February's retail sales as reported may have been expectations of a 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted rise, but the 0.3 percent increase turned in was still far from impressive, especially after considering that the Census Bureau revised January's result down to -0.6 percent from an originally reported -0.4 percent.
Naturally, that didn't stop the Associated Press's Josh Boak and his story's headline writer from celebrating the news as a "rebound." Even more absurdly, Boak claimed that "Last month's rebound almost brought retail spending back to its December levels." Excerpts follow the jump:
In a conflict that pits two politically correct minority "victim" classes against one another, which one will win out? That's a fun parlor game to play, and today across the Pond it seems the answer is observant Muslims when the conflict involves the aforementioned and gays, even if the gay person in question is, himself, a Muslim.
Breitbart London managing editor Raheem Kassam has the story of how BBC Three refused to entertain discussion of a gay Muslim drag queen's question -- "[W]hen will it be right to be Muslim and gay?" -- during a forum for the program entitled, I kid you not, Free Speech (emphasis mine):
Last night, I noted that the Associated Press had not deigned to consider Republican David Jolly's victory over Democrat Alex Sink in the FL-13 Congressional race a "Top U.S. Story" as of 10:13 p.m. To AP's credit (or perhaps because of yours truly's and others' razzing?), a story about the race was at the Number 6 spot in Top U.S. Stories as of 8:15 this morning.
CNN.com, on the other hand (HT to NewsBusters commenter "Jon"), is clearly playing "hide the story" with the Jolly-Sink race. Its worldwide home page as of 8:38 a.m. had one line item titled "GOP wins year's 1st election showdown" halfway down the page, and a tiny picture in the "Politics" section near the bottom of the page headlined "GOP Scores First 2014 Win." Could they be any more vague? Its U.S. home page as of 7:37 a.m. had no reference to the race at all.
The New York Daily News reported Tuesday that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has hired Republican strategist and MSNBC contributor Susan Del Percio as a “special advisor to the governor, focusing on operations and special projects.”
At first glance, it might seem odd that a Democratic governor would hire a GOP strategist, but given Del Percio’s track record on the Lean Forward network, it’s really not that surprising. Del Percio is a classic MSNBC Republican – moderate, generally in agreement with her more liberal colleagues, and often willing -- at times eagerly -- to attack the more conservative members of her own party.
We all know that if Democrat Alex Sink had defeated David Jolly in FL-13's special Congressional election tonight, the morning news shows would have been all over the story, crowing that her victory represented a convincing verdict in favor of Obamacare.
Well, that didn't happen. David Jolly won, despite being badly outspent and forced to survive a bruising January primary. He also had to deal with running against Sink, a former Sunshine State gubernatorial candidate with far greater name recognition, and a libertarian candidate who siphoned off almost 5 percent of the vote. Though the Associated Press has a fairly balanced and lengthy story on the outcome, it somehow wasn't important enough to be carried as one of its Top 10 U.S. stories at 10:13 PM tonight. One story which did make the "Top 10" cut was (not kidding) about "Oregon owners of a 22-pound housecat that trapped them in their bedroom after attacking their baby." The AP story itself also didn't present the result as quite the referendum on Obamacare the left was predicting when they thought their candidate would prevail.
On Friday, the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the economy created 175,000 seasonally adjusted jobs in February, with 162,000 of the additions occurring in the private sector.
That result exceeded expectations of roughly 150,000, and caused the business press to sing odes of high praise to an economy that was amazingly overcoming this year's difficult winter weather. Unfortunately, as readers will see after the jump, February's raw results demonstrate that it was all an illusion.
Nowhere in her 15-paragraph March 11 obituary of Melba Hernandez did Associated Press writer Andrea Rodriguez find space to cite a critic of the late Cuban Communist revolutionary.
In her story -- headlined "'Heroine of the Cuban Revolution' was lifelong Castro loyalist" in the Washington Post -- Ms. Rodriguez paid significant attention to the role Hernandez played in aiding Castro's rise to power as well as to the "human rights awards" she received in 1997 from that great humanitarian Col. MoammarGaddafi, all the while using gauzy language to describe her exploits (emphasis mine):
In the past week, Radio Shack has announced that will close 1,100 stores, or over 20 percent of its U.S. outlets. Staples is shuttering 225 stores, or roughly 12 percent of theirs. Smaller downsizings earlier this year have been reported at Macy's (involving store and other personnel) and J.C. Penney.
