Maybe, in sync with the predictable press reactions to oft-seen bad economic numbers, the headline at Julie Pace's late-morning story at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, should have been: "Obama Foreign Policy Falls Apart ... Unexpectedly."
Pace's pathetic attempt at pathos in assessing the status of the Obama administration's foreign policy tells AP readers that some of it is due to "factors outside the White House's control" (as if previous administrations haven't had to deal with unanticipated developments), that Obama "misjudged" what would come in the Arab Spring's aftermath (we're supposed to ignore all of those contacts he's had with Muslim Brotherhood officials and their sympathizers), and that the NSA revelations have hurt our standing in Europe (without noting that the root cause is NSA's spying on U.S. citizens). Excerpts follow the jump.
In March, the Associated Press ran a 470-word "Big Story" item about the case of of Elaine Huguenin, an Albuquerque wedding photographer "who declined to shoot the commitment ceremony of a lesbian couple." The couple filed an anti-discrimination claim with the state's Human Rights Commission, which found that Huguenin, who runs her business with her husband, had violated state law.
New Mexico's highest court upheld the commission's ruling against Ms. Huguenin on Thursday. Though the AP has an 11-paragraph story on the ruling by Barry Massey which several AP-subscribing outlets throughout the country have picked up, searches on Ms. Huguenin's last name which returned no results and no new "Big Story" result indicate that it is not present at the AP's national site. Especially since it was such a big deal five months ago, what explains the, well, light exposure? Excerpts from what AP management is apparently now treating as a local story follow the jump:
In advance of a month full of events oriented towards demonstrating displeasure with lawmakers who won't give carte blanche to President Obama's healthcare, gun control, "climate change," and immigration agendas, Organizing for Action Executive Director Jon Carson claimed that "We will own August." New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Mayors Against Illegal Guns also anticipated high levels of support during this months's "No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence" tour.
It hasn't happened in either case. If right-wing, tea party, or social conservative efforts fizzled as OFA's and MAIG's clearly are, those failures would be making headlines, and shown as proof that support for the related causes is weak. By contrast, the national establishment press is mostly ignoring and in some cases obscuring these left-wing implosions.
It seems that beat reporters need to be constantly reminded that they have their hands full just discerning the facts, relaying them coherently, and leaving the "analysis" to others (while presenting alternative analytical takes when necessary).
The nagging is really for their own good. If they would stick to their jobs instead of "analyzing," which often is a cover for getting out their own opinions, they wouldn't be suffering the feelings of embarrassment Christopher Rugaber at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, should be feeling right now (I'm not saying he is; I'm saying he should be). You see, yesterday he said that a best-in-years report on existing-home sales meant one thing. Today, thanks to the Census Bureau's disastrous July new-home sales release, he said it meant quite another.
Why should things change now? NBC and ABC on Thursday night and Friday morning yet again refused to identify San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, accused of sexually harassing 18 women, as a Democrat. ABC's Good Morning America devoted two segments to his impending resignation, but mentioned only "Mayor Bob Filner."
In contrast, GMA on Thursday hyped the controversy of the Lieutenant governor of Texas, a "rising Republican star," caught on a 911 call after he attempted to free his niece from jail. On Friday, only CBS This Morning identified Filner as a Democrat. Reporter Bill Whitaker interviewed the ex-fiancee of "Democrat Bob Filner." Whitaker explained, "They already shared a passion for progressive politics, the fight for the homeless, civil rights, immigrants."
The journalists on Good Morning America, Wednesday, again ignored the fact that San Diego's mayor, accused of sexually harassing 18 women, is a Democrat. Yet, on the very same program, reporter John Muller made sure to highlight Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst's scandal, chiding the "rising national Republican star." Dewhurst is under fire for intervening after his step-niece was arrested for shoplifting.
Guest co-host Josh Elliott hyped, "Caught on tape, the rising political star pressing police to let his niece out of jail." Lara Spencer hyperbolically introduced the story as a "stunning 911 call." Underlining the point, Muller informed, "David Dewhurst is one of the most powerful people in Texas politics and a rising national Republican star." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Regarding a prominent Democrat embroiled in a scandal, however, correspondent Amy Robach only noted, "Well, the embattled mayor of San Diego has reached a settlement in the sexual harassment lawsuit against him."
Corrected from earlier | People who were wondering whether Jesse Jackson would ever respond to the killing of an Australian collegiate baseball player by three "bored" teens in Oklahoma, one of whom allegedly posted racist tweets, got their answer today. Jackson's early Wednesday morning tweet read as follows: "Praying for the family of Chris Lane. This senseless violence is frowned upon and the justice system must prevail."
A BBC report has police saying that "The boy who has talked to us said, 'we were bored and didn't have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody.'" The related Associated Press report doesn't carry the direct quote, instead impersonally relaying that "Police say the two killed 22-year-old Christopher Lane on Friday to overcome boredom." The AP has not reported Jesse Jackson's passive-voice reaction at its national site, effectively covering for a statement which comes off as "Well, I'd better say something, so let's get it over with." Let's compare Jackson's reaction to what he wrote on July 15 in a Chicago Sun-Times column about the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin situation:
A Republican congressman is claiming that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton so vehemently denied that the Benghazi attack on September 11, 2012, was a terrorist strike that she "screamed" at a congressman in a private briefing just two days later.
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."
On Wednesday at CBSnews.com, Sharyl Attkisson reported that "Three more weapons from Fast and Furious have turned up at crime scenes in Mexico."
A Google News search at 10 a.m. on ["Fast and Furious" guns] (typed exactly as indicated between brackets, past 7 days, sorted by date, with duplicates) returned 26 relevant items. Very few (to be noted later) are from establishment press outlets.
NBC hasn't covered the ongoing Bob Filner sexual harassment scandal an almost a week, despite a fifteenth woman – a 67-year-old great grandmother – coming forward on Thursday, accusing the former congressman of making lurid comments to her. The last time that NBC's morning and evening newscasts covered the Filner story was on August 10, 2013.
On Friday, ABC and CBS's morning newscasts aired news briefs on the latest development in the Filner controversy, but both failed to identify him as a Democrat. Mere seconds before reporting on the San Diego mayor, CBS This Morning pointed out the Democratic party affiliation of Filner's former congressional colleague, Jackie Speier, who blasted the Defense Department on their handling of sexual assaults in the military. [audio available here; video below the jump]
One thing which is arguably worse for one's health than Obamacare is the act of reading a Paul Krugman column at the New York Times.
In his latest equivalent of a DNC press release on Thursday published in Friday's print edition, Krugman lambasted GOP Senator Rand Paul and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor as "politicians who gleefully add to the misinformation" the general public allegedly has about "the deficit" (more on that shortly). But "somehow," he a delusional statement made by Democratic U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu to a veteran earlier this month, as recounted by Army Lieutenant Colonel Andre Dean Benton (bolds are mine; note the weak headline more than likely chosen by the paper and not Benton):
At the conclusion of his report on the federal government's July Monthly Treasury Statement, the Associated Press's Martin Crutsinger wrote that federal spending through the first ten months of the current fiscal year is "down 2.9 percent from a year ago," and that the decline "reflects, in part, automatic government spending cuts that began taking effect March 1."
Those "automatic cuts" represent only a very small part of the decline, as will be seen after the jump.
Talk about a hypocritical, mealy-mouthed non-apology apology . . . On today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough condemned Republicans who "support[ed] George Zimmerman before they even knew the facts of the case." Scarborough then added: "you know, I got out early, said some things about George Zimmerman myself, I shouldn't have said, perhaps. I got overly emotional. But I'm not in office. And if I were in office I would have apologized."
Scarborough didn't reveal to viewers the "some things" he had said about Zimmerman. In fact, early on in the case, long before the facts were on the table,Scarborough branded Zimmerman a "murderer." But Scarborough doesn't feel the need to apologize because he's not a politician. Is that Scarborough's standard? The host of a major national show can go on the air and cavalierly and unjustly accuse someone of murder. But because he's not in public office, he has no need to apologize? View the video after the jump.
It's fair to say that about the only holdouts against the idea that part-time work is up and that employee hours are being reduced around the economy are the Obama White House and a few Obama White House alumni. It's also fair to say that there are very few holdouts against the idea that the cause for this is Obamacare's 30-hours-per-week definition of a full-time employee, which is causing far more businesses than usual to cut existing workers' hours and to limit their hiring to part-timers. Even Obama-sympathetic NBC did a report on Obamacare's impact earlier this week. The White House dismissed what NBC found as "merely anecdotal."
All along, everyone — yes, this includes yours truly — has been concentrating on overall changes in the average work week, which have been very minimal. But Jed Graham at Investor's Business Daily, doing work which apparently no one else in the business press has been willing or discerning enough to do for all these months as the issue has raged, identified four industry sectors where average weekly hours have dropped significantly, and where it's hard to claim that anything except Obamacare could be the culprit.
Politico’s Glenn Thrush attacked RNC chairman Reince Priebus last Friday for Priebus’s threat to withhold 2016 GOP primary debates from NBC and CNN. Priebus was upset because NBC and CNN are planning to run a miniseries and a documentary, respectively, about presumed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Appearing on PBS’s Inside Washington, Thrush dismissed Priebus’s criticism as mere Hillary-hating: “[W]hat he’s doing, and what a bunch of these other ancillary Republican groups are doing, is they’re doing everything they can to sort of degrade her image, to get in early, so that you can – so it’s OK to criticize Hillary Clinton again.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
A protest sign depicting the severed head of George W. Bush dripping blood. A photoshop of the infamous photo of South Vietnamese General Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a Vietcong officer with President Bush's head photoshopped on the victim's body and "Kill Bush" as the caption.
Those are just two of "10 images mocking George W. Bush that were far worse than a harmless rodeo clown" that conservative blogger and columnist Michelle Malkin posted to her eponymous blog yesterday afternoon. "Over the years, I’ve meticulously chronicled progressive haters and their rank hypocrisy. It’s time for yet another refresher course as the libs go nuts over a rodeo clown," Malkin noted in introduction.
USA Today's "breaking news" email ("Ex-Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. sentenced to 30 months") opened with the following opening sentence: "The nine-term Democrat from Illinois and son of the former civil rights leader had pleaded guilty in February to using $750,000 in campaign money to pay for living expenses, clothes and luxury items."
So it seemed like it would be a waste of time to click through to confirm that Jackson would be tagged as a Democrat in the story itself, right? Wrong. (UPDATE, Aug. 15: USAT revised the story and included a couple of Democrat references later in the day. The original as it appeared when this post was written is here.) USAT's Fredreka Schouten applied the "Democrat" tag once — to describe Mel Reynolds, the disgraced Congressman Jackson replaced in 1995, in her 18th paragraph. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Oprah Winfrey's attempt to inject race into a European shopping trip has blown up in her face. First, as summarized at Powerline, in response to a question as to whether she still experiences racism, Ms. Winfrey "told a tale about not being allowed to look at an expensive handbag in a boutique in Zurich because the sales lady assumed she wouldn’t be able to afford it."
The allegedly racist saleswoman didn't just sit there and take it (Update: nor has the store's owner), emphatically denying having ever said that, and laid out the entire encounter in quite believable detail, to the point where Ms. Winfrey felt compelled to go into damage control mode, delivering what TMZ has properly described as a "Passive Aggressive .. BS Apology":
On Friday, Eric Holder's Department of Justice gave the memory-hole treatment to wildly inflated statistics released last October about the number of cases and the amount of money involved in DOJ's mortgage fraud enforcement efforts.
Bloomberg News reporters who had discovered that the original numbers were suspect had been getting stonewalled for months in their efforts to get answers to their queries, and finally got them through the document-dump route. The differences are stark.
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.
ABC and NBC on Wednesday continued to pretend that one of Barack Obama's gaffes on the Tonight Show wasn't a mistake. World News's Jon Karl and Nightly News's Chuck Todd uncritically repeated the President's claim that Vladimir Putin "headed up the KGB." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] In fact, he did not. The highest rank the now-Russian President obtained was Lieutenant Colonel in 1991.
Karl introduced the clip of Obama talking to host Jay Leno, insisting, "The President vented about it all last night with Jay Leno." But he made no mention of the error. Todd used the snippet as a way of demonstrating the difference between "famously flamboyant" Putin and "buttoned down and measured Obama."
It's not just conservatives who think it's a horrible idea for NBC to run a Hillary Clinton miniseries before the 2016 election. Network anchor Chuck Todd worries about the perception of bias, even as he insists that there's a tall wall of separation between his network's news and entertainment divisions.
What's a little Justice Department spying between friends? Or, more accurately, between a master and his lapdogs?
In May, Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder admitted to obtaining phone records involving 20 business, residential, and personal lines used by over 100 reporters and editors at the Associated Press during April and May 2012. After some lawyerly whining for appearances' sake, the wire service more appropriately known as the Administration's Press is back to its old tricks, and then some. On Wednesday, as will be seen after the jump, reporter Russ Bynum disgracefully covered up a geographic gaffe by President Obama during his Tuesday appearance on Jay Leno's show.
In shining examples of the phrase “better late than never,” Conor Friedersdorf -- a staff writer on politics and national affairs at The Atlantic -- and Dylan Byers -- a media critic for the Politico website -- hammered conservatives on Monday for charging that the mainstream media had mostly ignored or minimized the attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012.
Friedersdorf called the charge the “Whopper of the Year,” while Byers accused conservatives of taking a “guilty-until-proven-innocent approach” regarding the reaction by President Barack Obama and his administration to the incident, which 11 months ago led to the deaths of four people, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
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.
MSNBC anchor Alex Witt is still steaming over the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. On Saturday’s edition of her program Weekends with Alex Witt, the host spent considerable time fuming about the House GOP’s 40th attempt to thwart ObamaCare, even hilariously worrying that the repeal votes were costing taxpayers money.
Addressing Jackie Kucinich of The Washington Post, Witt inquired, with no hint of irony, “So Jackie, these votes, do they cost money? I mean, are people wasting time and costing taxpayers money by holding these votes?” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Tuesday, CBS This Morning pounced on a new study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) showing that President Obama is now the butt of more jokes on late night TV than any other politician.
"Since his re-election, late-night comedians have aimed 300 jokes at the President," CBS's Jeff Pegues announced. "That's only 100 fewer than all of those directed at Republican politicians combined."
As moderator David Gregory hyped a "feud" over national security between Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, former Senator Rick Santorum called out a stunning media double standard: "...the media has a fascination with how divided the Republican Party is and tends to ignore the divisions within the Democratic Party. And I think they are as very much as real on this issue." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
MSNBC Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough similarly noted Democratic divisions on matters of national security and surveillance: "Well, but it's not just the Republican Party....there are going to be those battles going on in the Democratic Party."