Warning: The following cop-out explanation by Associated Press Retail Writer Mae Anderson will make many readers' heads hurt. Knowledge that she found an economist willing to support it may cause migraines.
ABC's GMA and NBC's Today on Wednesday both did due diligence on the Rep. Anthony Weiner brouhaha surrounding a lewd photo posted on his Twitter site. ABC's Jonathan Karl noted how Weiner didn't give "the most convincing press conference" in response to the controversy. NBC's Meredith Vieira highlighted how "people are wondering why he is being so defensive." But CBS's Early Show didn't even cover the story.
GMA anchor George Stephanopoulos led the 7 am Eastern hour with a teaser on the burgeoning scandal: "Underwear uproar: a powerful congressman at the center of controversy over a photo flap online. Did someone break into his Twitter account and send a lewd picture, or did he do it? Congressman Weiner's response this morning."
On Tuesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Jennifer Ludden all but acted as an proponent of egg donation and freezing to preserve women's fertility, but failed to acknowledge the dangers associated with the donation process, ranging from negative psychological effects to kidney failure and death. Ludden barely touched on other risks to the procedures, such as using them to permit women over 50 become pregnant.
The correspondent began her report by hyping the emotion behind the problem the donation and freezing procedures aim to fix: the declining fertility of women 40 years of age and older:
Why must The Washington Post promote communists with more ardor than they could muster for any American Republican? Tuesday’s front page of the Post oozed: “‘El Padre,’ still preaching.” The subject was Ernesto Cardenal, a defrocked Catholic priest and the culture minister of the Sandinista dictatorship in Nicaragua in the 1980s. Surrounding a huge photo on the front of the Style section was the headline “Radical beat goes on: At 86, poet and priest Ernesto Cardenal is still talkin’ about a revolution.”
The Washington Post somehow still finds luster in the poetry and no objection to the communist dictatorship, mass murder, and civil war. From Baltimore, Post reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia is championing “the revolution” of 1979:
“It was a beautiful revolution,” the man in the beret says one night over dinner. “A beautiful revolution.”
New York Times legal reporter Charlie Savage’s two stories on libertarian Sen. Rand Paul holding up extending sections of the Patriot Act ignored the huge hypocrisy of the act’s newest vocal defender, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The paper also demonstrated a new-found comfort on the part of the Times for the act, which it excoriated during the Bush years.
Reid attacked fellow Sen. Ron Paul in personal terms on the Senate floor Wednesday, but the Times ignored both the attack and Reid’s overheated defense of the Patriot Act, which would surely have been denounced as demagoguery coming from a Republican. Liberal journalist Spencer Ackerman called Reid a demagogue, saying "Dick Cheney would be proud." (Ouch!) Ackerman fumed:
Liberal radio host Ed Schultz's May 23rd attack on conservative talker Laura Ingraham as a "slut" was "reprehensible" and "could not have been more vile," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told viewers of the May 26 "Hannity."
In the course of a story ("Senate votes down controversial House budget") from all appearances designed to make House Republicans look like quixotic time-wasters while minimizing presidential embarrassment, the Associated Press's Andrew Taylor fabricated the following:
GOP senators immediately forced a vote on President Barack Obama's February budget proposal, which opened to chilly reviews in February for failing to aggressively tackle issues like the long-term future of benefit programs like Medicare and Social Security. Democrats joined Republicans in opposing the plan, which failed to receive a single vote.
No Andrew, you're wrong, wrong, at least nineteen times wrong. From Townhall's Guy Benson, with links -- The following Senate Democrats sang the praises of the President's laughingstock of a "budget" in mid-February (resorted in alphabetical order after Reid and Schumer; bolds and underlines are as they originally appeared):
It would appear, according to the Associated Press's Christopher Rugaber, that something unusual had to explain why initial unemployment claims as reported by Uncle Sam's Department of Labor rose to a seasonally adjusted 424,000 during the week ended May 21 when they were expected to decline. In previous weeks, poor performances have been explained by DOL spokespersons as due to the unusually late Easter, the weather, Japanese supply interruptions, and Jupiter not being aligned with Mars (okay, I'm kidding about the last one).
Apparently, one thing is for certain in AP-Land: The troubling 400,000-plus plateau in weekly initial claims can't possibly have anything to do with Obama administration's economic policies (or lack thereof).
Today, as Bloomberg noted, the Department of Labor offered up no excuses: "There were no special factors behind last week’s increase, a Labor Department official said as the figures were released."
Rugaber wasn't satisfied with that answer, and decided he would roll out one of his own without any evidence. The AP reporter has also developed a strange obsession with reminding everyone on a weekly basis when initial claims peaked (bolds are mine):
New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner inaccurately portrayed on Thursday how Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was greeted on his return to Israel after a lively visit to America, which included a tense meeting with President Obama and a triumphant speech to Congress. Examining the trip solely from the angle of Netanyahu's refusal to offer territorty concessions in the name of peace talks, Bronner found failure: "In Israel, Premier’s U.S. Trip Dims Hopes for Advancing Peace Talks." The online headline was worse: "Israelis See Netanyahu Trip as Diplomatic Failure."
Which "Israelis" are the Times talking about? In the headline, substitute "Some liberal Israeli newspaper columnists" for "Israelis," and it would be accurate and also signal the pointlessness of the story. Is it news that some liberal Israelis oppose Netanyahu and his refusal to accept the pre-1967 boundary lines demanded by the United Nations and other anti-Israel entities?
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel returned from Washington on Wednesday to a nearly unanimous assessment among Israelis that despite his forceful defense of Israel’s security interests, hopes were dashed that his visit might advance peace negotiations with the Palestinians.
CBS's Jeff Glor failed to mention the Democratic Party affiliation of Rod Blagojevich, as well as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., during a news brief on Wednesday's Early Show. Glor's report was the only mention on the Big Three network morning shows of the former Illinois governor's lawyers calling the former Obama aide and the congressman to testify in his retrial for corruption.
The news anchor noted during his brief that "some big names could be on the stand" and specified that Blagojevich's attorneys would call Emanuel and Jackson, Jr. He then explained that the former governor is "accused of trying to sell the seat of then-U.S. Senator Barack Obama. His first trial ended in a hung jury."
UPDATE:As seen here, the very earliest AP reports appear to have identified Edwards as a Democrat (the age of the item may not correspond with when the AP subscriber actually received it), but the latest ones, including this item found at AP's home site (as of 12:59 p.m.), do not. UPDATE 2: A mixed bag -- The 6:55 p.m. report from the same AP reporters (pic here) notes that Edwards was the "2004 Democratic vice-presidential nominee," and waits until Paragraph 4 to note that the possible indictment stems from the 2007-2008 campaign.
In their 11:29 a.m. report (saved here in case it gets updated, and for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) on the apparently imminent indictment of 2004 and 2008 Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, Associated Press reporters Mike Baker and Gary D. Robertson did not identify Edwards as a Democrat, nor did they identify any of his campaign associates (e.g., Andrew Young, Fred Baron) as Democrats. No form of the word "Democrat" appears in the report as it was posted at 11:29 a.m.
Here are the first seven paragraphs of the AP pair's effort:
Conservatives may have it rough in the pages of the New York Times, but U.S. Communists can count on favorable, critic-free publicity, with Times reporters even employing Communist lingo like "the proletariat." The latest: Joseph Berger’s Monday metro story, "Workers of the World, Please See Our Web Site." The original online headline was less cheeky but more slanted: "Leftist Parties in New York Have New Appeal."
Berger’s profile of three Manhattan-based hard-left parties has a light, hopeful tone similar to Channing Joseph’s notorious November 7, 2010 photo-story in the Times, "Where Marxists Pontificate, And Play ," in which the worst thing he found to say about the Manhattan gathering of supporters of murderous regimes was their reputation for "seriousness."
Like Joseph before him, Berger posed no awkward questions about the atrocities of Communist heroes Stalin, Mao, or Castro. He wrote:
CBS's Lesley Stahl played up how Al Sharpton apparently "has gone through something of a metamorphosis" as she spotlighted the "street-protest agitator...now trusted White House adviser" on Sunday's 60 Minutes. Despite pressing Sharpton for his refusal to apologize for the Tawana Brawley hoax, Stahl gushed, "Take a look at Reverend Al...stately in his tailored suits, commanding a national stage."
