Gas prices have risen to a nationwide average of $3.80 per gallon, per gasbuddy.com early this afternoon, and an Ohio average of over $3.90.
Is Asjylyn Loder at Bloomberg worried about the effects on drivers' pocketbooks and travel plans over Labor Day? Don't be silly. Loder is worried about its impact on Dear Leader's presidential reelection prospects, and avoids the implications of the ten-year rule of another Dear Leader, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, on the current situation. Her first three paragraphs in graphic form, plus a few more on Venezuela, follow the jump:
The Associated Press, in a Sunday evening dispatch, reported that the refinery explosion in Venezuela, which has thus far killed "at least 39 people" and injured "more than 80" (as of 10 a.m.; now it's at 41) is "Venezuela's deadliest refinery blast ever." I'm sure that I join all readers here in expressing deep condolences and prayers for the victims and all who have been affected.
Obviously reporting the details as they emerge will for a time be more important, but it appears that the Amuay refinery explosion is the deadliest such refinery incident in world history, and by a wide margin. If so, the press, after determining that this is indeed the case it, should get around to reporting it as such.
As NewsBusters has been reporting, the Obama-loving media spent many days in recent weeks trashing presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for alleged gaffes he made during his overseas trip to Europe and Israel.
Rather surprisingly, in an interview to be aired on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS Sunday, Obama-supporter and former Secretary of State Colin Powell gave Romney good grades for his trip saying, "He demonstrated that he can participate in foreign relations in a way that is constructive...I think he did himself good by going to these countries" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Let's see if this story gets any meaningful attention in the U.S., or if the Associated Press expands the brief unbylined item currently seen at its national site. I wouldn't bet on it -- and even if that occurs, I don't expect the U.S. establishment press to give what is contained therein much notice.
The AP's four-paragraph blurb tells us that independent columnists in Egypt are alarmed at what they see as the newly empowered Muslim Brotherhood's "attempt to control the state-owned press":
Introducing a report on the ongoing civil war in Syria on Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams made sure to promote PR from the White House: "...the State Department and the Pentagon are now working together on plans for Syria after Assad, hoping to avoid the chaos they believe broke out because of the lack of planning for a post-Saddam Iraq." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
However, the report that followed by chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel seemed to undermine the notion of a well-planned U.S. strategy in Syria against the Assad regime: "A rebel commander with a hundred fighters in [the city of] Aleppo told us today if the rebels don't receive a massive influx of weapons within the next 72 hours, they'll have to give up the fight."
It appears as though Andrea Mitchell has joined the chorus of "journalists" on MSNBC attacking Mitt Romney for his comments in Israel over the weekend.
On Wednesday’s Morning Joe, Mitchell tried to scold Dan Senor, senior advisor to Mitt Romney, over what she described as Mitt’s ‘deeply offensive’ comments on the relationship between culture and economic success in Israel. [Video follows page break; MP3 audio here.]
On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams smugly dismissed Mitt Romney's overseas trip as having, "ended today almost the way it started here in London, with controversy, some hurt feelings, and some raw tempers. Campaigning back home in the states is hard enough. The stakes weren't supposed to be this high for the campaign overseas." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Correspondent Peter Alexander followed: "...this trip has been supposed to be, according to his advisors, a low-risk one....But it was at times marred by missteps. Romney offending his Olympic hosts and Palestinian leaders."
I am pumped up about Mitt Romney's speech in Israel — for both political reasons and policy ones — and believe it may represent a turning point in the campaign.
Politically — and this is important because it is critical that he win, or he won't be able to implement any policies and set America back on the road to recovery — Romney has shown again he is going to take the gloves off, deal with the issues directly and draw a stark contrast between his policies and Obama's record. The significance of this cannot be overstated. Some of the reasons John McCain lost in 2008 were his lackluster campaign, his refusal to showcase Obama's extreme liberalism and, thus, his failure to demonstrate why he would make a better president than Obama.