One gets the impression from press reports that these are occurring primarily because of poor management or the ongoing trend towards more online sales. Though those two factors are obviously relevant, the fact that the economy began weakening during the fourth quarter, especially so in December, rarely gets a mention. When it does get noted, it's usually something mild, along the lines of "disappointing holiday sales." A Thursday afternoon Associated Press article by business writer Tom Murphy illustrates the kid-glove approach (bolds are mine; my responses to certain of Murphy's points are in italics):
He may call himself a "Bernie Goldberg conservative" and a "Juan Williams liberal" but in truth, NBC sportscaster Bob Costas is simply "a damn fool" who "has abused [his] role" on the network's airwaves to trash the constitutional right of "we the people" to keep and bear arms, syndicated radio host Mark Levin argued on his March 10 program.
When Obama IRS official Lois Lerner yet again pleaded the Fifth Amendment last Wednesday rather than answer challenging questions during a congressional hearing, the liberal media stifled yawns. To the extent the March 5 hearing was covered, media attention turned to the post-hearing fireworks between ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) rather than the substance of the questions Ms. Lerner refused to answer on the record under oath.
Fast forward to Monday afternoon with MSNBC.com lamenting how "Christie aides double[d] down on Fifth Amendment" in a state investigative probe of the Bridgegate scandal. Here's how staff writer Aliyah Frumin reported the story [emphasis mine; see screen capture below page break]
Sharyl Attkisson, whose coverage of the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal won CBS Evening News an Edward R. Murrow Award in 2012, and also provided hard-hitting reporting on the September 2012 terrorist attacks on the U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, announced her sudden departure from CBS on Monday afternoon in a post on Twitter: "I have resigned from CBS."
During an October 2013 report on CBS This Morning, Attkisson revealed a new weapons smuggling scandal surrounding the Obama administration that involved a grenade that was used to murder three police officers in Mexico. Several months earlier, in June 2013, the now former CBS correspondent revealed that her computer was hacked – something she had suspected for weeks:
On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, host David Gregory wondered if New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's 2016 presidential chances were "done" following the Bridgegate scandal. In response, National Journal's Ron Fournier cited Christie's Friday CPAC address: "Ironically, he might have done himself some good with the Republican primary audience because he now can beat up on the media." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Gregory joked: "Thank God the media's still here because what else would they talk about CPAC if we weren't here to kick around?" Fournier replied: "It's all we're good for sometimes."
Here was the Morning Joe panel bemoaning Ted Cruz's supposed incivility at CPAC in allegedly insulting war hero Bob Dole, when up pops Mike Barnicle to ask "what does it say about CPAC, where the most popular speaker they had, the one who received the most rousing reception is a moron, Sarah Palin?"
A bit later, Mika Brzezinski piled on, calling Palin a "multi-million dollar moron." When Joe Scarborough challenged her, saying "you don't think that, right?", Mika didn't retract her slur, saying only that Palin is "savvy in selling a message that makes a lot of money." View the video after the jump.
Alabama Democratic State Representative Alvin Holmes, who recently created a firestorm by calling Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas "a very prolific Uncle Tom," was at it again on Tuesday.
This time, the issue at hand was a "fetal heartbeat" bill restricting abortions. Holmes, who apparently needs no help seeing racism in just about anything, claimed, in the words of Kala Kachmar at the Montgomery Advertiser, that "99 percent of the white legislators in the chamber would raise their hand to say they're against abortion, and that same 99 percent would make their daughters get an abortion if they were impregnated by a black man." Holmes was also robbed of his wallet and $300 earlier in the week. Guess which story was worthy of coverage at the Associated Press? With rare exceptions, the rest of the U.S. press also appears to have ignored Holmes' raging racism.
Few have defended the Obama administration, and especially Obamacare, as vocally and in my view often unreasonably, as Fox News's Juan Williams. He has gone so far as to call Republican Party opposition to Obamacare its "original sin," and absurdly claimed that "massive opposition" from Republicans is what forced HealthCare.gov's rushed rollout.
One blind spot Williams does not have involves how consistently horribly leftists treat African-American conservatives, or even African-Americans who express an occasional sensibly conservative thought. One reason the left is so brazen in its persecution attempts is its knowledge that no matter how uncivil or unreasonable, their attempts will almost never gain wide exposure in the nation's establishment press. The latest example concerns calls by the faculty at Rutgers University to prevent former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from her scheduled appearance as commencement speaker there this year. Williams expressed his outrage in a Thursday Fox News column (HT Hot Air; bolds are mine):
You would think that MSNBC hosts might not want to invite Bill Press on their shows to talk about supposedly inflammatory conservative rhetoric, given Press’s track record of vile left-wing bile. But on Thursday, host Al Sharpton once again invited Press onto PoliticsNation to discuss what the reverend called conservatives’ “ugly, very ugly attacks on the president over the crisis in Ukraine.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Sharpton played some clips of conservative pundits and politicians alike criticizing President Obama for his handling of the crisis in Ukraine. He then asked Press to comment. As he has done in the past, the liberal talk radio host showed his utter hypocrisy when he responded, “I mean, look, Joe [Madison] and I are both talk show hosts. You don't hear that kind of ugly talk coming from the left that you do from the right.”
