On Thursday's CBS This Morning, new White House correspondent and former Fox News journalist Major Garrett bucked the "militantly non-partisan" label he gave himself over a year ago when he hyped the President's supposed populist stand in the fiscal cliff negotiations with top leaders in Congress: "President Obama is adamant about protecting existing income tax rates for middle-income earners and raising them on the wealthy."
Garrett later spotlighted how Obama "warned Republicans not to ignore his calls to protect middle-income households from higher taxes."
In a story the New York Times appears not to have touched, Hunter Walker at Observer.com's Politicker ("about" page is here) reported on Tuesday that Thomas Lopez-Pierre, a black Harlem activist, "circulated an email" Monday night "in an attempt to plan a 'private meeting' to 'discuss the potential damage to the political empowerment of the Black and Hispanic community if Mark Levine, a White/Jewish candidate was elected to the 7th Council District in 2013.'" So we see that black Chicagoland establishment officials trying to ensure that the successor to the recently resigned Jesse Jackson Jr. in Illinois' 2nd Congressional District are not alone in seeing a political office as somehow "belonging" to them.
The Wall Street Journal (subscription may be required) has also picked up the story ("Race, Religion Used as Basis For an Attack"). Verbiage from the Politicker report, along with separate comments from James Taranto at the WSJ's Best of the Web, follow the jump (internal links are in originals; bolds are mine throughout this post):
Norah O'Donnell and Charlie Rose tossed softball questions at Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar on Wednesday's CBS This Morning on the looming fiscal cliff, just two days after they hounded Republican Senator Bob Corker on the same issue. Rose casually mentioned to Senator Klobuchar how "the President believes you can't get there by deduction. You have to raise [tax] rates. Is that your view?" O'Donnell merely asked, "Is this posturing on the fiscal cliff, or is there real work being done? What's your sense?"
By contrast, Rose tried to get Senator Corker to "forgo the [anti-tax hike] pledge because it is outdated and the country's problems are too big." O'Donnell followed up by asking the Tennessee Republican if he was "willing to also raise the capital gains rate." The morning show anchors failed to make similar demands of the Minnesota Democrat to cut spending.
The real news in today's new-home sales information published by the Census Bureau is that September's previously reported 389,000 in seasonally adjusted annual sales was written down by over 5 percent to 369,000. Hmm -- The higher figure, aggressively touted as the highest in 2-1/2 years by the Associated Press and other establishment media outlets, was reported on October 24, just 13 days before Election Day on November 6. Now we learn that it was a mirage, and that the revised figure was merely the same as the number turned in four months earlier and barely above February. In fact, the new home market, portrayed throughout the summer and early fall as recovering somewhat nicely, merely treaded water. That trend continued in October, as annualized sales came in at 368,000. Imagine that.
To his credit, the Associated Press's Martin Crutsinger at least acknowledged the major prior-month revision in each of his first two paragraphs; however, the AP's headline writers ignored it. To Crutsinger's detriment, it's clear that he tried very hard to find someone who would pin a major portion of the blame for October's 0.3 percent drop on Superstorm Sandy. When he couldn't, he decided to take it on himself to make the point (bolds are mine):
If former Baptist minister turned former presidential candidate turned Fox News Channel host Mike Huckabee ran a non-profit organization that was a) deeply in debt b) owed Uncle Sam years in back taxes and c) was in dispute with a conservative trade organization in D.C. over unpaid rent, it's hard to imagine Huck's competitors at MSNBC wouldn't gleefully note those financial woes from time to time.
Fox News, however, will most certainly restrain their schadenfreude at the latest news regarding MSNBC's resident Baptist minister turned presidential candidate turned bloviating host. Today's Washington Post reports that the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) is upset with Sharpton's National Action Network (NAN) for failing to pay months of back rent as well as failing to tender payment for rented office furniture:
In his coverage of black Chicagoland Democrats' fears that the seat that was held by just-resigned Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. until last week, Politico's Alex Isenstadt initially wrote that Chicago is home of "the nation's first black president, Barack Obama, and the first black member of Congress, Oscar De Priest." Evidence of this original wording is seen at this Google search on the quoted sentence.
Apparently, someone helped Isenstadt get a grip on history -- but really, who didn't know that there had to be at least one African-American congressmen during the 19th century after the Civil War? The sentence now says that De Priest was "the first black member of Congress in modern congressional history." What a pathetic non-admission of an obvious error. Let's run down, courtesy of a congressional web site, how seriously wrong Isenstadt really was:
Others can comment on the entirely of the Sunday New York Times story by Serge F. Kovaleski and Brooks Barnes (used in Monday's print edition) about Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the maker of the infamous "Innocence of Muslims" YouTube trailer the authors characterize as a "film" a dozen times in their write-up. Nakoula has now been in jail for two months.
