Following President Obama’s call to raise the federal minimum wage to $9/hour in Tuesday's State of the Union address, MSNBC has been eagerly pushing the president’s new-found support for the hike.
Speaking on February 14, host Thomas Roberts conducted a one-sided interview with liberal contributor Goldie Taylor on the supposed need to jack up the minimum wage. As most of Roberts’ segments are, not one guest was brought on to challenge Taylor’s liberal motives, with Roberts introducing the segment as such:
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.
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.
It appears as though NBC’s Andrea Mitchell has sided with the unions in the latest battle over workers’ rights, this time in Michigan.
Appearing on Tuesday’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, Ms. Mitchell took it upon herself to hammer Governor Rick Snyder (R-Mich.) over his decision to sign a bill making Michigan the 24th right to work state. She later followed up the Snyder segment with a friendly chat with liberal columnist Ruth Marcus and later with a softball interview with the Rev. Jesse Jackson and a United Auto Workers union boss. [See video below page break. MP3 audio here.]
Just before Thanksgiving, the leftist think tank Demos issued a report by its own Catherine Ruetschlin advocating a $12 an hour minimum wage (stated as $25,000 per year by her) for those who work full-time in retail.
What's interesting about Ruetschlin's suggestion is that there is a retailer out there which is actually doing that and more -- and it's not Costco, which "pays starting employees at least $10 an hour." To be fair to Costco, rapid wage advancement is apparently quite common there, but that's off-topic. Perhaps surprising to the press, the company involved starts its full-time employees not at $12 an hour, but at $13. Perhaps if it spent less time trying to figure how to discredit this company, the establishment media might instead focus on how this company is able to be profitable under such a wage structure. Before identifying the firm after the jump, we'll first see in an open letter from its CEO why it's not getting favorable press attention (in full; bolds are mine):
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]
Tonight's fun facts relate to the strike by the group a Reuters report describes as "500 clerical workers at the ports, members of the relatively small Office of Clerical Union Workers" at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The strikers' picket lines have been honored by "some 10,000 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union."
These fun facts are rarely mentioned, but readers will want to learn them, and the rest of the country also should be quite interested. Though they could conceivably be elsewhere, I only found them mentioned in one Associated Press item from two days ago currently carried at Google News. It's a good thing it's there, because it appears to be gone from the AP's national web site. In fact, a search there at 11 p.m. ET on "Los Angeles ports" (not in quotes) came up empty. The fun fact is not in the aforementioned Reuters story, a very long AP story from November 28 found at the San Jose Mercury News, or a related November 30 New York Times story. The fun facts, and a link to the AP story, are after the jump:
Deck the halls! The Obamas were Christmas shopping on "Small Business Saturday," and spurring economic growth with their consumer spending. Economic activity that may come to an abrupt end if we take the plunge off the fiscal cliff.
CBSNews.com reporter Lindsey Boerma wrote on November 24 about the outing detailing how, “accompanied by his daughters Sasha and Malia, the president journeyed across the river to One More Page Books, which the White House described as an "independent, neighborhood bookstore." After consulting his Blackberry for an apparent holiday wish list, he purchased 15 children's books before even browsing the store.” But is President Obama really pro-small business?
The third page of an unbylined report with an early Saturday time stamp credited to "USA Today" carried at the Jackson, Mississippi Clarion Ledger (like USAT, a Gannett Company) claimed that "Walmart heiress Alice Walton expressed solidarity with Walmart's striking workers."
Putting aside whether or not an action taken by what the company estimated may have been fifty associates is a "strike" or a "temper tantrum," the claim was not true. USA Today fell for a hoax. Following the jump are several paragraphs from the Clarion Ledger report and an LA Times writeup identifying the hoax. Additionally, I learned that Alice Walton's Crystal Bridges Museum was the object of Occupy and union movement protests when it opened a year ago.
Nuns on the Bus tour leader Sister Simone Campbell appeared on MSNBC's The Cycle on Thursday afternoon to discuss her ministry, which predictably led to her left-wing agenda becoming the focal point of the conversation. The only host to take issue with her talking points was token conservative S.E. Cupp, who was armed with facts and figures that the good sister could not rebut except by adamantly insisting they were "really wrong." That's when it started getting a little tense. [ video below, MP3 audio here ]
CNBC’s Jim Cramer predicted a possible recession by Christmas if lawmakers didn’t step up and make some sort of deal in regards to the looming fiscal cliff. His prediction came during an Nov. 11 appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“We can gift wrap a recession by Christmas. We can set it right into place without some agreement,” Cramer told “Meet the Press” host David Gregory. He attributed that week’s stock market drop to that same lack of certainty.
From the Department of Damned if You Do, Damned If You Don't . . .
The MSM delighted in raking Mitt Romney over its coals [solar cells?] for his 47% remarks. So how do they react when Romney issues an ad saying that whereas both he and President Obama care about the poor, his plans will actually help them? With scorn, of course.
Check out the headline from today's Morning Score at Politico: "Mitt Oozes Empathy In New Ad." View the ad after the jump.
On Tuesday night, Democrats showcased Lilly Ledbetter as she attacked the Republican Party in general and GOP presidential nominee as out-of-touch with women and not committed to closing the so-called gender wage gap. It seems the partisan Ledbetter ignored or is blissfully unaware that female Democratic senators are egregious offenders when it comes to equal pay for their office staff. Will the liberal media do the fact-checking or the context-providing that needs to be done in reaction to the Ledbetter speech?
Apparently CNN considers the stating of cold, hard economic realities to be risky partisanship now. Take the case of Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter claiming that ObamaCare will increase costs for his company.