Law professor and conservative/libertarian blogger Eugene Volokh has an excellent takedown of the noxious racism of one Randa Jarrar. The Palestinian-American writer published a screed at the left-wing online magazine Salon [see screen capture here] on Tuesday entitled, "Why I can’t stand white belly dancers." The long and short of it is that Ms. Jarrar views as "unwittingly racist" the practice of say a woman of European descent "appropriating" belly dancing by, well, belly-dancing at say an Arab restaurant (presumably for tips). Ms. Jarrar compared such a thing to both to drag queen performances -- wait, isn't that comparison "homophobic"? -- and the long-discredited practice of white performances doing a blackface routine.
Enter Mr. Volokh, who thoroughly eviscerated Ms. Jarrar's claims while slamming the hypocrisy of a liberal publication proudly printing such racist garbage, when they wouldn't dream of -- and rightly so -- printing someone denouncing say an Asian person performing a classical music piece (emphasis mine):
Early Wednesday morning, Josh Lederman at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, opened a report on President Barack Obama's upcoming afternoon trip to Connecticut by writing that "Obama wants the U.S. to follow Connecticut's lead by raising the minimum wage." In a dispatch after Obama's speech in New Britain, Lederman wrote of "a show of support from like-minded governors," including those from the Nutmeg State, Massachusetts, Vermont and Rhode Island, all of which have minimum wages higher than the federally mandated rate of $7.25 per hour.
Correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation, but the four states Obama highlighted as examples to follow have economic performances ranging from mediocre to horrid during the past several years arguably tie to poor policy choices like high minimum wages — something Lederman should have noticed and didn't.
You don't even need to know the specifics to realize that today's economic reports were weak. All you need to know is that there was no mention of them in the Associated Press's list of Top 10 business stories as of 3:35 p.m. Among stories considered more important: a product review of Apple's tiny market-share program called iWork and three dozen passengers suing Carnival Cruise Lines.
This morning's release from ADP on February private-sector employment growth reported 139,000 jobs added; the previous four months were revised down by a total of 138,000. The Institute for Supply Management's Non-Manufacturing Index came in at 51.6%, showing relatively slow expansion (anything above 50% indicates expansion) compared to January's 54.0%. The reports missed expectations of 155,000 jobs added and 53.5%, respectively. AP coverage of these two reports somewhat understated their weakness, one quantitatively and the other qualitatively.
Illegal immigration might be a hot topic for the media, but the networks remained mum when the government denied asylum to a German family seeking the freedom to educate their own children.
Uwe and Hannelore Romeike along with their children came to the United States in 2008, seeking political asylum because home-schooling is illegal in Germany. The family wants to homeschool due to its Christian beliefs. Obama’s U.S. Justice Department refused asylum status, and chose to defend its decision in litigation. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by the Romeikes on March 3 which initially signaled a deportation for the family. Despite the win for the Obama Justice Department, ABC, CBS, and NBC have not mentioned the story.
It appears that Aron Heller at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's press, might have been applying lessons learned from the wire service's U.S. business and economics writers in his coverage of Israel's settlement activity. Heller also seems strangely fond of this mythical thing known as the "international community."
AP business and economics writers like Martin Crutsinger and Christopher Rugaber have regaled us with the wonders of the alleged housing recovery during the past two years, but haven't been quite as good at telling us that over 4-1/2 years after the recession officially ended, new home sales and construction activity is still only about 60-65 percent of what is seen as healthy by most economists and analysts. Heller pulled an analogous trick in his report; fortunately Evelyn Gordon at Commentary (HT Powerline) was astute enough to catch his misdirection, one in which President Obama has also engaged.
Shameless shilling for the Demcratic Party's presumptive presidential 2016 nominee appears to have reached an all-time peak.
A USA Today email I received this afternoon (email web link here) breathlessly delivered the following "Breaking" news story readers will see after the jump. Keep in mind that this is not a normal, garden-variety news story. No, this one's "breaking," meaning that we apparently must drop everything and read it because of its immediate importance to anyone who tries to follow the news:
Former Washington Post Managing Editor Robert Kaiser took to the opinion pages of the Post to lament the disintegration of the good old days in Washington when political life was wonderfully collegial and lawmakers had fun governing.
Oh, the irony of this Beltway liberal's devoting 2,225 words to decrying conservatives for destroying something that liberals have largely been in charge of for years — government and its growth.
The Washington Post Editorial Board has long had a government agriculture policy position that is actually grounded in Reality.
Going back at least half a decade - to the passage of the last terrible Farm Bill - they have been rightly pointing out that the Crony Socialist, picking-losers-at-the-expense-of-winners matrix of taxes, subsidies and quotas is simply a disaster.
The people who pretentiously call themselves journalists at the News Media Guild-represented Associated Press are really having a hard time getting over the representation election the United Auto Workers union lost two weeks ago at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The latest whine came from Erik Schelzig Friday afternoon. He must have believed he was being really hard-hitting in trying to hold Volunteer State Senator Bob Corker to his word that "If the UAW is voted down they're going to come here ... and affirm they're going to build a line here" within two weeks. Well, Erik, Corker clearly miscalculated. The Senator never dreamed that the UAW would appeal a secret-ballot vote it lost by 6.4 percent of the ballots cast, and also underestimated the chances of retalation by the U.S. government and the company's German union. Several paragraphs from Erik's execrable essay follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
The Obama administration's most recent abuse of the English language late last week involved its reluctance bordering on refusal to call Russia's military move into Crimea an "invasion." The press, unlike in 1970 when Richard Nixon sent U.S. troops into Cambodia for under three months, is largely following suit.
CNN (HT Hot Air) began the Team Obama-driven festivities on Friday by reporting that "According to the latest U.S. assessment, there has been an uncontested arrival of Russian military forces by air at a Russian base in Crimea. They are believed to be Russian land forces, CNN was told."
To the Daily Beast, the Walt Disney Company is a "Mighty Mouse" that has roared with a recent declaration that it is cutting off the Boy Scouts of America for daring to maintain forbid openly-gay adults from serving as scoutmasters.
"It's a small world after all, which is why word travels fast when you maintain anti-gay policies," snarked the Daily Beast in a "Cheat Sheet" item this morning celebrating the fact that the entertainment giant -- which, by the way, owns the ABC broadcast network -- has announced it will not give any monies to the Boy Scouts of America in 2015 [see screen capture below page break]:
In December, NPR, the New York Times, National Journal, and other establishment press platforms gave the Republican National Committee grief over the following tweet: "Today we remember Rosa Parks' bold stand and her role in ending racism." The tweet erronseously shortened the following sentence from a longer GOP statement: "“We remember and honor Rosa Parks today for the role she played in fighting racism and ending segregation." Juliet Lapidos at the Times noted that the tweet was corrected in 3-1/2 hours, and seemed to lament that it took so long.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, GOP Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin made what has turned out to be a prescient remark about the relevance of a U.S. president's resolve and its potential impact on Russia's posture with the old Soviet Union's satellite states. She observed: "After the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama's reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia's Putin to invade Ukraine next."
Many in the press ridiculed that notion. Among them was Blake Hounshell, who was then blogging at Foreign Policy Magazine. Characterizing Palin's notion as "strange," he wrote: "As we've said before, this is an extremely far-fetched scenario." Hounshell, now a deputy editor at Politico Magazine, has handled Palin's self-effacing Facebook "I told you so" ("I could see this one from Alaska") and pile-ons by center-right blogs too numerous to mention with tweets demonstrating the class, dignity, and good sportsmanship you would expect from the high-brow commentariat, i.e., none (HT Twitchy).
Perhaps I'm being too kind in describing the Associated Press as "The Administration's Press." Based on Jim Kuhnhenn's ridiculous "Don't worry, be happy" Saturday report on how unimportant he says the still growing national debt and the still historically large federal budget deficits supposedly are, maybe I should start calling the wire service "The Administration's Publicists" instead.
Kuhnhenn stopped just short of writing that the national debt ($17.41 trillion as of Wednesday, up from $10.63 trillion when Barack Obama took office 61 months ago, an average increase of $111 billion per month) and the annual federal budget deficit (on track to be over $500 billion for the sixth year in a row, four of which saw deficits of over $1 trillion) aren't worthy of attention, but it's clear that he believes we shouldn't be concerned about them in making electoral choices (bolds are mine):