On Friday, the government reported that the economy grew by an annualized 2.5 percent during the first quarter. As I noted in Part 1 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), three establishment press outlets (CNN, Bloomberg, and Reuters) pronounced the result "disappointing" -- but not Martin Crutsinger and Christopher Rugaber at the Associated Press, whose headline read "AFTER NEAR-STALL IN LATE 2012, US ECONOMY PICKS UP," and whose content described the economy as having "quickened its pace" as "the strongest consumer spending in two years fueled a 2.5 percent annual growth rate in the January-March quarter."
It turns out that the AP pair's enthusiasm was not only not shared at other news organizations. It wasn't even shared within AP, as will be seen after the jump.
On Friday, the government reported that the economy grew by an annualized 2.5 percent during the first quarter. The awful 0.4 percent result seen in the fourth quarter was largely sloughed off as caused by a number of one-time factors. Analysts convinced themselves that reported first-quarter growth would come in at 3.0 percent or slightly higher in Friday's release. Instead, we saw what Zero Hedge noted was the biggest such expectations miss since September 2011.
As a result, at least three establishment press organizations pronounced the result disappointing -- except for two business reporters at the Associated Press whose names are virtual fixtures here.
The left's media-echo chamber just got louder. On Thursday morning in a claimed exclusive, the Politico reported that "(Former presidential adviser and campaign official David) Plouffe will appear regularly on Bloomberg Television to offer analysis and commentary on political and business issues as they impact the intersection of Wall Street, Main Street and K Street and will lend his expertise to the discussion of technology, demographic changes and crisis management."
That day at his new place of work, in response to a "kerfuffle" over errors in an academic paper which showed that, throughout history, government debt levels have held back economic growth -- errors which the authors insisted in a New York Times op-ed did not alter the fundamental validity of their conclusions, Plouffe delivered exactly what one would expect of a "former" lead Obama apparatchik:
What is it with Martin Bashir and his tendency to talk dirty to women guests?
A couple of months ago, we noted the MSNBC host claiming to guest Karen Finney that Senator Marco Rubio, in his questioning of a hearing witness, was seeking to show that he had "very strong testicles." This evening, taking things a vulgar step further, Bashir told another Dem woman that Americans so detest Congress that they "would rather contract gonorrhea" than show respect for that institution. View the video after the jump.
Add liberal host Bill Press to the list of liberals who want the sequester to hurt Americans in order to prove a political point. On Tuesday morning’s Full Court Press, his radio talk show simulcast on Current TV, Press predicted that the FAA furloughs that went into effect Sunday will be just the tip of the big, bad sequester iceberg:
“[Y]ou know what, it’s gonna get worse and worse and worse and worse and at some point, Americans are gonna be down on their knees saying please get rid of this sequester. It’s gotta happen; you cannot do these across-the-board mindless cuts without having impacts like we started to see yesterday.” But Press didn't stop there, insisting that he "hoped" such delays continued and that they become "un-freaking bearable in every way." [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
There are times when I’d really like to see a liberal brain next to a conservative brain to see if there really is a physiological difference.
Consider Salon’s Joan Walsh who on MSNBC’s The Cycle Wednesday actually said the reason former President George Bush’s poll numbers are up is because President Obama is doing such a good job (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As the Big Three –NBC, ABC, and CBS – continue to engage in, to borrow a George Will term, journalistic malpractice over ObamaCare’s adverse effects on the economy, they probably missed the development concerning Democrats who are calling for repeal of a tax which was embedded within the behemoth health care overhaul.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is ramping up her efforts to repeal the tax on medical devices that’s included in ObamaCare. The liberal Talking Points Memo reported today that it’s building upon a vote last month,where the majority of Senate Democrats voted with their GOP colleagues to repeal the tax. Klobuchar, of course, voted for ObamaCare. But wait, there's more discontent from Democratic ranks, with Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus warning of a coming "train wreck" when ObamaCare is scheduled for full implementation in 2014.
It's no surprise that the liberal media are ignoring poll after poll showing widespread discontent, even among Democrats, with ObamaCare. But what's utterly inexcusable is the man-bites-dog story coming out of a labor union this week, which is now calling for ObamaCare's repeal.
Janet Adamy of the Wall Street Journal noted on April 16 that the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers is the first union to call for the repeal of Obamacare. Why? Because it could lead to members losing their existing coverage:
On April 4, the Associated Press' Christopher Rugaber wrote: "Gone are the fears that the economy could fall into another recession."
Having in effect announced the repeal of the business cycle for the foreseeable future, despite the fact that the economy's post-recession job recovery performance has been the worst since World War II by miles, it seems that Rugaber is now doing his best to prop up his assertion with shaky claims about the meaning of government economic reports. That would include the second sentence of his opening paragraph of his dispatch on Thursday's report on jobless claims from the government's Department of Labor (bolds are mine):
For about two decades now the liberal media have been blaring the warning sirens about global warming and calling for greater government regulation and taxation to stop it. On April 18, Russell Gold of the Wall Street Journal gave readers an excellent front-page article exploring how U.S. carbon emissions have decreased in the past few years, not thanks to government action but the power of the free market. It's expanded natural gas exploration -- something that drives the environmentalist Left batty, by the way -- which is the chief culprit for reduced emissions.
Energy-related emissions of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas that Is widely believed to contribute to global warming, have fallen 12% between 2005 and 2012 and are at their lowest level since 1994, according to a recent estimate by the Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the U.S. Energy Department.
With the monumental collapse of the president’s anti-gun agenda, many are wondering if both sides will “go back into their corners” on gun control. Every single measure in this new bill failed, which elicited the wrath of the president yesterday in the Rose Garden. During the April 17 broadcast of the PBS NewsHour, Gwen Ifill asked why these measures failed to pass, mentioned the popularity of background checks, and failed to press Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on past statements about how this bill really wouldn’t have prevented Sandy Hook ergo more mass shootings.
In fairness, Ifill also had Lawrence Keane of the National Shooting Sports Foundation and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Democrat from Conneticut, on the program to discuss the failed bill. While he said his organization supported some of the amendments in the bill, they couldn’t back it due to the background check provision, noting it would have harmed gun sellers who rely heavily on weekend sales, when most customers come to their stores [emphasis mine]:
In the health-care insurance debate, one of the mantras of the left is to condemn those evil, greedy insurance companies that would charge higher rates to people with "pre-existing conditions."
But in a commercial aired on last night's Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, there was "Progressive Insurance," whose chairman Peter Lewis is a huge donor to liberal causes including Moveon.org, condemning as "rate suckers" people with bad driving records who drive up good drivers' rates! View the video after the jump.
Documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request revealed that agents for the Internal Revenue Service are bypassing warrants and sifting through the email and other electronic communications of American citizens.
Those documents disclosed that "agents were told they didn't need a warrant to root through emails, texts or Facebook pages of people (the IRS) is investigating," according to Fox News.
The old adage "better late than never" might not apply in the case of President Obama's tardily filed budget.
It's one thing to habitually arrive late for scheduled appearances selfishly to build suspense and annoy those in attendance, but it's another to present this document two months late and after both the House and Senate have passed their own respective budgets.
A couple of weeks ago, Black Entertainment Television founder Bob Johnson, speaking at The National Press Club, said the nation "would never tolerate white unemployment at 14 and 15 percent." Black unemployment has been double that of white Americans for more than 50 years. The black youth unemployment rate is more than 40 percent nationally. In some cities, unemployment for black working-age males is more than 50 percent. Let's look at this, but first let's look at some history.
From 1900 to 1954, blacks were more active than whites in the labor market. Until about 1960, black male labor force participation in every age group was equal to or greater than that of whites. During that period, black teen unemployment was roughly equal to or less than white teen unemployment. As early as 1900, the duration of black unemployment was 15 percent shorter than that of whites; today it's about 30 percent longer. To do something about today's employment picture requires abandonment of sacred cows and honesty.
Legendary British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has passed away, and given that she was a conservative, PBS can’t let her go without finding some way to criticize her. On Tuesday evening’s PBS NewsHour, Time Magazine’s Rana Foroohar was brought on to discuss Thatcher’s legacy. Why Foroohar? Well, according to anchor Gwen Ifill, not only does she cover economics and business, she also lived in Britain for nine years.
Foroohar got right to work, describing Thatcher as a “very divisive character” and a “very, very polarizing figure.” Ifill asked her if there are presently any heirs to Thatcher’s world view, and Foroohar responded that Thatcher’s heirs reside in the developing world and emerging markets. These countries are at a stage where Thatcher’s ideas of privatization and free markets can help them, according to Foroohar.
Any time you see an establishment press reporter fail to use quotation marks in characterizing something said by a subject of his or her report, be on the lookout for misdirection, misinterpretation, and downright distortion, especially if the person is a conservative or Republican. A story at Politico by Donovan Slack early this afternoon about the reactions of House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to President Obama's budget is a case in point. Slack pretended that Boehner said something he simply did not say.
