Yes, the viciousness is being directed at Democrats for not being spendthrift enough.
It's too early to tell whether President Bush and congressional Republicans have outmaneuvered the Democratic congressional majority, but it's looking that way. Old Media doesn't like it, and their inability to successfully buck up their side, one bit.
In the Washington Post's "Dems Blaming Each Other For Failures," Jonathan Weisman and Paul Kane are clearly critical:
According to ABC reporter Claire Shipman, dreary economic news and a slow Christmas could be a real plus for the Democrats. Filing a segment for Wednesday's "Good Morning America," Shipman lamented, "It may be that no amount of hall decking can convince Americans to be jolly about the economy this holiday season."
However, the GMA correspondent saw good news in this for the Democrats. She asserted, "Traditionally, of course, problems in the economy would help the Democrats." After allowing that GOP candidate Mike Huckabee's "populist message" could resonate, Shipman gushed, "Among the Democrats, John Edwards has the message that's most consistently appealing to people suffering from economic woes." Not wishing to leave any Democrat behind, she rhapsodized, "But at the same time, the Clinton brand has a strong economic reputation."
Hillary Clinton's performance in her interview with Maria "Money Honey" Bartiromo of CNBC last week was so bad that she must have sent a double (stop shivering at the thought, will ya?).
After all, the genuine Smartest Woman in the World couldn't possibly have said the things she said, as noted at Rush Limbaugh's site last Thursday. It got so bad that Bartiromo, who seemingly has barely cracked a smile since George Bush became president, felt compelled to challenge her.
Here is one of the choice offerings Mrs. Clinton served up:
(There are ) lots of people who come on your show who, you know, are gung-ho, protect the tax cuts for the wealthiest of Americans, that will not work if the economy slows down. You need to get money in the pockets of tens of hundreds of millions of Americans, and that's what I intend to do.
"I'm no longer fiery," Cramer said. "They had their chance," he said four months after the big tirade.
On the December 11 "Street Signs," Cramer's mood swung 180 degrees the other way after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates only 25 basis point to 4.25 percent - viewed as a disappointment by the shock stock picker.
In 2005, I sensed that journalists in general prefer to call this time of the year in commerce that of "holiday shopping" instead of "Christmas shopping," but that when it came to people losing their jobs, they preferred to describe layoffs as relating to "Christmas."
My instincts have been proven correct for two years running, as you can see below from the results of three different sets of Google News searches in November and December of 2005 and 2006 (links to 2005's related posts are here, here, and here; 2006's are here, here, and here):
Steve Fraser might look mild-mannered, but when it comes to economic doomsaying, he is the Rocky Marciano of recession, the Tiger Woods of turndown, the David Beckham of depression.
Speaking of bending one, Fraser's LA Times column of today, "Symptoms of an Economic Depression," twists U.S. economic data into a harbinger of impending doom. Fraser begins by falsely claiming that "no one wants to utter the word 'depression.'" In fact, Fraser himself, a left-wing labor historian, wants not merely to utter it, but to bellow the word with a 10,000 megawatt bullhorn. Why? Because, as he gleefully predicts in that same column:
This perfect storm [of a bad economy] will be upon us just as the election season heats up, and it will inevitably hasten the already well-advanced implosion of the Republican Party.
"The Senate's 88 to 5 vote" on a one-year reprieve for middle class taxpayers on the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) "blew a $50 billion hole in the Democrats' promise not to pass any spending or tax measure that would add to the deficit," Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman and Jeffrey Birnbaum reported today. The staff writers then rounded up three "conservative 'Blue Dog' Democrats" from the House of Representatives to rail against the Senate for lacking the courage to "take a tough vote," in the words of Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.).
But just how conservative are these "conservative" Blue Dogs? Try slightly left of dead-center.
Is the New York Times changing? In an article about Old Havana's rebuilding, NYT reporter John C. McKinley, Jr. bucked the media habit of inserting leftist messages into articles about Cuba. Instead, he exposed the average Cuban's poverty, giving the state-run socialist economy as the cause--all without mentioning “free” health care or the US embargo.
The article described how Havana historian Eusebio Leal Spengler “rebuilt and refurbished more than 300 landmark buildings in Old Havana, from fortresses built in the colonial days to famous nightspots and hotels of the city’s swinging era just before the Cuban revolution.“
McKinley countered that by explaining most Cubans don't have money for drinks at the bars made famous by Hemingway or the upscale inns favored by celebs like Jimmy Carter and Jack Nicholson (bold mine throughout):
Just a half block from the Bodeguita del Medio, another famous eatery favored by Hemingway that is constantly mobbed with tourists, Cubans troop into a sparsely stocked government store to get their monthly rations of beans, powdered milk, cigarettes and soap.
Business & Media Institute Director Dan Gainor appeared on the Fox Business Network December 6 to discuss how the media is choosing sides in the subprime housing problem.
"All throughout this whole year and actually if you go back in the last year and before [the media] have been pointing out that the lenders are the bad guys...CBS News who actually did an okay report last night, then the example they use is someone who has a 6.6% adjustable rate adjusting up to 9.6%, they've got a house the size of a mansion and they've got horses."
Gainor said the important thing that journalists fail to do is to get both the lenders and the home buyer's viewpoints.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor today reported revised productivity data--as measured by output per hour of all persons--for the third quarter of 2007. The seasonally adjusted annual rates of productivity growth in the third quarter were:
6.7 percent in the business sector and 6.3 percent in the nonfarm business sector.
In both sectors, changes in productivity are higher than the preliminary estimates published November 7, and represent the largest productivity gains since the third quarter of 2003.
I'll be live-blogging the press conference (mostly just the questions from the journalists as we're focused on the bias) and if a video update is warranted, we'll post one shortly after the conference concludes:
10:44 closes press conference, leaves podium.
10:41: Mark Silva, Chicago Tribune, says reading Bush's body language he can tell he's "somewhat dispirited." Then he says "the facts have failed you" on things he's telling the American people. Quotes Harry Reid. "Are you feeling troubled... credibility gap?"
10:37: unid'd reporter "Wolf" asks about if Bush's personal relationship with the Democrats in Congress is affecting getting legislation through.
10:35: another unid'd reporter named "Wolf" asks Bush to react to 2008 U.S. presidential race
10:35: reporter asks if he discussed Russian elections with Putin
10:33: unidentified reporter asks Bush if in his conversation with Putin if he asked him to not sell uranium to Iran.
10:30: Baier, Fox News: "What does the vote in Venezuela mean for the U.S.? .... What's your reaction to Chavez opponents winning?"
In "Wall St. Sees Silver Lining," new New York Times economics reporter Peter Goodman (formerly of the Washington Post) made Saturday's front page with a "news analysis" that impressively managed to put last week's big stock market rally in the context of an "ailing economy" that was "imperiled by the crumbling housing market."
Over the past two months, it has been on the way according to the media. But as of December 3, the price of crude has decreased - not increased as predicted.
"Crude briefly cracked $90 a barrel for the first time and analysts say that will soon trickle down to the pump," Alexis Christoforous said on the October 20 "CBS Evening News." "Some predict gas will jump $0.20 or more in the coming weeks. And if crude tops $100 a barrel, they say we could be looking at $5 a gallon."
The Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post are all referring to a package of recently-defeated Venezuelan constitutional amendments as "reforms." In reality, those so-called reforms were all bent on amassing more power and influence in the hands of Hugo Chavez.
Washington Post's Juan Forero gave readers early of the December 3 Home Edition article (published before the outcome of the December 2 referendum was finalized) an idea of what was at stake for everyday Venezuelans waking up this morning.:
Oh, how Old Media wants a recession. Too bad the economy isn't cooperating.
The latest Institute for Supply Management (ISM) report on the Manufacturing Sector, covering about 15% of the non-government economy, was just released this morning, and led as follows:
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in November for the 10th consecutive month, while the overall economy grew for the 73rd consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.
True, the reading of 50.8% was barely above the 50% cutoff point for expansion. But it's barely lower than the 50.9% turned in last month, and still came in slightly ahead of expectations, which averaged 50.4%, according to the Associated Press, and 50.7%, according to Bloomberg.
This makes three out of three fourth quarter ISM reports showing continued growth -- two in manufacturing, plus October's non-manufacturing report that came in at 55.8%, up from 54.8% in September. If Wednesday's ISM report on non-manufacturing for November comes in at 55.9% or higher, it will means that the economy as a whole, as ISM measures it, is not only growing, but growing faster. Recession, reschmession.
The Democrats are better at understanding the impact of globalization on working people in America. The wages that have been arrested and halted in their growth, while, you know the boys in investment banking are making 10 times the average income of an American. I think the Democrats understand the consequences of it more than the Republicans and, frankly, another disagreement I've got with Republicans is that they are compulsive interventionists. They seem to have learned nothing and forgotten nothing from what happened in Iraq when they are talking about doing the same thing in Iran. -- Pat Buchanan, November 29, 2007
The next time you hear the MSM defending itself against charges of a lack of balance by pointing to Pat Buchanan's presence on its panels, remember his statement above. On globalization, Pat echoes the Seattle street protesters, seasoned with some John Edwards "Two Americas" rhetoric about Wall Street fat cats. On foreign policy, Pat sounds like someone auditioning for Secretary of Peace in Pres. Kucinich's cabinet.
Have you noticed the genie concerning the real modus operandi behind climate alarmism beginning to peek its head out of the bottle lately?
After the United Nations announced earlier in the week that rich countries - code for America, of course - are going to have to pay billions of dollars to help poor nations deal with global warming, several international press outlets published articles of similar content.
Is it possible media are recognizing that since the Democrat presidential candidates are all advocating a tax the rich platform it is safe to begin discussing the need for developed nations to foot the bill for international global warming solutions?
Consider an op-ed published Friday by Britain's Guardian (emphasis added, reader is strongly advised to hide wallet or purse before proceeding):
No it's not a new brand of cologne, but it sure sounds like it.
Today, November 30, Dan Gainor, BMI's Director appeared on Fox Business to discuss the media's hype of an oncoming recession. Host David Asman began the segment asking, "Has the media emphasized the good along with the bad?"
Gainor responded, "Of course not, we haven't seen a lot of good news...and in fact if you watch the networks they skipped what even the New York Times put on their front page, that the Fed said a recession isn't likely."
As an exemplar of a government-run enterprise stuck in the mud, it's hard to come with a better example than what is happening in the area that was the subject of the infamous Kelo v. New London ruling in 2005. Nearly 2-1/2 years after the US Supreme Court ruled that the city could evict Susette Kelo and other holdouts and take their homes, and 17 months after the final settlement between the city and the final two holdouts, very little has been done in the affected area.
The latest setback to substantive progress in the area is significant, and is being totally ignored by the non-local press.
Here are the two major stories and the local paper's editorial from earlier this week (New London Day links require a paid subscription after seven days):
Nov. 27 (report by Elaine Stoll) -- Fort Trumbull Developer Asks For More Time, Misses Deadline NLDC could claim default, but delay in project more likely
As climate alarmists around the world head to a tropical paradise on Bali next week to discuss how developed nations should pay to solve global warming, an inconvenient truth has emerged: many countries that are part of the Kyoto Protocol are going to dramatically overshoot their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions limits.
While it seems a metaphysical certitude that America's green media will largely boycott such revelations so as not to put a damper on the hysterical proceedings, the fact that taxpayers in countries missing these targets will end up footing the bill also appears likely to be ignored.
As reported by Bloomberg Friday (emphasis added throughout, h/t Benny Peiser):
Can the media talk a recession into existence? I wrote yesterday about journalists' endless repetition of the prediction. They've been mentioning it almost once a day for the past month, despite the Federal Reserve's declaration that '08 would NOT see the r-word. Even The New York Times ran the headline "Fed Expecting '08 Slowdown, Not Recession" (November 21)!
The quarterly report on home prices issued by the government's Office for Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) is the most comprehensive and most reliable measure available of what is happening in the housing market.
For the first time in nearly thirteen years, U.S. home prices experienced a quarterly decline. The OFHEO House Price Index (HPI), which is based on data from sales and refinance transactions, was 0.4 percent lower in the third quarter than in the second quarter of 2007. This is similar to the quarterly decline of 0.3 percent (seasonally-adjusted) shown in the purchase-only index. The annual price change, comparing the third quarter of 2007 to the same period last year showed an increase of 1.8 percent, the lowest four-quarter increase since 1995. OFHEO’s purchase-only index, which is based solely on purchase price data, indicates the same rate of appreciation over the last year.
As the Christmas shopping season went into full swing in 2005, I sensed that journalists in general have a strong preference for using the term "holiday shopping" instead of "Christmas shopping" when covering business and commerce, but that when it came to people losing their jobs, they preferred to describe layoffs as relating to "Christmas."
My instincts have been proven correct, as you can see below from the results of three different sets of Google News searches in November and December in each of the last two years (links to last year’s related posts are here, here, and here; 2005's are here, here, and here):
CNN's senior business correspondent Ali Velshi had an interesting question for viewers this morning.
Before telling viewers that consumer confidence is at the lowest level in two years, Velshi asked if the media have anything to do with it.
"Do you think we're feeding this thing? Do you think we're fueling this sort of misery?" asked Velshi on "American Morning" November 28.
A question for Newsbusters readers: How would you answer Velshi's question?
The Business & Media Institute has found that the media certainly don't reinforce the soundness of the economy when things are going well. BMI's "Bad News Bears" study that looked at one year of reporting, found that 62 percent of network (ABC, CBS, NBC) economic stories focused on negative news. Those stories were also given more airtime.
Other BMI research has shown that the media have emphasized the possibility of recession since the economic recovery began in August 2003.