Liberal MSNBC anchor Ed Shultz incurred the wrath of his left-wing audience when he publicly came out in support of the construction of the Keystone pipeline. The host on Wednesday took the step of reading angry tweets on the Ed Show and responding to them. Aware that he was daring to leave the liberal reservation on this one issue, Schultz called the pipeline "controversial" and began, " Now, I know a lot of my viewers are surprised at my position on this." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The anchor quoted one tweet from a viewer who demanded, "We need to stop all oil and gas extraction." Schultz retorted, "Well, my response to that is the hard cold truth is the United States is an oil and gas dependent country and we're going to be for the foreseeable future." In the unfamiliar role of fending off liberal rage, he continued, "And I think it really is a disservice to the conversation and the debate to take an all-or-nothing approach to this." In a final jab at his critics, Schultz concluded, "We're not really confronting reality here."
Following White House talking points to the letter on Wednesday's The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, host Chuck Todd bemoaned how "Republicans immediately seized on" the Congressional Budget Office report on ObamaCare costing the economy over 2 million jobs "and spun it the way they want to spin it." He fretted that Democrats would have a tough time defending ObamaCare "in the world of sound bites and 30-second TV ads." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Talking to former CBO director Doug Holtz-Eakin minutes later, Todd complained: "On health care, a lot of your Republican friends are taking it [the CBO report] and calling it – it is an unfair statement to – they should not be saying this is costing 2 million jobs, is that right?"
While both CBS This Morning and ABC's Good Morning America both managed some air time on Wednesday to cover a new Congressional Budget Office report showing ObamaCare will cost the American economy about 2.5 million jobs, NBC's Today couldn't be bothered to mention the troubling news.
The NBC morning show did have time to provide a three-minute report on the latest bad behavior by pop star Justin Bieber, over a minute of coverage to the mascots for the upcoming Olympic games, and over a minute showing viewers how to play the new Flappy Birds game app on their phones.
Give Sam Stein credit for being an honest liberal. Confronted with the CBO's findings about the disastrous job-killing effects of Obamacare, Stein didn't try to spin the unspinnable.
On today's Morning Joe, Donnie Deutsch invited Stein to play a game of Mad Men. Deutsch first sketched out a 30-second ad making the case against Obamacare--that contrary to what President Obama had said, you can't choose your provider and the program costs the country two million jobs. Deutsch then invited Stein to give the 30-second ad in response. Said Stein, much to the amusement of the panel: "The 30-second response is something like: 'Please change the subject to something else.' What do you want me to say?" View the video after the jump.
On Tuesday evening, the networks played to the White House spin that ObamaCare won't cut jobs since those expected to move from full-time to part-time work would do so voluntarily.
"We got a report today about ObamaCare that was both surprising and widely misunderstood," CBS anchor Scott Pelley introduced the CBO report that estimates ObamaCare will trim about 2 million full-time jobs by 2017. Pelley cautioned that "Those aren't necessarily jobs being lost. They're also workers choosing to work less." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a report this morning projecting among other things, that 2.5 million Americans will drop out of full-time work thanks to ObamaCare. We will, of course, track how the broadcast networks cover this story, but if the news websites for ABC, CBS, and NBC are any indication, they will downplay and/or heavily spin this development.
For its part, for example, ABCNews.com teased a February 4 AP story with the headline "Modest Drop in Full-Time Work Seen From Health Law" in their "latest news" sidebar. By contrast, CBSNews.com was front and center with the CBO story, their teaser headline declaring, "New report stokes debate on Obamacare, jobs" [see screen captures below page break]
CBS This Morning on Tuesday was the only network program to show an interest in the "massive" spending of the "seriously flawed" farm bill. Not only did reporter Sharyl Atkisson investigate the legislation moving through the Senate, she repeatedly featured Tom Schatz of the Citizens for Government Waste.
Attkisson explained how the group has identified spending in the bill which will "actually hurt consumers." The journalist mentioned the "new 15 cent fee on every live cut Christmas tree sold to create a board to promoting Christmas trees." She continued, "The bill also increases spending to $200 million a year for a program to promote agriculture and past years's tax dollars were used to pay for a reality TV show in India to promote cotton." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Neither NBC's Today, nor ABC's Good Morning America found time for this story.
In spite of the massive half-trillion dollar price tag, the farm bill didn’t get much attention from the broadcast network news shows, although a compromise version may get congressional approval very soon.
Since Jan. 1, 2013, when they reported that the nation was facing a “milk cliff” in which dairy prices would skyrocket if a farm bill wasn’t passed, ABC, CBS and NBC network news programs only mentioned “farm bill” in 20 reports. The vast majority (16 stories) of those reports aired on CBS.
After opening the day at about the same level as Friday's close, the three major U.S. stock indices fell by over 2 percent Monday (DJIA, -2.08%; S&P 500, -2.28%; NASDAQ, -2.61%).
About half of the rout took place in the first 30 minutes after the 10:00 a.m. release of two reports, one on manufacturing activity and the other on construction spending. The former, from the Institute for Supply Management, showed that its January Manufacturing Index came in at a mildly expansive 51.3% (any reading over 50% indicates expansion), down by over 5 percentage points from December and missing expectations by 4.7 points. The latter, from the Census Bureau, showed that seasonally adjusted construction activity barely budged in December. The market's decline continued throughout the rest of the day as disappointing news on January car sales rolled in. As will be seen after the jump, inclement January weather got a disproportionate share of the blame in the business press for these really weak results — an explanation which clearly didn't impress the markets.
Salon.com apparently get can't get enough of former Occupy Wall Street participants, as the website featured far-left "journalist" Jesse Myerson on Sunday. Myerson, who infamously pushed for socialism in a January 2014 piece in Rolling Stone, listed seven supposed "huge misconceptions" about communism, and tried to whitewash the tens of millions butchered in the name of the discredited ideology.
The left-wing website's Twitter account heralded the writer's piece as "the best possible way to shut down your right-wing colleague railing against the ills of communism." Myerson, who includes a #FULLCOMMUNISM hashtag on his own Twitter profile, offered his beyond optimistic vision for a Marxist future:
John Merline at Investor’s Business Daily reported Monday that the hot media topics of income inequality and immigration are “are wildly out of touch with the American public, according to the latest IBD/TIPP Poll.”
When asked which should be a top priority of the president and Congress, 49 percent said the economy and jobs. Another 16 percent picked the national debt, and nine percent named national security. Just 6 percent picked either immigration or income inequality:
On Friday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes gave a commentary opposing the Keystone pipeline as he compared America's use of oil to "drug addiction," and pushed the far left idea of leaving 80 percent of the world's oil reserves untapped to supposedly prevent the world's temperature from increasing.
The MSNBC host suggested that conservatives are like addicts who are in denial, with liberals as addicts who want to change but can't.
David Gregory decided to play liberal activist Sunday morning and took off his journalist hat during an interview with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough.
The NBC host expressed dissatisfaction that President Obama hadn’t received the credit he’d apparently been owed from both the media and the American public and complained to McDonough about “wonder why the president doesn't get more credit for an economy that is rebounding? What’s the disconnect there?” [See video below.]
In yet another negative milestone for the bailouts that supposedly saved the U.S. auto industry — already a hard-to-handle claim given that Chrysler, one of the two beneficiaries, is now 100% owned by an Italian company — Volkswagen has surpassed General Motors as the world's number two automaker behind Toyota.
The reporting on this development has been quite sparse. It's not news at the Associated Press's national site, even though AP mentions VW in a report on Super Bowl ad and social media strategies. At USA Today, James R. Healey's could easily have inserted the news into his story today on the 65th anniversary of the VW Beetle's first arrival here, and didn't. What follows is an excerpt from Expatica, one of the few publications to note the shakeup in the auto industry hierarchy:
The Associated Press, Bloomberg and Reuters all focused on the supposedly positive news of increased consumption reported in today's "Personal Income and Outlays" release from the government's Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the process, two of the three ignored a particulary dreadful statistic about disposable income, while the third (Bloomberg) misinterpreted its meaning.
The dire statistic is the year-over-year comparison of monthly disposable income, which took a deep dive in December, turning in the worst year-over year performance as seen here, in 40 years:
On her Thursday 1 p.m. ET MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell gushed over NBC News special anchor Maria Shriver's political activism as "the force behind the influential Shriver Report about women and poverty in America": "Maria, my God, what you have started, what you have launched here....Equal pay for women...you went and you talked to the President about before his State of the Union, when he was still writing it. And he delivered in terms of addressing that." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after jump]
Mitchell eagerly touted Obama continuing to push the issue on the road: "...just within the last hour, he's done it again. This is the President in Wisconsin today. Let's watch." A clip was played of Obama declaring: "Today women make up half of our workforce, they're making 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That's wrong.... It's an embarrassment." Following the sound bite, Shriver declared: "Amen." Mitchell excitedly proclaimed: "Maria Shriver, take a bow, let's talk about what you've started here."
Today, President Obama is going to ask a group of private-sector companies to help him try to solve a problem his administration's policies have seriously worsened, namely long-term unemployment.
Of course, that's not how Josh Lederman at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, framed the situation. All he would concede is that "long-term joblessness in the U.S. remains a major problem." After the jump, in two graphs from the St. Louis Federal Reserve, we'll see the frightening level of long-term unemployment Obama's economic policies have created – and how the horrid numbers have failed to come down significantly in the 4-1/2 years since the recession officially ended.
You really have to listen to Mika Brzezinski's voice rising as if in a question as she pronounces the very last word in an excerpt from a Wall Street Journal column—and watch the expression on her face—to appreciate how utterly baffled, befuddled and bewildered she seems by the simple notion that increasing the cost of hiring motivates employers to automate their operations.
The column, "The Employee of the Month Has a Battery," noted that restaurant chains like Chili's are introducing tabletop ordering devices and eliminating server positions. Author Michael Saltsman makes the incontrovertible argument that "policy makers are encouraging the switch to technology by increasing the cost of hiring." But just listen to Mika pronounce that last word, and watch the ensuing expression on her face, to see how the notion leaves her at a complete loss. View the video after the jump.
For some liberals in the media, working to ensure equality of opportunity just isn’t enough. They want to see every American achieve an equal outcome and government have an active role in redistribution of wealth.
That there was even one item in the "far-left" search just noted is unusual. It's even more remarkable that the underlying report was written by Steve Peoples, a far-lefty disguised as a reporter if there ever was one. Excerpts from his Wednesday dispatch follow the jump.
In his Tuesday night State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama made the following pledge: "In the coming weeks, I will issue an Executive Order requiring federal contractors to pay their federally-funded employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour – because if you cook our troops’ meals or wash their dishes, you shouldn’t have to live in poverty."
One would have every reason to believe from Obama's statement that the change will take effect quickly once the EO is issued — but it won't. Additionally, one would have every reason to believe that when it does take effect, it will increase the pay of anyone currently employed on federal contract work at a pay rate of under $10.10 per hour — but it won't do that either. Somehow, those "little" problems escaped "fact checkers" Josh Gerstein and Darren Samuelsohn at the Politico, who, while they did catch other problems with the President's statement, swallowed a clearly false claim about its long-term impact:
The networks played right into President Obama's hand Wednesday evening as they touted his push for a minimum wage increase while giving barely any voice to his Republican opposition.
"[T]he President was out there hitting that 'give America a raise' theme hard today in campaign-style events both in Pennsylvania and in Maryland," noted ABC News White House correspondent Jonathan Karl. "Does that idea have a snowball's chance?" asked CBS News anchor Scott Pelley about the minimum wage increase.
Minutes before the President began his State of the Union address Tuesday night, hosts on ABC, NBC, and CBS all worried that Obama was not getting the "credit" he deserved for how well the economy was supposedly doing. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Talking to former Obama advisor David Plouffe during ABC's live coverage of the speech, Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos argued: "...one of the real puzzles the President has to solve tonight, the economy, doing about as well as it's ever done in his presidency, as he comes into the chamber tonight, but most people don't believe it and don't give him credit for it."
There was another appearance of the dreaded U-word ("unexpectedly") this morning at Bloomberg News.
The Commerce Department's advance report on December durable goods orders and shipments showed a seasonally adjusted 4.3 percent decrease in orders from November, while November was revised down from a positive 3.4 percent to 2.6 percent. Economists' median prediction for December was for a 1.8 percent increase. Bloomberg's Victoria Stilwell had an excuse at the ready, and as will be seen, chose to use it even though she knew it was a stretch (bolds are mine throughout this post):
If liberals have their way the State of the Union will be all about income inequality. That kind of speech would be cheered by many in the press, including several hypocritical millionaires who love to complain about the one percent.
The broadcast networks already took up this banner, promoting left-wing complaints about inequality and arguing for liberal solutions, in recent years. Well-paid, big name network news anchors, like Diane Sawyer and Brian Williams personally know a whole lot about wealth, since they make millions of dollars every year. At least two are worth $60 million each.
Within the past four years, these multi-millionaires have attacked the “mega-rich,” complained on air about “dangerous” income inequality, and promoted President Barack Obama’s “responsibility” to raise taxes and promote tax “fairness.”
Usually, when the Associated Press covers the Census Bureau's monthly new-home sales releases, its reporters will tell readers that a "healthy" market should generate about 700,000 sales per year (examples here and here). Though I believe that figure is insufficiently ambitious, given that pre-bubble annual sales averaged 776,000 from 1993-2000, it apparently has somewhat wide acceptance.
Of all the times to mention that benchmark, the bureau's final report for 2013 released this morning would be it. But AP's Martin Crutsinger failed to do so, possibly because astute readers would have noted that the year's actual sales of 428,000 units show that the industry, despite years of a media-hyped "housing recovery" which is supposedly leading the economy out of the wilderness (cough, cough), is still operating at a miserable 61 percent of capacity (428K divided by 700K). Excerpts from Crutsinger's report follow the jump (bolds are mine):
CBS analyst Mellody Hobson, whose husband George Lucas is worth $7.3 billion, appeared on This Morning to slam excessive salaries for corporate bosses. Discussing income inequality and Barack Obama's planned discussion at the State of the Union, Hobson lashed out, "If you look today, the typical CEO makes 354 times more than the typical worker in his or her company, mostly his because there are so few women running companies." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] (How much more does the male Lucas make than the average worker?)
She continued, "If you look back to 1980, that difference was just 42 times. So it's been that kind of income inequality that has started a lot of backlash and chatter..." Co-host Norah O'Donnell introduced the segment by highlighting a hyperbolic letter to the Wall Street Journal by CEO Tom Perkins comparing the treatment of the wealthy to Jews during the Holocaust. O'Donnell promoted, "[President Obama] calls [income inequality] one of the defining challenges of our time. How do you think that will be received by people in the business community?"
When it comes to reporting on aspects of Obamacare, the press is really good at pretending to speculate about outcomes which have already happened in the real world, and at contradicting Obama administration assertions without telling readers that's what they've just done.
Case in point: Last Tuesday at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, Carla K. Johnson and Tom Murphy told readers that Obamacare "could touch ... people who have insurance through work," and that "The law may prompt some companies to drop coverage for their part-time workers" and to "start excluding spouses." The law has already "prompted" all of these things. Excerpts follow the jump.
On Thursday's Daily Show, comedian Jon Stewart – who is worth an estimated $80 million – mocked the irony of wealthy business leaders discussing income inequality at the recent World Economic Forum.
"Alright so a group of world's wealthiest people get together in a secluded mountain enclave to discuss concerns over income inequality. Hmm," Stewart remarked. Perhaps Stewart missed the irony that he is TV's highest-paid host, according to Variety magazine, who is lecturing others about income inequality. Two weeks ago, he spent 9 minutes lampooning conservatives and Republicans on the issue. [Video below the break. Audio here.]