In 1992, Bill Clinton successfully used a campaign strategy of continually focusing attention on the supposedly poor economy thinking that Americans typically vote with their wallets.
Of course, most intelligent people know that the recession actually ended in early 1991, and that this strategy would have failed miserably had the media not been complicit, and, instead, honestly reported economic realities.
Regardless, it appears media at this point are concerned that a strong economy and rising stock market might undermine Democrat presidential candidates in November 2008.
With that in mind, the New York Times' Tom Redburn wrote an article Saturday that diminished the importance of the economy in the upcoming elections, threw cold water on the premise that presidents have any impact on economic developments, and told readers to be much more concerned with - wait for it - the war in Iraq.
In fact, the article actually began (h/t Lynn Davidson, emphasis added throughout):
As NewsBusters has been reporting this week (see this and this), as the stock market hit new all-time highs, the media have been dour Nervous Nellies carping and whining about gas prices, the low value of the dollar, the housing slump, and the rising trade deficit.
Yet, there are a variety of issues that press outlets have conveniently ignored during this record bull run that not only explain rising stock prices, but also give a more accurate view of what is going on in the global economy.
For instance, Bloomberg was one of the only major media outlets Tuesday which reported record purchases of U.S. securities by foreigners in May (emphasis added):
“Private” must be the new cuss word, because “CBS Evening News” sure made it sound dirty on July 16.
“It was the winter of 2003, when Congress, in the dead of night, overhauled Medicare … [Medicare Advantage] and it put a large part of a government-run program into the hands of private insurance companies,” said investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian.
When Matt Lauer introduced a segment on the booming stock market by asking "is the rising tide lifting all boats?" I braced myself for another MSM excursion into class warfare. But surprise, surprise . . .
CNBC's Erin Burnett narrated the segment, and her opening also made me figure we were in for more bash-the-rich rhetoric. "Another day, another record on Wall Street . . . As stocks rise, it is time to finally ask, who is really making all the money? Who are the winners of the global economic boom?"
Cut to clips of the Dem presidential contenders, including Hillary offering up this bit of class warfare at its pandering worst: "while productivity and corporate profits are up, the fruits of that success just hasn't [sic] reached many of our families. It's like trickle-down economics but without the trickle."
But then came the surprising shift of gears.
CNBC'S ERIN BURNETT: But while the rich are getting richer, you may be too. Here's why: more than half of Americans are invested in the market, whether through a 401(k) plan or buying stocks or mutual funds, and many of those investments are surging. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 12% so far this year, and if your retirement plan invested in oil, that alone is up 21%. It's also worth noting that while politicians talk about "two Americas" [get ready to duck, John Edwards] virtually all Americans are seeing wages rise, and unemployment is at an historic low.
The segment, called "Hidden Charges," did not include comment from the banking industry and it also ignored the risk taken by banks by offering overdraft protection service – which can be a benefit to consumers. Bouncing a check is costly too from what I've heard.
The New York Times let go of the media’s “How dare you make that much money,” attitude on July 3 to support a new kind of executive. The green kind.
“The new environmental chiefs are helping companies profit from the push to go green,” wrote Claudia H. Deutsch.
Deutsch’s article supported the concept talking about how it will make money for companies, without mentioning any drawbacks. She also left out the radical left-wing nature of some of the groups mentioned in the story. The only criticism of the new positions came from the left.
As the media and their alarmists like soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore have shamefully convinced enough of the population that man can actually impact the climate, law firms around the nation are gearing up to sue possible offenders.
I kid you not.
As reported in Monday’s Dallas Morning News (h/t NBer alamojb, emphasis added throughout):
“World News Sunday” on June 17 used Gibson’s very extreme situation to heap more blame on lenders without asking questions about her payment plan, loan consolidation or any other options that could lower her payments. The report also left out key facts such as where Gibson lives, how much debt she has, and what type of loan or loans she has.
On Friday evening, the CBS Evening News and ABC's World News with Charles Gibson offered opposite views on whether the recently released inflation figures for May should be viewed as good or bad. While CBS News anchor Russ Mitchell referred to "inflation alarms" going off, leading to higher interest rates that are "hitting [home] buyers hard," ABC News anchor Gibson characterized inflation as "under control" as he conveyed that the report "eased worries" and set off a stock market rally.
Below are transcripts of relevant portions of the CBS Evening News and ABC's World News with Charles Gibson from Friday June 15:
The student loan industry has been too cozy with colleges and universities and has harmed students, at least that’s what the media say.
“For weeks, an investigation of the student loan business has been scrutinizing whether close ties between lenders and colleges have enriched them at the expense of debt-laden students,” explained the May 29 USA Today.
But that investigation has been an anti-industry “crusade” waged by liberal New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, and the media have been fighting alongside him.
What do you get when you add a liberal think tank study, another liberal “expert, and CBS “Evening News?” You get a doom-and-gloom story about baby boomers remaining in the work force as “an economic necessity” that ignores relevant information.
“The 78 million baby boomers are starting to think about retirement, but for many of them, that’s all they’ll be able to do. Think about it. Two new reports out today show many will have to retire much later than they thought,” said anchor Katie Couric.
Couric also said, “While boomers may be better educated and better paid than their parent, they’re not necessarily better off.”
Now don’t despair boomers. There is something Couric and correspondent Nancy Cordes didn’t tell you.
In the You-Can’t-Make-This-Up Department, ‘In the Money’ show reporter Polly Labarre complained employees don’t get enough time off. We’ve got it so darn bad, according to the folks at CNN, “we work more than medieval peasants used to work.”
Ordinarily, I’d debunk that June 9 report, pointing out that peasants had to work dawn to dusk eking out a living little better than slaves. But it’s so ridiculous, why bother?
Like so much in the media, this little nugget comes from another goofy group that the media miraculously fail to ignore. It’s called the “Take Back Your Time” movement. The group has a long list of demands of more time off for Americans and Canadians.
While past ABC reports have mourned the hardship facing the American auto industry, ABC aired liberal support for higher fuel efficiency standards that would make competition more difficult and manufacturing more expensive.
But reporter Dean Reynolds gave almost no time to the auto industry in his June 7 “World News with Charles Gibson” story.
Reynolds cited left-wing Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Phyllis Cuttino of Pew’s Campaign for a Fuel Efficient America.
“We have better cup holders in cars, we have better music systems in cars – that’s all good,” Dorgan said, “But the fact is we need cars that are more efficient.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the liberal Supreme Court justice, took the unusual step of reading from the bench her dissent against the Court's recent 5-4 ruling in a case against pay disparity in the workplace. The New York Times' Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse celebrated Ginsburg's activism in her Thursday "Supreme Court Memo," "Oral Dissents Give Ginsburg a New Voice on Court."
"Whatever else may be said about the Supreme Court's current term, which ends in about a month, it will be remembered as the time when Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg found her voice, and used it.
"Both in the abortion case the court decided last month and the discrimination ruling it issued on Tuesday, Justice Ginsburg read forceful dissents from the bench. In each case, she spoke not only for herself but also for three other dissenting colleagues, Justices John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter and Stephen G. Breyer.
On Thursday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program repeated anti-Wal-Mart talking points from the liberal group Wake-up Wal-Mart. Reporter Bianna Golodryga explained that the segment, which discussed recent company woes, was based on a confidential memo given to the network:
Bianna Golodryga: "...Wake-Up Wal-Mart, a union financed group highly critical of the retailer has provided ABC News with a confidential memo from a former ad agency with a dire warning."
The memo, which is six months old and amounts to nothing more than an embarrassing behind the scenes discussion of Wal-Mart’s strategy to market high-end goods, seemed to simply be a pretext for GMA to bash the company. Golodryga piled on, noting that "the leaked memo is just another blow to a company which has experienced its share of blunders this year, ranging from sexual discrimination lawsuits to a recent war of words with a fired ad executive." The segment also featured a representative from the left-wing Wake up Wal-Mart group slamming the company’s "poor values," while having nobody on to defend it:
The American left loves to chant "no blood for oil." But those same liberals would eagerly sacrifice American interests in the name of . . . a cheaper Caesar salad.
Take this morning's report on CNN which came at about 7:35 am EDT. Entitled "Farm-Fresh Problems," the segment, narrated by CNN's Chris Lawrence, focused on the lack of illegal immigrant labor to harvest California's fruit and vegetable crops.
CNN REPORTER CHRIS LAWRENCE: California harvests about half the nation's fruits and vegetables and every summer, farmers need half-a-million workers to pick those crops. But the crackdown on illegal immigrants is keeping workers out of their fields, leaving unpicked fruit left to rot.
HENRY VEGA [California farmer]: They're definitely worried about being raided and deported.
USA Today’s article on the “generation gap” in income and wealth has the power to revolutionize media coverage of “income inequality.” It’s not inequality between people in general that’s growing, Dennis Cauchon’s report said – it’s inequality between generations. Young people are delaying careers for more education, marrying later and even getting their inheritances later. Meanwhile, retirees are living longer and living off the payments of those same youngsters.
As Al Gore and his band of not so merry global warming alarmists in buses and in the press try to convince Americans that they need to alter behaviors in order to save the planet, an inconvenient truth is being cynically withheld: this is going to cost a lot of money.
Of course, one of the delicious hypocrisies is that these are the same people who decry the current economic boom as only helping the rich, and state regularly and fervently that the poor and middle-class are being left behind.
At the same time, such mid- to lower-level wage earners should be saddled with exorbitant additional expenses to shelter them from a wolf that might never come knocking at their doors.
Makes sense, right?
With that in mind, the Chicago Tribune’s Laurie Goering wrote a fabulous piece recently exposing some of the potential costs of this exercise that most media don’t want you to know (emphasis added throughout, h/t Benny Peiser):
That’s how the “American Morning” anchor described Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) annual salary of $162,100. He also called the Obama family incomes of “$470,000 up to $1.4 million” “pretty modest” during the May 17 report. Roberts used the word “modest” three different times to depict some part of Obama’s financial life.
In other words – nearly four times the median household income. The median household income in the United States is $46,326, according to the U.S. Census. That’s 29 percent of Obama’s “modest” Senate income and about 10 percent of the “pretty modest” amount the Obamas declared as the low end of what they earned last year.
"It's very peaceful," said Hunter, "There's a growing interest in scaled-down version of a traditional funeral which costs on average of more than $6,000, but cost is not the only reason people are choosing to go green."
It's certainly the only reason I would choose to.
Hunter's segment featured Memorial Ecosystems, Inc. of Westminster, S.C. which will provide a green burial at the 76-acre Ramsey Creek Preserve for about $2,275.
As the stock market has continued to regularly make new highs in 2007, how many times have you heard or read a media report carping about how the rich are getting richer?
Quite a bit, right?
If you feel bombarded with such inanities, consider that a completely unaudited LexisNexis search of major American media outlets identified 234 reports which included phrases like “rich get richer,” “income inequality,” “wealth disparity,” etc., since January 1.
Add it all up, and that’s almost two a day.
A fine example of this nauseating mantra was demonstrated by CBS’s Charles Osgood on “Sunday Morning” April 15:
Leave it to NBC's Today show to find the downside of a booming stock market. Playing the class envy card Today co-host Matt Lauer teased a story on a widening gap between rich and poor as he incredulously asked the audience: "Do you feel like you're working harder and harder these days just to stay financially afloat while fat cats get richer and richer?" Lauer, not exactly a pauper himself, then threw it to CNBC's Scott Cohn who claimed: "Not only are the rich getting richer they're leaving everyone else behind. In fact the last time the rich were this much richer than everyone else was the Great Depression."
Cohn did mention the wealthy are giving more to charity but only highlighted liberal billionaire Bill Gates' good deeds.
Here’s an extraordinarily inconvenient truth the press will likely not report: a “cap-and-trade” program designed to curb carbon emissions in order to "solve" global warming will negatively impact the poor the most.
Think Charlie, Brian, and Katie will do a story on this tonight?
Regardless of the answer, the reality is that as folks like soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore and his sycophant devotees recommend solutions to a conceivably nonexistent problem, few care to address the negative economic impact of such strategies.
Towards that goal, the Congressional Budget Office released a study on Wednesday that didn’t paint a very pretty picture of the financial ramifications of a cap-and-trade program proposed by Democrats (emphasis added throughout):
Producer of an MSM morning news show? Got a few minutes to fill at the end of your first half-hour? Why not resort to a tried-and-true winner: a bit of good old class warfare?
That was the "Today" formula this morning. Matt Lauer introduced the segment, enviously entitled "Share the Wealth?: The Rich Get Richer," fanning the flames of envy and resentment with this opener:
TODAY CO-HOST MATT LAUER: Do you feel like you're working harder and harder nowadays just to stay financially afloat while fat cats get richer and richer? It's not just a feeling, and you're not alone. The story now from from CNBC's Scott Cohn.
Fanning the flames of class warfare, ABC "World News with Charles Gibson" focused on hedge fund managers' pay on April 24.
"Some of them made a lot, I mean really a lot," said anchor Charles Gibson.
While the report by John Berman focused on the high pay -- the top fund manager James Simons made $1.7 billion last year -- but left out reasons for high compensation as well as the high taxes that certainly accompany such incomes.
Together the top 25 hedge fund managers earned a combined $14 billion last year according to Alpha magazine. Berman compared the figure to teachers pay saying it was "enough to pay New York City's 80,000 teachers for 3 years." Sure, at a tax rate of 100 percent.
Update at bottom of post: A blogger picks apart the AP story.
Just as the ladies of "The View" discussed the previous day, "The Early Show" on April 24 harped on a study that allegedly demonstrates a pay gap between men and women. Hannah Storm kicked off the report noting "women’s rights groups have declared today equal pay day." Reporter Kelly Wallace uncritically reported a study conducting by the left leaning American Association of University Women, which supports abortion rights and affirmative action. Wallace fed this information to several unsuspecting New York University female students. Although Wallace briefly mentioned that women are more likely to enter professions with lower pay, she quickly refuted it with the liberal organization’s own study.
The co-hosts on "The View" discussed the recent reports of the wage gap between men and women. Co-hosts Rosie O’Donnell and Joy Behar wondered why that story is even news. Elisabeth Hasselbeck noted that the gap begins immediately after college despite women’s higher marks in testing.
ROSIE O’DONNELL: And did you hear in the news? They’re reporting this like it's new news, which I think is funny. There is a gender pay gap in America.
JOY BEHAR: Shocking, shocking.
O’DONNELL: Women make less than men. [slapping forehead] Zoinks!
ELISABETH HASSELBECK: You know what I didn’t realize thought was right out of college, right at the jump that women are making less than men. I think they said-