If you've been wondering where the Associated Press's 2013 entry into the "Worst AP Report Ever" contest has been hiding, have no fear. It's here. Oh, it's not as bad as the current worst-ever leader, the laughably execrable "Everything seemingly is spinning out of control" in June 2008. Nevertheless, it's a "strong" entry -- as in almost indescribably weak as journalism.
The AP's (Abandon All) Hope Yen believes she has exclusive "news" she simply must share with you: Most Americans face significant economic stress sometime in their lives. Stop the presses, shut down the Internet, and cancel Christmas. Excerpts follow the jump.
For the past few years, MSNBC hosts have run “Lean Forward” ads wherein they push different liberal advocacy issues from universal health care to considering children to be the collective "property" of the "community." MSNBC’s latest “Lean Forward” ad features host Alex Wagner focusing on yet another liberal pet project: raising the federal minimum wage.
In an ad which aired on July 25, Wagner whined that, “I don’t understand why there isn’t a more robust conversation about the minimum wage.” Wagner, a former cultural correspondent for the liberal think-tank Center for American Progress, has been featured in numerous “Lean Forward” ads, including one where she mocks Republican efforts to strengthen border security. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
On Thursday's All In show, as Chris Hayes complained about the vote by House Republicans to separate the food stamp program from the farm bill, the MSNBC host accused GOPers of taking the action "so they could focus solely on the farm stuff and really embrace not caring about the poor."
Hayes also charged that Republicans had "jettisoned 47 million hungry Americans." The MSNBC host began the segment:
Left-wing journalist Bill Moyers made a truly ludicrous attempt on Monday to twist the meaning of a particular two-word phrase. It happened while he was appearing on PBS’s Charlie Rose show to promote an upcoming documentary in which he tells the stories of two struggling families in Milwaukee. Looking the host in the eye, Moyers warned, “Never underestimate the power of learned helplessness.”
Rose appeared confused, so Moyers clarified what he meant: “Learned helplessness. That if you hear propaganda over and again, if you hear ideology over and again, you learn to be helpless because you think there's nothing you can do about it.” That sounds like a good description of what journalists on PBS, MSNBC and other outlets are responsible for. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
The liberal chorus at MSNBC has made it a relentless mission to attack Republicans as unconcerned about the poor. Evening hosts Chris Matthews and Chris Hayes are just two recent examples, the former claiming the GOP “spent months...trying to keep black people and poor people from voting,” and the latter slamming Republicans for an “anti-food stamp jihad.”
The hypocrisy of these attacks may shine through this weekend, as the network broadcasts live from the Essence Festival in New Orleans, from July 5 through July 7. Now, the Essence Festival’s primary purpose is to “celebrate black culture, music and people,” a mission no one could or should criticize. But the Lean Forward network is choosing to promote their GOP-bashing agenda – which includes criticism for Republicans who want to “tear down the poor” – from a festival where the most affordable tickets are currently more than $60 per ticket, per night.
MSNBC anchor Alex Witt turned into a skeptic of federal government spending on Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, but before you get too excited, it was predictably in service of a larger liberal agenda. Witt questioned the wisdom of a $30 billion border security amendment that is now being debated in the Senate. This amendment to the larger Senate immigration bill calls for 20,000 additional border control agents, 700 miles of additional fencing along the southern border, and the expanded use of radar and drone technology.
Regarding the $30 billion cost of the amendment, Witt expressed her fear to U.S. News and World Report’s Lauren Fox: “[W]e're talking about a heck of a lot of money to help secure this border but will it actually accomplish that?” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
The Washington Post’s Fact Checker Glen Kessler likes to portray himself as fair and unbiased but has a tendency to scrutinize Republicans a lot harder than their Democratic counterparts. Take for example a June 20 fact-check item when Kessler labeled a misleading challenge by Democratic members of Congress to live on $4.50 a day for food as only partially false, receiving two out of the maximum four “Pinocchios.”
At issue is 30 Democratic congressman who voluntarily chose to live on $4.50 a day for food, the amount the average family receives in supplemental assistance from the federal SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) program. Despite admitting that the Democrats’ “challenge” is false on its face, he deemed their act worthy of only 2 “Pinocchios.”
On Thursday's The Last Word on MSNBC, during a segment with food activist Tom Colicchio, substitute host Alex Wagner raised the left-wing activist's stated desire that those who oppose his agenda be labeled as "pro-hunger" as she seemed sympathetic to the idea. Wagner:
On Wednesday's PoliticsNation show, MSNBC host Al Sharpton charged that Republicans are waging a "full-scale war against the poor" because of GOP efforts to reform the food stamp program, and went on to assert that "This party will stop at nothing to tear down the poor. Just as they have time and time again."
