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."
An August 6 opinion column at the Politico labeled co-authors Jared Bernstein and Paul Van de Water as "senior fellows at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities." CBPP, that oxymoron known as a "leftist think tank," went unlabeled. The Politico also must have thought that Bernstein's background as the Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joseph Biden from 2009 to 2011 was irrelevant.
That's okay. Any reader could tell from the piece's headline and content that it was a shameless, reality-avoiding propaganda piece (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Just before Christmas last year, the Journal News in New York's Westchester County north of New York City published maps containing "the addresses (and names) of all pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties," and announced their intention to add Putnam County. A firestorm of outrage ensued, but the stubborn paper's operators held out for almost four weeks before finally pulling the maps — but "somehow" allowed the raw data to get out (more on that later). In the interim, there were reports that criminals had begun using the maps to target homes to rob, and that prison inmates were threatening prison guards identified as gun owners.
On Wednesday, Journal News competitor the Rockland County Times reported that an editor involved in the story and over two dozen others had been laid off as part of a nationwide cost-cutting move by Journal News parent Gannett (bolds are mine; HT to BearingArms.com via Instapundit, Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin's place, and Ace):
The fix applied to the original story by Russ "Nobody's Fool" Bynum's is at least as weaselly as the original, especially when one realizes what will and will not end up in the historical record. The full correction, which based on the related video gives Obama a benefit of the doubt to which he is clearly not entitled, followed by the relevant portions of the story's revised content, are both after the jump.
If there was a daily prize for "Propaganda Tool of the Day," Politico would have won it both yesterday and today.
Yesterday, as Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters noted, the web site changed the title of an embarrassing report by Kyle Cheney on low attendance at an Organizing For America event from "Poor attendance at Obamacare event in Virginia" (number of volunteers who showed up: one) to "Obamacare message war goes local." Today, the web site's Reid J. Epstein, in a report on OFA's totally unsurprising initiation of efforts to assist Democratic candidates in specific contests, informed readers that two people he had interviewed for the story "asked to be removed" — and that he honored their requests. Does Politico still expect its readers and the public to believe it is practicing journalism? Excerpts, including the prize-clinching reason why the two people involved asked to be removed, are after the jump.
If ever a story had the earmarks of being agenda-driven from the get-go, Mackenzie Weinger's writeup at the Politico on Glenn Beck published Saturday morning fits the bill.
Weinger's premise is that Beck will never be as influential as he once was as long as he doesn't have a cable news program and continues to branch into entertainment-related ventures consistent with his beliefs. Excerpts, evidence which easily refutes Weinger's wishful thinking, and further commentary from yours truly follow the jump.
Those who falsely smear the other side in an attempt to make an argument tend to do so because they have run out of real ones. It would appear that the New Haven Register's argument cupboard is completely barren of everything but poisonous rhetoric.
In an opinion piece which I can hardly believe is a house editorial, the Register characterizes Ann Coulter, Fox News, the Republican Party, anyone who thinks George Zimmerman really was innocent, Ted Nugent, and Toad's Place, the venue where Nugent is playing next week, as among those who have "embraced" the "same basic message that the KKK has promoted for 148 years." Tellingly, the paper turns on many of its readers, adding "a burgeoning array of fringe 'conservative' media and members of our own community commenting on stories on the New Haven Register’s website" to the KKK-sympathetic cadre. Brace yourself for what follows after the jump, and ask yourself why any person of genuine good will -- left, right, or middle -- would willingly support a publication such as this.
Who knew that merely getting just over six dozen people together to support having Iowa "expand Medicaid under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul" would earn coverage from the Associated Press -- and then be treated as some kind of groundswell of support?
Well, it did. The item involved, complete with a headline which makes it appears if some kind of poll might have gauged Iowans' sentiments on the topic -- the better to deceive those who only see the headline -- follows the jump (posted in full because of its brevity; HT Instapundit):
If you've been wondering where the Associated Press's 2013 entry into the "Worst AP Report Ever" contest has been hiding, have no fear. It's here. Oh, it's not as bad as the current worst-ever leader, the laughably execrable "Everything seemingly is spinning out of control" in June 2008. Nevertheless, it's a "strong" entry -- as in almost indescribably weak as journalism.
