How does a multi-millionaire plutocrat earn good press from the New York Times? Apparently, espousing some of the far-Left's most radical economic theories is a good start.
This morning's paper (B-1) carries an adoring profile of Warren Mosler, who reporter Annie Lowrey brands as a "card-carrying member of the 1 percent....But his prescriptions for economic policy make him sound like a warrior for the 99 percent."
Lowrey, who visited Mosler in the U.S. Virgin Islands, explains:
I suspect that a number of people are tired of the establishment press telling us how so many economic reports have "best in" or best since (specific month in) 2008 (or 2007)" figures, especially the ones that still don't reflect what anyone would consider acceptable in normal economic times. Just a few examples include housing starts, housing permits, new home sales, existing home sales, initial unemployment claim, and the unemployment rate.
That doesn't bother me too much, though the press missed quite a few "best since" figures during the Bush 43 presidency. What's intensely annoying is when "worst since" figures, which the press studiously identified during the Bush era, hit them in the face in today's economy and are downplayed or ignored. A pretty good example was today's Non Manufacturing Index from the Institute for Supply Management, which, at 52.2%, hit its lowest point since February 2010, and had two key components which were the worst in almost four years.
Well, it’s Washington Post official: the sequestration wasn’t all that bad after all. In fact, you could classify it as a dud, according to none other than Ezra Klein, a favored pet pundit of many a liberal MSNBC panel.
In a June 30 item at his Wonkblog, Klein concluded that the experts were “mostly wrong” concerning the impact of the cuts. At the same time, conservatives saw from the beginning that the actual amount of cutbacks, which was only $44 billion, would have a de minimis impact on the economy. However, government spending increased over the past year, just at a lower rate of growth than originally planned, so in real terms, there were no real cuts to speak of in real terms.
Independence Day is the perfect day to remember that liberal Democrats want Americans to be dependent on government. Nancy Pelosi reminded Americans of that on June 27 with her remarks to the press about the national holiday, where she essentially argued that the Founding Fathers would have loved ObamaCare.
“[W]hen we celebrate Independence Day we’ll also be observing health independence. This week marks one year since the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. It captures the spirit of our founders, the spirit they wrote in the Declaration of Independence: Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” Pelosi said. (emphasis added).
In a development which probably won't become a news story because it makes the government look bad, Hahne has informed blogger Bob McCarty that "I just received an 8 page letter from the USDA, telling me that by July 29 I need to have in place a written disaster plan, detailing all the steps I would take to help get my rabbit through a disaster, such as a tornado, fire, flood, etc.," and "what I will do after the disaster, to make sure my rabbit gets cared for properly." It's really a two-page letter accompanied by six pages of densely-worded instructions, guidance and reprints from the Federal Register, and would probably take up at least a dozen regularly typewritten pages.
On Sunday, in a report which I contend would surely have been published on a weekday -- and more importantly, published with far greater clarity -- if a Republican or conservative were in the White House, the Associated Press's Paul Wiseman essentially explored the following question: "Why aren't people spending more if they're so much richer?"
The answer he found, which should surprise no one in touch with reality, is that quite a few of us aren't richer. We're poorer. But Wiseman also cryptically revealed some of the dollar amounts involved and enough other information to enable one to back into an estimate of the shocking degree of wealth redistribution which has taken place during the recession and the first term of the Obama administration -- and it's not in the direction you might think.
Before the government released its first estimate of first-quarter economic growth in late April, the establishment press, particularly Bloomberg News and the Associated Press, salivated at the chance to report the then-predicted "robust" annualized growth of 3 percent and to describe how the economy had "accelerated" from the previous quarter's pathetic 0.4 percent. When that first estimate came in at only 2.5 percent, most news organizations at least had the integrity to pronounce the news disappointing. But not Martin Crutsinger and Christopher Rugaber at the AP, aka the Administration's Press, who opened their coverage by saying that "the American economy quickened its pace early this year despite deep government cutbacks."
The government's second estimate in May was little changed at 2.4 percent. But Wednesday's third and final estimate (pending annual revisions going back several years, the next of which will appear in July) came in at 1.8 percent, a 40 percent drop from so-called experts' original predictions (1.2-point difference divided by the original 3.0 percent). The AP's reaction was to produce a terse three-paragraph blurb which was gone from its national web site within 24 hours, followed by a late afternoon report which blamed higher Social Security taxes and "federal spending cuts":
On Tuesday June 25, Penny Pritzker became the 38th Secretary of Commerce after the Senate voted to confirm her 97-1. Oddly enough, Pritzker has a Romney-esque business background. The well-connected friend of Obama is worth millions, has previously understated her income, and is not well liked by Big Labor. She also benefited from offshore tax havens. Despite all that, in the end, her confirmation process was a love fest and the media have been completely AWOL, failing to hit the president on the nomination.
Where was the outrage? That’s what, to it's credit, Politico has asked concerning this nomination. After all,the $80 million which Pritzker didn’t declare in income is much less than the $34,000 that Tom Daschle forgot to declare back in 2009 when he was nominated by the president to be HHS secretary.
First, they buried the lede, then they excised it completely.
An initial report yesterday at the New York Times on President Obama's speech on "climate change" at Georgetown University by Mark Landler and John M. Broder -- a report which was still up at least as late as 6 p.m. Tuesday evening, according to this story pull posted at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (go to the bottom of the article at the link), quoted "a member of a presidential science panel that has helped advise the White House on climate change" expressing his desire for a "war on coal" -- in Paragraphs 17 and 18 (HT to Ed Driscoll at PJ Media; bolds are mine):
Continuing the business press's slavish devotion to seasonally adjusted figures in government reports to the exclusion of looking at what actually happened, Martin Crutsinger at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, began his Tuesday dispatch on May's new-home sales report from the Census Bureau as follows: "Sales of new homes rose in May to the fastest pace in five years, a solid gain that added to signs of a steadily improving housing market."
Except for two "little" things: Fewer homes were actually sold in May than were sold in April, and May's reported increase in seasonally adjusted annualized sales only came about because of a tax break which ended in April 2010:
MSNBC anchor Alex Witt turned into a skeptic of federal government spending on Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, but before you get too excited, it was predictably in service of a larger liberal agenda. Witt questioned the wisdom of a $30 billion border security amendment that is now being debated in the Senate. This amendment to the larger Senate immigration bill calls for 20,000 additional border control agents, 700 miles of additional fencing along the southern border, and the expanded use of radar and drone technology.
Regarding the $30 billion cost of the amendment, Witt expressed her fear to U.S. News and World Report’s Lauren Fox: “[W]e're talking about a heck of a lot of money to help secure this border but will it actually accomplish that?” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
How ironic it is that, as Kyle Drennen noted today at NewsBusters, that NBC's David Gregory was so vocal in advocating that "Government Playing a Bigger Role" in the economy, given that yesterday was the eighth anniversary of the Kelo vs. New London decision, a monument to colossal government failure if there ever was one.
A 5-4 Supreme Court majority, believing that the Connecticut city of New London had "carefully formulated a development plan ... (with) appreciable benefits to the community," violated the plain language of the "public use" clause of the Constitution's Fifth Amendment which was clearly designed to limit government eminent-domain takings to true public projects (e.g., roads, bridges, etc.). They instead decided that "public use" really means "public purpose" (i.e., anything the government wants to do, including condemning property so that it can be transferred from current to new owners in the name of some higher good).
NBC’s chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd had some tough words for President Obama on Monday’s Morning Joe. Todd, anchor of MSNBC’s Daily Rundown and a frequent critic of Republicans on network’s programming, scolded the president for running a “leaderless Washington,” and for failing to “rally the world” to a “solution in Syria.”
Todd’s critique was in reference to a Saturday op-ed in the New York Times, in which conservative columnist Ross Douthat berated the Obama administration for promoting policies of little importance to most Americans – in lieu of an aggressive jobs agenda.
In an interview with liberal economist Jeffrey Sachs for Meet the Press's Press Pass segment on Sunday, moderator David Gregory worried about skepticism of big government: "...a lot of it has to do with what role does a government play in creating more structural balance in the economy, creating more jobs...doing what nobody else can do for the economy....but that the country writ large does not support....So what changes that and what happens in the absence of that movement back toward government playing a bigger role and spending all of that money?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Sachs began his response by leveling criticism against the Obama administration's massive stimulus program: "...there's a lot of skepticism, and it's understandable. If the government wastes money or runs huge deficits and so forth, you can't be very confident....What you can't do is say, 'We're going to spend a trillion dollars, or nearly a trillion dollars, and we're going to work it out in the next five weeks and we're going to throw it on to the floor of Congress before anyone can even read it.'"
In a tired Politico item on how President Obama plans to carry out his January State of the Union threat to go around Congress on "climate change" -- no surprise, his moves will be a "power plant clampdown," pouring more money into solar, wind, and geothermal, and micromanaging lamps and refrigerators -- Andrew Restuccia quoted a statistic on the production of certain "renewable" energy sources which actually understated their degree of increase during the past four years. He cited a "60 percent increase in renewable electricity produced from wind, solar and geothermal sources between 2008 and 2012."
The increase is much greater than that. But Restuccia shouldn't gloat. As seen after the jump, those three renewables still represent a pathetically small percentage of all U.S. energy production, and he should have informed his readers of that quite inconvenient fact:
On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams heralded protests in Brazil "driven by economic injustice," followed by correspondent Mark Potter in Rio de Janeiro detailing the motivation: "Many in the crowds complained about rampant corruption, crime, low wages, and a lack of social services....As Brazil spends billions to build stadiums for next year's World Cup and the 2016 Olympics."
What Williams and Potter failed to mention was the fact that NBC is a beneficiary of the Olympics, having exclusive rights to broadcast the games. In 2011, NBC's parent company Comcast paid the International Olympic Committee $4.38 billion to continue to cover the Olympics from 2014 to 2020, with goal being "to use the Olympics as a way to raise its number of subscribers and the monthly fees they pay."
On their website, Politico insists that it exists "to prove there's a robust and profitable future for tough, fair and fun coverage of politics and government." While promising to remain objective, the goal is really to provide "a distinctive brand of journalism that drives the conversation." Of course, the paper repeatedly fails to be fair and balanced and repeatedly succeeds in steering liberal media conversation, and always with a meme that accords to the liberal media's desire to bash conservatives and boost liberal Democrats.
Take today's Jake Sherman piece, "The dysfunctional House," which lambastes House Republican leadership for being bested by a conservative faction of 62 Republicans who helped to doom the "farm bill" in a floor vote yesterday. But Sherman's goal wasn't so much to defend a bill that is 80 percent pork but to set a narrative that paints the House GOP as obstructionist and uninterested in governing, thanks to a minority of renegade conservatives. That of course will feed into a larger narrative the media hope to drive prior to the 2014 midterms:
The overwhelming dominance that liberal statists have over the media today is one of the biggest obstacles faced by advocates of smaller government. Invariably whenever people try to make reforms to existing systems or eliminate waste, their intentions get distorted and lied about and the reformers’ motives get impugned.
Things were not always this way, however. It was not so long ago, in fact, that many large newspapers in this country were owned and operated by right-leaning individuals. Even many of the self-described “progressives” actually also believed in balanced budgets.
A search at Google News on "households food stamps record" done at 9 p.m. ET (not in quotes, sorted by date, with duplicates and similar items) returned three items. Two are at the Daily Caller (here and here); and the other is at Reason.com. Program statistics for March, the latest month available, show that a record 23.12 million households -- one in every five in the U.S. -- received food stamp benefits. At 47.73 million, the total number of persons receiving benefits was only 65,000 below the record set in December. In 2008, average participation was less than 29 million.
That search result shows, despite the fact that records are supposed to be news, that the establishment press is completely uninterested in communicating the fact that the food stamp program continues to grow, though very slowly, even as the economy supposedly recovers. There is one number that the press has been citing frequently, namely the number of people who might be removed from the food stamp rolls if language attempting to limit the program to people who are truly in need remains in the otherwise bloated disaster known as the farm bill.
Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington and a group of other CEOs and former world leaders have formed a group whose goal is to end capitalism as we know it. The nonprofit, known as “The B Team,” was created to help promote a “better version of capitalism, one that prioritizes people and planet over profit.” This ignores the fact that capitalism is, by definition, motivated by profit.
The team, led by Branson and German businessman Jochen Zeitz, calls for drastic changes in how the economy works. These include “new rules and models for the future of business – not incremental ‘change as usual.’”
The Washington Post's Jim Tankersley today gave the George Soros-funded liberal Center for American Progress (CAP) 14 paragraphs of puffy coverage devoted to CAP's tax-heavy plan "aimed at recharging the U.S. economy." The liberal wish list is "meant to boost beleaguered middle-class workers," Tankersley noted.
In his June 13 story headlined "Plan aims to accelerate economy," the Post economic policy correspondent hailed how "The 250-page report, '300 Million Engines of Growth,' appears to be the most comprehensive effort yet by a think tank of any ideology to bridge what was the most glaring economic policy divide of the 2012 election." Tankersley then gushed that "[t]he core of the plan is the notion that economies grow and thrive best when prosperity is broadly shared." Yeah, you know where this is going, but Tankersley waited until the 8th paragraph (out of a 14-paragraph story) to note that it comes with, wait for it, "a parade of new or increased taxes" such as:
This isn’t anything new. The Obama administration pays its female staff thousands of dollars less than their male ones. So, why hasn’t the press called him out on it? Save for a few publications, like the Daily Mail out of London, there has yet to be a concerted effort on behalf of the news media to ask Obama about this overt hypocrisy.
All of the White House salaries are released to the public, and this disparity should be even more blaring with the president’s remarks celebrating the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Equal Pay Act:
The pundits over at MSNBC have it all figured out: Republicans don’t care about the millions struggling in the Obama economy. At least that was what a left-wing panel on Sunday’s The Ed Show decided, with Salon’s Joan Walsh declaring that Republicans “don’t care” about people who have lost their jobs.
Walsh’s ridiculous comments came after guest host Joy Reid preposterously worried that the Obama White House may be “a victim of the economy’s own success.” Reid fretted over the president’s agenda, asking:
When last seen at NewsBusters in February, the Associated Press's Liz Sidoti was talking down to the public about its "collective obsession with the trivial" less than a week after AP reporter Ken Thomas wasted 500 words of print and bandwidth on how Florida Sen. Marco Rubio took a sip of water during a speech.
Now Sidoti, who is the AP's National Political Editor, is quite worried -- actually, obsessed -- that the public might waking up and contrasting what President Barack Obama is delivering compared to what he has promised at a most inopportune time, and that "controversies" might overtake Dear Leader's second-term agenda (bolds are mine):
Liberal anchor Chris Matthews on Monday suggested that sequester cuts impacting shelter and housing funds could result in "some women" "dying this week." Matthews brought on the former National Organization for Women Chairman Kim Gandy to warn of impending death. (The Hardball host didn't identify Gandy's work for the very liberal NOW. Instead, he described her as the President of the National Network to End Domestic Violence.)
Matthews derided, "How do you get the members of Congress to say, 'Look, some women are going to die this week because these shelters are closing their doors to them?'" The anchor introduced the segment by reminding, "We've put a spotlight on the people and the organizations taking the brunt of this arbitrary, across-the-board, spending cuts known as sequester."
The most interesting thing (to me, at least) about Wednesday's report in the Los Angeles Times by Ricardo Lopez on how the author of an economic report out of UCLA has said that the U.S. economy's performance since the recession officially ended in June 2009 stinks -- "It's not a recovery. It's not even normal growth. It's bad" -- is how the Associated Press relayed it to its readers and subscribers. I don't recall ever seeing a 15-plus paragraph report go unbylined, but this one did.
Maybe whoever wrote the AP item didn't want to incur the wrath of his or her colleague Tom Raum, who early last week wrote that the economy is "clearly, if slowly" recovering. It's also somewhat likely that Christopher Rugaber, who wrote "Gone are the fears that the economy could fall into another recession" in early April, might be a bit miffed. Choice nuggets from Lopez's LAT lament follow the jump:
MSNBC’s Ed Schultz will take any and every opportunity to bash Tea Party conservatives, even if it means exploiting a terrible tragedy to do so. The bombastic host did just that on Sunday, using the recent factory collapse in Bangladesh to blast Republicans for supporting the removal of burdensome regulations on American businesses.
Schultz introduced his segment with scenes from the horrible incident, huffing: