It might sound ridiculous, but Time magazine writer Michael Crowley actually grumbled in an article on Monday that the GOP presidential candidate is “One-Note Mitt” Romney, whose campaign defines this year's election as merely “a referendum on Obama's handling of the economy.”
The author then noted that with “almost comical discipline,” Romney “steers virtually every topic” back to the incumbent Democrat's economic record.
Even after being embarrassed by a series of misleading reports from reporter Ian Urbina in June 2011, the New York Times continues to lash out against hydro-fracking, the process of pumping chemicals and water into shale to extract gas.
In a rural area where “The economy sucks when it’s good,” natural gas drilling could have gone a long way. Could have, until environmental extremists and regulators got in the way.
That’s what happened in Wayne County, Pa., just a few years ago when “corporations offered struggling farmers lucrative leases for mineral rights” but a documentary filmmaker and government prevented the drilling, according to a June 7, 2012 story from Bloomberg Businessweek magazine.
Readers are strongly advised to remove food, fluids, and flammables from proximity to their computers prior to reading any further. You've been warned!
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said on ABC's This Week Sunday, "It's terribly unfair that [President Obama is] being judged on the failure of the economy to respond to policies that had been largely dictated by a hostile Congress" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Former Democratic Michigan governor turned Current TV commentator Jennifer Granholm got a much-needed education Sunday about the difference between Mitt Romney's involvement with Bain Capital and President Obama's forays into green energy investment.
"When Bain invested," said George Will on ABC's This Week, "it invests money that it gets voluntarily to be invested. When the president throws a half-billion dollars away on Solyndra, it's money taken away by the police power of the federal government from unwilling taxpayers" (video follows with transcript and commentary)
Really, the only surprise is that consumers came before Obama in the headline -- because Obama came before the economy in the underlying article.
A late-day dispatch from Jonathan Fahey and Paul Wiseman at the Associated Press even found someone to say that history will be on Obama's side if gas prices fall to below $3.50 a gallon or so by Labor Day. Excerpts follow (bolds are mine):
Searches on "Government Accountability Office" (not in quotes), "shale," and "mittal" at the Associated Press's national site return nothing relevant to the energy-related story which will follow. A Google News search on "Anu Mittal," the person from the GAO who on Thursday testified before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology`s Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, appears to return seven relevant items, but it's really five. The first is a press release from the Luddite (aka Democratic) members of the committee pooh-poohing the importance of Ms. Mittal's assertions. The other four are from non-major and/or non-establishment press sources: Newser, American Thinker, Daily Markets, and the Inquisitr (yes, spelled correctly). Only one other news outlet I'm aware of, Media Research Center's CNS News, has also noted Ms. Mittal's testimony.
What Ms. Mittal had to say is that, according to a leading research organization, just one area overlapping three states in the West (not the Midwest, as a couple of the other links assert) has an astounding quantity of recoverable oil:
There's real paradox in romanticizing squalid, rat infested tents in one section of your publication while in another advising well-heeled readers where to buy a $5,000 Chippendale rug. But such is life at a liberal big-city newspaper.
A year ago in March, an Investor's Business Daily editorial ("America's Enemies Don't Want U.S. Drilling") informed readers that "the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington put out a Twitter post expressing disappointment that the documentary 'Gasland' didn't win an Academy Award." Specifically: "Sadly, 'Gasland' didn't win an Oscar, because a Vzlan helped make it," Venezuela's Twitterer whined." IBD went on to note that "Gasland" had "a Venezuelan production assistant, Irene Yibirin, who ... (has) ties to the (Chavez) government's Foundation National Cinematheque. ... [O]n the site, she praised Chavez."
Why is this relevant? Well, as another IBD editorial on Thursday noted, EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz, who became deservedly infamous last week when his public articulation of his "Crucify Them" philosophy towards enforcement of environmental laws and regulations in a speech a year ago was exposed, really loves the film, which industry officials have shown is riddled with deceptions and outright falsehoods. Not only that, he was also involved in making it:
Yesterday, as apparently first reported at the Daily Caller, Oklahoma Republican Senator James Imhofe revealed that Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 administrator Al Armendariz had explained his enforcement philosophy towards companies within his jurisdiction as "[C]rucify them ... Find people who are not compliant with the law, and you hit them as hard as you can and you make examples out of them, and there is a deterrent effect there." Remember that Antagonistic Al was referring to those who are "not compliant." A YouTube video of Armendariz's remarks in fuller context is here.
The Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, in what I would hope is only its first version of coverage (but don't count on any follow-up), did its level best to minimize the significance of Armendariz's remarks, with a headline designed to make people think he only said one bad word, and content which tried to emphasize that the administrator reserves his harsh treatment only for actual lawbreakers. At Forbes, Christopher Helman has made mincemeat of that pretense in one very prominent case.
Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) took to the Senate floor today to draw attention to a video of a top EPA official saying the EPA’s “philosophy” is to “crucify” and “make examples” of oil and gas companies - just as the Romans crucified random citizens in areas they conquered to ensure obedience.
Inhofe quoted a little-watched video from 2010 of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official, Region VI Administrator Al Armendariz, admitting that EPA’s “general philosophy” is to “crucify” and “make examples” of oil and gas companies. Watch the video below. For the full story, read my post at CNSNews.com.
It would appear that if you're an op-ed columnist at the New York Times, you can make up just about any outrageous claim and not get called on it by anyone responsible (if there is such a thing) at the Old Gray Lady.
The column in question, Joseph P. Kennedy II's "The High Cost of Gambling on Oil," goes back two weeks to April 10, but deserves a closer look for two reasons. First Kennedy, who wants to see "pure" speculation by those who are not actual industry participants completely banned (confirmed in the item's browser window title), claimed that oil "extraction" costs "average $11 a barrel worldwide." Second, Kennedy's concluding bio gives the impression that he is an energy industry mogul and not in fact the head of "a non-profit organization that primarily aids the poor in the United States and throughout the world ..." First, here is Kennedy's extraction cost claim (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Disgraced former MSNBC and Current TV anchor Keith Olbermann suggested Sunday there's a conspiracy to drive up gas prices in order to harm President Obama.
Such was said on ABC's This Week in response to host George Stephanopoulos's question regarding the impact speculation has on what consumers pay at the pump (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Yesterday at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, the headline at reporter Jim Kuhnhenn's story on President Obama's latest excuse to add more bureaucrats to the government payroll ("Obama wants to target oil market manipulation") presupposed the existence of oil market manipulation when none has been proven. In 850 words, he didn't find any space for critics of the move, who include the Daily Ticker's Henry Blodget, CEO of Business Insider, using descriptions like "embarrassing," "give me a break," "smoke and mirrors," and "a crock." Finding contrary opinion is something Kuhnhenn would almost definitely have done with an economy-related move of a Republican or conservative president.
Before getting to Blodget, let's look at what the government itself had to say to everyday Americans about what influences gas prices just two months ago at the USA.gov blog (bolds are mine):
There are times when I'm truly sickened by the total lack of economic acumen possessed by today's so-called journalists.
On PBS's McLaughlin Group this weekend, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift once again said something so totally ignorant that she had to be corrected by US News & World Report's Mort Zuckerman (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"Gas prices are soaring again in 2012, yet the auto industry is booming, and drivers, while annoyed, are mostly taking rising fuel costs in stride. What’s changed?" Time magazine's Brad Tuttle asked in an April 10 TIME Moneyland blog post. Tuttle offered numerous explanations but failed to consider the media's coverage as one explanation for why Americans seem to not be seething angry about high gas prices.
As our colleague Julia Seymour of the Media Research Center's Business & Media Institute noted earlier this month (emphasis mine):
In an opinion piece for CNBC.com on Wednesday, Street Signs anchor Brian Sullivan argued: "...for the majority of the country, $4 gas isn't going to doom us or our economy....right now it just doesn't add up. After all, it looks like $5 is the new $4 when it comes to gas prices and the economy."
Sullivan cited new car sales being on the rise, with those vehicles having better gas mileage, and pointed to inflation causing $4 a gallon to actually be "somewhere in the $3.64 range in 2007 dollars today." In addition, he noted the payroll tax cut "mitigates much of the impact."
NPR's Tamara Keith filed a one-sided report on Monday's Morning Edition about Mitt Romney's "apparent shift in emphasis, if not an outright reversal" on the issue of energy policy. Keith cited the "liberal news site Think Progress" as one of her main sources for her report. She also turned to a former aide to Democrats John Kerry and Deval Patrick without giving his political/ideological affiliation.
Fill-in host David Greene spotlighted in his introduction to Keith's report how "the GOP candidates have seized on price spikes as a line of attack against President Obama, largely saying the answer is more domestic oil drilling. But one of those candidates, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, used to have a position somewhat contrary to that."
I had to make sure that the Conference Board, which issues one of the most closely watched consumer confidence reports each month, didn't issue some kind of update during the day after telling us in the morning that its reading for March came in at 70.2, down from 71.6 in February.
Nothing changed. But oh how the Associated Press's headlines about the Board's reported results changed in successive dispatches authored by the wire service's Anne D'Innocenzio, as seen after the jump from Google News listings:
Today on the Chicago Tribune's front page, above the fold, is the headline "Pricey gas seen as good, in a way." The story also appears on the Los Angeles Times's Web site with the title "Gas prices' jump attests to upbeat economy." Yes, happy days are here again and much of the mainstream media are feeling glad all over, hoping the purported much-improved economy will enhance President Barack Obama's re-election bid. The article notes:
The U.S. recovery has solidified through the fall and so far this year, as shown by strong job reports and last week's news of 1.1% increase in retail sales in February.
Rising gasoline prices are NOT President Obama's fault. Or so you want us to believe. However, could you be just a little less blatant in pitching that line? As it is, your lack of subtlety in hammering home that message is embarrassing to read such as your latest example in which you mention that some people blame Obama along with a lot of other reasons but the only people you actually cite in the article on the subject of presidential responsibility are those who find him faultless in the price rise:
Friday's New York Times column by Paul Krugman is titled "Paranoia Strikes Deeper." (It's evidently a sequel to Krugman's "Paranoia Strikes Deep" column of November 9, 2009. We eagerly await the final installment of the trilogy, "Paranoia Strikes Deepest," which should come out before the 2012 election.)
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose shamelessly boosted the Obama campaign's talking point about the economy: "The President will...say, things are in much better shape...so my policies are, at long last, working." When Haley Barbour replied that "the liberal media leads you to think that the economy's getting great," Rose sneered, "I didn't realize you think the Federal Reserve chairman is a liberal media elite" [audio available here; video below the jump].
The CBS anchor also raised Mitt Romney aide Eric Fehrnstrom's recent "Etch-A-Sketch" comment with the former Mississippi governor: "You have a candidate who conservatives don't seem to be sure about. And now, you have this Etch-a-Sketch thing. Does that simply make their doubts deeper?"
Here's some good advice from Rush Limbaugh's opening monologue today: "If I were you, I would regard every AP story, particularly this year, as nothing more than a propaganda piece for the reelection of Barack Obama."
What occasioned Rush's rant is the thinly disguised propaganda today from the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, concerning President Obama's visit to Cushing, Oklahoma to pretend that he's really a fan of the Keystone Pipeline, starting with the following headline:
As NewsBusters has been reporting for weeks, the Obama-loving media - quite contrary to what they did when George W. Bush was in office - are doing their darnedest to downplay the seriousness of the exploding prices people are paying at the pump.
Doing its part Wednesday was CNN Money which actually published a piece with the laughable headline, "Rising Gas Prices Aren't as Bad as You Think."