The AP's (Abandon All) Hope Yen believes she has exclusive "news" she simply must share with you: Most Americans face significant economic stress sometime in their lives. Stop the presses, shut down the Internet, and cancel Christmas. Excerpts follow the jump.
At the White House on Thursday, President Obama let his radical leftist slip show when he accepted a 67 year-old letter from from Ho Chi Minh to U.S. President Harry Truman given to him by Vietnam's current president Truong Tan Sang and spoke of the letter's contents: "... we discussed the fact that Ho Chi Minh was actually inspired by the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the words of Thomas Jefferson. Ho Chi Minh talks about his interest in cooperation with the United States. And President Sang indicated that even if it's 67 years later, it's good that we're still making progress."
Darlene Superville at the Associated Press relayed what Obama said in the final paragraphs of her report on Sunday without a hint of historical knowledge about mass murderer Ho Chi Minh's motivations for writing that letter. Perhaps she's too young and was so consistently indoctrinated by her teachers about how the U.S. was the "imperialist" and Ho Chi Minh was the "freedom fighter" to know any better. Based on his bio, New York Times reporter Mark Landler doesn't appear to be able to claim that kind of historical ignorance, but he has definitely retained a capacity to make excuses for repressive, murderous regimes. Excerpts from his coverage and a correct rendering of the history follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Pretty much all you need to know about the current negligent media culture in Washington is summed up in two items involving the Politico's home page this morning -- one which is there, and one which isn't.
The featured story at top of the home page by Byron Tau is about infighting between "Big Marijuana" -- it seems like "Big Pot" would be a more succinct nickname -- and those who want to extend recent electoral victories in legalizing the drug. What isn't there on the home page, as confirmed in a word search, is any story with a headline or tease containing "IRS."
Update, July 24: In audio found here at my home blog, Zimmerman attorney Mark O'Mara, in a Tuesday discussion with New York talk show host Steve Malzberg, confirmed the accuracy of the "iced tea myth"-related details in this post and in Bill Whittle's video.
Among the more outrageous aspects of the press's negligent coverage of the circumstances surrounding the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman confrontation is its insistence on describing Martin as having bought "Skittles and iced tea" at a convenience store roughly 40 minutes before Zimmerman, as a neighborhood watch volunteer, spotted him.
The drink was not "iced tea." It has been known that the drink wasn't iced tea for well over a year. Yet at least seven press reports since the verdict, up to and including coverage of this past weekend's demonstrations (examples here and here, at the Associated Press the day after the verdict; here; here; here; here; and here), identified "iced tea" as what Martin purchased. The actual identity of the non-caffeinated drink, AriZona Watermelon Fruit Juice Cocktail -- which appears not to contain a single drop of tea, and which the company has in its "juice drinks" category -- is extremely significant, as will be explained after the jump.
Melissa Harris-Perry, one of the panel guests on MSNBC's "Now" program on Friday, managed to tie Detroit's bankruptcy to small government, i.e., "when government is small enough to drown in your bathtub," and to analogize it to "exactly the kind of thing that many Republicans would impose on us." Really.
Imagine if -- and you'd have to imagine it, because it never happened -- the George W. Bush administration had sent members of its Justice Department to a city where a black man charged with murder was claiming self-defense in the killing of a non-African-American for the purposes of ginning up protests against the accused. Establishment press coverage and would have been justifiably intense.
On Thursday, Judicial Watch revealed that it had obtained documents showing that "a little-known unit of the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Community Relations Service (CRS), was deployed to Sanford, FL, following the Trayvon Martin shooting to help organize and manage rallies and protests against George Zimmerman." In other words, DOJ did to Zimmerman what I just noted Bush 43 administration never did and would never have considered doing. JW's bombshell is not news at the Associated Press or at the Politico.
Apparently, Associated Press Media Relations Director Paul Colford is unaware of the sage advice that when one is in a deep hole, it's best to stop digging.