Journalists are quite eager to undermine Mitt Romney’s trip. “A new diplomatic dust-up,” CBS anchor Scott Pelley teased Monday night, citing how “Mitt Romney in the Middle East says culture makes Israelis economically superior to Palestinians.” NBC’s Peter Alexander declared upsetting Palestinians meant Romney’s “day began in Israel with another diplomatic misstep” as ABC’s David Muir saw “another overseas controversy in a trip with missteps already.”
Muir also discovered, without citing any evidence, “fallout today from a question we asked Romney during our one-on-one last night on World News,” specifically Muir’s demand to know: “Was there ever any year when you paid lower than the 13.9 percent” income tax rate?
Sunday's CBS Evening News and the NBC Nightly News tried to spin negatively a vague statement by Mitt Romney advisor Dan Senor that the GOP presidential candidate would "respect" the Israeli government's decision if it chose to attack militarily Iran's nuclear capability, suggesting that the Romney campaign's words amounted to a criticism of the Obama administration, and thus a breach of protocol that American politicians in a foreign land should not criticize the U.S. government.
But the effort to paint the statement into a gaffe contrasts with the media silence in July 2008 when then-Senator Barack Obama, during a trip to Israel as he campaigned for the White House, claimed to be a member of a Senate committee on which he did not serve, in an effort to portray himself as tough on Iran, as he tried to take credit for the actions of the Senate Banking Committee.
One of the most embarrassing yet telling exchanges (using the term loosely, as will be seen) in the history of presidential press secretaries occurred on Thursday. Connie Lawn, described here as longest-serving White House reporter, asked Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney what should have been a really easy question: "What city does this administration consider to be the capital of Israel -- Jerusalem or Tel Aviv?"
Carney wouldn't answer it, and accused Lawn and relentless national treasure Les Kinsolving of WND.com of asking about something they already knew. Carney's contemptible behavior has been virtually ignored in the establishment press. Here is the complete exchange as relayed at the White House's web site, complete with an asterisk, which I will explain (I have added names of the questioners where needed; a YouTube of part of what follows is here; bolds are mine):
Talking to special correspondent Tom Brokaw about Mitt Romney's 10-day international tour on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie suggested the effort was a mistake: "Is it a smart idea, an opportunity to look presidential? Or is it a week lost when he could be driving that message on the economy?"
Brokaw's first reaction was to gush over Barack Obama's 2008 trip abroad: "I actually interviewed President Obama, then-Senator, here in London after a very successful trip. Times were different. There was no Arab Spring at that time, Europe was not yet in an economic meltdown, this was a fresh face after eight years of George W. Bush, who was not popular." Brokaw then added: "But it's mandatory for a presidential candidate to make these kind of tours."
During an interview of Obama senior campaign adviser David Axelrod on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose and Erica Hill bewailed the negative tone of the presidential campaign, hinting that it might turn off voters. However, the anchors let Axelrod rip Mitt Romney's recent foreign policy speech to the VFW without challenge, and failed to ask the adviser about the President's own speech to the organization.
Rose set up Axelrod's tirade against Romney with a beyond softball question - on the GOP candidate's slam of Obama: "'Contemptible conduct'; 'a betrayal' -- where are we?"
Minutes after Mitt Romney addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Tuesday, NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell appeared on MSNBC to downplay the GOP candidate's positive reception: "...this is a conservative group....This is a very conservative foreign policy group and there's no question that they would be predisposed, I think, more towards being in the Republican camp than the Democratic camp."
The Jurassic Press is missing much in their reporting on the $50 billion bailout of General Motors (GM). The Press is open channeling for President Barack Obama - allowing him to frame the bailout exactly as he wishes in the 2012 Presidential election.
