In a Saturday afternoon dispatch, the Associated Press marred a mostly decent presentation of the August employment situation reported by the government yesterday in three ways.
The first is the story's misleading headline: "The Job Market Fed Faces: Healing But Still Ailing." Whether there's genuine healing going on is highly debatable, given that the labor force participation rate fell to 63.2 percent, its lowest level since 1978, and the clear trend towards part-time work. AP Economics Writer Paul Wiseman's treatment of that trend and another related one represent the report's other three weaknesses, as seen in the following three paragraphs (bolds are mine):
In a Thursday morning speech, AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka told of how surprised how he was, in the words of Time's Alex Rogers at it Swampland blog, "that employers have reduced workers’ hours below 30-a-week to avoid an employer penalty scheduled to go into effect in 2015."
Here's another "surprise" from Rogers' report, at least for those who think that lawmakers sit alone and draw up 2,000-page pieces of legislation on their own (except when the media relays claims by the left that evil industries write laws which evil Republican congressmen simply rubber-stamp them): Trumka admitted organized labor's direct involvement in in writing Obamacare. In other words, labor created the mess it is now denouncing (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Among ten charts presented by Brad Plumer at the Washington Post on Wednesday, the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech at the 1963 March on Washington, all meant to show that "the black-white economic gap hasn’t budged in 50 years," is one which purports claims that "The gap in household income between blacks and whites hasn’t narrowed in the last 50 years."
Words mean things, Brad. "Hasn't budged" means "no meaningful movement." That just isn't so, as will be seen after the jump. But first, let's look at the inflation-adjusted graph WaPo presented to support its claim:
If we're to believe Tom Raum's Friday afternoon report at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, the economy is humming along smoothly enough that we really shouldn't think about it that much any more, especially as something to consider when voting. And besides, it's being "eclipsed" by "other pressing events."
I'll stay away from those other "events" in the interest of concentrating on the 3-1/2 paragraphs Raum employed to convince readers that things really are okay, followed by a quote from a reliable leftist apparatchik (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
At the Associated Press, economics writer Christopher Rugaber used not seasonally adjusted data published by the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics on metro area employment and unemployment to crow about "widespread improvement in the job market." The predominance of part-time jobs among the new ones created and fact that houshold incomes have yet to recover from the recession apparently had no impact on his assessment.
The opening sentence of the government's report reads: "Unemployment rates were lower in July than a year earlier in 320 of the 372 metropolitan areas, higher in 38 areas, and unchanged in 14 area, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today." But the second paragraph of Rugaber's AP report, headlined "Unemployment Rates Fall in Two-thirds of U.S. Cities," tells readers that "[U]nemployment rates fell in 239 of the nation's 372 largest cities in July from June."
ABC on Thursday night again offered a one-sided take on the fast food "strikes," promoting the "living wage." Economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis featured multiple clips of angry protesters, but none of those on the other side. (She did the same thing earlier in the day on Good Morning America.) In comparison, NBC's Nightly News at least highlighted those worrying about the economic impact of doubling the minimum wage.
World News anchor Diane Sawyer introduced, "A lot of people at the drive through window at your favorite fast food are asking the question, what is a fair living wage?" Jarvis included a clip of a woman asserting, "My whole household of seven people is surviving on my one $8 an hour [salary]. So, we're barely holding our head over water." At no time did she wonder if the protests were organically grown or something heavily promoted by wealthy unions.
Illinois Democratic Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky added her ignorant voice to the cacophony of economic confusion Thursday on the low-rated MSNBC show hosted by Chris Hayes. If a Republican congressperson made a statement as breathtakingly ignorant as the one you're about to see, it would get wider media play. Schakowsky's "brilliant" suggestion almost certainly won't.
Why has nobody thought of this fantastic idea? Here it is as "articulated" by Schakowsky in response to a question from Hayes (HT Bridget Johnson at PJ Tatler; bolds are mine; click on the "transcript" tab at the link to see the full text of the discussion; the original transcript has no caps and is missing some punctuation, but yours truly has added them where needed):
CNN's Carol Costello showed a massive double standard in her coverage of Thursday's fast food strikes, grilling a National Restaurant Association executive while treating a striking worker with kid gloves.
The disparity between the interviews was stark. Costello started by putting the NRA executive on the defensive: "do these workers have a point? Should they make more money?" In contrast, in the next hour she teed up a striking worker: "I can't help but notice your t-shirt. What does it say?"
It must be nice to blithely talk about how you would spend somebody else's money without thinking through the consequences.
Kendall Fells, the organizing director of Fast Food Forward in New York, told Yahoo Finance's Bernice Napatch at its Daily Ticker site that "McDonald’s made $5.5 billion in profits and there’s plenty of money to pay the workers who work there and new hires without firing anyone.” As was the case with a Detroit protester's claim that "McDonald’s made like $500 billion last year" noted earlier today, Napatch did not challenge Fells's fallacy. After the jump, we'll come up with a better estimate showing that the company and its franchisees couldn't pay their employees $15 an hour even if they burned through all of their current restaurant operating income in trying.
The four panelists of MSNBC’s The Cycle each weighed in on yesterday's nationwide fast food workers’ strike on Thursday’s show. All four of them voiced their support for the strikers, including the supposedly conservative member of the panel, Abby Huntsman.
Huntsman claimed the strike was “bigger than the minimum wage. This is about making enough to live.” She groused that the average minimum wage employee in Missouri was only bringing home about $10,000 a year. “I mean, people deserve higher-paying jobs,” she complained. “I think this speaks to a much bigger problem. It's jobs across the board where people aren't getting paid enough to live.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Vickie Thomas and the news department at Detroit TV station WWJ really ought to be ashamed of themselves. The open question is whether they even know enough to be ashamed.
In reporting on a Motor City McDonald's store which was forced to close — whether it was for a few hours or all day and night isn't disclosed — Thomas quoted a "protester" claiming that "McDonald’s made like $500 billion last year." Most readers would interpret "made" as the company's annual profit. The company's worldwide net income in 2012 was $5.5 billion, barely 1 percent of the protester's completely unchallenged figure. The "like $500 billion" cited and allowed to stand is also 14 times larger than the $35.6 billion in gross sales at all of McDonald's U.S. franchised and company-owned stores.
MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski vehemently criticized Miley Cyrus’s lewd display during Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” at the MTV Video Music Awards, but Brzezinski herself has blurred the lines between morning show anchor and social activist. On today’s Morning Joe, broadcast from a Ford assembly line near Detroit, the co-host openly declared her support for the nationwide fast food workers’ strike that was planned for today, even threatening to join the protesting workers.
Brzezinski introduced the story about halfway through the show, and she just couldn’t manage to hide her opinion: “Thousands of workers are set to stage walkouts in 35 cities around the country, including Detroit. As part of a push to get chains such as McDonald's, Taco Bell and Wendy's to increase their pay, as they should.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
When conservatives rally or march over an issue, such as the yearly March for Life, they don't get much attention. Yet, ABC offered two reports on Thursday promoting a liberal-backed strike on fast food restaurants. Good Morning America's Rebecca Jarvis went so far as to link the protest to Wednesday's 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's rally.
Jarvis touted, "They're hoping that scenes like the one behind me in New York will play out today in Chicago, in Denver, in Los Angeles, hoping that workers raising their voice will help raise the minimum wage." She then compared, "The day-long event comes on the heels of the 50th anniversary of the march on Washington for Jobs and Freedom." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
There are two key words missing from the report Bloomberg's Kasia Klimasinska & Shobhana Chandra published Tuesday morning — a writeup that is so incredibly sunny and over-the-top that is probably would have embarrassed the Old Soviet Union's Pravda in its heyday.
One is "income." The reason is obvious. Real median household income is still way below where it was when the recession ended four long years ago. The other absent word is "deficit." This enables Bloomberg's pathetic pair to glide though a discussion of the national debt-ceiling situation and make Republicans look like the heavies. The final problem is that they act as if we're in the fifth year of unbroken expansion, when we're not. Excerpts follow the jump.
Anthony Mason played up President Obama's $89 restaurant tip on Monday's CBS This Morning, underlining that "when it comes to tips, President Obama is tops." However, the network has yet to cover a Monday story from the New York Times that pointed out the "uncomfortable reality for the White House: the administration has named no more women to high-level executive branch posts than the Clinton administration." [audio clip available here; video below the jump]
In fact, none of the Big Three networks have covered writer Annie Lowery's scoop on the air, which cited critics of the President from the left on the issue of the administration's Cabinet gender gap.
Potentially the most dishonest aspect of the Obama-loving media's reporting since January 20, 2009, pertains to how they've almost totally ignored how poorly the economy is performing.
On Tuesday, Michael T. Snyder, author of the gloom and doom book "The Beginning of the End," wrote a fabulous piece titled "33 Shocking Facts Which Show How Badly The Economy Has Tanked Since Obama Became President":
What do you do when you're the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, and you're trying to do your level best to described a floundering economy without incurring the wrath of the Obama administration? You search for positive-sounding words to describe what is in reality a marginal situation.
The AP seems to have settled on "steady" and "steadily."
Economists, business owners and employees are worried that the Affordable Care Act is resulting in fewer hours for workers.
The networks had been ignoring this shift toward part-time work and its relationship to Obamacare earlier this year, but NBC has let the cat out of the bag. On the Aug. 13, “Nightly News” Lisa Myers reported on an NBC News investigation into the issue.
Mika to the barricades! Move over, Reverend Al. You're not the only MSNBC host who moonlights as a liberal activist. On today's Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski announced that she will be not merely be covering a pay protest by fast-food workers in Detroit on August 29th--she'll be an active participant in it.
Joe Scarborough tried—in vain—to school Mika on Econ 101. But she did the equivalent of covering her ears and nattering "nah, nah, nah: can't hear you!" Scarborough said he'd also be at the protest--on the sidelines, with a bullhorn. View the video after the jump.
On Monday’s Morning Joe, an all-liberal panel discussed, with co-host Joe Scarborough, the recent feud between the D.C. Council and Walmart, highlighting the standoff between the discount retail giant and city councilors over wages at three future Walmart locations in the nation’s capital.
Co-host Mika Brzezinski bashed Walmart throughout the segment, responding with a long pause and a befuddled look when Scarborough and liberal panelist Brian Shactman defended the world’s largest retailer. Brzezinski petulantly asked Shactman how Walmart’s “doing,” as though the answer alone would morally justify a policy that specifically targeted Walmart because it is a profitable, and politically incorrect, corporation:
Left-wing journalist Bill Moyers made a truly ludicrous attempt on Monday to twist the meaning of a particular two-word phrase. It happened while he was appearing on PBS’s Charlie Rose show to promote an upcoming documentary in which he tells the stories of two struggling families in Milwaukee. Looking the host in the eye, Moyers warned, “Never underestimate the power of learned helplessness.”
Rose appeared confused, so Moyers clarified what he meant: “Learned helplessness. That if you hear propaganda over and again, if you hear ideology over and again, you learn to be helpless because you think there's nothing you can do about it.” That sounds like a good description of what journalists on PBS, MSNBC and other outlets are responsible for. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Ed Schultz continued his weekly tirade against Republicans Sunday, arguing for a second straight week that the GOP is engaged in an all-out war against minorities.
After accusing conservatives of wanting to “keep a minority down” on last week’s Ed Show, the bombastic MSNBC host was at it again on Sunday, accusing Republicans of “attacking minorities” in their attempt to block President Obama’s appointees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Liberal media members love to demonize any politician who stands in the way of their notion of progress, and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) has planted himself squarely in the path of the current immigration reform train. It was no surprise, then, that ABC News opted to berate him in an interview posted online to the network’s Power Players blog. [Read the post and watch the video here.]
Even the headline accompanying the blog entry -- “Sen. Jeff Sessions Almost Single-Handedly Trying to Derail ‘Gang of Eight’ Immigration Bill” -- was clearly intended to isolate and demonize Sessions. ABC senior national correspondent Jim Avila, who conducted the interview, put Sessions on the defensive right from his opening question (which was not really a question):
“Assault on Wall Street,” directed by Uwe Boll and starring Dominic Purcell, takes the liberal agenda to a whole new level. Every possible liberal ideal – anti-gun, anti-capitalism, the evils of health insurance companies, crazy gun supporters – is depicted in this 1 hour and 39 minute movie, which was released on May 10 in limited theaters and on Amazon instant video.
Within the first ten minutes, viewers were introduced to evil Wall Street executive Jeremy Stancroft (John Heard) saying, “Our responsibility begins and ends with our partners and shareholders and that is it.”
Two years ago, Jimmy McMillan ran for New York governor and became a viral sensation, with more than 7 million Youtube views. Now the creator of The Rent is Too Damn High party is running for New York City mayor and has expanded his platform is his new rap anthem video.
In the first 30 seconds of his video, the news reporter declared that rent in New York is at an all time high. “Critics say Bloomberg has failed.” McMillan pointed out that mayor’s economic record is one of failure.
New host, same loopy logic. Ed Schultz is gone from his weekday MSNBC slot, but the show's name lives on until Chris Hayes comes on board next month. Sitting in for Schultz tonight was the never-at-a-loss-for-words Michael Eric Dyson.
Discussing Elizabeth Warren's latest Senate hearing stunt, on the minimum wage, Dyson gushed "wouldn't that be great" if the minimum wage were raised to $22 per hour? Yeah, great . . . if you'd like unemployment to soar into the stratosphere, as lower-skilled workers were priced out of the market. African-Americans would be particularly hard hit. View the video after the jump.
Tavis Smiley, PBS’s resident liberal activist, unleashed his anger against the Democratic Party on his talk show last night. In a conversation with California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), Smiley bemoaned the lack of increase in the federal minimum wage in recent years, attacking Democrats from the left: “Why has your party, the Democrats in Washington, the Democrat as president in the White House, why in the first term are they not more aggressive about that?” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
The taxpayer-subsidized left-wing host was furious that President Obama has lowered his minimum wage demand from $9.50 to $9.00 an hour: “I love the guy, but I keep saying he’s negotiating against himself. He started at $9.50, now he’s down to $9.00, and the debate hasn’t started.” He finished his rant by slamming the entire party once again:
"For those scraping by on minimum wage, an increase sounds good." That was the Einstein-brilliant headline for the February 25 Metro section article by Washington Post staff writer Michael Laris, which looked at how a "Young Pr[ince] George's [County] father finds little money left to advance dreams."
Laris's 44-paragraph story began with the plight of 24-year-old father Tyrrell Brown, who "makes minimum wage as a cashier at the Family Dollar in Forest Heights," Maryland, a town just outside the District of Columbia. "[E]ven with the job, the income of his girlfriend, Janise Creek, and support from their parents, they can't afford to get their own apartment with their daughter Jayla," Laris noted, quoting Brown in the next paragraph complaining, "Who can live off this little bit of money every week?"