Roger Simon "joined Politico as its first chief political columnist" in 2006. A couple of items on his resume include being "the only person to win twice the American Society of Newspaper Editors Distinguished Writing Award for commentary," and a 2013 National Press Club humor-related award. Judges for that award said that "Simon's writing is witty, specific and based on sharp observations of politics and the media."
Perhaps, but at least one of his recent tweets is bitter, loony-tunes leftist rubbish. Proving once again that it only takes a slight scratch beneath the surface of a supposedly mainstream liberal journalist to find a hardened, vitriolic radical who hates (yes, that's the correct word) those who dare to disagree with him or her just screaming to come out, Simon tweeted the following in response to news that Texas Governor Rick Perry is calling up 1,000 National Guardsman to serve at his state's border with Mexico (HT RedState):
It never fails. When the regime of center-right political leader with executive authority begins to implode, the focus is on how and why that person is failing — as it should be. When it becomes clear that a leftist mayor, governor, or president is entering the failure zone, it's because the job is impossible, or the city, state, or nation has become "ungovernable."
We're entering the excuses phase with President Obama (with an important qualifier to be explained later). At the Washington Post's "The Fix" blog yesterday, Chris Cillizza, in a post titled "It’s virtually impossible to be a successful modern president," had a trio of cop-outs at the ready:
The man who suggested that the US shoot down Israeli airplanes is at it again. Surveying the Israeli/Hamas conflict, Zbigniew Brzezinski couldn't summon up one word of condemnation for Hamas' intentional targeting of Israeli civilians with thousands of rockets and mortars.
Instead, Jimmy Carter's national security adviser had harsh words for only one person: Benjamin Netanyahu. Appearing on today's Morning Joe, Brzezinski said he didn't include Netanyahu in the category of leaders man enough to negotiate, accusing the Israeli PM of having "scuttled" peace efforts--again without a word of criticism for Hamas. Zbigniew ended his anti-Israel tirade by decrying that "the ideologues, hard-liners, the ones that promulgate confrontation are in charge, and that's what's so hard and so disgustingly destructive." Any disgustingly destructive hard-liners in Gaza, Zbig? View the video after the jump.
Let's see. A rebel group pushing for separation from Ukaine has shot down a passenger plane, killing almost 300 aboard. Israel has invaded Gaza. Illegal immigrants are flooding across the U.S.-Mexico border, in at least one instance following a hail of protective gunfire directed at Border Patrol agents.
Meanwhile, in news concerning truly important matters, New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer and fellow party member Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut are focusing on what's really important — prescription pet medication prices:
There were two pieces of significant economy-related news today. The first was that the Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators increased for the fifth straight month, this time by 0.3 percent, while May's increase was revised up to 0.7 percent. The second was that the University of Michigan's preliminary June reading on consumer confidence came in at 81.3, a decline from May. Both results trailed expectations.
Predictably, the Associated Press's Martin Crutsinger put a smiley face on the news, believing it shows that "that economic growth should accelerate in the second half of this year," while Bloomberg News's Nina Glinski was more sanguine, interpreting the confidence report as an indication that "Americans’ outlook for the economy dimmed." Excerpts from both efforts follow the jump.
The Obama administration is probably wondering why so many people of all political stripes don't believe that they take foreign policy seriously, up to and including charges that the president and his minions are doing the equivalent of fiddling as some parts of the world burn, and others threaten to.