The President is running in large part on the bailout’s $30+ billion loss, uber-failed “success.” And the Press is acting as his stenographers. An epitome of this bailout nightmare mess is the electric absurdity that is the Chevrolet Volt. The Press is at every turn covering up - rather than covering - the serial failures of President Obama’s signature vehicle.
Not only is the Associated Press aptly currently described as the Administration's Press -- as least as long as the White House's current occupant remains there -- it also seems to be serving as the Administration's Protection.
In a story about the "Lie-bor" scandal, wherein British banks have admitted to colluding to set the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) -- arguably the world’s most important benchmark for interest rates -- artificially low, AP reporter Martin Crutsinger "somehow" forgot that current Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner was President of the New York Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank during much of the time period in which Congressional investigators are interested. Clearly, they want to know what Geithner knew, and when he knew it. The first three paragraphs of Crutsinger's writeup, followed by his sole context-free mention of Geithner, follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
If you were producing a pilot for a new series hoping your show would get picked up for an entire season and beyond, wouldn’t you try not offending half your potential viewers?
On Monday, TNT premiered a new show called Perception that for some stupid reason - in the very first episode! - completely trashed former President George W. Bush as a liar (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Reporter Steven Lee Myers heaped praise on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a 5,500-word profile for the New York Times Sunday Magazine, evident in the title, "Last Tour of the Rock-Star Diplomat."
One of Myers's big scoops is that Hillary Clinton can remember names and personal details, which is apparently just as important as all that foreign policy guff: "Whatever she might have lacked in scholarship or experience in foreign affairs, she has made up for with a politician’s touch....She has an acute attention to detail, remembering names and personal details." Myers concluded by promoting a Hillary run for president in 2016, when she would be "more iconic than ever."
Myers was not nearly as big a fan of a Republican at war, President George W. Bush. He wrote for the Times on February 12, 2008: "Mr. Bush never sounds surer of himself than when the subject is Sept. 11, even when his critics argue that he has squandered the country's moral authority, violated American and international law, and led the United States into the foolhardy distraction of Iraq."
On today's Morning Joe, BBC's Katty Kay, anchor of the network's American edition, said that Europeans favor the re-election of President Obama because he is more supportive of "European social-democratic values." You know, those wonderful welfare-state policies that have worked their magic so well that Europe now enjoys . . . an 11.1% unemployment rate. View the video after the jump.
Washington Post reporter Sudarsan Raghavan filed a 12-paragraph story today, published on page A9 about "coordinated assaults... in the town of Garissa" Kenya on Sunday morning in which "[m]asked gunmen sprayed bullets and hurled grenades at two churches... killing at least 15 people and injuring several."
"It was the latest in a series of attacks in this East African nation suspected of being carried out by al-Qaeda-linked militants from neighboring Somalia or their sympathizers," Raghavan noted. Yet nowhere in his story did he describe the group suspected as responsible, al-Shabab, as a terrorist entity, but merely as an "Islamist... militia." The United States government considers al-Shabab a terrorist entity. From the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) website:
Conservative author Glenn Beck on Sunday took to Twitter to blast New York Times columnist David Brooks for comments he made last year about the talk radio host's predictions concerning Egypt without President Hosni Mubarak.
On PBS's Newshour last February, syndicated columnist Mark Shields mentioned Beck in a discussion about how people attending the CPAC convention viewed the goings-on in Egypt from a domestic political perspective (transcript via LexisNexis):
Here's an indication of just how discredited the word "stimulus" is becoming: European leaders today agreed on a $163 "growth package" of some kind. The leaders were apparently very reluctant to describe it.
At a Los Angeles Times blog this morning, Sarah Delaney's coverage mostly bought into what appears to be a charade, but the headline writer at the paper's home page didn't get the memo.
On June 13, the CBS Evening News devoted a story by David Martin to the Afghanistan death count reaching 2,000, as Martin interviewed a mother of a fallen Marine. CBS was alone. There was no story last week on the Afghanistan death “milestone” on ABC, NBC, the PBS NewsHour – or even on the MSNBC programs found in Nexis, including Rachel “Our Military’s In a Perilous Drift” Maddow.
But the networks were all more aggressive when the 2,000 mark arrived in Iraq on October 25, 2005. The Big Three networks devoted 14 morning and evening news stories to the death toll from October 24 through the end of October, and another 24 anchor briefs or mentions. They used the number to spell “disaster for this White House.”
The Hope and Change that media shamelessly sold to the nation in 2008 is starting to reach a point of solemn desperation.
Perfectly exemplifying this Tuesday was New York Times columnist Frank Bruni who minutes after President Obama finished his press conference at the G20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, told CNN's Piers Morgan, "He doesn’t seem in command” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
For such a historic figure, Barack Obama sure doesn't have much influence on the world. That's the theme of reporter Peter Baker's front-page "news analysis" for Monday's New York Times, portraying the president as a passive victim of world events spinning unluckily out of his control: "Obama's Focus on Re-election Faces World of Complications."
For Barack Obama, a president who set out to restore good relations with the world in his first term, the world does not seem to be cooperating all that much with his bid to win a second.
So here's how it appears to me and I suspect many other news readers, never mind the real motivations. At the Associated Press, when you're covering situations like suicide bomber attacks on Christian churches in Nigeria yesterday, you hold out as long as you can in speculating about who is responsible, even though Islamist Boko Haram terrorists (and only Boko Haram terrorists) have claimed credit for previous attacks in that country, and even though no other religion on earth generates large numbers of people who claim to be its adherents who are willing to blow themselves up so they can kill as many infidels as possible.
Then, once the inevitable claim of responsibility arrives, you treat it as old news (the bombings were a whole 24-36 hours ago, y'know), focus your headline and coverage on "Christian" reprisals instead (even though there is no element of Christian doctrine which sanctions random reprisals), and identify who carried out the attacks as late as you possibly, so it will end up not making most broadcast and many print reports. Here are excerpts:
It may be a fluke, but it seems too coincidental. What it may be is a leading indicator that the establishment press and international advocates of global wealth redistribution have figured out that "global warming" and "climate change," its deceptive substitute term, have lost their luster thanks to a lack of scientific rigor, scandals, and deception.
What I'm referring to is the fact that in reviewing three Associated Press items which would appear to have been opportunities to bring up the topic of "warming" and "climate" in connection with the U.N.'s latest "earth summit," none of them contained either word. It seems that "sustainable development," a term which has been around for a while and which basically means "stopping most development regardless of merit," is now the go-to term when one wishes to avoid the aforementioned W-word or C-word.
It would appear that the establishment press is determined to portray a "both sides are at fault" equivalency as much as possible in Nigeria where almost none exists.
Earlier today, Patrick Poole at the PJ Tatler pointed out that a brief initial Associated Press item from Lagos would cause a person, in Poole's words, to "come away mystified as to why these churches were subject to apparently random 'violence.'" He specifically objected to the vagueness of a sentence claiming that "Churches have been increasingly targeted by violence in Nigeria." Later more detailed dispatches from Reuters and the AP aren't much more helpful, especially as they both fail to tag the principal perpetrators of the violence, the Boko Haram, as the terrorists that they are.
A fight broke out between New Media and Old Media on Fox News's Hannity program Wednesday that has the entire blogosphere abuzz.
When Fox News's Juan Williams, in the midst of a discussion about the national security leaks controversy, arrogantly told syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin, "I'm a real reporter, I am not a blogger," all hell broke loose (video follows with transcript and commentary, relevant section at minute 4:50):
Conservative author Ann Coulter made an outstanding observation on Fox News's Hannity Monday about the ongoing national security leaks controversy.
"When the New York Times is printing classified intelligence under a Republican administration, it's to make the Republican administration look bad. When they’re doing it under a Democrat administration, they’re doing it to make the Democrat look good" (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):