The journalist front-loaded her superlatives about the liberal flamethrower during her 12-and-a-half minute report in the bottom half of the 8 pm Eastern hour, emphasizing how Sharpton has supposedly become a new man. She also set the tone of the entire segment of choosing to use non-ideological labels to describe her subject, only hinting at his left-of-center politics:
This morning, Associated Press reporters Ricardo Alonso Zaldivar and Stephen Ohlemacher went back to an AP-GfK poll yours truly thoroughly discredited on May 11 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog). That's when the AP's Liz Sidoti and Jennifer Agiesta laughably claimed that President Obama's approval had jumped to 60%.
In their coverage of Herman Cain's official announcement that he is a candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States, Associated Press reporters Shannon McCaffrey and Greg Bluestein limited their description of Cain's tenure as chief executive of Godfather's Pizza to the following:
He worked at Coca-Cola, Pillsbury and Burger King before taking the helm of the failing Godfather's Pizza franchise, which he rescued by shuttering hundreds of restaurants.
That's all he did, eh? Guys, if that's all you could cobble together about Cain's time at Godfather's, you should have ended the excerpted sentence after "franchise" (for which a better word would have been "chain").
The AP pair also omitted a couple of key elements of Cain's resume, specifically his tenure as head of the National Restaurant Association and his involvement as a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, where he ultimately was elected chairman.
Here is a description of Cain's tenure at Godfather's found at a site called PizzaDominoes.com:
Earlier today, NB's Tim Graham noted that the establishment press has given the silent treatment to a study by Timothy Conley of the University of Western Ontario and Bill Dupor of Ohio State University showing that the stimulus plan passed in February 2009 was a major net economic loser. In the first paragraph of the study, the authors revealed their core estimate that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act "created/saved 450 thousand government-sector jobs and destroyed/forestalled one million private sector jobs." That's a net loss of 550,000 jobs "destroyed/forestalled."
To test Tim's contention that "Our media only cites studies which estimate the number of jobs Team Obama 'saved or created,'" I did searches on Dupor's last name at the Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times, and got back the following results:
On Friday's Early Show, CBS called upon Clinton administration alumnus Jamie Rubin to act as a flack for the current Obama White House and to comment on the President's speech on the Middle East. Rubin lamented the President's poor approval rating in Israel: "Unfortunately- and this is unfortunate for everyone, I think...Obama doesn't have the huge popularity in Israel that, perhaps, President Bush had."
Anchor Erica Hill brought on the husband of ABC host Christiane Amanpour and first identified him as "Assistant Secretary of State Jamie Rubin, who is now executive editor of the Bloomberg View [the new opinion section of Bloomberg News] " However, she failed to mention at any point in the interview that Rubin served under former President Clinton, unlike Nicholas Burns, who appeared later in the program. Hill clearly identified him as "undersecretary of state under President George W. Bush."
At the top of NBC's Nightly News on Wednesday, anchor Brian Williams teased a story on charter public schools: "In our 'Education Nation' report tonight, the agonizing lottery for kids and their families to get into the best schools, but are they the best schools?" He later declared that families "put everything on the line for a coveted spot in a charter school, but do these schools really deliver?"
Introducing a report by education correspondent Rehema Ellis, Williams touted her examining "the questions being raised about whether charter schools are truly better schools." After detailing anxious parents hoping their children would win a lottery to attend a charter school outside of Atlanta, Ellis warned: "For all the excitement around charter schools, there is also growing concern that, overall, they may not be the answer for what ails America's public schools."
Imagine if the Bush 43 administration had decided to exclude a newspaper's reporters from full access to presidential events--regardless of the ostensible reason. Does anyone believe that the New York Times or Associated Press would have ignored the story?
Well, in a thoroughly predictable but nonetheless sad development, that is what has happened since the Boston Herald's Hillary Chabot reported that "The White House Press Office has refused to give the Boston Herald full access to President Obama’s Boston fund-raiser today, in e-mails objecting to the newspaper’s front page placement of a Mitt Romney op-ed, saying pool reporters are chosen based on whether they cover the news 'fairly.'" Lachlan Markay relayed Chabot's item at NewsBusters yesterday, and also chronicled several previous examples of White House mistreatment, maltreatment, and abuse of disfavored media members.
A search of the Associated Press's main site late this morning on "Boston Herald" (without quotes) returned nothing relevant, as seen after the jump:
UPDATE, May 18: NewsBusters commenter "dreamsincolor" has pointed out that CNN "somehow" forgot Democratic New York Congressman Eric Massa, who resigned in 2009 to avoid "an ethics investigation into alleged misconduct toward a male staff member."
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Chris Ariens filed a report today at MediaBistro's TVNewser that opened with a reader's Tweet, which plaintively asked: "Did CNN really exclude Spitzer from Malveaux package on Sex Scandals & Politics? Hmm.."
Shortly after 8:30 this morning, I began thinking that my CNNMoney.com e-mail alerts had stopped arriving. So I went to the Census Bureau's web site and learned that its monthly report on housing starts, building permits, and other construction-related news had indeed been released. The news for the already moribund industry was awful: Building permits in April fell by a seasonally adjusted 4% from March and by 12.0% from April 2010, while the comparable tumbles in housing starts were 10.6% and 23.9%, respectively.
Well, my opening and closing bell e-mails arrived as expected. So unless there was a technical glitch, this means that CNNMoney decided not to issue a post-8:30 alert for the bad housing news.
Let's take a look at the two e-mails which did arrive. First, just after the opening bell:
Newsweek religion editor Lisa Miller wrote a story on "The Fight Over Billy Graham's Legacy," but the most notable thing that comes out of it is Miller's loathing of Rev. Franklin Graham (no relation). Miller clearly believes he's mangling his father's moderation, especially when it comes to Islam:
Franklin — who’s been accused of being a rhetorical and theological bully, saying, for example, that Islam is “wicked and evil”— agrees with the assessment that he is less gentle than his dad. “We preach the same Gospel,” Franklin says, but “Daddy hates to say no. I can say no.” Franklin adds that he is much more engaged in the day-to-day management of the BGEA than his father ever was, and through the efforts of his humanitarian organization Samaritan’s Purse has much more experience on the front lines of global conflicts, such as those in Rwanda and the Middle East. This perspective, he argues, justifies his harder edge. “I’ve been doing a different kind of ministry,” he says. “That has shaped my views on a lot of things.”
After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the downfall of the Soviet Union, the New York Times and other liberal media outlets often produced stories suggesting a bright side to the fallen dictatorships. The trend was notoriously encapsulated in a February 12, 1992 Times headline marking the release of the last political prisons of the Soviet era: "A Gulag Breeds Rage, Yes, but Also Serenity."
Similarly, the Times often latched on to the chaos of the Iraq war to suggest things had in at least some ways been better under the rulership of bloody dictator Saddam Hussein, responsible for the torture and killing of hundreds of thousands of people, Kurds, Iranians, and Iraqis.
A late and particularly insensitive entry in the field came on Sunday, Michael Schmidt and Yasir Ghazi, "As Baghdad Erupts in Riot of Color, Calls to Tone It Down," suggesting that "Baghdad has weathered invasion, occupation, sectarian warfare and suicide bombers. But now it faces a new scourge: tastelessness."
Martin Crutsinger's Wednesday, May 11 coverage of that day's release of Uncle Sam's April 2011 Monthly Treasury Statement was such a train wreck that I had to turn away before I could get through it, hoping against hope that if I came back a few days later it wouldn't seem so bad. Of course I was wrong.
How was Marty Crutisinger's report erroneous, incomplete, misleading, and from all appearances politically-driven? Let me count just some of the ways, as I go through selected segments from his report:
New York Times Washington reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg managed to write an entire story about the marital woes of potential Republican presidential candidates yet only vaguely glanced over President Bill Clinton, whose proven adultery and allegations of sexual harassment almost brought down his presidency and led to his impeachment.
A marital crisis in the thick of a campaign always requires an explanation. Thus did Hillary Rodham Clinton sit by her husband, Bill, for what seemed like an excruciating "60 Minutes" interview about his alleged infidelity -- an appearance that, in the eyes of many, helped save his 1992 presidential campaign (and foreshadowed unseemly aspects of his presidency).
Stolberg’s lead story for the Sunday Week in Review, "Marital Matters Of 2012," avoided the names "Paula Jones" and "Monica Lewinsky," but had plenty of details about Cheri Daniels, wife of Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, and Callista Gingrich, wife of Newt. She also completely omitted the fascinating infidelities of 2004 vice presidential Democratic nominee, and 2008 contender, John Edwards.