I'm only going to comment on the following two sentences from the writeup which follow the jump:
Filling in for Alex Wagner on Monday afternoon, Ari Melber of the left-wing Nation magazine did some thing on MSNBC's Now that Wagner and many of their colleagues have been reluctant to do themselves -- expose the deception and dishonesty of Obama on the subject of drone attacks. While there was a brief mention or two in the weeks and months that preceded the election, the coverage was never sufficient -- considering the circumstances.
It's a telling sign however, that such a report would air three weeks after the incumbent's decisive re-election victory, by a guest host at that. Armed with indisputable video evidence, Melber noted the disparity between the candidate and the president [video below the page break]:
Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell sung from the same liberal sheet music on Monday's CBS This Morning as they tried to get Republican Senator Bob Corker to commit to higher federal taxes. Rose wondered if the Corker was "prepared, as others are doing, to...say, I'm going to forgo the [anti-tax hike] pledge because it is outdated and the country's problems are too big." O'Donnell asked the Tennessee politician if he was "willing to also raise the capital gains rate."
O'Donnell also cited "independent analysis" by the Tax Policy Center, but omitted that it is a project of two liberal organizations - the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution.
This morning the Obama administration's "National Economic Council & Council of Economic Advisers" jointly released "The Middle-Class Tax Cuts' Impact on Consumer Spending & Retailers." Among the howlers in this non-economic political document: "Independent Economic Analysis Clearly Demonstrates Why We Need to Extend the 2001/2003/2010 Tax Cuts for the Middle-class." But not everyone else? Don't high income-earners spend money too?
The primary thrust of the administration's release is that, in regards to negotiations to avoid the "fiscal cliff," is the predictable class warfare clarion call, complete with kidnapping-related rhetoric: "There is no reason to hold the middle-class hostage while we debate tax cuts for the highest income earners." The word "hostage" appears three times in the first two pages of the document. The subtext, of course, is that the hostage-holders are the Republicans in Congress, particularly the House of Representatives. At the Politico, Byron Tau ignored this classless, tasteless partisan tack by supposed professionals:
As has so often been the case for nearly four years, one needs to go to the editorial pages of the nation's two leading financial publications, the Wall Street Journal and Investor's Business Daily, to get to the truth behind news developments, especially the ones with potential to cast the Obama administration in a bad light.
There may not be a better example of the press ignoring the obvious than the circumstances surrounding Mohammed Morsi's dictatorial power grab in Egypt. Morsi gained substantial perceived world standing when the U.S. government praised him lavishly (or is it slavishly?) for his involvement in brokering a truce of sorts in the Israel-Hamas conflict. As a Friday IBD editorial pointed out, Morsi is now "using America's stamp of approval to oppress his own people" (bolds are mine throughout this post):
From what I can tell, a major scandal involving teachers in three states has received almost no national press coverage since CNN first broke a story about it in July. Among the non-participants or nearly non-participants (again, from what I can tell based on archived news search attempts) is the Associated Press, which decided early this morning on a slow news weekend when few are paying attention to publish Adrian Sainz's 1,200-word story on the topic.
What follows are portions CNN's original report, today's AP item, and a "edu-blog" post, in wondering why the conspiracy hasn't received more attention, identifies a sadly predictable likely reason.
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):
So what's more important, the fact that Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was involved in brokering a Gaza-Israeli peace deal which appears to be more than sightly tilted in Hamas's direction, or the fact that Morsi has opportunistically seized nearly dictatorial powers?
They're arguably equal, but if compelled to choose, I believe most readers here would contend that because of the difficulties seen throughout human history in undoing such things, Morsi's power grab is more important. The Associated Press doesn't share that evaluation. In its summary of "10 Things to Know for Friday" the wire service notes the "peace" accord but not the power grab:
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):
Continuing his wire service's sadly predictable kid-glove treatment of the Occupy movement which sometimes verges on open romance, Chuck Murr's Tuesday evening story at the Associated Press on the sentencing of three of the five participants in the foiled plot to bomb a major bridge in a Cleveland suburb utterly failed to note the active involvement of the convicted domestic terrorists (the sentencing judge's characterization) with Occupy Cleveland. It also failed to note a supportive tweet sent by Occupy Wall Street (HT Twitchy.com) claiming "entrapment" and linking to a legal defense fund web site.
By contrast, in its coverage of the sentencing today, the Cleveland Plain Dealer's James F. McCarty reminded readers, complete with a link back to the paper's May 2 story describing their involvement, that all five were "members of Occupy Cleveland movement."
It's been over a week since the Michael Bastasch at the Daily Caller exposed EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson's use of alias email accounts to conduct official business. A Monday evening Investor's Business Daily editorial noted that this practice is more than likely illegal, because "Federal law prohibits the government from using private emails for official communications unless they are appropriately stored and can be tracked" -- something which can hardly be done if non-flagged Jackson accounts are under names like "Richard Windsor."
Despite the obvious journalistic hot buttons of government secrecy and stonewalling (the Competitive Enterprise Institute has been trying through freedom of information requests since May and a lawsuit filed a few months later to get the EPA to reveal the contensts of "certain correspondence on the secondary email account assigned to" Ms. Jackson), establishment press coverage has been virtually non-existent.
Despite evidence reported elsewhere, a Monday story in the New York Times by Fares Akram, Jodi Rudoren and Alan Cowell described the bombing of "two buildings housing local broadcasters and production companies used by foreign outlets" as a possible example of Israel "targeting journalists" -- while ignoring one "little" thing. As the Washington Free Beacon noted (HT Instapundit), "Four senior Islamic Jihad terrorists were using the media building as a hideout. They were killed in the Israeli strike." Additionally, the Times reporters downplayed the high-percentage effectiveness of Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system in blowing up Hamas rockets before they could cause any damage.
What follows are the two "don't let the facts get in the way of a good story" paragraphs from the Times, as well as those relating to Iron Dome's results thus far:
On November 14, the Hill reported that "Senate Democrats, feeling confident from their net gain of two seats in last week’s election, say any deficit-reduction package negotiated in the coming weeks must include stimulus measures." Alexander Bolton's writeup quoted Senator Chuck Schumer publicly asserting that "We have to do something because the economy is not growing fast enough in the first year or two." Although Schumer was referring to 2013 and 2014, the "not growing fast enough" characterization fits the U.S. economy under President Barack Obama's and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's "stimulus"-oriented policies ever since the recession officially ended in June 2009.
The fact that Democrats insist on more so-called "pump-priming" after four years of trillion dollar-plus deficits accompanied by tepid growth, thereby increasing the chances that the deficit streak will hit five years or more, even with tax hikes, while growth remains anemic, is something one might consider to be, well, news. But apparently not at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, or the Politico.
As NewsBusters' Tim Graham reported, CNN's Washington Bureau Chief Sam Feist bragged that his is the only network "that hasn't picked sides in this election," and that viewers responded to CNN's credibility by making it the most-watched cable news channel on election night.
Of course, this begs the question of why viewers haven't turned to CNN on most other nights but regardless, Feist's claim of non-partisanship doesn't hold water. Indeed, CNN's own Howard Kurtz warned in July of a media double standard favoring President Obama that is apparent "to many people."
Below are some of the worst examples of CNN's liberal bias during this election cycle, beginning after Mitt Romney became the clear Republican challenger to President Obama on May 2, when candidate Newt Gingrich dropped out of the race.
In a Friday report at the Associated Press on Friday with a celebratory headline ("2 YEARS AFTER IPO, GM IS PILING UP CASH"), Auto Writer Tom Krisher described bailed-out General Motors as "thriving," but didn't identify one of the important reasons for that characterization.
In paragraphs about the company's profitability and cash stockpile, Krisher failed to note that the company still hasn't paid any U.S. income taxes since emerging from bankruptcy, or why that's the case (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Yesterday, AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka may have broken a modern record for chutzpah exhibited by a labor leader Friday in criticizing management's decision at bankrupt snack maker Hostess Brands to liquidate in the wake of irreconcilable issues with its unions. In a Friday afternoon report at Politico, Kevin Cirilli not only let Trumka get away with it; he also lent the labor leader's contentions additional misleading support.
Trumka blamed the company's apparently imminent demise on "Bain-style Wall Street vultures." He wants everyone to believe that it's greedy, eeeevil Republican private-equity types who are on the brink of putting yet another company out of business. The "clever" framing of that quoted phrase appears to indicate that Trumka already knew better. It seems very likely that Cirilli also knew better. Three hours before the initial time stamp of Cirilli's report, Zero Hedge re-exposed the heavy involvement of D-D-D-Democrats in Hostess's management and advisors originally documented way back in july at CNNMoney by David Kaplan (additional paragraph breaks added by me; bolds are mine throughout this post):
Earlier today (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted how several reports from the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press (here, here, and here) buried the major news about President Obama's opening demand to Congress over resolving the "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes scheduled to take effect on January 1. His demand for $1.6 trillion in tax increases over the next ten years is twice what he sought during the August 2011 debt-ceiling negotiations. You have to go to middle or near-ending paragraphs to get that from the three AP reports linked above.