With the words "The Hunger Shames" in the background, the MSNBC host began the show:
On Wednesday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes again claimed that House Republicans are waging a "jihad" in trying to cut the food stamp program, asserting that "the GOP's jihad on those in need gets uglier every single day."
The MSNBC also fretted again over the possibility that violent felons may lose benefits while MSNBC contributor Joy Reid tried to link racism against minorities to the battle over food stamps. Reid:
On Tuesday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes complained about an "anti-food stamp jihad" by House Republicans, and attacked the GOP for putting on a "shameful spectacle" in trying to cut the food stamp program.
With the words "War on the Poor" and an image of House Speaker John Boehner displayed on screen behind him, Hayes railed:
A search at Google News on "households food stamps record" done at 9 p.m. ET (not in quotes, sorted by date, with duplicates and similar items) returned three items. Two are at the Daily Caller (here and here); and the other is at Reason.com. Program statistics for March, the latest month available, show that a record 23.12 million households -- one in every five in the U.S. -- received food stamp benefits. At 47.73 million, the total number of persons receiving benefits was only 65,000 below the record set in December. In 2008, average participation was less than 29 million.
That search result shows, despite the fact that records are supposed to be news, that the establishment press is completely uninterested in communicating the fact that the food stamp program continues to grow, though very slowly, even as the economy supposedly recovers. There is one number that the press has been citing frequently, namely the number of people who might be removed from the food stamp rolls if language attempting to limit the program to people who are truly in need remains in the otherwise bloated disaster known as the farm bill.
On Thursday's PoliticsNation, MSNBC host Al Sharpton complained about "shameless" Republicans trying to cut food stamp benefits and creating "a whole bunch of ugly names for people who need a little help," as he was joined by MSNBC.com Executive Editor Richard Wolffe and Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia. The MSNBC host grumbled:
Jonathan Alter showed up on PBS’s Charlie Rose Wednesday to promote the new book in which he celebrates Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection. The Bloomberg columnist doesn’t seem to understand the irony of his book’s title – The Center Holds. He really does believe President Obama is a centrist, and he attempted to explain the title from the comfort of Rose’s dark studio:
“So the reason I call the book The Center Holds is, you know, not just ObamaCare, but he has defended the American social contract against an assault by the American Right.”
On Friday's All In show on MSNBC, host Chris Hayes recounted the recent activities of several Republican political figures which he regarded as examples of GOP members "being jackasses," and coined the Hayes-ism "jackassery" as he used some variation of the word "jackass" 11 times during the segment. After teasing the show, the MSNBC host immediately got to attacking Republicans:
Jason Richwine -- who recently resigned from the Heritage Foundation over objectively observing, in the words of a Fox News report, "that Hispanics had a lower IQ than American whites, and that their descendants would too" -- call wherever your new office is. Or maybe go left and apply for a job at Mother Jones.
At that the arch-liberal rag, Erika Eichelberger, in objecting to a congressional proposal relating to the Food Stamp program, has reacted hysterically and predictably. But in the process, she also acknowledged a sad reality, which is a really dangerous thing to do in LeftyLand (HT Twitchy):
On the Wednesday, May 22, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell show on MSNBC, host O'Donnell called for the defeat of a "vicious" Senate amendment pushed by Louisiana Republican Senator David Vitter which would bar people convicted of some violent crimes from receiving welfare benefits.
The MSNBC host complained that the children of a criminal would "pay for his crime by going hungry," and called for "human decency" to defeat the measure. O'Donnell began the short segment:
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick's attempt to keep his state's agencies from releasing detailed data on the use of the public-assistance system by the Tsarnaev family, whose sons, one dead and one in custody, are accused of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, appeared to be successful last week.
Ah, but Patrick, apparently feeling some heat, did agree "to release the information only to a House oversight committee where it will remain a secret." Except it's not a secret any more, at least in the aggregate, based on a report in the Boston Herald by Chris Cassidy which, based on when story comments first began appearing, went up during the middle of the afternoon today:
The Boston Herald has broken the story -- a scoop even the Boston Globe has acknowledged -- that "Tamerlan Tsarnaev was living on taxpayer-funded state welfare benefits even as he was delving deep into the world of radical anti-American Islamism."
A responsible national establishment press would treat this as an important story, because, as the Herald's Chris Cassidy noted in the understatement of the day, it "raises questions over whether Tsarnaev financed his radicalization on taxpayer money." Several paragraphs from the Herald story, followed by a look at how Todd Wallack and Beth Healy at the Globe handled their story on the family's finances, follow the jump.
Here’s a good definition of what The Washington Post doesn’t find newsworthy. The big headline on the front page of Monday’s Washington Examiner was “Most on D.C. welfare don’t look for work: 22% of able recipients meet job-search rules.”
A quick Nexis search of The Washington Post finds no attempt to report on this sad fact in the last few weeks. Examiner reporter Eric Newcomer explained:
There never seems to be a shortage of extreme and vitriolic language spewing out of the folks at MSNBC. The latest example of the extreme rhetoric appearing on MSNBC programming comes from a guest on the weekend show Melissa Harris-Perry.
Appearing as one of Ms. Perry’s guests was Anthea Butler, associate professor of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania, who, when discussing record numbers of Americans now on food stamps, compared Walmart, the nation’s largest employer, to a “sharecropper.” [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
A lengthy – 3,500 word – anguished expose on the front page of Sunday’s Washington Post, “Hungering for a new month to begin,” about how people in Woonsocket, Rhode Island race to the grocery stores on the first of the month to spend their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) payment, yet run out of food long before the month ends, didn’t offer a word about President Obama’s responsibility for the poor economy.
Deep in it, however, reporter Eli Saslow undermined his case when he sympathetically cited “a series of exhausting, fractional decisions” a couple with two toddlers face over having to choose between food “or the $75 they owed the tattoo parlor.”
When liberals and their media allies have an agenda to push, they’ll use any tool at hand. The left often rails against the presence of religion in civic life, mocking conservative Christians as “Taliban” agitating for theocracy. But other times, they find faith to be a handy weapon to bludgeon conservatives. And they’ll go so far as to reinterpret and rewrite the Bible to justify any liberal cause, no matter how outrageous.
In 2010, MSNBC anchor Melissa Harris-Perry summed up this strategy in her call for “re-imagining the Bible as a tool of progressive social change.” Huffington Post contributor Mike Lux embraced Harris-Perry’s advice, writing that the Bible embodies “all kinds” of “liberal, lefty, progressive values.”
Katie Zezima at the Associated Press is the latest in a long line of reporters sucked into the fundamental dishonesty of the "Food Stamp Challenges" which have been taking place around the country for more than five years.
Zezima's misdirection came at the direction of Newark, New Jersey's Democratic mayor Cory Booker, who challenged one of his Twitter followers several weeks ago to, in Zezima's words, "try to live on the monetary equivalent of food stamps for at least a week" in connection with "a debate about the role the government should play in school nutrition funding." Those two quoted characterizations expose the two main problems with the Food Stamp Challenge. I'll explain both after excerpting a bit more of Zezima's December 11 dispatch after the jump:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its latest report on food stamp program participation through September today. I received the email alerting me to the release at 5:17 p.m., so it seems reasonable to believe that USDA and the Barack Obama administration wanted the new data to get as little attention as possible (as will be seen later, it's currently getting none). If so, they have two probable reasons for wishing to minimize its impact.
The first and more obvious of the two is that the food stamp rolls increased by over 607,000 in September to 47.71 million, yet another all-time record. That's awful enough, but here's the real kicker: the participation figure for July, the last month of data available before Election Day, was revised up by over 150,000, changing that month's reported increase from 11,600 to just under 166,000. As will be seen after the jump, no other month's data was revised except August, where the changes were infinitesimal.
How dare Catholic bishops use their teaching authority to speak out in favor of religious liberty! That was the thrust of University of Dayton theology professor Vincent Miller’s November 8 post on CNN’s Belief Blog (which has a tendency to attack conservative ideas) titled “Catholic Bishops’ Election Behavior Threatens Their Authority.”
Miller complained that: “The Catholic Church was well within its rights to conduct its campaign on religious liberty, but its “Preserve Religious Freedom” yard signs were clearly designed to be placed alongside partisan candidate signs.” He continued by bewailing the supposed partisan nature of the campaign: “The technically nonpartisan nature of the Church’s religious liberty campaign was further drowned out by a small chorus of strident bishops who left no doubt about how Catholics ought to vote for president.”
In their third Presidential debate analysis, the Jurassic Press Media last night and thus far this morning have failed utterly in their role as fact checker and record-corrector - at least when it comes to what President Barack Obama had to say.
As but one glaring example, there were the President’s absurd assertions regarding the auto bailout and China.
In August, in response to an ad from the campaign of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney claiming that the Obama administration's Department of Health and Human Services had just weakened the work requirements of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (also known as TANF, or "traditional welfare"), Molly Moorhead at the so-called fact check site PolitiFact gave the ad a "Pants on Fire" rating, the one supposedly reserved for the most scurrilous lies propagated by politicians and others. Russell Sykes, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute has just doused PolitiFact's imaginary flames -- but don't hold your breath waiting for PoltiFact to recognize it.
Earlier this week, the GAO said the Obama administration evaded the law by waiving welfare requirements, but CNN failed to mention the report. Neither CBS nor ABC reported it as well.
According to the GAO, the administration's directive issued in July “is subject to the requirement that it be submitted to both Houses of Congress and the Comptroller General before it can take effect.” Thus, the Obama administration, by law, should have submitted it to Congress for review first, under the Congressional Review Act (CRA).