New York Times reporter Julia Preston provided her predictably pro-amnesty slant in Wednesday story on the apparently deathless Dream Act, a bill up in the lame-duck session of Congress (it passed the House Wednesday night) that would provide amnesty for illegal immigrant students: “Illegal Immigrant Students Await Votes on Legal Status.”
With both houses of Congress set to vote this week on a bill that would give legal status to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrant students, one of those students will wait for news of the outcome at an immigration detention center in Arizona.
The student, Hector Lopez, 21, was deported to Mexico in August after having lived with his family in Oregon since he was an infant. After two months of trying to find his bearings and a job in Mexico City, Mr. Lopez, who does not speak Spanish, traveled to the border last month and turned himself in to the immigration authorities, requesting asylum in the United States.
A few weeks ago, just before GM's initial public offering went to the market (at the Washington Examiner; at BizzyBlog), I noted that Multi-Government/General Motors had spent the past several months shipping more cars than its dealers were selling, to the point where dealer stocks represented an unusually high number of days of dealers' sales.
GM's December 1 press release made that trend even more obvious, as month-end dealer inventory rose to 536,000 units, about 30% higher than May's level.
As seen below, the trend was already pretty obvious in October, and a vigilant press should have been alert enough to notice it and attempt to gauge its financial impact:
At the Associated Press late Sunday afternoon, reporter Paul Wiseman, who may have the most inappropriate last name in the history of business journalism, engaged in a brazen "It's really not that bad" excuse-making exercise on behalf of the economy Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Ben Bernanke have created. In the process, he joined a Reuters reporter in questioning the validity of the information Friday's Employment Situation Report.
I do hope that Associated Press reporters Arthur Max and Charles J. Hanley are finding some recreational time while they are reporting from Cancun about what's happening at the "United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change."
The pair's bosses ought to be asking them how much real attention they are paying to the festivities since they began. For example, as far as I can tell from two reports by Mr. Max (here and here), he seems to have missed the opening prayer to the pagan goddess Ixchel; Ken Shepherd at NewsBusters took note of it from thousands of miles away. We'd understand if you were really at the beach, Arthur.
The unemployment rate jumped to a seasonally adjusted 9.8% in November and only 39,000 seasonally adjusted jobs were added during the month, according to the Employment Situation Report released yesterday by Uncle Sam's Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Although she at least recognized the report's negativity, Lucia Mutikani at Reuters seemed bent on downplaying its impact, even finding an "expert" who characterized the BLS's work as an "outlier" in her Friday evening write-up. Nobody's claiming the folks at BLS are perfect, but I cannot recall a time when an establishment press wire service reporter has questioned the Employment Situation Report's underlying validity. Despite its supposed lack of credibility, Ms. Mutikani still used the information provided as an excuse to insert a point about how it should cause Fed chief Ben Bernanke to continue the "money from nothing" enterprise euphemistically referred to as "quantitative easing."
Of special note was Ms. Mutikani's bizarre contention that the seasonal adjustment calculations might be flawed. Unfortunately for her, comparisons of actual results on the ground (i.e., the not seasonally adjusted numbers) to the seasonally adjusted numbers that resulted were consistent with November 2004, the last comparable year. This has not always been the case in the volatile economy of the past 2-1/2 years.
CNN imported its Parker-Spitzer model of liberal versus slightly moderate to Friday's Situation Room, except reversing the sexes. Anchor Wolf Blitzer brought on Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen and Tea Party-hating columnist John Avlon to discuss the debate in Congress over tax rates and the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Avlon took the same position as his colleague Kathleen Parker, that taxes should be raised on some rich, and joined Rosen in calling for the repeal of the controversial policy.
The two CNN political contributors appeared during the regular "Strategy Session" segment 49 minutes into the 5 pm Eastern hour. Blitzer read an excerpt from a recent blog item by Time's Mark Halperin where he wondered if the Democratic Party was "in the midst of a nervous breakdown." Rosen denied that this was the case and mouthed her party's talking points on the tax debate:
On Friday, the CBS Early Show failed to make any mention of New York Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel being censured by the House of Representatives on Thursday for 11 ethics violations. ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today did cover the historic punishment, but adopted a very sympathetic tone toward Rangel.
In a slightly extended news brief on Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos described the censure as "an unusual moment," seeming to lament that Rangel "had to accept the punishment." Correspondent Jonathan Karl remarked that Rangel "was defiant right to the end" and "told reporters this was a very political vote." Stephanopoulos concluded the report by praising such bitterness: "That's right. He fought it. He tried to get an alternative passed. But in the end, handled that apology with real grace."