Shortly after the George Zimmerman verdict, AP reporter Cristina Silva, as noted late last night (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog; HT Breitbart.com) tweeted "So We Can All Kill Teenagers Now? Just Checking." A short time ago, Colford sent me an email and posted a comment at my home blog as follows: "Clarification, please: Ms. Silva was a temporary AP staffer who hasn't worked for AP lately. Thanks." All I can say to that, based on what follows, is "OMG."
The story at the Associated Press this morning on the Texas Senate's passage of legislation which, as summarized at Life News, "would ban abortions after 20 weeks and hold abortion clinics accountable by making them meet basic health and safety standards," claims to originate from Austin, the Lone Star State's capital city.
The coverage by AP reporters Chris Tomlinson and Will Weissert has references to events occurring at the "the Capitol building in Austin," so I have to believe that one, the other, or both were present during the hours leading up to the bill's passage. It is thus hard to believe that the gentlemen only reported on one of the following ugly incidents in a long list compiled by Life News in an email I received this morning. The AP pair also did not note President Barack Obama's tweet in support of the protesters' grisly cause.
Earlier today (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted how the Associated Press produced a series of reports following Texas Gov. Rick Perry's announcement that he would not seek another term which "can only be explained if their purpose is to poison his possible 2016 presidential aspirations."
The first example was a list of "five things to know" about Perry compiled by the AP's "wiseguy" Will Weissert which, except for an item about his early upbringing, were trivial. (Here are three substitutes from, of all things, an AP photo caption: "staunch Christian conservative, proven job-creator and fierce defender of states' rights.") Weissert was also the author of the second example, this time contending that Perry is an object of ridicule outside of the Lone Star State (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
A series of reports at the Associated Press following Texas Gov. Rick Perry's announcement that he would not seek another term can only be explained if their purpose is to poison his possible 2016 presidential aspirations. In doing so, the AP is from all appearances firing the opening shots in a campaign to duplicate the establishment press's tragically successful efforts to marginalize Perry and other conservative GOP candidates in 2011 and 2012, as Media Research Center's Brent Bozell and Tim Graham have shown in their new book, Collusion. (Related NewsBusters posts are here and here.)
One such AP report by "wise guy" Will Weissert simply lists "5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT TEXAS GOV. RICK PERRY." Should we know about the Lone Star State's explosive job growth and impressive economic growth on his watch, or how he helped to consolidate Republican power in a state which had a Democratic governor as recently as 1994 and for over a century after Reconstruction? Of course not (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Apparently, one pathetic last-minute speech by Eqypt's Mohammed Morsi was sufficient to convince President Barack Obama, who has spent several days and untold amounts of worldwide capital defending the Muslim Brotherhood leader's staying on the job in the face of what may have been the largest pro-democracy demonstrations in human history.
The Politico frantically tried to run interference for Obama opportunistic change of heart today, running an item which was apparently called "U.S. Eases Away from Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi." The item was up so briefly that it was quickly replaced, while the headline just mentioned still remains in the browser window's title bar:
Brightening up my Monday morning (not) is an item carried at CNN.com last Friday whose headline basically tells loyal, faithful spouses that they're nature-defying freaks who in the vast majority of cases are ignorantly honoring an institution which doesn't make any sense.
Meghan Laslocky doesn't have the gumption to use those words. But what else are we supposed to conclude from a column entitled "Face it: Monogamy is unnatural"? Not that there isn't some inadvertent humor, which I'll get to after excerpting her column (HT Hot Air Headlines; bolds are mine):
A search at Google News on "households food stamps record" done at 9 p.m. ET (not in quotes, sorted by date, with duplicates and similar items) returned three items. Two are at the Daily Caller (here and here); and the other is at Reason.com. Program statistics for March, the latest month available, show that a record 23.12 million households -- one in every five in the U.S. -- received food stamp benefits. At 47.73 million, the total number of persons receiving benefits was only 65,000 below the record set in December. In 2008, average participation was less than 29 million.
That search result shows, despite the fact that records are supposed to be news, that the establishment press is completely uninterested in communicating the fact that the food stamp program continues to grow, though very slowly, even as the economy supposedly recovers. There is one number that the press has been citing frequently, namely the number of people who might be removed from the food stamp rolls if language attempting to limit the program to people who are truly in need remains in the otherwise bloated disaster known as the farm bill.
Karen Finney recently began her new gig as an MSNBC weekend anchor, but on Sunday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, she got a little nostalgic for one of her old jobs.
Appearing as the subject of Witt’s "Office Politics" segment, Finney continued the liberal media tradition of making the GOP the focus of the current Obama administration scandals. “[Republicans] clearly think that they can ride this to the midterm elections on this sort of culture of coverup,” she huffed. [Video below the break. MP3 audio here.]
Sometime late Thursday afternoon, an editorial at the New York Times bitterly criticizing President Obama for the expansion of surveillance efforts during his administration contained this sentence: "The administration has lost all credibility." Within a few hours, as seen here, that sentence was changed to "The administration has lost all credibility on this issue," and set off in a separate paragraph.
Yesterday, the editorial board at the New York Times published an editorial harshly criticizing President Obama and his administration for continuing to collect the phone records of millions of Verizon customers. Presumably, the board obtained word-for-word consensus before hitting the "Enter" key on this crucial sentence in the editorial's second paragraph: "The Obama administration has lost all credibility."
Mere hours after its initial publication, Jamie Weinstein at the Daily Caller notes, the editorial ("President Obama's Dragnet") was revised. Yours truly has the graphic grabs of the most crucial changes after the jump.
On May 27, Nicholas Confessore and Michael Luo at the New York Times filed a ridiculously incoherent, ignorant and biased report on Tea Party groups' attempts to have their organizations approved for tax-exempt status. The story's window title: "Non-Profit Applcants Chafing at IRS Tested Political Limits." The actual print edition title (Page A1, of course): "Groups Targeted by I.R.S. Tested Rules on Politics." The headlines give the impression that Tea Party groups deliberately tried to test the boundaries of legality.
The pair's content also betrayed more than a little ignorance of the rules governing campaign finance, electioneering, and literature distribution. Among those interviewed for the story was Tom Zawistowski, Portage County TEA Party Executive Director. Zawistowski took great exception to their writeup in an email he distributed on Saturday (bolds are mine; additional paragraph breaks added by me):
When Covered California, the Golden States' health insurance exchange being set up under ObamaCare, initially announced its rates beginning in 2014, it claimed that rates will go down. Kevin Drum at Mother Jones ("if these early results hold up, Obamacare's structure seems to be doing a pretty good job at its core mission of controlling prices.") and Rick Ungar at Forbes ("the reality is that the early report card on Obamacare—at least in those states willing to give the law a chance to succeed—is looking pretty darn good") got suckered in.
It isn't so, as Avik Roy explained yesterday at Forbes (bolds are mine):
This looks like a perfect exhibit of intimidation combined with insufferable arrogance.
Joel Gehrke at the Washington Examiner reports that Democratic Party spokesperson Brad Woodhouse, apparently temporarily assuming the role of White House Press Secretary, is really upset that the New York Times refused to meet yesterday for an off-the-record discussion about Attorney General Eric Holder about recent revelations and admissions that the Justice Departmet has been conducting secret sureillance of reporters for several years (bold is mine):
David Koenig's Wednesday coverage at the Associated Press of Exxon Mobil's annual meeting contained a predictable headline and related content telling us that the company wouldn't "explicitly ban discrimination against gays because the company already banned discrimination of any type and didn't need to add language regarding gays." Koenig's report apparently couldn't be considered complete without a contribution of misleading climate statistics and statements from the wire service's Seth Borenstein.
Borenstein's apparent input consisted of the following four paragraphs (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Earlier this afternoon, Matt Sheffield at NewsBusters noted that "The owner of Newsweek, the troubled liberal weekly news magazine, has confirmed reports that it is trying to unload the money-losing operation even despite the fact that it jettisoned its print edition last year."
A Tuesday morning puff piece on poor, besieged, downtrodden, regretful Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder posted by Daniel Klaidman at the Daily Beast, Newsweek's online umbrella, perfectly illustrates why the operation continues to shed readers and contributed mightily to a reported $8.8 million loss last quarter. Get out the waist-high-boots for this one: