[Update, 3:45 pm Eastern: Cuomo angrily responds to NewsBusters; see below.]
On Wednesday's New Day, CNN's Chris Cuomo played up how Florida Republican David Jolly's campaign played The Price Is Right theme music at his victory rally on Tuesday, and remarked that its use was somehow a perfect sign of the influence of big money in political races: "What a metaphor for what politics has become – that they are playing the theme song of The Price Is Right when they celebrate a victory, because it's about the money! It makes me sick."
What Cuomo didn't realize is that the former host of The Price Is Right, Bob Barker, endorsed Jolly. NewsBusters executive editor Tim Graham noted NPR's reporting on Barker's endorsement in a December 2013 item: [MP3 audio available here; video of Cuomo below the jump]
Last night, I noted that the Associated Press had not deigned to consider Republican David Jolly's victory over Democrat Alex Sink in the FL-13 Congressional race a "Top U.S. Story" as of 10:13 p.m. To AP's credit (or perhaps because of yours truly's and others' razzing?), a story about the race was at the Number 6 spot in Top U.S. Stories as of 8:15 this morning.
CNN.com, on the other hand (HT to NewsBusters commenter "Jon"), is clearly playing "hide the story" with the Jolly-Sink race. Its worldwide home page as of 8:38 a.m. had one line item titled "GOP wins year's 1st election showdown" halfway down the page, and a tiny picture in the "Politics" section near the bottom of the page headlined "GOP Scores First 2014 Win." Could they be any more vague? Its U.S. home page as of 7:37 a.m. had no reference to the race at all.
On Friday, the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the economy created 175,000 seasonally adjusted jobs in February, with 162,000 of the additions occurring in the private sector.
That result exceeded expectations of roughly 150,000, and caused the business press to sing odes of high praise to an economy that was amazingly overcoming this year's difficult winter weather. Unfortunately, as readers will see after the jump, February's raw results demonstrate that it was all an illusion.
In the past week, Radio Shack has announced that will close 1,100 stores, or over 20 percent of its U.S. outlets. Staples is shuttering 225 stores, or roughly 12 percent of theirs. Smaller downsizings earlier this year have been reported at Macy's (involving store and other personnel) and J.C. Penney.
One gets the impression from press reports that these are occurring primarily because of poor management or the ongoing trend towards more online sales. Though those two factors are obviously relevant, the fact that the economy began weakening during the fourth quarter, especially so in December, rarely gets a mention. When it does get noted, it's usually something mild, along the lines of "disappointing holiday sales." A Thursday afternoon Associated Press article by business writer Tom Murphy illustrates the kid-glove approach (bolds are mine; my responses to certain of Murphy's points are in italics):
Friday's NBC Nightly News played up the latest dust-up between Senators John McCain and Ted Cruz over the latter's criticism of three of the Republican Party's presidential candidates, including Bob Dole. Brian Williams underlined the apparent "genuine and palpable tension today in Washington," after Senator Cruz criticized Dole, McCain, and Mitt Romney's campaigns during a speech at CPAC: "When you don't stand for principle, Democrats celebrate."
Kelly O'Donnell zeroed in McCain's shot back at Cruz on Andrea Mitchell's MSNBC program, and hyped how "[Cruz], one of the Tea Party's most provocative figures...triggered a new Republican rift" with his remark. O'Donnell also hyped the Texas senator's Friday statement reacting to his colleague from Arizona: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Friday's This Hour, CNN's John Berman bemoaned how medical marijuana is still illegal in many jurisdictions, and hinted that executive action needed be taken to fix this situation. After noting that "one of the problems right now is the federal law," Berman asked, "Can't they change this? Can't a stroke of the pen change this problem?"
Doctor Sanjay Gupta also played up how people with chronic illnesses are affected by this federal regulation, and underlined its apparent damaging impact: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Anyone who's heard Hillary Clinton sing would know that comparing her to one of the great rock singers is a ludicrous comparison. But it stands out as a notable air-kiss in the new book HRC by White House reporters Jonathan Allen (Bloomberg News) and Amie Parnes (The Hill).
When Hillary arrived at the State Department to begin work "as the new boss" in 2009, they wrote, "she brought with her an entourage befitting an international icon. And she was greeted as a celebrity." But she was Bono of U2?
Sunny Hostin blasted an Indiana mall's ban of people wearing raised hoodies on Thursday's New Day: "This is...akin, in my view...to 'stop and frisk' – to the pretext of 'stop and frisk' – and I think many courts have found that this type of behavior is unacceptable, and downright unconstitutional."