I don't see why would anyone think that (in case it's not obvious, that's sarcasm). After all, wasn't Bush 43 press secretary Ari Fleischer linking to a friend's column on men's suits after the Bali bombings in 2002? And didn't the London bombings in 2005 lead the otherwise hapless Scott McClellan to wax eloquent on the importance of tie-shirt coordination? The answer to both of those questions is, "Of course not." But yesterday, on a day when Israel invaded Gaza, pro-Russian forces shot down a passenger airliner with almost 300 aboard, and diseases this country hasn't seen in decades continued to be carried over the U.S. Mexican border by "Unaccompanied Alien Children" (that DHS's term), State Department spokesman Jen Psaki tweeted on the dreadfully important topic of how you can be "informed" and fashionable (HT The Blaze):
The New York Times' coverage of the ongoing situation in Israel, which began with the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers, continued this past week to be marked by intense anti-Israel bias in tone and labeling, and overwhelming emotionalism over the deaths of Palestinian civilians in the crossfire (Israeli deaths from terrorism rarely if ever merited such heart-felt treatment). After the tragic deaths of four young Gazan boys on a beach, the Times let its photographer hint at something sinister: "Children, maybe four feet tall, dressed in summer clothes, running from an explosion, don’t fit the description of Hamas fighters, either."
James Taranto performed an invaluable service from his Opinion Journal "Best of the Web" perch this week, revealingNew York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, a notorious liberal crusader on various fronts, to be perhaps the most gullible of the paper's many liberal writers. (He's also suggested Mao Tse-Tung and Saddam Hussein weren't that bad.)
Taranto teed up Kristof with this example of corruption of the peer-review process in scientific research:
In the early 1970s, the press obsessed about President Nixon's alleged "isolation," especially as the Watergate scandal, which in an objective lookback has to be seen as relative child's play compared to what we're seeing now, unfolded. Proof that Nixon's "isolation" had been a constant media theme in previous months is found in an NBC Nightly News report on May 10, 1973, when a White House staff reorganization was characterized by reporter Richard Valeriani as "Nixon moving to end President('s) isolation."
On Fox News's "The Five" on Friday, Democrat Bob Beckel relayed what he said was an anonymous comment by a person in a position to know about how cut off from external advice President Barack Obama is. It seems arguably creepier than any degree of isolation Nixon may have ever had, for reasons which I will explain below. Let's see what Beckel had to say following co-host Andrea Tantaros's comment that Obama has a "Stepford staff just sort of nodding at whatever he says," and Greg Gutfeld's assertion that Obama "doesn't have anybody in his circle" with the nerve or access to intervene (bolds are mine):
A Justin Lynch column ("Wartime Press") originally posted at the Weekly Wonk and republished at Time.com with a more foreboding title ("Bloggers, Surveillance and Obama’s Orwellian State") really ends up being an attempted justification by those Lynch quoted for having a close alliance between the government and "journalists" with "professional standards." Thom Shanker, the Pentagon correspondent for the New York Times, gets the award for the most Orwellian quote in the litter, which will come after the jump. Its prelude is his belief that "The government really needs to get its message out to the American people, and it knows that the best way to do that is by using the American news media." Excerpts follow.
"A Damaging Distance," Ethan Bronner's news analysis for the New York Times Sunday Review, blamed the "growing human distance between Israelis and Palestinians" not on Palestinian terrorist attacks against civilians, but Israel's security measures to stop it.
Bronner's tenure as Jerusalem Bureau Chief for the Times was marked by pro-Palestinian bias, including slanted labeling, calling hard-line Israeli supporters "extreme right" without bestowing similar labels on the hard-left of Israel. He also helped spread the truly dehumanizing characterization of Jewish settlers as "rampaging" during protests. He left a consolation card for the Palestinian cause upon his departure in March 2012.
In what appears to be an act of leftist self-defense, an unbylined story at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, describes certain Colorado Democratic politicians' crticisms of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg over recent "off-base remarks about two of its cities," but noted no reactions from Republicans — who are genuinely outraged, as opposed to arguably trying to cover their political tracks.
In a story which was apparently prematurely posted at Rolling Stone Magazine's web site (link is to a separately saved Google cache copy), Bloomberg told Simon Vozick-Levinson that in recent recall elections in the Centennial State, "The NRA went after two or three state Senators in a part of Colorado where I don't think there's roads. It's as far rural as you can get." Really.
Three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped on June 12 while hitchhiking home in the West Bank. They were found dead on June 30, murdered by Hamas militants. Palestinians attacked the ambulance carrying their bodies. Later Hamas launched rocket attacks on Israeli civilians, while Israel countered with air strikes on specific terrorist targets.
The paper's coverage of the ongoing situation has been marked by intense anti-Israel bias in tone and labeling, and a false moral equivalence between the behavior of "extremist" Israelis and merely "militant" Palestinian terrorists.
At the Politico Wednesday afternoon, Jonathan Topaz covered Texas Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar's sharp criticism of President Barack Obama's failure to visit the nation's southern border, or for that matter any of the detention centers set up for "Unaccompanied Alien Children" (the Department of Homeland Security's term).
The Politico is where many stories the rest of the establishment press would rather not cover go to die; they then appear to say, "Well, the Politico covered it, so we don't have to." During the Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43 presidencies, the press went with saturation coverage of Republicans who criticized a president from their party. The degree of coverage in Cuellar's situation is quite the opposite, even though, as we shall see, the White House has contacted him in an attempt to convince him to shut up.
On Tuesday, Harry Reid told the press that "the one thing we're going to do, during this work period, sooner rather than later, is to ensure that women's lives are not determined by virtue of five white men. This Hobby Lobby decision is outrageous, and we're going to do something about it."
Obviously, Reid's statement assailing the Supreme Court majority in the Hobby Lobby decision is incorrect, as black African-American Clarence Thomas was among the five justices who defended the religious freedom of the Green family which owns and runs Hobby Lobby. Ordinarily, in an obvious gaffe involving a Democratic Party politican, coverage would be sparse. But in this case, there are at least two instances where an establishment press outlet actually reported Reid's statement without pointing out that it was wrong. One occurred at the New York Times.
This goes back to a week ago Saturday morning, but given the content and that it occurred on a weekend, it really needs more visibility.
On June 28, Juan Williams put in an appearance on a Fox News "Cashin' In" show panel which discussed the IRS scandal. Host Eric Bolling discussed poll results revealing that three-quarters of Americans believe that the IRS deliberately destroyed emails, and overhwelmingly want to see people involved in destroying the emails to be held accountable. The video after the jump, accompanied by Mediaite coverage containing key quotes, will show that Williams not only insists that he is completely unimpressed with the newsworthiness of the story, but also believe that those who believe it to be important are engaging in a "paranoia conspiracy" (Warning: Those who are on blood pressure meds should make that they have taken them and have allowed enough time to pass for them to achieve their proper effect; bolds are mine):
In the latest White House press release disguised as analysis at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, AP stenographer Paul Wiseman sang the praises of this nation's "humming" job market and its "steadily rising" growth as the economy is "finally showing the vigor that Americans have long awaited." Wow.
Of course, the White House — er, Wiseman — never mentioned the following (to name just a few): two straight months (April and May) of real declines in consumer purchases; the seasonally adjusted decline of 523,000 in full-time employment paired with an increase of 799,000 part-time jobs in June; April’s and May's trade imbalance coming in worse than March’s, which was already very high; shipments of durable goods barely budging in April and May; factory orders falling in May; or May's flat construction spending. It got worse, as Wiseman concocted five reasons why the U.S. economy is a "world beater." Excerpts from Paul's pathetic prose follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
A prominent exhibit explaining why the nation's trust in its media establishment has dropped to precipitous lows would likely include Tom Cohen's Thursday afternoon column at CNN expressing befuddlement over President Barack Obama's unpopularity.
After all, Cohen's headline crows that under Obama we have "more jobs" and "less war" (!), so there's a "disconnect" which must be explained. To give you an idea of how pathetic his attempt is, he managed not to mention any form of the words "immigration," "scandal," or "contraction" (as in, the first-quarter decline in GDP) while pretending to present a complete analysis. Meanwhile, one of CNN's embedded headline links to another story ("Obama to Republicans: 'So sue me'") openly mocks Cohen, doing a better job of explaining the "disconnect" in six words than anything he wrote in his first 37 paragraphs. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post; numbered tags are mine):
The identity of President Obama's nominee to head the scandal-plagued, bloated mess known as the Department of Veterans Affairs was known on Sunday.
Very few news outlets (the Fox news item just linked is an exception) noted that Obama's pick was particularly odd because McDonald's run as CEO at Procter & Gamble was not considered a success. He was essentially forced into retirement after four years at the helm in May 2013.
The Federalist's David Harsanyi pointed out the New York Times's clear double standard when it comes to advertising in a Thursday post on Twitter. The writer recounted that the liberal paper "rejected an ad aimed at one religion" in 2012, but printed a full-page ad in Thursday's edition from the far-left Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF), which blasted the "all-male, all-Roman Catholic majority" on the Supreme Court for its decision in the Hobby Lobby case.
Harsanyi linked to a March 15, 2012 item on the ultra-liberal Think Progress blog that spotlighted how the Times "rejected a full-page anti-Islam advertisement submitted by anti-Muslim activists Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer." What Think Progress left out was the fact that Geller and Spencer's ad was a response to a previous anti-Catholic ad from FFRF, as libertarian blogger David Volokh documented at the time:
On June 18, Catholic broadcaster Eternal Word Television Network suffered a serious religious freedom setback when "A federal judge in Alabama ... dismissed a Catholic broadcaster's legal claim that requiring employers to include contraception in their health care coverage is unconstitutional." The Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, felt that story was important enough to merit coverage at its national site — and in fact, two weeks later, the story is still present there (also saved here for future reference and fair use and discussion purposes).
After that June ruling, EWTN promised that it would appeal. A July 1 compliance deadline and daily fines which would have almost certainly put the network out of business loomed. Yesterday, in the wake of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision, EWTN scored what Life News's Steven Ertelt called "a resounding victory," when it "was granted last minute relief from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals," thus enabling it to "freely practice what it preaches while it pursues its claims in court." A search on "EWTN" at the AP's national site indicates that it has no story there on this development. The wire service does have a Monday afternoon local/regional story on the news:
Math is hard over at the Department of Labor these days, pretty much from top to bottom. Last Friday, the DOL listed what it says were the 31 states which showed "statistically significant" job growth in the 12 months ended in May. It turns out that six other states should have been on that list, dropping Ohio, which was the slowest-growing among those originally listed, from number 31 to 37.
Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, and apparently the rest of the country, has a really big problem. He claims that his department has trained 84 million workers during the past six years, yet millions and millions of Americans are somehow still unemployed. The opening portions of a speech Perez made on July 19 at the National Fund for Workforce Solutions Annual Meeting follow the jump (HT to a frequent emailer; bolds are mine throughout this post):
Slowly but surely, the confident assurances of a fantabulous second quarter for the U.S. economy — one which is supposed to make the serious first-quarter contraction reported on Wednesday a distant memory — are crumbling.
Yesterday at the Associated Press, Martin Crutsinger, who just a couple of weeks ago had been relaying confident second-quarter predictions of annualized 3.5 percent and even 4 percent growth, quoted a still-optimistic economist who, in Crutsinger's words, "said strength in other areas (besides yesterday's weak consumer spending report — Ed.) should still lift economic growth to around a 3 percent annual rate in the current quarter." Today, in covering the University of Michigan's consumer confidence report, Christopher Rugaber, Crutsinger's dynamic duo buddy at the AP, brought the growth figure down to a level which won't even offset the dreadful first quarter:
At the top of his Wednesday show, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly denounced the liberal media for "subverting American democracy." He cited a particularly glaring double standard: "You may remember New Jersey Governor Chris Christie being pounded by the national media for a controversy on the George Washington Bridge....devoting 112 minutes to the situation in the first week....But when the VA scandal story broke, there was no coverage on the nightly network news broadcast for almost two weeks." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Those numbers were calculated by Media Research Center senior news analyst Scott Whitlock in a May 22 Media Reality Check entitled: "In a Month, TV News Gives Less Airtime to VA Scandal than Christie Controversy Received in Four Days."
It turns out that Vice President Joe Biden’s claim that he’s not wealthy and does not own any stocks, bonds, or a savings account isn’t entirely true. Unfortunately, only one network did the work to debunk his statement from a speech at the White House Summit on Working Families yesterday.
CBS This Morning was the only broadcast network show on Monday evening or Tuesday morning that looked into Biden’s claims, which CBS News Senior White House correspondent Bill Plante found to be partially false. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
In a Thursday New York Times op-ed, columnist Timothy Egan, who previously "worked for 18 years as a writer" at the Times, went after Wal-Mart as "net drain on taxpayers, forcing employees into public assistance with its poverty-wage structure." In his view, working at Wal-Mart and receiving its "humiliating wages ... certainly keeps you poor."
At the company's blog, David Tovar, Walmart's vice president for corporate communications, armed with a photocopy of Egan's op-ed and a red pen, ripped Egan's contentions to shreds (portion presented was reformatted to fit the available space; HT Instapundit):
The Washington Post has assigned reporter Jenna Portnoy to follow Republican nominee David Brat's campaign for the U.S. House seat for the 7th District of Virginia. In Portnoy's latest story, published in Friday's paper on page B4, the staff writer slammed Brat for having "largely ducked media exposure since his [primary] win," noting that after a brief press statement on Thursday which lasted eight minutes, he "retreated inside" his campaign headquarters, "ignoring questions shouted by reporters." A few days earlier, Portnoy insisted that an unprepared Brat had "stumbled" during a phone interview with MSNBC's Chuck Todd
Of course, as Politico's Sarah Wheaton has noted, Brat's Democratic opponent, fellow Randolph-Macon College professor Jack Trammell, "offered few policy specifics during his first public appearance as a candidate on Saturday." Last Friday, Wheaton reported that "Trammell has declined multiple interview requests" and that "[l]ike Brat, who virtually no one thought had a shot at toppling Cantor, he’s gone into something of a lockdown." Yet a search for "Jack Trammel" on the Washington Post website reveals no such critical reporting about the Democrat's unwillingness to have free-wheeling interactions with reporters. What's more, Trammel received fawning coverage in, of all places, a June 16 Style blog entry by book reviewer Ron Charles. The topic was Trammel's yet-unfinished vampire novel (excerpt below, emphasis mine):
Some readers here may have a tough time discerning why the economy's mediocre to stagnant performance isn't fully registering with the general public, which feels that things aren't going too well but still doesn't how weak the situation really is. The obvious answer is that the press overemphasizes any good news which appears and downplays marginal or bad news — while occasionally, as seen last night in Bloomberg's coverage of yesterday's largely miserable homebuilding statistics, pretending that bad news really was good.
Perfect examples of this problem came in two CNNMoney.com emails I received this afternoon. The emails has news which could be considered news, while leaving out some clearly bad news which delegitimizes their email's optimism:
Much to the dismay of the newspaper that has an obsession with peddling Democratic attacks on the Koch brothers, Hulse was unable to find anyone besides three progressive activists that had anything negative to say about them. Instead, he found that the Koch brothers are held in high regard in the community where, among many generous donations, the Wichita State University basketball arena was renamed the Charles Koch Arena in 2003 after he gave $6 million to have it completely renovated. Here’s more from Hulse:
There must have been a double delivery of Obama administration koolaid over at Bloomberg News this morning.
The business wire service, which ordinarily is slightly less imbalanced in its business and economics reporting than the Associated Press, somehow interpreted a 6.5 percent seasonally adjusted decline in housing starts during May and a nearly identical percentage drop in building permits — with both figures lower than May 2013 — as evidence that "the homebuilding industry stabilized after a first-quarter swoon." That's ridiculous. The first quarter was supposedly as bad as it was because of bad winter weather; so there should have been an overcompensating bounceback. It hasn't happened. Meanwhile, that second Bloomberg koolaid delivery must have been the one meant for AP, whose Josh Boak turned in a report noteworthy for its unusual sobriety (bolds are mine throughout this post):