Slack wrote: "House Speaker John Boehner hit President Obama's budget for failing to cut enough spending while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed it as 'just another left-wing wish list.'" Slack didn't quote Boehner. Boehner didn't come anywhere close to saying what Slack claims he said, as seen in the complete text of the Speaker's statement (video is at the link) following the jump:
President Obama’s budget is finally out -- a mere 65 days late -- and it’s loaded with tax increases.
At yesterday’s press briefing, White House flack-in-chief Jay Carney admitted that middle class tax increases were coming. But if a tree falls in the woods, does anyone hear it? Major media outlets like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and sadly even the Wall Street Journal failed to mention this aspect in their coverage of the budget’s unveiling today. Here's the relevant exchange from the April 9 briefing (emphasis mine):
On Tuesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC host O'Donnell fretted that people "suffer deprivations" in the United States because the U.S. is the "world's biggest tax haven" with a relatively low tax burden compared to other countries. After showing his viewers a chart recounting that the U.S. ranks 31st in the percentage of the economy the government collects in taxes, O'Donnell added:
Karen Finney’s days as a Democratic National Committee spokeswoman are over, but you would never know that by listening to her speak in her current role as MSNBC contributor. On Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, Finney essentially reprised her role as DNC press secretary during a discussion with former Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) about President Obama’s proposed budget.
Host Alex Witt asked Finney how tough it would be for the president to get his own party on board with his budget proposal, given that many Democrats are upset about the proposed cuts to Medicare and Social Security. Finney ignored the question, instead using it as a chance to attack House Speaker John Boehner and the GOP. “I think [Boehner’s] reaction basically showed that Republicans are not at all sincere about wanting to work with the president. They won't accept the balanced approach," she groused. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Maybe MSNBC was trying to deflect some of the controversy surrounding Melissa Harris-Perry's previous "Lean Forward" promo by pushing out a new one. MH-P had provoked outrage in that earlier promo by proclaiming that "kids belong to their communities," not to their parents.
But if anything, the new promo aired during today's Morning Joe just adds fuel to MH-P's socialist fire. While claiming to defend meritocracy, Harris-Perry could only grudgingly admit that the most successful should earn "a little more." She then proceeded to proclaim as a right "health care, education, decent housing and quality food at all times." From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs, anyone? View the video after the jump.
On Monday's All In show on MSNBC, host Chris Hayes praised Britain's "beloved" national health care program as possibly "one of the great hallmarks of western social democracy," as he admitted to delivering criticism from a liberal point of view of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's administration.
While most regular people don’t really know or care who he is, Rupert Murdoch is among a small handful of individuals who is most despised by the far left in this country. Unlike many others, he also has the great distinction of being loathed by exponents of socialism worldwide.
After reading (or watching) the speech which he recently gave to an Australian think tank called the Institute of Public Affairs about the moral superiority of free markets, it’s not hard to see why those who would enslave markets because they believe them to be based on greed would despise Murdoch, especially since he has the absolute temerity to dare to own newspapers, movie studios, and television channels across the globe.
Sometimes the media will engage in selective amnesia, pretending to forget about a past occurrence because the memory of it would hurt the liberal narrative they are trying to advance. That was clearly the case on this Saturday’s CBS This Morning.
The network’s political director, John Dickerson, was on to discuss President Obama’s forthcoming budget proposal, which is expected to include some cuts to the growth rate of Social Security. Unsurprisingly, Dickerson spoke entirely from the president’s point of view, essentially relaying the White House message to congressional Republicans, the crux of which was: “[Obama]’s also trying to create some public pressure on Republicans, saying look, I've offered something on my end, now you have to offer something, which in this case means some agreement to some level of tax increases.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Your daily dose of inadvertent humor comes from an article by Annie Lowrey at the New York Times on Sunday evening ("Lew to Press for European Policy Changes"; also in today's print edition).
In "covering" (from Washington?) Treasury Secretary Jack Lew's four-day European trip for meetings with EU leaders encouraging them to pursue "growth" policies -- which in Keynesians' fevered minds always really means "stimulus" and not genuine growth-driven initiatives -- Lowrey wrote the following (bold is mine):
There was a lousy jobs report from the Labor Department last Friday that has led some people to fear the already soft economic recovery might be slowing down.
Despite this, ABC's George Stephanopoulos, during a lengthy This Week interview with Barack Obama senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer Sunday, didn't ask one single question about that report or the state of the economy.