Poverty

By Brad Wilmouth | August 19, 2013 | 6:32 PM EDT

On Friday's PoliticsNation show, MSNBC host Al Sharpton reacted to FNC's Bill O'Reilly criticizing him the night before, as the FNC host had called out Sharpton for taking out of context his contention that some who receive food stamps are "parasites" who take advantage of the system, and divulged that he had made a donation to one of Sharpton's charities in the past.

After having tagged O'Reilly with "hypocrisy" in a plug before the segment, Sharpton brought up the donation from O'Reilly and declared:

By Matthew Sheffield | August 14, 2013 | 12:10 PM EDT

In recent years, there has been a lot of discussion about the expense of the welfare state. There has not been much discussion about the effects of its expansiveness and generosity on those who qualify for its assistance, however. There also does not seem to be much of a realization of just how much more today’s beneficiaries receive.

Since the American establishment media are so utterly uninterested in asking questions that might undermine left-wing beliefs, we must turn instead to a new television series airing in the UK called “Benefits Britain 1949.”

By Tom Blumer | August 11, 2013 | 8:53 PM EDT

One has to sift through the biased blather to get to it, but Mary Clare Jalonick's August 1 coverage at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, of the House's plans to rein in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, still popularly called "food stamps," contains an important admission which most of the establishment press has avoided as the program's costs and enrollment have skyrocketed, all in the name of preserving the false impression that the program is exclusively about preventing people from starving.

As usual, one of those distractions is the tired idea that what the House is proposing represents harmful "cuts," when what is really occurring is a long overdue and yet still watered-down effort to target benefits to the truly eligible and prevent their disbursement to people who either don't need them or shouldn't get them (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

By Brad Wilmouth | July 31, 2013 | 6:56 PM EDT

On Tuesday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, host Al Sharpton complained that a "war on the poor" has been "launched" by the right, prompting  Washington Post political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson to complain of a "dangerous tone" from conservatives and "antipathy towards Americans."

Setting up clips from Rush Limbaugh and FBN's Charles Payne, Sharpton fretted:

By Tom Blumer | July 28, 2013 | 3:27 PM EDT

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.

By Jeffrey Meyer | July 25, 2013 | 1:30 PM EDT

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.]

By Paul Bremmer | July 23, 2013 | 4:38 PM EDT

MSNBC has apparently realized that Americans are not concerned about the sequester, so the Lean Forward network has made another attempt to convince us how terrible it really is. In an article published Monday on msnbc.com, writer Timothy Noah sent readers a grim message that was summed up in the article’s title: “The Sequester Isn’t Hurting You? Think Again.”

Noah struck a strikingly condescending tone in his opening paragraph: “If you don’t think Washington’s budget sequestration is hurting you financially, you’re probably wrong. But before considering why you’re wrong, let’s think about how you acquired that foolish sense of invulnerability.”

By Tim Graham | July 21, 2013 | 7:03 AM EDT

If you were wondering whether any liberal media veteran could have made the networks sound less clueless about the reasons for Detroit filing for bankruptcy, one answer was longtime Washington Post foreign correspondent Keith Richburg. In an article on the Post website (but not in the newspaper), Richburg wrote painfully about the demise of his beloved hometown, and how racial polarization and crime and political corruption have destroyed it.

His personal story, including his relatives who remained in the urban blight, offered the most gripping testimony:

By Tom Blumer | July 16, 2013 | 1:07 AM EDT

Whatever they're paying Teresa Ghilarducci, who is "the Bernard L. and Irene Schwartz chair of economic policy analysis at the New School for Social Research," it's too much.

The bolded sentences seen after the jump which Ms. Ghilarducci included in a Friday New York Times op-ed (HT "Mungowitz" at the "Kids Prefer Cheese" blog via Megan McArdle) makes my contention an open and shut case (bolds are mine throughout this post):

By Tom Blumer | July 12, 2013 | 4:29 PM EDT

This one is a lead candidate for top placement in this week's "Even a stopped clock is right twice day" file.

MSNBC's Michael Smerconish, whose NewsBusters archive exposes him as a Barack Obama-supporting, right-wing conspiracy-mongering faux conservative, had a perhaps surprising reaction to the District of Columbia City Council's 8-5 vote to force Walmart and other big box retailers in the city -- just the ones which aren't unionized -- a living wage of $12.50 per hour. In a Thursday evening column at the network's website, he advised DC Mayor Vincent Gray to veto it, and was actually quite logical about it (bold is mine):

By Jeffrey Meyer | July 11, 2013 | 11:51 AM EDT

Walmart, the nation’s largest retail employer is in the process of building the very first of its planned six brand-new stores in Washington, D.C., but the liberal city council plans to welcome them into the city with new legislation mandating that the company "pay their employees a 50 percent premium over the city’s minimum wage." Yet in his 27- paragraph story in the July 11 Washington Post, staff writer Mike DeBonis ignored how the legislation exempts large retailers with unionized workers from paying the premium minimum wage.

The Arkansas-based retailer has threatened to halt construction on its planned six stores, citing the fact that the added labor costs inject uncertainty about the profitability of the operations given the new law's mandates. DeBonis noted that the law requires "[r]etailers with corporate sales of $1 billion or more and operating in spaces 75,000 square feet or larger would be required to pay employees no less than $12.50 an hour." Curiously, however, DeBonis failed to mention an exemption in the law that shields unionized companies like grocery chain Safeway from the bill.  DeBonis choose to cite union supporters who support the de facto tax on Wal-Mart, without explaining why unions would love a proposed law that would exclude them from its penalty.

By Paul Bremmer | July 9, 2013 | 6:00 PM EDT

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.