Those three reports also each contain an additional paragraph which allows the administration's misstatement of its alleged "balance" between tax increases and reductions in projected levels of spending (falsely characterized as "cuts") to stand unchallenged:
When it comes to reporting on the what the White House wants to achieve in talks with Congress about averting the "fiscal cliff," one apparent theme at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, has been "Bury the lede about the size of Obama's tax increases." I'll cover another theme ("Let them get away with misstating the 'balanced approach'") in a later post.
President Obama now wants $1.6 trillion in tax increases over the next ten years, which is double the amount he sought during last year's debt-limit standoff. In ordinary times with a responsible press corps, such a massive change in posture would be headline-driving material, but not at AP, which appears to be doing its utmost to ensure that most Americans don't know about it while still being able to claim (sort of) that "Well, we told 'em."
As the discussions about sex and sex scandals dominate the media due to the Petraeus affair, one affair the media are strangely silent about is that of New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, who was handily reelected last week despite shocking allegations that his idea of an Easter vacation was flying to the Dominican Republican to soliciting sex from prostitutes. Oh, and, like Secret Service agents in Colombia before him, the hookers are saying that he stiffed them on the tab.
The latest development in the Menendez saga, according to Scott Wong at Politico is that:
Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell took turns hammering Senator John McCain on Wednesday's CBS This Morning over his promise to block any potential nomination of Susan Rice to be secretary of state. Rose grilled McCain after the Republican slammed Rice for blaming a "spontaneous" mob for the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi: "Didn't Susan Rice say that...all the information was not in, and she did not know everything there was to be known....what should she have said, based on what she knew at the moment?"
O'Donnell also tried to shift blame away from Ambassador Rice to a "failure with the intelligence coming out of the CIA." She later pointed a finger at former CIA Director David Petraeus and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. When the Arizona senator confirmed that Petraeus and Clinton deserved scrutiny, Rose interjected, "But why not wait for them before you make a judgment about Susan Rice?" [audio available here; video below the jump]
Well, there's one little bit of good news in Martin Crutsinger's final report on yesterday's release of the federal government's October Monthly Treasury Statement (I did a review of his initial take yesterday [at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog]). The good news is that Crutsinger, unlike in most months during the past several years I have reviewed such reports, actually identified the single-month amount of money the federal government spent in October, namely $304 billion. We'll see if he continues the practice of reporting single-month spending amounts in future months.
The rest of Crutsinger's coverage is typically pathetic and predictable. He failed to correctly define what the deficit really is for his readers, understated the impact on fiscal 2013 of any tax or spending decisions the President and Congress might agree on, ignored the likelihood that receipts in teh coming year are likely coming back to levels last seen in fiscal 2007 (meaning that virtually the entire problem facing the country has to do with spending, not collections), and engaged in the seemingly required exercise of blaming George W. Bush for running deficits (not disclosed as far smaller) and conducting wars Congress agreed to fight before Obama came into office. As I said, typically pathetic and predictable.
Unless today is a total surprise and runs contrary to most of what we've seen during the past four years, President Obama will go through another "news conference" without a great deal of difficult or aggressive questioning from the assembled press corps.
Carrie Budoff Brown and Josh Gerstein at the Politico seem to think otherwise, and have produced a lame list of seven questions they think Obama will be asked -- so lame that one of them has to do with recently passed marijuana-legalizing initiatives in the states of Washington and Colorado:
Suddenly discovering something that anyone with eyes could see before the election, Josh Gerstein at Politico tells us that "Obama's foreign policy team hits turbulence."
Please. For over a week after September 11, the administration was pretending that a video which wasn't relevant at all caused protests which never occurred were what supposedly led to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya which killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens. We had different people in the administration taking blame (but not really), and learned that but for the heroics of two of the men who died, dozens of others might have perished. But only now is Gerstein discovering "turbulence." Read on for a narrative which would be funny if it were not so sadly symptomatic of a see-no-evil press corps:
The government's October 2012 Monthly Treasury Statement was released at 2 p.m. It tells us that the government took in $184 billion ($21 billion more than last year) while spending $304 billion ($43 billion more), leaving a $120 billion deficit. That's 22% higher than the October 2011 shortfall of $98.5 billion.
The early report from the Associated Press's Martin Crustinger predictably tells us that discussions over changing this ongoing situation and addressing the "fiscal cliff" involve how "to prevent tax increases and deep spending cuts from kicking in Jan. 1." "Deep"? October 2012 spending annualizes out to $3.65 trillion, which if continued, as seen in comparison to figures for the past five years which follow, would be an all-time record.