After watching a montage of mainstream media journalists defending the TSA's invasive pat-down procedures as practically essential to preventing airline terrorism, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell argued it'd be a far different story if those procedures had happened under the Bush administration.
"Imagine the same reporters reporting that story if George Bush had instigated these [TSA pat-down] policies," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell argued on the December 2 edition of Fox News Channel's "Hannity."
[Video of the "Meda Mash" segment follows the page break]
Here's something about which the environmentalists and car czars planted inside the Obama administration can't be pleased: as a percentage of their U.S. sales, Multi-Government/General Motors and Chrysler are selling more "light trucks," consisting of pickups, SUVS, and "crossover" vehicles than any other major manufacturer. Further, the companies are clearly emphasizing light trucks at the expense of their car models.
I wonder how a government promise to accomplish this would have been received by the fossil-fuels-are-awful media at bankruptcy crunch time last year?
You can pretty much count on this inconvenient product mix not getting a great deal of establishment press attention while it drools over the underpowered, heavily subsidized electric lemon known as the Chevy Volt and whatever toy disguised as a useful vehicle Chrysler/Fiat plans on foisting onto the market.
I've noted an interesting disparity in how the Associated Press, the so-called Essential Global News Network, has covered Democratic and Republican congressional victories in situations where the counting has gone on well past Election Day.
Let's contrast the amount of ink and bandwidth devoted to Republican Joe Walsh's victory over incumbent Democrat Melissa Bean in Illinois compared to the coverage accorded California Democrat Jerry McNerney in his victory over the GOP's David Harmer.
First, in Walsh vs. Bean, the following is the only item that comes up in a search on Ms. Bean's name at the AP's main site:
There are many annoying aspects of the sea change in media coverage of the economy since Barack Obama became president. At or near the top of the list is how the business press has downplayed the unprecedented housing industry disaster, while lowering the bar that will supposedly represent a real recovery to ridiculous levels.
According the the Census Bureau (12-page PDF), 23,000 new homes were sold nationwide in October. That figure ties August 2010 and December 1966 (when the population was 35% smaller) for is the lowest single month since records have been kept. More extensive evidence of how bad things are will come after the jump.
On Wednesday, the Associated Press's Martin Crutsinger provided as good an example as any of the press template for housing coverage -- acknowledge that, yes, things are really bad; give readers an absurdly low benchmark for what would represent real improvement and how long it should take to get there; locate some "expert" to say it's really not all that bad; and find some kind of anecdote somewhere, anywhere, that will leave the impression that things might somehow be getting better:
Imagine the (justifiable) media and other outcry that would result if a previous presidential administration and congressional leadership had convinced gullible House and Senate members to pass a law which they weren't given time to read specifying the following about a new Military Spending Board.
First, the Board appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate) sets a predetermined (by the Board) target for military spending growth. If the Board determines that the growth of military spending will not match this predetermined target, it has the power to enact a remedy through “fast track” legislation, which will work like this:
The seemingly endless variety of "name that party" stunts has yet another wrinkle.
In this case, Matt Drudge is currently linking to a Des Moines Register story ("Culver OKs state pay raises"; also saved here at host for future reference) about how outgoing Iowa Governor Chet Culver has decided to rush through union contracts granting thousands of state employees 3% raises (before considering "step" raises that occur with seniority) in each of the next two years before Republican Governor Terry Bransted takes over in January.
The headline for Drudge's link is "Lame duck Dem governor in Iowa OKs $100 million in raises for state workers." Actually, it's $100 million a year for the next two years. But the linked Register article by Jason Clayworth never identifies Culver's Democratic Party affiliation, even though he tags the governor's opposition as Republican twice in the first two paragraphs. In other words, not that it was difficult to show that Culver is a Dem, but Drudge had to figure it out and tell his readers -- and we thank him for that.
A couple of NewsBusters posts during the past week -- one from yours truly and another courtesy of Ken Shepherd -- have pointed to the press's reluctance to identify the Democratic Party affiliations of indicted Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson and his also-indicted wife Leslie, who is a County Council member.
Today, the Associated Press's Brian Witte kept up the wire service's tradition of either not naming the party of an indicted Democrat or deferring that identification until very late in the report (in the apparent hope that subscribing outlets picking up the story won't use it). Jack Johnson's party affiliation was saved for the 19th paragraph; Witte never identified his wife's party affiliation. Witte further quoted a Republican who commented on the situation in Paragraph 10, and noted that said Republican "ran against Johnson in 2002" in Paragraph 11, leaving it vague as to whether it was a primary or general election contest.
Finally, Witte gave voice to people who believes that the Johnsons and ultimately other county officials are being targeted based on their African-American ethnicity -- in county where two-thirds of its residents are African-American.
That's bad enough. But a Tuesday report covering the latest release of the Housing Market Index (HMI) by the National Association of Home Builders demonstrates how utterly determined the wire service is to put gobs of lipstick on a very ugly pig.
For context, I'll show readers the complete 25-year history of said index.
First, I am grateful that Edenhofer, a German economist who is "co-chair of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Working Group III on Mitigation of Climate Change," has a last name on which searching is easy. I quickly determined that his name last name doesn't currently come up in searches at the Associated Press's main web site, the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the Los Angeles Times.
That's because he hasn't said or done anything newsworthy, right? Wrong. What's newsworthy is my second reason for thanking him. First covered at NewsBusters yesterday by Noel Sheppard, and described this evening in an Investors Business Daily editorial, Mr. Edenhofer has proffered the principal motivation behind the "climate change movement" -- redistribution of wealth (bolds are mine):
Persistent pursuit of a story by journalists has in all too many cases been replaced by a dogged determination to keep politically incorrect facts out of important stories.
An Associated Press item out of Grand Island, Nebraska this morning illustrates this point. It's not very difficult to identify aspects of the story reporter Josh Funk worked mightily to leave out (bolded items hinting at what's not there and related number tags are mine):
It was billed as "his first one-on-one interview since his loss," the first for a sitting Ohio governor in 36 years, so you would think anything particularly controversial Strickland might have to say would be news elseswhere.
Well, here's an obviously newsworthy comment (in bold), especially considering what came just before and after it:
Gosh, what's a bigger story -- that to the extent it was ever happening at all the housing recovery "seems to have been aborted," or that according to the government there was very little inflation in October?
The media seems to take an exceptional interest in Senator Lisa Murkowski when she’s uttering liberal talking points on ‘compromise’ or when she’s blasting Sarah Palin as being ‘not worldly enough’ for the office of the Presidency.
Case in point, as NewsBuster Brad Wilmouth pointed out, CBS recently highlighted Murkowski’s claim that she believes Palin lacks the ‘intellectual curiosity’ to run in 2012. And the rest of the main stream media ran with it, as reports on the ‘intellectual curiosity’ slap began cropping up at MSNBC, the Washington Post, the New York Times, ABC News, Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, etc.
Then of course, there is the Anchorage Daily News (ADN), who’s seemingly made a living in coming to Murkowski’s aid. In fact, it wasn’t long ago that they were reporting on a Republican letter urging Tea Party candidate, Joe Miller, to start answering questions about his background, and offered their own editorial suggesting that personal matters are indeed fair game in an election.
MSNBC's prime-time "town hall" on immigration reform yesterday exemplified one of the more unseemly elements of media bias: brazen political advocacy disguised as an "honest conversation."
Attempting to pass itself off as a forum for voices on all sides of the immigration issue to elevate the dialogue, "Beyond Borderlines" featured droves of liberal guests who dismissed, admonished, and overwhelmed only token conservative opposition.
From the outset of the program, conservative guests were disadvantaged and drowned out. The "conversation," which touched on a wide-range of issues related to immigration reform, was steered by hosts Lawrence O'Donnell, who is a self-described socialist, and Maria Teresa Kumar, who is executive director of Voto Latino, a liberal immigration reform group.
Mike Cutler, one of the few guests who offered a contrasting perspective on the issue, was repeatedly attacked by Kumar, who oscillated between the conflicting roles of questioner and answerer, and the other panelists.
Yesterday the California Supreme Court ruled "that illegal immigrants are entitled to the same in-state tuition breaks that are offered to citizens who attend public colleges and universities."
The Associated Press reports that "[t]he high court unanimously upheld a state law that says any student, regardless of immigration status, who attended a California high school for at least three years can qualify for in-state tuition that's much less than what out-of-state students pay."
The losing party in the case plans an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, so this may not be the final word on the issue.
Given that the Golden State is flat broke and illegal immigration is a hot button issue nationally, this sounds like a story worthy of mainstream media attention.
Yet it appears the story has been largely ignored or buried by the MSM thus far.
The thrust of McKinley’s Monday piece favored the opponents of the measure, displayed in two large photos that accompanied the story that led the paper’s National section: A photo of State Rep. Cory Williams, who narrowly won re-election after opposing the plan, and residents of a local Islamic Society in head scarves.
The Times also proved itself to be cozy with the controversial Muslim interest-group CAIR, the local branch of which successfully sued the state to block the measure from going into effect.
When you increase demand for something, its price should go up.
In the case of bonds, if the demand for them increases, their price should go up, and their effective interest-rate yield should go down.
That didn't happen on Friday when the Federal Reserve began executing its second round of "money from nothing" quantitative easing. Even though the Fed increased demand, bond prices went down and yields went up.
Why? If you read a late Friday afternoon report by the Associated Press's Matthew Craft you essentially get a bunch of blubbering "I don't know" statements (bolds after headline are mine):
Thursday evening, NB's Ken Shepherd accurately pointed out how little establishment press interest there has been in prominently carrying an Associated Press report about how the Obama administration has been, in the words of the wire service's Dina Cappiello, "downplaying scientific findings, misrepresenting data and most recently misconstruing the opinions of experts it solicited."
This is not to excuse those who have given her report short shrift, but the AP and Cappiello herself did their level best to try to minimize the significance of what was to come in their headline and first paragraph, respectively:
During the Bush administration, the media made much of political appointees supposedly editing and otherwise interfering with the integrity of the work of career federal government scientists, particularly on studies pertaining to global warming/climate change.
Well now the Associated Press is reporting that an inspector general's report from the Interior Department released yesterday found that the Obama White House "edited a drilling safety report in a way that made it falsely appear that scientists and experts backed the administration's six-month moratorium on new deep-water drilling." (emphasis mine)
Additionally, "Obama's energy adviser, Carol Browner, mischaracterized on national TV a government analysis about where the oil went, saying it showed most of the oil was 'gone.'"
In fact, "[t]he report said it could still be there," AP's Dina Cappiello noted.
Cappiello's story was buried on page A27 of today's Washington Post, but at least the paper covered the story. A Nexis search for "BP" mentions in the November 11 paper turned two hits from the New York Times, but neither story was about the inspector general's report.
Before critiquing, I should recognize that USA Today, while most of the establishment press has snoozed, has done a very creditable job of exposing the wide differential between federal employee and private-sector pay (Aug. 10, 2010; "Federal workers earning double their private counterparts"), and of identifying the outrageous degree by which salaries in the upper levels of Uncle Sam's empire are expanding (Dec. 11, 2009; "For feds, more get 6-figure salaries").
Yesterday, in a mostly well-done report, USAT's Dennis Cauchon, who also authored the two linked items in the previous paragraph, delved into many of the details concerning the growing number of federal employees who get paid $150,000 or more per year. Among his more important points is the fact that a great deal of the expansion into this high level of pay has occurred since President Obama took office, during a period when overall inflation has been very low:
New York Times reporter Channing Joseph engaged in light-hearted humanizing of those stuffy Communists in Sunday’s Metro section, “Where Marxists Pontificate, And Play.” The worst thing Joseph can say about the gathering of supporters of tyrannical regimes at the Brecht Forum in Manhattan is that Communists have a reputation for “seriousness.”
There’s even a boring online slide show with cozy captions: “There are little hints of humor all around the Brecht Forum....” Judging by the photos, very little.
Try to imagine the Times getting so cozy among a group of mainstream Republicans, much less Tea Party supporters. Hanging out with the Communist group, Joseph posed no inconveniently challenging questions on the atrocities of Stalin, Mao, or Castro. Instead, “smiles abound” and gentleness reigns in this non-news news story.
If communists have a reputation for anything, it is seriousness. (And if you have seen old photos of Karl Marx, you know that he did not smile much.) But at the Brecht Forum, a community center on West Street where revolutionaries and radicals gather daily to ponder and to pontificate, they also play. (Smiles abound.)
Leftist community organizing group ACORN "should pay back $3.2 million in federal funding, mostly because it hasn't shown that its lead-removal work was performed at a reasonable cost," the Associated Press's Kevin Freking reported today. "The auditors also said that some of the grant money was spent inappropriately."
"Congress has cut off ACORN's federal funding after allegations of voter registration fraud and embezzlement. The group began closing its operations in March," Freking noted.