A June 16-18 YouGov.com poll (at Page 25) reported that 47% of Americans in a sample of 1,000 U.S. citizens 18 and over had heard or heard about President Barack Obama's June 8 claim that "the private sector is doing fine."
The reaction of John Sides, an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at George Washington University, as picked up by Byron Tau at the Politico, is that this "low" percentage shows that "even after national headlines, some kinds of stories just don’t register to busy Americans who have more things to do than follow every jot and tittle of the news." You've got to be kidding me; 47% is amazingly high.
On June 13, the CBS Evening News devoted a story by David Martin to the Afghanistan death count reaching 2,000, as Martin interviewed a mother of a fallen Marine. CBS was alone. There was no story last week on the Afghanistan death “milestone” on ABC, NBC, the PBS NewsHour – or even on the MSNBC programs found in Nexis, including Rachel “Our Military’s In a Perilous Drift” Maddow.
But the networks were all more aggressive when the 2,000 mark arrived in Iraq on October 25, 2005. The Big Three networks devoted 14 morning and evening news stories to the death toll from October 24 through the end of October, and another 24 anchor briefs or mentions. They used the number to spell “disaster for this White House.”
The Tweet watchers at Michelle Malkin's Twitchy.com caught an Associated Press reporter seeking out (perhaps the term should be "solicitweeting," with "solicitweetion" as the related noun) negative comments about Mitch Daniels on Twitter earlier today from Purdue alumni and students about the appointment announced today of Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels to become that school's next president.
After the jump, readers will see AP reporter Tom LoBianco's birdbrained tweets, followed by what should be considered an embarrassing mistake in the copy of his co-authored story (saved here for future reference, fair use, and discussion purposes):
After duly noting that the percentage of big company CEOs planning to add workers and purchase additional capital equipment over the next six months had declined (from 42% to 36% and from 48% to 43%, respectively), Rugaber misrepresented reality when he wrote the following:
The U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule any day now on the constitutionality of ObamaCare, the centerpiece of Barack Obama’s presidency thus far. How the media cover such a decision remains to be seen, but between 2004 and 2008 the Court issued multiple rulings tossing out key elements of George W. Bush’s war on terrorism, the policy centerpiece of that administration.
The MRC studied how the broadcast networks covered those decisions overruling Bush’s policy on detaining terror suspects, looking at the ABC, CBS and NBC evening news coverage from the day each ruling was handed down — June 28, 2004, June 29, 2006 and June 12, 2008. On those nights, the networks aired a total of 15 stories about the Supreme Court rulings, totaling nearly 35 minutes of airtime. The results provide a template for how the networks might cover a decision voiding some or all of President Obama’s health care law — assuming network journalists approach their job without regard to partisanship, that is.
On CNN Newsroom this morning, anchor Carol Costello reported on "Nuns on the Bus:"
"Normally, you see nuns working in their closely knit communities and religious orders. But a group of nuns in the United States, they are hitting the road," she reported. "They are taking a bus on nine-state tour. They are protesting the Ryan budget cuts they say will hurt the poor the most. The nuns are in Milwaukee today and that's where Ted Rowlands is. So the nuns are jumping into the political fray."
Back in 2009, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said we were "a nation of cowards" on matters of race. Permit me to be brave and run a few assertions by you just to see whether we're on the same page. There should be two standards for civilized conduct: one for whites, which is higher, and another for blacks, which is lower. In other words, in the name of justice and fair play, blacks should not be held accountable to the same standards that whites are and should not be criticized for conduct that we'd deem disgusting and racist if said or done by whites.
You say, "Williams, what in the world are you talking about?" Mitt Romney hasn't revealed all of his fall campaign strategy yet, but what if he launched a "White Americans for Romney" movement in an effort to get out the white vote? If the Romney campaign did that, there'd be a media-led outcry across the land, with charges ranging from racial insensitivity to outright racism. When President Barack Obama announced his 2012 launch of "African Americans for Obama" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdjoHA5ocwU), the silence was deafening. Should the same standards be applied to Obama as would be applied to Romney? The answer turns out to be no, because Obama is not held to the same standards as Romney.
New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter got huffy in a Friday blog post on behalf of his fellow liberal journalists, who took to Twitter en masse, aghast at the audacity of a reporter from a conservative news site interrupting President Obama's Rose Garden speech outlining his controversial new immigration policy (a version of Stelter's story also made it into print on Saturday).
The Timeswas kinder to an Iraqi journalist who hurled a shoe at President Bush during a December 2008 press conference in Baghdad, emphasizing his "defiant act" and "hero status" in Iraq.
At the rate things are going, it may be that the list of leading West Virginia Democrats attending the party's convention in Charlotte is going to be shorter than the list of those who aren't.
The Associated Press reported the following in an unbylined item this evening in a terse three-paragraph squib with some pretty amusing attempts at impact-minimizing verbiage (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
The next time a liberal friend of yours -- with a straight face -- tells you that MSNBC is concerned with substantive campaign reporting, you can throw this back at them.
The Right Scoop bloghas an excellent post today -- be sure to also check out Soopermexican's original post -- about how the network's latest fixation: Mitt Romney mistakenly calling the Wawa convenience store chain "Wawa's" and seeming to be enthralled with their system for obtaining made-to-order sandwiches. Afternoon anchor Andrea Mitchell hinted at a long-since discredited "supermarket scanner" meme about President George H.W. Bush, suggesting Romney was unfamiliar with touch-screens in convenience stores. But missing in the network's fixation on the minor gaffe is the substance of Romney's comments, Right Scoop notes:
Matt Bai, chief political correspondent for the New York Times Sunday magazine, met up in Omaha with former Sen. Bob Kerrey, a moderate Democrat who ran for president in 1992 and is running again for the U.S. Senate in Nebraska.
In his last magazine appearance, Bai typically took the Democrats's side of the debt showdown debate of summer 2011. In Sunday's profile, Bai fawned over Kerrey as "a statesmanlike and contemplative presence" of "great moral complexity" who was adept in "thinking philosophically and reflectively rather than reflexively" about politics.
So here's how it appears to me and I suspect many other news readers, never mind the real motivations. At the Associated Press, when you're covering situations like suicide bomber attacks on Christian churches in Nigeria yesterday, you hold out as long as you can in speculating about who is responsible, even though Islamist Boko Haram terrorists (and only Boko Haram terrorists) have claimed credit for previous attacks in that country, and even though no other religion on earth generates large numbers of people who claim to be its adherents who are willing to blow themselves up so they can kill as many infidels as possible.
Then, once the inevitable claim of responsibility arrives, you treat it as old news (the bombings were a whole 24-36 hours ago, y'know), focus your headline and coverage on "Christian" reprisals instead (even though there is no element of Christian doctrine which sanctions random reprisals), and identify who carried out the attacks as late as you possibly, so it will end up not making most broadcast and many print reports. Here are excerpts:
During the 1980s, despite data which even then was telling them they were wrong, it became a mantra of a desperate establishment press that the booming economy under Ronald Reagan really wasn't that impressive because so many of the new jobs created were part-time or temporary.
The data was not then readily available for temps, but it certainly was for part-time vs. full-time employment. It comes from to the Household Survey performed by Uncle Sam's Bureau of Labor Statistics on a monthly basis to determine the unemployment rate. What follows is a graph comparing the growth in employment in those two categories during the 35 post-recession months under Reagan to the analogous 35 months since the most recent recession's official end in June 2009. It will make you wonder how the press can claim objectivity when it has barely touched on the contrast you will see, or even on the poor performance itself without historical comparisons.
It would appear that the establishment press is determined to portray a "both sides are at fault" equivalency as much as possible in Nigeria where almost none exists.
Earlier today, Patrick Poole at the PJ Tatler pointed out that a brief initial Associated Press item from Lagos would cause a person, in Poole's words, to "come away mystified as to why these churches were subject to apparently random 'violence.'" He specifically objected to the vagueness of a sentence claiming that "Churches have been increasingly targeted by violence in Nigeria." Later more detailed dispatches from Reuters and the AP aren't much more helpful, especially as they both fail to tag the principal perpetrators of the violence, the Boko Haram, as the terrorists that they are.
You'd think from the reaction to Daily Caller White House Correspondent Neal Munro's shouted question during President Obama's announcement of de facto amnesty for 30-and-under illegal aliens at the Rose Garden yesterday that it's the first time any reporter has ever shouted a question at a U.S. president out of turn. Friday afternoon, the Daily Caller, Munro's employer, carried his explanation of the incident, as well as sturdy defenses from Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson and Publisher Neil Patel.
What follows is some historical perspective ("Why Do Grown Men And Women Shout At President Reagan?") coming from (yes, really) Associated Press writer Christopher Connell in October 1987 which is more than necessary in the circumstances (save here in full for fair use and discussion purposes; key items underlined by me).
New York Times reporter Michael Shear filed a "Political Memo" Thursday on the return of former Virginia Sen. George Allen, who lost in 2006 after the media and the Washington Post in particular harped on a daily basis after Allen referred to opponent's opposition research person as "macaca." Shear felt the need to kneecap Allen out of the starting gate by injecting all the old controversies and rumors of racism into the current news cycle for "A Comeback in Virginia, Shadowed by a Stumble."
While CNN's Soledad O'Brien tossed softballs at Democratic Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, she was not so kind to her Republican guest during the next hour, on Thursday's Starting Point. O'Brien reported poor poll numbers for both the Romney and Obama campaigns, but went after only the Romney campaign's economic message in detail.
O'Brien teed up the Democratic mayor to respond to Romney hitting Obama for wanting more public sector workers. But she posed the same question of Romney advisor Jim Talent, putting him on the defensive, rather than bringing up, say, President Obama's remark that the private sector is "doing just fine," a statement he later retracted.
We hardly needed more proof of the cesspool that is original programming on the pay cable networks. But just in case: “Game of Thrones” producers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff have willingly admitted to using a gruesome image of former president George W. Bush’s head impaled on a stake during the HBO drama’s season one finale, “Fire and Blood.”
Bush’s decapitated likeness appeared as one in a row of traitors’ heads on spikes (implication much?) in King’s Landing. When King Joffrey forced his child bride-to-be Sansa to gaze upon her father’s bloody, severed head the camera panned out and revealed a beheaded Bush covered in dirt and draped in long, matted hair.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is attracting lots of media attention Bush for claiming that even conservative hero Ronald Reagan would struggle in today's Republican Party, a Tea Party-infused "orthodoxy that doesn’t allow for disagreement."
New York Times Political reporter Jim Rutenberg was intrigued: "Jeb Bush Offers Critical Views of Modern Republican Party and Its 'Orthodoxy.'" The online headline to his Tuesday story was more explicitly partisan: "Jeb Bush Questions G.O.P.’s Shift to the Right." A photo caption of Bush emphasized: "Jeb Bush, pictured here in January, criticized the current state of the Republican party for its strict adherence to ideology."
If Attorney General Eric Holder’s goal was to minimize broadcast network news coverage when he chose late Friday evening to announce a criminal investigation into how damaging national security secrets were released to the New York Times, the media have certainly played along.
Holder announced the investigation after the East Coast feeds of Friday’s ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts. While each of the networks included some discussion on their Saturday and Sunday broadcasts, including ABC’s This Week and CBS’s Face the Nation (NBC’s Meet the Press was pre-empted by tennis), by Monday the networks had already lost interest.
Here is yet another "fact check" whose sole purpose is to try to invent reasons that an objectively true statement made by a conservative or Republican really isn't.
Monday, the Associated Press's Stephen Ohlemacher tried to claim that "Taxmageddon," the $423 billion tax increase which will take effect on January 1 if Congress and President Obama don't act to prevent it, won't really be the largest tax increase in history (bolds are mine):
Late in the 2008 campaign, Republican presidential candidate John McCain was whacked in a front-page story in the New York Times for saying the "fundamentals of our economy are strong." But after President Obama said on Friday that "the private sector is doing fine" (he walked the statement back hours later) Times reporter Jackie Calmes conjured up some spin on Obama's behalf.
Last year, Harry Reid said pretty close to the same thing President Obama said on Friday about the health of the nation's private sector. Obama claimed that "The private sector is fine." On the Senate floor on October 19, Reid claimed that "It's very clear that private-sector jobs have been doing just fine."
Don't feel bad if you don't know this, because the press mostly ignored it. The few who did notice it worked mightily to excuse it. One of the chief excusers was Pete Kasperowicz at the Hill:
At National Review (here and here), Stanley Kurtz has proven beyond doubt that Barack Obama sought the far-left New Party's endorsement in 1996. In the process, he has rendered a central claim made by the Obama campaign at its "Fight the Smears" web site in 2008 ("Barack Did Not Seek New Party Endorsement") and swallowed whole by the gullible establishment press utterly false.
In 2008, Ben Smith, who was then at Politico, also swallowed the line from the New Party's founder that the party never really had "members," which is going to be the focus of this post:
Today at a press conference, President Barack Obama said that "we’ve created 4.3 million jobs over the last 27 months, over 800,000 just this year alone. The private sector is doing fine. Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government ..."
Later, in a cleanup attempt, in what the press is claiming is a walkback, Obama really didn't walk it back: "Listen, it is absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine. That's the reason I had the press conference. ... what I've been saying consistently over the last year, we've actually seen some good momentum in the private sector. We've seen 4.3 million jobs created -- 800,000 this year alone -- record corporate profits. And so that has not been the biggest drag on the economy." He never pulled back from saying that "the private sector is doing fine." The abject panic at the Associated Press is evident in tonight's report by Ken Thomas and Philip Elliott (HT to a NewsBusters tipster; bolds and numbered tags are mine):
"Between 2000 and 2009, George Soros has contributed over $400 million to academic causes in this country" to push liberal "curricula that he wants taught," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted on last night's "Media Mash" segment on Fox News Channel's Hannity program. For this, Soros gets a free pass from the media, yet the conservative/libertarian Koch Brothers donations are severely scrutinized by journalists for the donations they make to academic institutions.
"The media say the Koch brothers are meddling with academic freedom when they gave $7 million, that's 1/50th of what George Soros has done," the Media Research Center (MRC) founder noted, adding that "every single Ivy League school in America gets George Soros money." Bozell was on the June 7 edition of Hannity to promote the brand-new MRC Business & Media Institute study "George Soros: Godfather of the Left."[To watch the full "Media Mash" segment, click the play button on the embedded video that follows the page break]
The Catholic News Agency's Michelle Bauman reports that there has been a "wave" of recent defections and departures from the Democratic Party that could be as many as several hundred. The establishment press is clearly being remiss in failing to note them at all -- something which would not be occurring if it involved Republicans going to the party of the left.
The reasons for the moves primarily relate to President Obama's endorsement of same-sex "marriage" and the assault on religious freedoms inherent in his administration's requirement that employers who offer health insurance plans, in Bauman's words, "cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, even if doing so violates their consciences." Excerpts from her report follow the jump, including a notable quote from Artur Davis, the former four-term Democratic congressman who announced to very little press coverage in late May that if he runs again for public office, it will be as a Republican:
Now we know where all those "liberal" references which should be attached to leftist Democratic politicians but seldom are went. Steve Peoples at the Associated Press used them all up in his Thursday coverage of the "Netroots Nation" gathering in Providence, Rhode Island.
Occurrences and variants on the word "liberal" appear ten times in Peoples' coverage, including in the item's headline. There are even several occurrences of "progressives" and even references to the "left":
In the same spirit as Scott Bauer's claim for Associated Press of a "narrow 7-point gap" in the Wisconsin recall polls, so The Washington Post on Wednesday's front page classified Scott Walker's win as "Walker survives," and below that, "LONG LINES AND A CLOSE VOTE." Close?
Via my Twitter friend mattjmobile, here's a reminder of the Washington Post's front page on November 5, 2008, when Obama won by the same margin as Scott Walker: "Obama Makes History: US DECISIVELY ELECTS FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT." [See below]
To be fair, Yahoo News's main home page has a headlined item called "What Scott Walker can teach Barack Obama," a later reference to the slapping of Tom Barrett by a "supporter" for supposedly conceding too early, and the Politics mini-section of the home page lists three Wisconsin-related stories.
But Yahoo News's U.S. home page (screen grabs here and here) as of 11 a.m. ET was a Wisconsin-free, Walker-free zone. And it's not like the page is devoid of political items, such as the following, plus a "most popular" item I'll reveal at the end which seems like a plant: