In a Friday editorial, Investor's Business Daily picked up a disturbing downside in the January 2013 jobs report released by the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics earlier that day: More people are working, but they're working fewer hours per week. In certain sectors, including retail, the industry's aggregate hours worked actually shrank compared to January 2012. Memo to Chris Rugaber at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press: That's another reason your description of Friday's report as "mostly encouraging" is rubbish.
IBD relied on seasonally adjusted data in arriving at its findings. The raw figures (i.e., not seasonally adjusted amounts), representing the government's best estimates of actual conditions during the month before seasonal smoothing, are even more disturbing -- and far more relevant. This is especially the case in retail, as January is a month when retailers retrench after the Christmas shopping season; whatever pullback takes place will mostly stick for the next several months. A few paragraphs from the paper's editorial, as well as a comparison of the raw and seasonally adjusted numbers in retail in January 2013 and 2012, follow the jump (HT frequent BizzyBlog commenter dscott):
A Monday US News item by Jason Koebler ("Study: Global Warming Can Be Slowed By Working Less") illustrates how radical thought injects itself into establishment press news stories.
Koebler's work attempts to be cute, with its picture (a cyclist taking a nap), its subheadline (a suggestion that "a more 'European' schedule would reduce the effects of climate change"), and its opening ("Want to reduce the effects of global warming? Stop working so hard"). The seemingly innocent concept is that "working fewer hours and more vacation time, could prevent as much as half of the expected global temperature rise by 2100." It takes a bit of digging before one learns that the whole idea is really premised on "de-growth" -- "a political, economic, and social movement ... (which) advocate(s) for the downscaling of production and consumption," or, in other words, "the contraction of economies."
Over the past few years, Paul Krugman has become known as one of the most rabid leftists prominent in the national political scene. He is, as George Will once described him, famous for believing that anyone who disagrees with him is “a knave or corrupt or a corrupt knave.”
What you may not know, however, is that that the very angry leftist New York Times columnist has actually diverged quite a bit from his former life. That past is what earned him his Nobel Prize in economics and also...a spot on Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers. And while one wishes that he had worked there cleaning the commodes, the truth is that Krugman was actually there as an economist who believed (mostly) in the free market.
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Nancy Cordes falsely characterized the weapon used in the 2011 mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona. Cordes noted that former astronaut Mark Kelly, "whose wife...Gabrielle Giffords was badly injured in the Tucson shooting," would call for a ban on "assault weapons like the one that was used to wound his wife and kill six others."
However, Jared Loughner, the perpetrator of the massacre, used a Glock 19 handgun with a 33-round magazine, not the military-style, semi-automatic rifles that are often labeled "assault weapons" by gun control supporters. The journalist even showed a photo of the firearm in question as she misrepresented its type. [audio available here; video below the jump]
ABC and CNN contributor Donna Brazile - posing as one of Barack Obama's trusted defenders in the media like she always does! - got a much-needed education Sunday about the President's profligate spending.
Countering Brazile's propaganda on ABC's This Week, George Will said, "A dollar spent on A cannot be spent on B...This is our future. We're going to be an assisted living home with an Army. That's going to be the American government" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Thursday's The Ed Show, MSNBC analyst Jonathan Alter -- formerly of Newsweek -- chastised Whole Foods CEO John Mackey for using the word "fascism" criticizing Obamacare, suggesting that he is less "enlightened" than liberal CEOs like Warren Buffett for not realizing that "The only reason that they have been able to be so successful is because they're operating in a country, this country, where they get all kinds of public services..."
Without informing viewers that Whole Foods employs a plan based on high deductibles and "personal savings accounts" to provide health care for all its full-time employees and about 90 percent of employees who work at least 30 hours a week, Alter went on to assert that libertarian-minded CEOs like Mackey "don't get" that they have "certain social responsibilities," and charged that Whole Foods has a "crunchy" and "earthtone ethic" regarding its employees.
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell granted staunch gun rights supporter Michael Bloomberg a platform to blast the NRA as "stupid", and brush aside gun-owning Americans as a radical minority. O'Donnell set up the New York City mayor to accuse the gun rights group of being under the thumb of gun manufacturers.
The CBS anchors also took a more subdued approach to the Bloomberg segment, compared to their contentious interview of NRA President David Keene just minutes earlier. Co-anchor Charlie Rose led the segment with a softball question to the billionaire politician [audio clips from the Bloomberg interview are available here; video below the jump]:
Norah O'Donnell barely contained her contempt for NRA president David Keene during an interview on Thursday's CBS This Morning. O'Donnell confronted Keene over a new ad that ripped President Obama's support of gun control and referenced the armed Secret Service protection for Sasha and Malia Obama: "The NRA put out this ad in which you mentioned the President's kids....Why is it not off-bounds to use the President's kids or anybody's kids in a political ad?"
Keene tried to explain the intent behind the ad, but the anchor interrupted him mid-answer. The outrage in her voice was unmistakable [audio available here; video below the jump]:
Despite CNN waging a crusade for gun control over the past month, and host Piers Morgan drawing attention with his incessant activism and bullying of his opponents on the gun issue, CNN’s own poll shows that support for some gun control measures has dropped over the past month.
CNN.com reported on its poll Wednesday: "According to the survey, 56% support a ban on semi-automatic guns, but that's down from 62% in a CNN poll taken in the days after the shooting at Sandy Hook. The same is true for a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips - 62% in December, down to 58% now - as well as a requirement for all gun owners to register their firearms with the local government - 78% last month, down to 69% now."
Bob Schieffer somehow topped Chris Matthews during CBS News's special coverage of President Obama's gun control press conference on Wednesday, as he became the worst caricature of a foaming-at-the-mouth cheerleader for the chief executive. Schieffer lauded "one of the best speeches I've ever heard him [Obama] deliver", and compared Obama's new gun control agenda to Lyndon Johnson's push for civil rights legislation in the 1960s.
The CBS veteran even went so far to liken the President's cause to the ten-year hunt for 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden and the difficult endeavor of winning World War II [audio available here; video below the jump]:
New York Times labor reporter Steven Greenhouse celebrates Occupy Wall Street ideas like the "Robin Hood tax" in his reporting, so it's no surprise his Sunday Review "news analysis," "Productivity Climbs, But Wages Stagnate," pushed unvarnished left-wing ideas from economists who want a much higher minimum wage, strengthening unions, and higher taxes (in Greenhouse's euphemism, "a more progressive tax system") in the name of spurring higher wages for workers.
On Friday's CBS This Morning, Bill Plante refreshingly spotlighted how firearms are used to protect the lives of ordinary Americans. Plante noted how the National Rifle Association "Tweeted a story...about Melinda Herman, a Georgia woman who shot an intruder in self-defense as she waited with her two children in a closet....She fired at the man multiple times with a .38 caliber handgun."
The two other Big Three morning shows failed to mention this story during their coverage of the current gun control debate. ABC's GMA actually minimized the air time they devoted to the issue. News anchor Dan Harris gave just one news brief to the next meeting of Vice President Joe Biden's gun violence task force:
Former Democratic Governor Ed Rendell channeled Piers Morgan on Friday's Now with Alex Wagner program on MSNBC. Rendell even upped the ante, claiming that there was a positive side to the Newtown, Connecticut massacre – that it boosts liberal efforts for stricter gun control [audio available here; video below the jump]:
Thursday's CBS This Morning trumpeted Piers Morgan's "crusade against gun violence in America", and gave the CNN host four and half minutes to spout his pro-gun control views unopposed. Morgan endorsed implementing something akin to the "really draconian" firearms regulations that the U.K. passed after the 1996 Dunblane massacre.
Despite denying that he wanted to take guns away from Americans, the British anchor repeatedly called for complete bans on "assault weapons" and handguns, along with high-capacity magazines [audio available here; video below the jump]:
Can you imagine a columnist writing "Grocery Stores and Profits, a Poor Mix?" Eduardo Porter's "Economic Scene" column for Wednesday's New York Times Business Day was similarly titled: "Health Care And Profits, A Poor Mix."
Porter, who previously covered economics as a reporter for the paper, showed his mistrust of the market to provide vital services like adequate health care and pensions, advancing his left-wing argument via a narrow 30-year-old study.
CBS This Morning's slant towards gun control emerged again on Tuesday as they reported on the upcoming meetings of Vice President Joe Biden's task force on new firearms regulations. Despite a graphic spotlighting how "activists on both sides" were ready for a "fight" on the issue, the morning show only featured pictures of pro-gun control demonstrations, including one of a far left Code Pink protester disrupting a recent NRA press conference.
Anchor Charlie Rose also asked CBS News political director John Dickerson an eyebrow-raising question regarding the passage of federal gun control legislation in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut [audio available here; video below the jump]:
One would think that a newspaper which in its view has largely made its reputation on publishing leaked government documents and revealing government secrets would have been a bit more excited about being the sole receipient of a report from the State of New York indicating that hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," is safe. The State had already sat on the report for a year.
The Times published the story on January 3, but on Page A19, while changing its original strong title ("Hydrofracking Safe, Says N.Y. Health Dept. Analysis" -- seen in the browser window) to a less descriptive, boring, and somewhat deceptive "Gas Drilling Is Called Safe in New York."
NBC News correspondent Luke Russert marveled at Code Pink's disruption of the National Rifle Association's press conference in a Friday post on Twitter: "That was probably the most effective code pink protestor I've ever seen."
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, Major Garrett tried to shoehorn Steven Spielberg's screening of his recent film "Lincoln" for the Senate into his report on President Obama's Wednesday press conference on the fiscal cliff and gun control. Garrett hyped how the movie "celebrates presidential power and crafty legislative strategy," and that Obama "may need the wisdom of Lincoln for his latest legislative battle - gun control."
The correspondent even played a clip from the film about the sixteenth President to hint at a parallel between the passage the 13th Amendment, which happened after the carnage of the Civil War, and possible new firearms regulations in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut massacre [audio available here; video below the jump]:
Bill Plante apparently couldn't be bothered to find more than one conservative/Republican for his report on Wednesday's CBS This Morning. Plante aired one soundbite from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, but followed it with three straight clips from liberals/gun control supporters - White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, the Brady Campaign's Dan Gross, and Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth, who attacked the NRA's leadership as "bullies".
The correspondent hyped supposed "public outrage over the massacre [that] has also emboldened members of Congress to challenge the power of the gun lobby." Plante also spotlighted the NRA's multi-million dollar lobbying campaign in 2012:
If Hollywood doesn’t like something, then clearly state legislators should react. At least that’s what Dave Fehling, NPR’s StateImpact Texas reporter suggested. StateImpact is a “reporting project of local public media and NPR,” and has many financial backers including George Soros (through his Open Society Foundations).
“Chances may be better this time around that the Texas legislature might actually strengthen regulation of oil and gas drilling by the Texas Railroad Commission,” he wrote on the StateImpact website that accompanied his radio story aired on Dec. 18, 2012.
Stephen Colbert lent his Comedy Central television platform on Thursday to one of the left's favorite religious figures, Sister Simone Campbell, to promote her ongoing battle against Rep. Paul Ryan's fiscal ideas. Campbell slammed congressional conservatives to the extreme point of hinting that they would have treated the Holy Family worse than the innkeepers in Bethlehem [audio clips available here; video below the jump]:
Bill Plante slanted four-to-one in favor of gun control on Monday's CBS This Morning as he reported on congressional Democrats' efforts to introduce new firearms regulations. Plante played soundbites from Senator Dianne Feinstein, Carolyn McCarthy, and President Barack Obama. His sole pro-gun rights talking head was Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, who came only after the clips from the liberals were played in succession.
Despite Obama's recent hint towards supporting more gun control laws, in the wake of the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, Plante's clip of Obama came from a 2008 campaign rally where the then-senator tried to reassure gun owners.
On Wednesday, CBS This Morning shipwrecked its aim to be the hard-news alternative to ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today. Its only coverage of the passage of the right-to-work law in Michigan was a clip of Comedy Central's Jon Stewart ripping the legislation. Anchors Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell laughed on air in reaction to Stewart's shtick, with O'Donnell adding, "That's pretty good."
The liberal Daily Show host poked fun of the "right-to-work" phrase as an Orwellian reversal of reality (audio available here; video below the jump):
There will be plenty of time later to look at how the Associated Press and other wires more than likely fail to report the violence that took place in connection with right-to-work legislative actions in Michigan's legislature today. For now, let's look at the reactions of Associated Press reporters John Flesher and Jeff Karoub on Friday in an item which is no longer at the AP's main national site.
Their dispatch's headline ("Michigan Republicans end part of union tradition") was from all appearances an attempt to make it seem uninteresting. The story itself didn't describe the law involved as "right to work" until its fourth paragraph. Both before and after that, the pair, who are more than likely members of the Occupy Movement-supporting News Media Guild, got bitter (bolds are mine throughout this post):
On Monday's CBS This Morning, Norah O'Donnell seemed unsure about the extent of Tea Party's political influence. During an interview of former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, O'Donnell first indicated that the movement was a potent force: "I want to ask you...about how powerful the Tea Party is. Is the Tea Party holding back House Republicans and Speaker Boehner from agreeing to additional revenues?"
The anchor later hinted the Tea Party's power was on the wane: "FreedomWorks spent $40 million in the last election, and you had less than one-in-four of a winning record on the candidates you backed. Was it the organization, or is the Tea Party weakened?"
Football Hall of Famer Joe Namath called out NBC's Bob Costas on Monday's Piers Morgan Tonight for gratuitously inserting his pro-gun control views into a NFL telecast: "As a football fan, I'm not up to that kind of a halftime take. There is a time and a place for it, and I wasn't pleased about that."
Namath also hinted that gun control efforts were ultimately futile because of humanity's unpredictable nature: "I think there's always going to be a problem dealing with firearms, with knives. It's the animal we are that cause the problems." [audio available here; video below the jump]
Jim Axelrod filed a completely one-sided report on Tuesday's CBS This Morning linking the Jovan Belcher murder-suicide to a lack of gun control inside the NFL – and in the country in general. Axelrod turned to only pro-gun control advocates as talking heads – Brady Center flack Marcellus Wiley, NBC's Bob Costas, and New York Times sportswriter William Rhoden.
Rhoden blamed the widespread availability of guns in the U.S. for sportsmen getting involved in violent incidents: "Why do athletes love guns? Well, the reality is that this is a gun culture. Lots of people - and lots of people with money - own guns." The correspondent also outlined that liberal newspaper journalist "says the issue of guns and athletes is about youth, money, and perceived power." [audio clips available here; video below the jump]
On Monday's CBS This Morning, Cheesecake Factory CEO David Overton spotlighted the looming economic impact of Obamacare's implementation, especially on small enterprises: "For those businesses that don't cover their employees, they'll be in for a very expensive situation." Overton also warned that the cost of the law would be passed on to customers.
Anchor Norah O'Donnell raised the issue of the still-controversial health care law: "One of the things that's going to change, of course, in the new year is ObamaCare, or the Affordable Care Act. How do you implement that at Cheesecake Factory, and how will you pay for health care for all of your employees?" [audio clips available here; video below the jump]