drawing a cartoon that's favorable."
James Lovelock (picture is from his web site) has been the topic of at least three previous NewsBusters posts:
In September 2006, Dan Gainor marveled at how the Washington Post could devote 2,400 words to Lovelock and his "Gaia Theory" -- the idea that the earth acts like a living organism.
In October 2007, Gainor noted Lovelock's appearance in that esteemed scientific publication Rolling Stone, which called him "The Prophet of Climate Change." Lovelock claimed that global warming is irreversible, and that, as stated by writer Jeff Goodell, "the Earth's population will be culled from today's 6.6 billion to as few as 500 million."
A March 2008 post by Jeff Poor told readers that Lovelock, in the UK Daily Mail, had apparently moved up his disaster scenario by 60 years, among other things predicting that by 2040 China would be uninhabitable.
Lovelock clearly isn't the go-to guy for cool, calm, and collected science. But given his standing with many environmentalists, his views of certain aspects of environmentalism are worthy of attention. They are profoundly negative, as recorded in the January 24 issue of New Scientist by "Gaia Vince," where Lovelock also proposes a last-ditch strategy for saving the planet and salvaging several hundred million more survivors: