Though it occupies four web pages, it's hard to avoid thinking that Alex Isenstadt at Politico is hoping news consumers only look at his story's headline ("Democrats' drive to retake House falters") and not its damning yet still woefully incomplete content.
The headline would make you think that Dems will gain seats, but not enough to achieve a majority. Isenstadt bravely concludes early on that "Democrats are expected to pick up five seats at best ... (and) might even lose ground and drop one or two seats to the Republican majority. But the rest of his writeup virtually screams "double-digit losses," and fails in several respects to properly assign blame for what appears to be an impending Democratic Party debacle (bolds are mine):
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.
Saturday evening, via Emerson Marcus and with the Associated Press contributing, the Reno Gazette-Journal, which I hope doesn't try to describe itself as a family newspaper, published an irony-free a 500-word story (HT to a NewBusters tipster) on an appearance by Sandra Fluke earlier in the day "in front of about 10 people at the Sak ‘N Save in north Reno." You can't make this stuff up.
The story is currently the "Most Popular" at the paper's rgj.com home page. The Gazette-Journal seems to have been determined to hype Fluke's appearance no matter what so it could take shots at Rush Limbaugh and employ the "s-word" ("slut") Rush Limbaugh used (and then apologized for having used) to describe Ms. Fluke. It even employed the word in promoting her upcoming appearance in advance in one of two items dated Friday which were apparently meant for Saturday's print edition.
Jake Sherman at the Politico is suffering from the same detachment from reality I found his colleague Anna Palmer in this morning (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog).
Palmer's piece asserted that an election win by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney would herald the return of l-l-l-lobbyists, who have supposedly (not actually) been a rare presence in the pristine and pure Obama administration. Sherman's affliction is just as serious, if not moreso, as in an item posted Monday evening, he characterizes 2012 as a "non-Tea Party year," and seems to believe that everyone who disapproves of the job Congress has been doing must be to the left of House Speaker John Boehner. Hilarity follows the jump:
Specter served as a liberal Republican for most of his career before switching to the Democratic Party in 2009 in an unsuccessful attempt to preserve his seat. But while Specter battled conservative icon Judge Robert Bork and helped deny Bork a seat on the Supreme Court, it's a later Supreme Court dust-up the Times and liberals refuse to forgive him for: His tough questioning of Anita Hill after she accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during Thomas's 1991 Supreme Court hearings.
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform convened for a hearing on Wednesday at 12 p.m. EDT to delve into the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Detailed accounts were heard, revelatory statements were made, but MSNBC's noon time program Now with Alex Wagner was too busy criticizing everything Mitt Romney has said over the last few years to even acknowledge what was transpiring, much less dip in to cover the hearing itself.
In an item which talks about a "secret retreat" planned by eight senators which is so "secret" that it's getting a two-page story, the Politico's John Bresnahan and Jake Sherman write that "If polls stay steady, (House Speaker John) Boehner will be at the helm of a House filled with Republicans disappointed that Obama will have another four years in the White House."
Uh, last time I checked, pollsters' results can hold steady or go in whatever cooked or uncooked directions they wish, and they still won't determine the outcome of the election. Ballots by voters and the presumably accurate inclusion and counting of such ballots will. Besides, as will be shown, there are even more valid reasons to question poll results now than in the past. Several paragraphs from the rest of B&S's BS, which is apparently designed to get the country ready to accept "revenue" (i.e., tax) increases, follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post).
As of 2 PM ET, various searches at the national web site of the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press (on "furious"; on "Univision"), Reuters ("furious"; "fast and furious"; "univision"), and United Press International ("furious"; "Univision") indicate that the three wire services have given no coverage to reports from Univision exposing the wider geographic scope and far more fatal fallout of the deliberately untrackable guns-to-cartels operation known as Fast and Furious.
I wonder how the leading U.S. Spanish network's broadcasters and audience feel about getting the same treatment the establishment press gives center-right blogs? (A lengthy yet partial transcript of Univision's broadcast with details which will shock all but those who have immersed themselves in the evolving scandal follows the jump.)
For those who want the short answer to the question in this post's title, the answer is almost definitely "no." But in a New York Times op-ed piece in mid-September, former Obama "car czar" Steven Rattner effectively said that the so-called "fact-check" site known as PolitiFact should make amends to former Alaska Governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
This one requires a reality check before proceeding. First, a long list of Democratic Party candidates (per ABC on September 4, five for the Senate and eight for the House) -- including many incumbents, chose not to attend the Democratic Convention in Charlotte because (let's get real) they wanted to put distance between themselves, Barack Obama, and Obama's policies (and still do). Candidate absences from the Republican Convention were relatively rare. Second, six of the most recent seven polls listed at Real Clear Politics as of 10 p.m. ET showed Obama leading Mitt Romney nationally by three or fewer points. Third, state polls have turned in a couple of surprises this week showing Obama leading by just two points and one point, respectively in Pennsylvania and Ohio -- despite Ohio's poll giving Democrats a 10-point sample advantage.
It would therefore seem that you must live in a tightly sealed, Obama-loving bubble to believe that it is Mitt Romney's campaign which is "faltering" and that GOP House candidates would therefore try to avoid being seen with him. Politico's Alex Isenstadt lives in such a bubble (bolds are mine):
Yesterday, Uncle Sam's Monthly Treasury Statement for August officially confirmed the Congressional Budget Office's Monday estimate of how horrid it would be. The August deficit, driven by $369.393 billion in spending, the highest such single-month total in U.S. history, was $190.533 billion, the largest August deficit ever reported.
Naturally, Daniel Wagner at the Associated Press failed to report either record. Additionally, as seen here (saved at host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes), the wire service's news prioritizers had already removed Wagner's report from its top ten business stories by 5:05 p.m., only 2-1/2 hours after its 2:32 p.m. time stamp (apparently more important: Microsoft's malware problem in China and a second story on the new iPhone 5). Excerpts follow the jump.
The Washington Post doesn’t always report on voter fraud, but when it does, it buries the story in the Metro section.
At the bottom of page B4 in the September 11 issue, the Post noted a Democratic congressional candidate in Maryland who dropped out of the race yesterday after instances of her voter fraud were brought to light.
Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan is a Catholic – but not a good enough Catholic in the eyes of the media. Writers, bloggers, and talking heads have hammered Ryan for his supposed “dissent” from Catholic teaching.
Journalists have falsely claimed that the bishops “rebuked” Ryan and called his budget “un-Christian.” Writers who usually scorn the Church and its hierarchy fretted that the bishops found Ryan’s budget “uncompassionate.”
Tropical Storm Isaac is more than just a logistical inconvenience for Republicans gathered in Tampa: it is a powerful reminder both of Republican incompetence in handling Hurricane Katrina seven years ago, and the party’s no-less-disastrous plans to further cut emergency-related spending.
An Associated Press report by Helen O'Neill time-stamped Saturday afternoon claims that "a record number of deportations means record numbers of American children being left without a parent — despite President Barack Obama's promise that his administration would focus on removing only criminals."
Perhaps the assertion about more parents being forced to leave their kids behind is true. But the "record number of deportations" meme -- a recurring Obama administration claim frequently parroted by the press, despite Obama's other unilateral moves towards de facto amnesty -- is apparently a load of rubbish, based on a review of detailed records by the House Judiciary Committee noted by the Daily Caller's Caroline May on Saturday morning (bolds are mine):
In an apparent attempt to set the record for the most words expended on a multi-part non-story, Politico's Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan have supplemented their useless, 1,400-word August 19 item (noted at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) about how a one Republican congressman swam naked in Israel's Sea of Galilee with a 1,000-worder which asks a question no one cares about, and no one else is asking: "Who paid the GOP bar tab in Galilee?"
The bottom line on the first story was that the FBI investigated the trip by a Republican congressional delegation to see "whether any inappropriate behavior occurred" but has made no "formal allegations of wrongdoing." In other words, there was no reason to publish the story. Excerpts from the second story, for those who can stay awake (I'm having trouble with that), follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Don't believe in global warming? Are you pro-life? Then you're an idiot, says Timothy Egan, a former liberal New York Times reporter turned left-wing Times columnist. In his Friday online column "The Crackpot Caucus" he said of the Republican Party: "...if intelligence were contagious, [the GOP] would be giving out vaccines for it."
Egan strings together quotes of some congressional Republicans making missteps on matters of science and religion, before lumping creationist Republicans with pro-lifers and climate skeptics into one big bag of GOP anti-science stupidity.
Yesterday, James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web had this to say about the title of an Associated Press report ("Obama Defends Tenor of His Campaign, Slams Romney") covering President Obama's four-question "press conference" -- "The writer of this Associated Press headline is either witty or clueless."
The underlying writeup by Jim Kuhnhenn and Charles Babington wasn't witty, and was at least as clueless, especially in letting the howler about how Obama was supposedly able to "distance himself" from the "Mitt Romney caused my wife to die of cancer" meme his own campaign associated itself with earlier this year (verbiage relating to the Todd Akin situation in Missouri is also in the report; I'll defer to others in that matter; bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Mere hours after Politico reported on Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder's admitted skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee in Israel, CBS highlighted the story on its Monday morning newscast. By contrast, the network was slow to report on former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner's lewd photo scandal in 2011. On June 1 of that year, ABC and NBC's morning shows reported on the "underwear uproar," while CBS's Early Show punted on the story.
The following day, CBS played up conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart's early role in spreading word of the New York liberal's indecent Twitter pic: "Supporters of Weiner note that it was right-wing blogger, Andrew Breitbart, who broke the story. But Breitbart tells CBS News he had nothing to do with the supposed hack." Of course, Weiner would go on to admit that he sent the photo.
To get an idea of the Politico's priorities, first do a search on "Corzine." You'll find nothing from last week other than a reference to him as the defeated former Governor of New Jersey in an item about current Governor Chris Christie speaking at the upcoming Republican National Convention. So apparently no one cared to take notice of a New York Times story about how Corzine and apparently all other major players at bankrupt MF Global, which raided customers' accounts to the tune of $1.6 billion as it attempted to avoid its visit to death's door, will not face criminal prosecution.
Then go to something really, really important -- so important that it merited its own special breathless breaking news email a few hours ago. The nearly 1,400-word story from Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan that couldn't wait (actually, I believe it did, but more on that in a bit) is that a U.S. Congressman swam in the nude in Israel. Seriously -- I mean, unseriously (bolds are mine):
On Saturday's World News, ABC correspondent Jake Tapper explained President Barack Obama's deceptive strategy of trying to get voters to believe that Mitt Romney supports lowering his own tax rate to less than one percent by attacking a tax plan which his running rate, Paul Ryan, once proposed in Congress which is not part of Romney's own plan.
As he introduced a deceptive soundbite from President Obama, host David Muir raised the issue:
Hey, remember when Nancy Pelosi and a gaggle of Democratic women vowed to eradicate Washington's culture of corruption? Tee-hee. Instead of breaking up the Good Ol' Boys Club, Capitol Hill's leading liberal ladies have established their very own taxpayer-funded Sisterhood of the Plundering Hacks.
This week, the names of two of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's gal pals surfaced in a mortifying, Animal House-style scandal. If the allegations of whistleblowers pan out, DHS may soon be known as DSH: The Department of Sexual Harassment.
On Saturday's World News, ABC correspondent Jonathan Karl informed viewers that former Democratic President Bill Clinton had spoken favorably to Republican Rep. Paul Ryan about his budget plan that is so unpopular with other Democrats.
After recounting President Barack Obama's history of clashing with Rep. Ryan, Karl continued:
On a special Saturday edition of Hardball, MSNBC host Chris Matthews twice claimed that Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's budget "screws" needy people. During a segment with Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen, as he asked what it was like to work with Rep. Ryan as his colleague, the MSNBC host asserted that the plan "really screws the people who desperately need Medicare and programs like that."
Previewing the choice of Paul Ryan as the GOP vice presidential candidate, the ABC, CBS and NBC morning shows all used Democratic framing to describe the House GOP budget plan that Ryan championed as a plan to, as CBS’s Bob Schieffer put it, “cut more than $5 trillion over the next ten years.” ABC’s Bianna Golodryga passed along the demagogic rhetoric of liberals: “Democrats, meantime, contest that it will destroy Medicare and Social Security.”
But Ryan’s plan would actually increase federal spending over the next ten years, from about $3.6 trillion this year to just under $4.9 trillion in 2022. The $5 trillion in “cuts” are merely reductions from the much-higher spending anticipated by President Obama’s budget. (See tables starting on page 88.)
On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams read a short item noting the decision of Ohio Republican Congressman Steve LaTourette to retire from the House of Representatives this year, noting that he is "one of the last GOP moderates in Congress."
The NBC anchor also relayed LaTourette's complaint that "compromise has now become a dirty word."
It's becoming increasingly clear that the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, believes there are two primary kinds of users of its output: those who only read headlines and those who read on or click through. It often dresses up the headlines with inaccuracies, omissions, and occasional downright falsehoods, which more often than not are respectively rendered properly, included, and stated truthfully (or at least sort of close) in the actual content.
It's hard to find a more stark example of a contradiction between an AP headline and its underlying content than Martin Crutsinger's late afternoon report Friday following that morning's Gross Domestic Product report:
Appearing as a panel member on the Sunday, July 22, Melissa Harris-Perry show, MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Alter - formerly of Newsweek - charged that the NRA has "imposed" a "gag order" that makes politicians afraid to discuss enacting more gun control.
He went on to advise that those who support more gun laws should say to the NRA that "We're not going to let you silence us."
If the idea of tax increases is so darned popular, why do journalists "creatively" avoid using the term?
Here's an example from a lengthy Saturday report on Democrat Bob Kerrey's U.S. Senate comeback effort in Nebraska by Karen Tumulty at the Washington Post, wherein she describes the 1993 Clinton tax hikes as a "deficit-reduction plan" (bolds are mine):
Poor David Espo and Nancy Benac. A six-paragraph squib this morning headlined "Calls for gun control stir little support" at the wire service's national site and "Despite a string of high-profile shootings, calls for gun control stir little support" at Newser.com really should have been titled "Why Aren't You Guys Politicizing This, D**nit?"
The two AP "reporters" bitterly wail and gnash their teeth over how little outcry there has been for stricter gun laws after the Aurora, Colorado theater massacre (shown in full because of its brevity and subsequent later expansion, to be discussed later in this post, and for fair use and discussion purposes).