Give Nancy Cook at NationalJournal.com credit for a generally well-written though somewhat naive report ("Forget the Unemployment Rate: The Alarming Stat Is the Number of 'Missing Workers'") on the unprecedented plight of the millions of adults who have dropped out of the labor force.
But in discussing the "glaring caveat" in Friday's employment report from the government, namely that "the 'labor force participation rate' held steady in April at 63.3 percent—the lowest level since 1979," she missed a major source of the rise in the rate to a record level in the late-1990s. She also left readers otherwise unaware of the actual history with the impression that the rate has been "on a gradual decline" since then, which is simply not the case.
Leading off Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams eagerly touted gun control supporters going after Republican New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte at a recent town hall meeting: "Pushing back. A tense moment as a U.S. senator gets an earful about her no vote on gun control." Williams hopefully added: "And with lawmakers home from Washington on a break, is this about to start happening more often?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
While Williams promoted the incident as a genuine public uprising, emphasizing "9 of 10 Americans support expanded background checks," he failed to mention that President Obama's campaign machine, Organizing for Action, was motivating many of the anti-Ayotte protests. On FNC's Special Report on Wednesday, anchor Bret Baier reported: "OFA took to the streets of New Hampshire at the end of April for an impassioned protest against [Ayotte]...One sign spattered in what appears to be fake blood reads, quote, 'More shot in one day than marathoned.'"
"If you're going to say that a known conservative entity like the Koch brothers should not be getting into the business of dictating what a news operation should do, what does that tell you about Warren Buffett," or the Sulzburger or Graham families behind the New York Times and Washington Post respectively, Brent Bozell argued on the April 30 edition of CNBC's Kudlow Report. Bozell also noted the vast sums of money leftist billionaire George Soros pumps into media outlets, while the liberal media raise no concerns about him somehow corrupting journalism with ideological influence.
The NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center founder was on the program opposite Steven Pearlstein of the Washington Post, who last week offered up an uncharacteristically blustery column -- headlined "How the L.A. Times can stop the Kochs" -- in which Pearlstein coached Times reporters to threaten to quite en masse rather than work for libertarian publishers. [To watch the full segment, click play on the embedded video below the page break]
You've got hand it to some (probably most) of the reporters at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press. Their story is that the economy is all right, and by gosh, they're sticking to it.
Tom Raum's dispatch yesterday is a case in point. Along the way, he pulled out several of the tired spin-driven claims which have long since been taken down but which haven't yet penetrated the skulls of low-information voters. Raum and AP seem puzzled that the supposedly okey-dokey economy doesn't seem to be helping President Obama or Democrats' 2014 congressional and senatorial election prospects (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
The email announcing the supposedly momentous occasion of another column by the Politico's Glenn Thrush arrived in my mailbox with the following headline and subhead: "Obama: Hey guys, I'm still here -- The president's press conference brimmed with frustration and was filled with tantalizing promise."
On clickthrough, I learned that the online website's massagers-in-chief changed those items (but not the underlying URL, which reflects the email) to the following in the published article: "President Obama: I’m still relevant -- Obama finds himself hemmed in by the familiar constraints of partisanship and world events." Thrush's text identifed another problem supposedly hemming Obama in, complete with a slavery analogy: "the shackles of his own commitments." Poor guy; he has to deal with the world as it is, not how he'd like it to be, and those darned things he promised to do to get elected and reelected. Gosh, life is just so unfair, isn't it? Excerpts following Thrush's theme follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
While Tuesday's NBC Today began by heralding gay NBA player Jason Collins as "a towering figure on the court" and in "sports history," later in the 7 a.m. ET hour, correspondent Craig Melvin regarded NFL quarterback Tim Tebow as an athlete who's "play never really matched the hype" and someone who became "spoof-worthy" due to his "well-publicized faith."
A clip played of Late Night host Jimmy Fallon mocking Tebow with a parody song set to David Bowie's "Ground Control to Major Tom": "Tim Tebow to Jesus Christ." Melvin followed: "On the field, Tebow struggled. His only season as a Jet, lackluster....His football future is uncertain. But Tebow could still cash-in on his carefully cultivated persona."
While polling data show that public trust of the news media is in the single digits, the real salient issue in media bias these days is bias by omission, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Dennis Miller in an April 30 interview for the comedian's podcast program. It's what the media refuse to report on, censoring stories from public view, that helps to shield liberals from scrutiny on salient public policy issues.
"For example, the Gosnell story. The average person out there has no idea what I'm talking about when I say Gosnell," Bozell noted of the Philadelphia abortionist who allegedly killed babies who survived attempted abortions. "You don't have to be pro-life to be disgusted and feel like throwing up when you hear some of these details and yet, no coverage from the national media." [To download and listen to the full interview, click here; For information on how to subscribe to Miller's podcast, click here ]
On Friday, the government reported that the economy grew by an annualized 2.5 percent during the first quarter. Earlier today, in Part 1 of this series, (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) I showed that while most news organizations, including CNN, Bloomberg and Reuters, characterized that news as a disappointment, especially comparred to expectations of 3.0 percent or more following an awful fourth quarter of 0.4%, Martin Crutsinger and Chris Rugaber remained irrationally exuberant, not only about the "quickened" pace of growth but about prospects for higher growth in the second half of this year.
In Part 2 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), we saw how even others at the self-described Essential Global News Network disagreed with Crutsinger's and Rugaber's joint assessment. A "News Summary" item was headlined "STOCKS STALL AS GROWTH DISAPPOINTS." A report by AP Markets Writer Steve Rothwell was headlined "STOCKS STALL ON TEPID US ECONOMIC GROWTH," and forecasted slower growth during the rest of the year. There is one other key paragraph written by the pair of AP economics writers which deserves separate vetting. It follows the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
On Friday, the government reported that the economy grew by an annualized 2.5 percent during the first quarter. As I noted in Part 1 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), three establishment press outlets (CNN, Bloomberg, and Reuters) pronounced the result "disappointing" -- but not Martin Crutsinger and Christopher Rugaber at the Associated Press, whose headline read "AFTER NEAR-STALL IN LATE 2012, US ECONOMY PICKS UP," and whose content described the economy as having "quickened its pace" as "the strongest consumer spending in two years fueled a 2.5 percent annual growth rate in the January-March quarter."
It turns out that the AP pair's enthusiasm was not only not shared at other news organizations. It wasn't even shared within AP, as will be seen after the jump.
On Friday, the government reported that the economy grew by an annualized 2.5 percent during the first quarter. The awful 0.4 percent result seen in the fourth quarter was largely sloughed off as caused by a number of one-time factors. Analysts convinced themselves that reported first-quarter growth would come in at 3.0 percent or slightly higher in Friday's release. Instead, we saw what Zero Hedge noted was the biggest such expectations miss since September 2011.
As a result, at least three establishment press organizations pronounced the result disappointing -- except for two business reporters at the Associated Press whose names are virtual fixtures here.
The recent dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas has brought a fresh opportunity to reflect on the legacy of the 43rd president. Of course, for the liberal media, to contemplate Bush’s legacy is to focus almost entirely on what went wrong in his presidency.
ABC’s Jonathan Karl displayed the media’s rampant anti-Bush attitude during an interview with Karl Rove posted on ABC News’s Power Players blog on Friday. Karl hit Bush’s former senior advisor with an onslaught of negative questioning, but Rove, to his credit, fought back admirably.
Seldom have I seen so many chauvinistic statements in one place as I have in an essay found at Guardian News.com written by an author whose work has appeared in "Time, Cosmopolitan, The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast." I post it as a media bias item because I believe that the views stated therein explicitly and implicitly affect how the press covers so-called "women's issues."
Here is just one sample: "I do consider any Harvard Law School degree obtained by a woman who then chooses not to use it in any sort of professional capacity throughout most of her life a wasted opportunity. That degree could have gone to a woman who does want to spend her entire life using it to advance the cause of women – or others in need of advancement – not simply advancing the lives of her own family at home, which is a noble cause, but not one requiring an elite degree." Other quotes, plus the identity of the author and a link to the essay, follow the jump:
Last week, MSNBC's Chris Matthews was seen shortly after the Boston Marathon bombings wondering whether they had anything to do with "Tax Day" (which it wasn't in Massachusetts; it was Patriots' Day, a state holiday, and the tax filing deadline there was not until the next day) and asserting that "Normally domestic terrorists, people, tend to be on the far right."
Now Matthews appears not to be interested in finding out what motivated the Tsarnaev brothers, accused of perpetrating the Boston Marathon bombings, to do what they allegedly did, as the following passage from an April 22 "Hardball" discussion with an incredulous FBI profiler found at RealClearPolitics tells us (bolds are mine):
Norah O'Donnell spotlighted former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's "troubles with his ex-wife" on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, and asserted that the disgraced Republican "seemed a little bit out of touch" after running a political ad "saying it's been a tough week for him after...what the people in Boston have gone through."
By contrast, O'Donnell's co-anchor, Charlie Rose, played up how "former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner may be eying a return" and touted "why the unlikely scenario is becoming a real possibility" for the Democrat on the April 11, 2013 edition of the morning program, a mere 12 days earlier.
On his podcast Friday, as the networks were going wall-to-wall with live coverage of Boston, comedian and pundit Adam Carolla questioned whether Boston coverage was excessive. Matt Wilstein at Mediaite transcribed the conversation, which should be a journalism-school topic in the weeks to come.
“Boston is three people dead, and quite a few injured,” Carolla said, “but it’s three people dead. There’s that many people during the course of this podcast, that many people times ten that die out on the highways.” Meanwhile, he pointed out, the death toll in the Texas explosion was up to 15 or higher.
On April 4, the Associated Press' Christopher Rugaber wrote: "Gone are the fears that the economy could fall into another recession."
Having in effect announced the repeal of the business cycle for the foreseeable future, despite the fact that the economy's post-recession job recovery performance has been the worst since World War II by miles, it seems that Rugaber is now doing his best to prop up his assertion with shaky claims about the meaning of government economic reports. That would include the second sentence of his opening paragraph of his dispatch on Thursday's report on jobless claims from the government's Department of Labor (bolds are mine):
Salon's David Sirota, who on Tuesday wrote a column called "Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American" and doubled down on Wednesday with "I still hope the bomber is a white American" (respectively noted by Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters here and here), has predictably continued his incoherent rants. In a subsequent column, he wrote about how the "Boston aftermath brings out America’s worst prejudices." In his latest offering, with no sense of irony, circus clown Sirota tells readers that "we can't let ourselves get swept up in the media circuses that follow" (I'm not going to link to either example of dreadful dreck; readers with strong stomachs can plug the items in quotes just noted into a web search).
Apparently attempting to poison the national discussion in multimedia fashion, Sirota tweeted his belief on Thursday that any conservative who sympathizes with and supports the people of Boston and Massachusetts during this difficult time must be a hypocrite (HT Twitchy.com):
At least one major paper is taking seriously the illicit taping of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell's strategy session by a left-wing Democratic PAC, which then found its way into the left-wing magazine Mother Jones.
The magazine's first foray into hidden video struck left-wing gold -- capturing candidate Mitt Romney's claim at a fundraiser about the "47 percent" who would vote for Obama because they were dependent on government. But this new clip, in which McConnell's staff discusses a potential Democratic opponent, actress Ashley Judd, seems to have backfired on the magazine and the liberal PAC Progress Kentucky, who provided the clip, both of which are in legal hot water.
But New York Times reporter Trip Gabriel saw only embarrassment on Sen. McConnell's side in his Friday account, buried under an innocuous headline on page 14, "McConnell Recording Is Linked To a PAC."
Give Anthony Weiner another chance! Slate’s William Saletan fawned over the genius political rehab strategy deployed by former disgraced Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), as he’s mulling whether to run in New York’s mayoral election this year. Saletan’s April 10 piece, laughably headlined " I'll Be His Weiner Wife, " observed how the recent Weiner expose -- sorry, I mean feature -- in a recent New York Times Magazine “doesn’t look like a strategy. It’s so deeply embedded in the narrative that you can’t see it."
"Weiner has made this a story not about himself, but about his wife and their future together. You have to forgive him because she has forgiven him, and if you hold a grudge against him, she’s the one you’re really punishing," Saletan argued. Cut Weiner out of politics for life and you hurt Huma as well. Heck, you're probably hurting America too! Isn't that patronizing at best and misogynistic at worst?
In the paper's only story relating to the trial of late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell on March 19 on Page A17, Jon Hurdle at the New York Times opened (HT Twitchy.com) by telling readers that "In opening statements in court on Monday, prosecutors charged that a doctor who operated a women’s health clinic here killed seven viable fetuses ..." -- not already-born infants.
On April 12, while attempting to defend the establishment press's general failure to cover the Gosnell trial ("Why Are the Media Apologizing About Kermit Gosnell Coverage?"), Josh Dzieza at the Daily Beast wrote that "Gosnell is accused of providing late-term abortions by inducing labor and then severing the fetus’ spinal cord with scissors." Uh, Josh, at that point anyone should concede that we're talking about a b-b-b-b ... baby. Gosh, even the obviously proabort Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, concedes that.
One of the more bizarre memes propagated by the proabort left about the trial of Kermit Gosnell, who "faces 43 criminal counts, including eight counts of murder in the death of one patient, Karnamaya Monger, and seven newborn infants," is that Fox News has been almost as negligent in covering the story and the trial as the Big Three broadcast networks, and that conservative media in general have also mostly ignored the story.
Through Monday evening, April 8, the Media Research Center's Matt Philbin noted that Gosnell's trial "has received exactly zero seconds of airtime on the broadcast networks." In a pathetic attempt at a response on Friday, Salon's Alex Seitz-Wald and several others are trying to claim that "conservative" outlets have also virtually ignored the trial. Seitz-Wald's own text shows that his argument is weak, as seen in excerpts following the jump.
Following up on two previous posts (here and here at NewsBusters; here and here at BizzyBlog) -- The Associated Press has, as of early this evening, failed to use its "abortion" tag in all but one of its 23 "Big Story" items (14 articles and 9 photos) relating to Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia late term abortionist who "faces 43 criminal counts, including eight counts of murder in the death of one patient, Karnamaya Monger, and seven newborn infants."
In the over 50 other instances where it has used the "abortion" tag, the topics involved were the 2012 presidential race between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, state and worldwide efforts to either restrict or expand the practice, and, in one stunning example, a positive story about how "A new clinic offering abortions and other women's medical services saw its first patient Thursday in the Wichita building where a slain Kansas abortion provider had practiced." The slain abortionist, George Tiller, was murdered by a disturbed man who had no involvement with the prolife movement. The AP does have two other abortion-related tags that it has inconsistently applied to Gosnell's "Big Story" articles. Those tags are "abortion controversy" and (I'm not kidding) "reproductive rights."
On Wednesday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog, I noted that the Associated Press had, up to that point, failed to apply its "abortion" tag to any of its 19 "Big Story" items (11 reports and 8 photo captions) on Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia late-term abortionist who, as Life News usefully reminded us yesterday, is current being tried and "faces 43 criminal counts, including eight counts of murder in the death of one patient, Karnamaya Monger, and seven newborn infants."
Well, it may just be a weird coincidence, but on Thursday, in a story ("RECEPTIONIST: UNLICENSED DOC FLED PA. CLINIC RAID") by Maryclaire Daly, who on March 25 infamously described Gosnell as "an elegant man who ... smiled softly" in court, the self-described Essential Global News Network finally used its "abortion" tag in connection with Gosnell. As a public service, since it seems unlikely that AP will go back and apply the tag to the previous stories with its "kermit gosnell" tag, yours truly is listing them after the jump, in the hope that future searchers for information on "abortion" and "crime" will have a better chance of finding what the AP, up until Thursday, has preferred to keep relatively hidden:
The media's censoring of the Kermit Gosnell murder trial is appalling. But why, exactly, are reporters failing to cover the Philadelphia abortionist's trial? Mollie Hemingway of the Patheos blog Get Religion thought she'd ask Washington Post staff writer Sarah Kliff, who responded via Twitter that she isn’t writing about it because she “cover[s] policy for the Washington Post, not local crime."
That, of course, is a patently ludicrous excuse. In an April 12 blog post, Hemingway aptly noted that local crimes are often used to give context to a larger issue in public policy. The Trayvon Martin shooting sparked a debate about Stand Your Ground Laws. The murder of Matthew Shepard launched a debate around hate crimes, and awareness of bigotry against gays. And as for the most recent case of a local crime story gone national, a day after the Newtown shooting, Kliff penned a piece asking, “What would ‘meaningful action’ on gun control look like?” The bottom line is that the Gosnell trial illustrates just how poorly regulated many inner-city abortion clinics are and how that lack of regulation can allow horror stories like Gosnell to happen.
On Tuesday's World News and Wednesday's Good Morning Ameica, ABC's George Stephanopoulos and Jim Avila ballyhooed far-left magazine Mother Jones's secretly-recorded audio recording of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's strategy meeting with political advisers about potential opponent Ashley Judd. Stephanopoulos touted the "startling secret tape revealing how the Senate's top Republican was planning to go after...Judd if she ran against him."
Avila played up McConnell's apparent "cutthroat attack on a Hollywood opponent" and the Republican's "private and politically-embarrassing strategy session", all the while omitting left-of-center ideology of the publication that released the audio clip and minimizing the possible illegality of its recording.
In online journalism, blogs and related endeavors, a "tag" is a " keyword or term" which "helps describe an item and allows it to be found again by browsing or searching." At the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, it appears that "tag" has been redefined as "a keyword or term selectively used to ensure that only certain items will come in in future searches."
Let's take a look at the "Big Story" report posted at the AP's national site on March 19 relating to the trial of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell. In that story by Maryclaire Dale, who is still on the story even after proving on March 25 that she has no business being there as an objective observer when she described Gosnell as "an elegant man" who "smiled softly" in court, the wire service applied the following tags:
A Fox News reporter faces jail time for not giving up her sources in a story on the Aurora shooting, but CNN host Jake Tapper is the only anchor or reporter at the network to mention her plight. Fox News has reported on it, along with various online outlets; the networks have been silent. MSNBC's Joe Scarborough brought it up on Monday's Morning Joe.
Tapper made the story part of the "Buried Lead" segment on his Monday show, "stories we don't think are getting enough attention." It certainly hasn't piqued the curiosity of anyone else at CNN, meriting only a CNN.com piece and no other mentions on air. "Where is the public outrage about this type of thing?" Tapper asked. "Does the public not understand or see us as a check on people in power?"
Coverage of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's death and life was relegated to below the fold at USA Today this morning (pictured here; the paper stopped posting front-page pics two years ago).
Three items above the fold (excluding left-side teases to coverage of other stories) were considered more important that the Iron Lady's passing: "Remembering Annette Funicello"; a "Duplicate programs waste billions" item about wasteful government spending (useful, but it's not as if we didn't know this already); and to top it off, a 6x6 photo from the first half of the NCAA men's basketball finals, the result of which the paper was unable to report because the game ended after its publication deadline.
At the Weekly Standard's blog today, Daniel Halper relayed a pool reporter's notes from the Easter service President Barack Obama and his family attended this morning. The highlights from the Rev. Dr. Luis Leon's sermon" included the following statement: "It drives me crazy when the captains of the religious right are always calling us back ... for blacks to be back in the back of the bus ... for women to be back in the kitchen ... for immigrants to be back on their side of the border."
The latest estimate of economic growth for the final quarter of 2012 published by Uncle Sam's Bureau of Economic Analysis on Thursday told us that the economy grew at an annualized rate of 0.4%. Not annualized, that means it actually grew by 0.1%. A $100,000-a-year business doing that "well" during a quarter would have seen its sales increase by $25 (.001 times $100,000 divided by 4).