The CNN legal analyst also contended that "'hoodie' is code for 'thug' in many places," and later claimed that "to identify just hoodies in my view...it's very, very clear what we're talking about here. We're talking about racial profiling. It's code for racial profiling." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
You don't even need to know the specifics to realize that today's economic reports were weak. All you need to know is that there was no mention of them in the Associated Press's list of Top 10 business stories as of 3:35 p.m. Among stories considered more important: a product review of Apple's tiny market-share program called iWork and three dozen passengers suing Carnival Cruise Lines.
This morning's release from ADP on February private-sector employment growth reported 139,000 jobs added; the previous four months were revised down by a total of 138,000. The Institute for Supply Management's Non-Manufacturing Index came in at 51.6%, showing relatively slow expansion (anything above 50% indicates expansion) compared to January's 54.0%. The reports missed expectations of 155,000 jobs added and 53.5%, respectively. AP coverage of these two reports somewhat understated their weakness, one quantitatively and the other qualitatively.
On Wednesday, CNN's Daniel Burke gave liberal-tinged spin/extrapolation about Pope Francis's answer to an Italian newspaper's question about secular civil unions. Burke asserted in a CNN.com article that the pontiff "reaffirmed the Catholic Church's opposition to gay marriage...but suggested in a newspaper interview that it could support some types of civil unions."
However, the journalist left out that despite the Bishop of Rome's generalized answer, he concretely opposed a proposed civil unions bill in Malta near the end of 2013. More recently, the Pope's spokesman lashed out at the Italian media in January 2014 for spinning a separate remark from the native of Argentina as "an opening to legal provision for civil unions for gay couples, a subject of debate in Italy."
Here's another entry for the "name that party" file. Ambulance-chasing lawyer cum melodramatically hyper-partisan Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson (Fla.) has been accused by his estranged wife of violently shoving her during a dispute.
The Orlando Sentinel has the story. The paper buried the party affiliation at the tail-end of the article, but they at least mentioned the "die quickly!" demagogue's party affiliation. The Daily Beast website picked up on the item for it's "Cheat Sheet" digest [screen capture follows page break], but omitted any party reference in its 75-word brief [excerpted in full below the page break]:
It appears that Aron Heller at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's press, might have been applying lessons learned from the wire service's U.S. business and economics writers in his coverage of Israel's settlement activity. Heller also seems strangely fond of this mythical thing known as the "international community."
AP business and economics writers like Martin Crutsinger and Christopher Rugaber have regaled us with the wonders of the alleged housing recovery during the past two years, but haven't been quite as good at telling us that over 4-1/2 years after the recession officially ended, new home sales and construction activity is still only about 60-65 percent of what is seen as healthy by most economists and analysts. Heller pulled an analogous trick in his report; fortunately Evelyn Gordon at Commentary (HT Powerline) was astute enough to catch his misdirection, one in which President Obama has also engaged.
MSN's 'Living' page included an ode to the sexual revolution in their slideshow list of "25 rules that no longer apply." The anonymous writer trumpeted that these "rules, once widely accepted...are no longer relevant," and included "no sex before marriage," "gay people can't get married," and "unmarried couples shouldn't live together."
Most of the rest of their list was mundane, such as "men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses" and "brides should always wear white." The compilation also included "marijuana is bad" and "real men don't get manis," in addition to the three sex-centered "rules."
Shameless shilling for the Demcratic Party's presumptive presidential 2016 nominee appears to have reached an all-time peak.
A USA Today email I received this afternoon (email web link here) breathlessly delivered the following "Breaking" news story readers will see after the jump. Keep in mind that this is not a normal, garden-variety news story. No, this one's "breaking," meaning that we apparently must drop everything and read it because of its immediate importance to anyone who tries to follow the news:
CNN's Chris Cuomo ran to President Obama's defense on Tuesday's New Day, after former Senator Jim DeMint criticized the White House's handling of Russia's invasion of Ukraine: "Isn't the notion that only might can make right tired? The American people do not have appetite for more military action, and everyone is condemning Putin...Isn't this proof that President Obama's tactic of let's try to talk; let's try to be flexible – not everything is about having the biggest muscles – may be the way the world wants to proceed?"
Cuomo also ripped the GOP for standing in the way of passing the President's agenda through Congress: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Appearing on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show on Monday, MSNBC host Joy Reid repeatedly refused to characterize either Russian president Vladimir Putin or Syrian president Bashar al-Assad as “evil.” During a contentious debate over Russia’s invasion of eastern Ukraine, Hewitt asked his guest point-blank, “Do you agree that what Russia is doing is evil?” [Video embedded below the break.]
The people who pretentiously call themselves journalists at the News Media Guild-represented Associated Press are really having a hard time getting over the representation election the United Auto Workers union lost two weeks ago at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The latest whine came from Erik Schelzig Friday afternoon. He must have believed he was being really hard-hitting in trying to hold Volunteer State Senator Bob Corker to his word that "If the UAW is voted down they're going to come here ... and affirm they're going to build a line here" within two weeks. Well, Erik, Corker clearly miscalculated. The Senator never dreamed that the UAW would appeal a secret-ballot vote it lost by 6.4 percent of the ballots cast, and also underestimated the chances of retalation by the U.S. government and the company's German union. Several paragraphs from Erik's execrable essay follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
NPR's Lauren Frayer repeatedly emphasized the conservative ideology of the ruling party of Spain on Thursday's Morning Edition, as she reported on proposed legislation there that would be, in her words, "one of the toughest abortion laws in Europe – a near-total ban, except in cases of rape or threats to the mother's health." However, she didn't point out the left-of-center political affiliation of opponents of the proposal.
Frayer noted how "topless women" shouted "abortion is sacred...surrounding a Catholic cardinal on his way into church a couple weeks ago," but failed identify that these protesters were from Femen, the radical feminist group that got its start in Ukraine by cutting down a memorial cross to victims of Soviet communism. The correspondent also played up how the party that proposed the pro-life law is "moving to the right – trying to keep members from defecting to a new far-right political party, similar to the Tea Party in the U.S."
The Obama administration's most recent abuse of the English language late last week involved its reluctance bordering on refusal to call Russia's military move into Crimea an "invasion." The press, unlike in 1970 when Richard Nixon sent U.S. troops into Cambodia for under three months, is largely following suit.
CNN (HT Hot Air) began the Team Obama-driven festivities on Friday by reporting that "According to the latest U.S. assessment, there has been an uncontested arrival of Russian military forces by air at a Russian base in Crimea. They are believed to be Russian land forces, CNN was told."
To the Daily Beast, the Walt Disney Company is a "Mighty Mouse" that has roared with a recent declaration that it is cutting off the Boy Scouts of America for daring to maintain forbid openly-gay adults from serving as scoutmasters.
"It's a small world after all, which is why word travels fast when you maintain anti-gay policies," snarked the Daily Beast in a "Cheat Sheet" item this morning celebrating the fact that the entertainment giant -- which, by the way, owns the ABC broadcast network -- has announced it will not give any monies to the Boy Scouts of America in 2015 [see screen capture below page break]:
In December, NPR, the New York Times, National Journal, and other establishment press platforms gave the Republican National Committee grief over the following tweet: "Today we remember Rosa Parks' bold stand and her role in ending racism." The tweet erronseously shortened the following sentence from a longer GOP statement: "“We remember and honor Rosa Parks today for the role she played in fighting racism and ending segregation." Juliet Lapidos at the Times noted that the tweet was corrected in 3-1/2 hours, and seemed to lament that it took so long.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, GOP Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin made what has turned out to be a prescient remark about the relevance of a U.S. president's resolve and its potential impact on Russia's posture with the old Soviet Union's satellite states. She observed: "After the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama's reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia's Putin to invade Ukraine next."
Many in the press ridiculed that notion. Among them was Blake Hounshell, who was then blogging at Foreign Policy Magazine. Characterizing Palin's notion as "strange," he wrote: "As we've said before, this is an extremely far-fetched scenario." Hounshell, now a deputy editor at Politico Magazine, has handled Palin's self-effacing Facebook "I told you so" ("I could see this one from Alaska") and pile-ons by center-right blogs too numerous to mention with tweets demonstrating the class, dignity, and good sportsmanship you would expect from the high-brow commentariat, i.e., none (HT Twitchy).
Perhaps I'm being too kind in describing the Associated Press as "The Administration's Press." Based on Jim Kuhnhenn's ridiculous "Don't worry, be happy" Saturday report on how unimportant he says the still growing national debt and the still historically large federal budget deficits supposedly are, maybe I should start calling the wire service "The Administration's Publicists" instead.
Kuhnhenn stopped just short of writing that the national debt ($17.41 trillion as of Wednesday, up from $10.63 trillion when Barack Obama took office 61 months ago, an average increase of $111 billion per month) and the annual federal budget deficit (on track to be over $500 billion for the sixth year in a row, four of which saw deficits of over $1 trillion) aren't worthy of attention, but it's clear that he believes we shouldn't be concerned about them in making electoral choices (bolds are mine):
The Associated Press and The Hill both reported on Noah Kai Newkirk shouting down the Supreme Court justices in their chamber, but ignored his far-left political affiliation. On Thursday, the wire service merely identified Newkirk's organization as "protest group 99Rise." Mario Trujilo of The Hill gave some a bit more information on Friday, but failed to disclose that 99Rise was founded by "a group of Los Angeles organizers active in Occupy" Wall Street.
By contrast, Lawrence Hurley and Joan Biskupic of Reuters explicitly mentioned the protester's ideology and his organization's background in a Thursday report:
On Thursday's New Day, CNN's Chris Cuomo hammered the Catholic League's Bill Donohue for his opposition to same-sex "marriage" and his support of the now-vetoed SB 1062 in Arizona. Cuomo mouthed the talking points of the social left on LGBT issues: "Why do you want to discriminate against gays? You say, we don't...only the marriages bother us. But that's the same thing, because their right as an individual is to marry."
The anchor even questioned Donohue's Catholicism, for supposedly standing with "these Christians who are more of the extreme...[who] have their own rigid beliefs," and against Pope Francis (or, more specifically, the liberal media's spin about him): [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The news in two government reports on the economy today was not good. One showed that initial unemployment claims last week rose to a seasonally adjusted 348,000; raw (not seasonally adjusted) claims were virtually identical to last year's comparable week. To avoid the dreaded U-word ("unexpectedly"), a pair of Bloomberg News reporters described the result as "exceeding all forecasts." In the other report, durable goods orders in January fell by a seasonally adjusted 1.0 percent, while December's steep decline of 4.3 percent was revised down even further to -5.3 percent.
In separate reports at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, Christopher Rugaber and Josh Boak did their best to excuse away the results and to find something positive to say. As readers will see, they had to dig pretty deep, and their efforts were unconvincing.
An unsigned Tuesday article on Yahoo! News could have been mistaken as a press release for PBS's latest TV production attacking the Catholic Church. The unknown author hyped the Church's "horrible year" in 2012 "on many fronts, not just with mounting evidence of financial impropriety at the Vatican bank, but also with incidents of sexual abuse by clergy spreading to more than 20 countries and, further, exposure of church hypocrisy about homosexuality."
The public television channel's Frontline series turned to numerous journalists and activists who have axes to grind against the Catholic Church's moral teachings, and played up hearsay accusing unnamed Vatican clerics of conducting same-sex relationships in secret. The episode also falsely indicated that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI invented the Church's doctrine labeling homosexual inclinations as "objectively disordered."
This morning at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, Martin Crutsinger reacted predictably to the Census Bureau's January new home sales release by commenting primarily on the forest while mostly ignoring the widely divergent health of the trees. Though he compared January to December for the country's four regions, he failed to note that three of them reported the same or fewer sales than January 2013.
This caused him to spin an unsupportable assessment of today's news as "offering hopes that housing could be regaining momentum after a slowdown last year caused by rising interest rates." Maybe in the South, Marty, but nowhere else. Several paragraphs from Crutsinger's report, followed by a regional breakdowns, are after the jump.
At the rate he's going, South Florida Sun Sentinel cartoonist and variable-length commentator Chan Lowe may turn out to be this decade's Ted Rall.
On Tuesday, Lowe had a column and cartoon (link may require subscription) satirizing the Sunshine State's "Stand Your Ground" law and gun owners in general ("Angry White Males," of course), characterizing them as treating their weapons with perverted reverence as compensation for their other failures in life (e.g., not getting along with their classmates at the playground, or with girls). The day before (link may require subscription; HT Twitchy), he went after parents who oppose the top-down, privacy-invading, testing-obsessed, instructionally-impaired Common Core curriculum with a vengeance. Readers should put down all drinks and other objects before skipping to the jump, because what you'll see will almost certainly be upsetting.
At the Associated Press on Friday, Chris Tomlinson wrote a story of national significance ("State officials investigating Democratic activists") which the wire service appears not to have ever carried at its national site.
It is nationally significant because the establishment press, both in print and over the airwaves, has chosen to make the Lone Star State gubernatorial candidacy of Democrat Wendy Davis a national matter. However, continuing a pattern going back several months (examples here and here), when negative matters relating to her campaign or to those assisting it surface, all of a sudden we're supposed to believe nobody outside of Texas cares.