Papa John's is not the first company to claim Obamacare will raise its costs, but it is the first to be viciously attacked by CNN. [Video follows page break; MP3 audio here.]
The establishment press often pays a price in lost credibility when it ignores important economic reports. The original omission is bad enough, of course. But when subsequent business coverage makes assertions which the ignored reports directly refute, it leaves you wondering why you should even try to believe anything they compose.
Such is the case with Martin Crutsinger's report today on the Institute for Supply Management's Non Manufacturing Index (NMI). Following on the heels of Monday's Manufacturing Index, which slipped into contraction (as perceived by surveyed purchasing managers) for the first time in three years, the NMI declined but at least remained in (perceived) expansion mode. In the course of describing current economic conditions, Crutsinger made the following erroneous statement:
Making an absurd declaration on Friday's NBC Today, chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman asserted that the oppressive regime in Saudi Arabia was fairer to working women than the United States: "We still make 77 cents to the dollar as men. It's ridiculous. In a country like Saudi Arabia, where we question their rights, it's against the law to pay women less than men." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Guess what else is against the law in Saudi Arabia? For a woman to work without the permission of her male guardian. As a result, according to a report on PBS Newshour Extra, women in the Islamic state currently "only make up 5 percent of the workforce." Women must also adhere to a strict dress code and are banned from driving.
NPR's Tamara Keith forwarded the "war on women" talking point of Democratic senators on Tuesday's All Things Considered as she reported on their proposed Paycheck Fairness Act. Keith spotlighted how "the bill's author...Senator Barbara Mikulski from Maryland, points out women earn just 77 cents for every dollar made by a man in the same position. She says that's the real war on women."
However, the correspondent omitted that several cosponsors of the bill actually pay their female staffers less than male staffers. She also slanted towards the liberal politicians by playing three soundbites from them, versus only one from a Republican senator.
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):
It must be campaign season. Fact-checking gurus are rating accurate statements by the Romney campaign as "Mostly False" or "Half True" or – the best – "True but False," since they're correct but they apparently don't tell the whole story.
However, when President Obama made a factually-incorrect statement last week, he did not receive a "False" rating from the website PolitiFact, but benefitted from a grading curve since he "has a point" to make. Romney received the same "Half True" rating for a factually-correct statement.
It's difficult to be a good economist and simultaneously be perceived as compassionate. To be a good economist, one has to deal with reality. To appear compassionate, often one has to avoid unpleasant questions, use "caring" terminology and view reality as optional.
Affordable housing and health care costs are terms with considerable emotional appeal that politicians exploit but have absolutely no useful meaning or analytical worth. For example, can anyone tell me in actual dollars and cents the price of an affordable car, house or myomectomy? It's probably more pleasant to pretend that there is universal agreement about what is or is not affordable.
The issue has long been an awkward topic at the New York Times Co.Publisher Arthur Sulzberger earned bonus pay in the form of stock and stock options of $4.9 million dollars in 2005, and chief executive Janet Robinson departed last year in a golden parachute worth a staggering $15 million. Of course, the Times never mentions those particular instances of greedy executives, sticking with big bad corporations not named New York Times.
Even Singer's case for greedy chief executives boiled down to the outsized reward (in stock) of a single CEO, Timothy Cook of Apple, approved by shareholders by a wide margin. But before providing the pesky context, Singer tried to numb us with Cook's big number:
Zbigniew Brzezinki's indictment of the United States was so harsh—calling America "one of the most socially unjust societies in the world"—that even his own daughter Mika was taken aback, asking her father to explain himself.
But that didn't stop Andrea Mitchell from emphatically agreeing with Zbigniew Brzezinki's condemnation of the USA. In the course of doing so, Mitchell called the Tea Party and opposition to ObamaCare "exaggerated forms" of protest, while praising Occupy Wall Street as "a real movement." Video after the jump.
For conservatives, one of the bright spots of the Occupy Wall Street protests was when millionaire investor Peter Schiff went down to Zuccotti Park with video camera and a sign reading "I Am The 1% - Let's Talk."
On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of speaking with Schiff by telephone in a sweeping interview about his experience at OWS, how the financial media are doing, and ending with his rather frightening view of the economy and the future of our nation (video follows with transcript):
On Friday's Inside Washington on PBS, regular panel member Nina Totenberg of NPR incorrectly claimed that the "top tenth of one percent" of income earners in America "controls something like 20 or 30 percent" of the nation's income, and went on to characterize the economic situation as being worse than it has been in "hundreds of years," as she suggested income gaps were at a level that "people came to this country to avoid."
In reality, it is the top one percent - not the top "tenth of one percent" - that earns about a quarter of the nation's income.
As the group discussed the Occupy Wall Street protests, Totenberg made the following observations:
It's hard to figure out why Tom Krisher at the Associated Press bothered filing a report on the status of contract talks between Detroit's Big 3 automakers and the United Auto Workers. The only reason I can discern is that he wanted to brag about how he and his wire service pals have access to anonymously-sourced info about how the talks are going. Surprise: As has been the case almost always for about the past 30-plus years, It's coming down to the wire with the two sides supposedly far apart at two of the three companies. Knock me over with a feather.
Krisher failed to inform readers of three quite important sets of facts. First (seriously), he never told readers that General Motors and Chrysler workers have no-strike contract clauses prohibiting them from job actions until 2015, i.e., only Ford is financially vulnerable. Second, he failed to note that the government still holds a significant (and probably board-controlling) share of GM, or that a UAW healthcare trust owns 46.5% of Chrysler (down from an original 55%). Finally, because he didn't disclose the ownership stakes, he failed to note the obvious conflict of interest the UAW has in negotiating with Ford, or the possible government-influenced pressure on the union to drive a hard bargain with Ford on GM's behalf.