As news broke of the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher Monday morning, Today co-host Matt Lauer turned to correspondent Michelle Kosinski in London, who proclaimed Thatcher was "Known as the Iron Lady and for her conservative politics, she was also quite controversial during that time for reducing the power of the trade unions." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In a full report that followed, correspondent Martin Fletcher used similar language to describe the tenure of the British leader: "She was known as an iron lady, both loved and loathed....Consensus and compromise, they said, were not in her vocabulary. She'd won a bloody war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands, took on Britain's powerful labor unions. She ignored IRA hunger strikes....Determined, dynamic, and deeply controversial, Thatcher leaves an indelible mark on the world's political landscape."
Your daily dose of inadvertent humor comes from an article by Annie Lowrey at the New York Times on Sunday evening ("Lew to Press for European Policy Changes"; also in today's print edition).
In "covering" (from Washington?) Treasury Secretary Jack Lew's four-day European trip for meetings with EU leaders encouraging them to pursue "growth" policies -- which in Keynesians' fevered minds always really means "stimulus" and not genuine growth-driven initiatives -- Lowrey wrote the following (bold is mine):
I guess Byron Tau thought he had to make it look like Big Labor is really, really mad at President Barack Obama and the White House so he could make Obama look like he's a moderate on economic and fiscal issues. Thus his Sunday morning post's headline: "Labor targets Obama over proposed benefit cuts."
Of course, they aren't "cuts" at all, though they are being portrayed as such. All Obama has done, according to information which appears to have been conveniently leaked (perhaps in hopes of killing the idea) to the New York Times ahead of his very late President's Budget, is "propose a new inflation formula that would have the effect of reducing cost-of-living payments for Social Security benefits, though with financial protections for low-income and very old beneficiaries, administration officials said." Despite the weakly descriptive language at the Times, monthly Social Security and other checks would continue to increase under the proposal each year inflation occurs -- just not by as much.
The disgraceful lengths to which writers in the establishment press will rewrite history to paper over the economy's awful performance during the past five years is perfectly illustrated in one paragraph found in an otherwise decent Associated Press "Big Story" report ("Dropouts: Discouraged Americans leave labor force") Saturday evening by Paul Wiseman and Jesse Washington, with help from Chris "No chance of recession" Rugaber and Scott Mayerowitz.
The statement: "The participation rate peaked at 67.3 percent in 2000, reflecting an influx of women into the work force. It's been falling steadily ever since." The "fall" has not been "steady," nor has been the decline in the employment-population ratio (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics data retrievable here):
After telling the world on Thursday that "Gone are the fears that the economy could fall into another recession," it seems that the Associated Press's Christopher Rugaber needed some help explaining away Friday's weak jobs report from the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The AP had four reporters on Friday evening's coverage, all seemingly in search of a viable excuse for another "unexpectedly" disappointing report: Rugaber, co-author Paul Wiseman, and contributors Jonathan Fahey and Joyce Rosenberg in New York. Several paragraphs from their report follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
ABC, CBS, and NBC's Friday morning shows all devoted air time to President Obama labeling California Attorney General Kamala Harris "the best-looking attorney general in the country" at a fundraiser on Thursday. Unsurprisingly, a panel on NBC's Today tried to explain away the remark. Willie Geist asserted, "I think he [Obama] was making a joke." CBS This Morning's Norah O'Donnell was tougher on the President: "Maybe, [it] was not the right thing to say."
However, the Big Three newscasts didn't report that Mrs. Obama also got caught in a verbal misstep on Thursday. ABCNews.com's Arlette Saenz devoted a Friday morning item to how Michelle Obama mistakenly referred to herself as a "single mother" during an interview with WCAX, a CBS affiliate in Vermont.
Clueless Chris Matthews stepped into it this week when he expressed shock that women actually fear domestic violence. After watching the clip on the "Media Mash" segment on Fox News Channel's April 3 edition of Hannity, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell observed "It is a head scratcher because he spent all of last year and all of 2011 telling us that there was a war on women." [video embedded below the page break]
"He doesn't understand that there are -- in 2010, there were 765,000 cases documented of attacks on women. So suddenly he's oblivious to that," the Media Research Center founder observed. Host Sean Hannity also addressed the latest incident where Chris Matthews tried to tar conservatives with murderous violence, this time the slayings of prosecutors in Texas that may be connected to the Aryan Brotherhood. Responding to that video, Bozell observed:
Well, we can stop worrying about the economy now. Write it down. Chris Rugaber at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, tells readers today that the business cycle has been repealed. That's right. As of now, "Gone are the fears that the economy could fall into another recession."
Even giving him the benefit of the doubt that he only meant to refer to the short- or intermediate-term, it takes a mountain of chutzpah to make such a declaration after a quarter during the which the economy grew at an annualized 0.4%, i.e., an actual 0.1%. It's doubly hard to take because the press, led by the Associated Press, feared that a recession was around the corner virtually every month or quarter from the time I began blogging in early 2005 until mid-2008, when the National Bureau of Economic Research defied the normal person's definition of recession (i.e., two consecutive quarters of contraction) and decided that a recession began in December 2007, seven months before it really did.
On Thursday, Mollie Hemingway of the GetReligion blog pointed out CBS's "major mistake" on the March 31, 2013 edition of Sunday Morning. On the Easter Sunday broadcast, Martha Teichner confused two biblical figures with the same name when she stated that "only one of the Gospels places Mary at the crucifixion, alongside the so-called 'beloved disciple' – possibly John the Baptist." Actually, the prophet was beheaded many months before Jesus' arrest.
During her report, Teichner also spotlighted the Broadway adaptation of Irish author Colm Toibin's novella "The Testament of Mary," which perverts the biblical Mary of Nazareth into an angry woman bitter over her son Jesus' execution and openly disdainful of His followers. [audio available here; video below the jump]
As of about 4:30 p.m., a search at the Politico on "Hillary Clinton" (in quotes) returned about 20 results -- for April alone. While a few of the results are teases for longer items, that's out-of-control coverage of someone who officially left government weeks ago.
The reasons for the obsession, of course, are to try to convince Mrs. Clinton to run for president in 2016 and to clear the field of other Democrats who might think that a strong presidential resume does not consist of 25 years of playing the good wife for a political and behavioral scoundrel, eight years as senator from a state in which she never live until the year she first ran for election, and four years as Secretary of State which ended in "What difference does it make?" after four Americans died in Benghazi on her watch. The lastest Politico offering from Maggie Haberman indicates that we can expect the website's obsession to continue indefinitely, because they think, or want us to think, that "average Americans" are just as obsessed:
On Monday, the Associated Press announced that it would no longer accept "illegal immigrant" as a term for its news copy, banishing it from its AP Stylebook, which has been nicknamed "the Journalist's Bible" because of its widespread use in the industry. Well, our friend Dan Joseph at our sister site MRCTV.org talked to average Americans on the street in Washington, D.C., and found that they're more likely to favor amnesty when the supposed beneficiary is an "undocumented worker" as opposed to an "illegal immigrant."
Joseph asked passerby on Capitol Hill "Who do you think should be given legal status first.... Should it be the undocumented workers, or should it be the illegal immigrants?"Of course, "undocumented workers" and "illegal immigrants" are the exact same thing, but everyday people on the street were more amenable to "undocumented workers" getting "legal status." [watch the video below the page break]
"It seems to me" that the Associated Press's newly announced plan to scrub "illegal immigrant" from its Stylebook is "an attempt to control the language... it's a form of political correctness," argued substitute host Stuart Varney on the April 3 Your World with Neil Cavuto. "You can subtly affect your coverage and your thinking about the issue" by "softening the language," noted Varney, who himself is a legal immigrant to the United States from the United Kingdom. [video follows page break; MP3 audio here]
Yes, agreed Varney's guest, NewsBusters senior editor Tim Graham as, "it's a form of political correctness over factual correctness." Graham noted that the Associated Press and New York Times had long held the line on keeping "illegal immigrant" over the nonsensical "undocumented immigrant" alternative, that lobbying by pro-amnesty groups, as well as liberal minority journalism groups pushed the AP to make a politically calculated decision:
The New York Times's politically correct evolution on immigration issues continues apace. Public editor Margaret Sullivan blogged Tuesday afternoon on the paper reconsidering the use of term "illegal immigrant," in the wake of the Associated Press's announcement that it would cease using it.
The Associated Press made a bold move on Tuesday in dropping the term “illegal immigrant” from its influential stylebook.
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford played up how voters supposedly find Vice President Joe Biden's "gaffes almost endearing", as she reported on the potential face-off between President Obama's running mate and Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race. Crawford played clips of Biden's most infamous gaffes, and later added that these verbal slip-ups "may not be so funny for the leader of the free world" [audio available here; video below the jump].
Back in August 2012, the CBS morning newscast actually did its best to spin the Vice President's "put y'all back in chains" slam of Mitt Romney, and adopted the Obama campaign's own talking points on the inflammatory line.
CBS again paid homage to Caroline Kennedy on Tuesday's CBS This Morning as they hyped her possible nomination to be the next ambassador of Japan. During her report, Jan Crawford featured liberal historian Robert Dallek, who gushed over the apparent worldwide reputation of the presidential daughter's family: "The Kennedys, generally, have an extraordinary, continuing hold on the public's imagination, both in this country and abroad."
Dallek later asserted that the U.S. might be "sending somebody as ambassador to Tokyo who is representative of the best in American culture." The correspondent also touted how Kennedy "would have an opportunity to test her political skills, but also, she would be able to put the Kennedy name back on an international stage" if President Obama named her to the key diplomatic post.
Here's a case of "name one party and not the other."
Though there is no question that arrests made this morning in connection with an alleged plot to rig the 2013 New York City mayor's include Republicans, and that they of course should be identified as such, there is also no question that the very first person named in the breaking Associated Press story which follows the jump is a Democrat, and should have been tagged as one:
The reporters and hosts of Good Morning America really want you to know something: Don Young is a Republican. The ABC morning show on Saturday featured 11 mentions of the Congressman's party affiliation in a span of just two minutes. Young referred to "wetbacks" in an interview last week. An ABC graphic blared, "Congressman uses racist term."
Co-host Bianna Golodryga insisted that "this comment has created quite the headache for Republicans." Reporter Jeff Zeleny lectured, "The Republican Party's effort to rebuild and rebrand its image is colliding this morning with the party's old guard." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] To make sure everyone was clear on what party Young belonged to, the journalist added, "Republican advisers tell ABC News that they worry that the racial slur from Congressman Young comes at precisely the wrong time, just as the Republicans are trying to expand their appeal to Latino voters." In contrast, when Joe Biden smeared Indian Americans as mostly working at 7-11, ABC ignored the story.
I guess we had better start paying closer attention to how the establishment press labels -- and mislabels -- congressional districts.
The headline at the Associated Press at a lengthy column composed by Charles Babington bemoaning the lack of willingness of Ohio First District Congressman Steve Chabot to "compromise," i.e., sell out his principles, reads as follows: "PARTISAN DISCORD FINDS ROOTS IN TOSS-UP DISTRICTS." Uh, Chabot won the district in the 2012 elections by 20 points. Babington's attempt to justify the "toss-up" classification also falls flat:
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).
This week marks 10 years of Times Watch, the Media Research Center's project monitoring the liberal bias of the New York Times, America's most influential newspaper. Over the course of roughly 3,500 posts since March 2003, we have followed the Times through events historic (wars in Afghanistan and Iraq), pathetic (Jayson Blair, Howell Raines) and dangerous (the paper scuttling two separate anti-terror programs.)
Here in rough chronological order are the Top Ten highlights of the New York Times' 10-year investigation into the bias of the New York Times.
Politico's "About" page consists of two rotating graphics: One says: "More reporters. Better coverage." The other: "A distinctive brand of journalism driving the conversation."
It's hard to make a case that Politico's coverage is "better" (than what -- the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press? That would be setting the bar pretty low). And while it is distinctive, the web site should replace the "c" in "distinctive" with a "k." In one example of stinky distinctiveness, Katie Glueck spent four paragraphs smearing the NRA by inference in a story about evidence found at the home of Newtown, Connecticut mass murderer Adam Lanza and his mother Nancy before recognizing the NRA's response that neither person was ever a member of the organization (bolds are mine throughout this post:
At the Politico, Darren Samuelsohn reports that "The public has largely tuned out the Democrats’ repeated warnings about ... (what will happen) if the sequester cuts stay in place." He also notes in a separate report that Republicans "Republicans are winning the sequester wars," and that "even the White House admits there’s little chance of reversing all the cuts."
Of course, what's in question here mostly aren't "cuts" at all, but reductions in projected spending increases, as pollster Scott Rasmussen explained in his note accompanying a recent poll his organization did on the topic:
Too bad for AP, and the public at large being brainwashed by the incessant repetition of what is proving to be patently false, that we're nearing the two-decade mark of flat worldwide temperatures, and that even reliably leftist outfits are starting to backtrack.
On Wednesday, Bruno Waterfield at the UK Telegraph relayed that "Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch chairman of the eurozone, told the FT and Reuters that the heavy losses inflicted on depositors in Cyprus would be the template for future banking crises across Europe." That's "would," not "could." The Associated Press hasn't had the nerve to correctly characterize what Dijsselbloem said, and now Reuters itself has gotten cold feet.
On Wednesday, ABC News posted a story on its website that is sure to send chills of horror down the spines of women all across the northern Great Plains. The state of North Dakota only has one abortion clinic – and it may soon be forced to shut down if the state’s restrictive new abortion law goes into effect. (Read the full story here.)
The story, written by political reporter Chris Good, was a ridiculously one-sided plea for sympathy for North Dakota women who have to travel great distances to kill their unborn children. Good set the tone in the third paragraph:
"This is the ugly, intolerant face of the radical left that's taken over liberalism today," declared NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell on Thursday's Hannity program, reacting to charges by MSNBC's Al Sharpton and Mike Barnicle that conservatives up in arms over Mike Bloomberg's proposed soda ban are animated by anti-Semitism. Bozell appeared on the March 28 program with guest host Eric Bolling for the popular weekly "Media Mash" segment.
"You can't have an [honest] conversation with these radicals" at MSNBC, the Media Research Center founder complained. "I pine for the days of George McGovern... I pine for the days of Joe Lieberman, where are you when I need you? Because you could have a serious conversation, serious disagreements, but you weren't attacked personally for them," Bozell noted. "This is the radical left that goes for character assassination anytime it's faced with a debate" against conservatives. [watch the full Mash segment below the page break; special thanks to my colleague Scott Whitlock for the video]
Actress and Tennessee resident Ashley Judd announced today that she is not running for Senate in Kentucky.
Politico has two items on this political development. The main story by Maggie Halberman and Manu Raju defensively describes her as "an eighth-generation Kentuckian." The second is a very short post from Caitlin McDevitt linking to the longer original which merely excerpts five paragraphs from the longer item. It's at that post where a commenter made the following observation:
A search at the Associated Press's national web site tonight at 11 p.m. ET on "Gosnell" returned one result: a very early Monday morning story by the wire service's Maryclaire Dale. This would indicate that the self-described Essential Global News Network hasn't carried a subsequent national report on the trial of Kermit Gosnell, the Pennsylvania and Delaware abortionist accused of eight murders, one of a patient and seven of babies allegedly born alive, even though there have now been three additional days of trial proceedings and testimony.
The later paragraphs of Ms. Dale's report includes a disturbing one describing Gosnell -- disturbing more because of what it may say about the AP reporter than Gosnell -- and two devoted to an attempted defense of the abortionist which, at least as written, constitute no defense at all (bolds are mine):
In two New York Times columns in a row, George W. Bush-era White House reporter Frank Bruni has giddily borrowed Sen. John McCain's description of conservatives like the drone-filibustering Sen. Rand Paul as "wacko birds" ("Rand Paul’s Loopy Ascent").
When you’ve got loons the likes of Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin fluttering about, I suppose it’s easy not to seem like such a wacko bird yourself.
On February 28, though he hedged a bit, Martin Crutsinger at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, wrote the following about prospects for economic growth: "The only impediment may be the across-the-board government spending cuts that kick in Friday — especially if those cuts remain in place for months."
Having established the template, the self-described Essential Global News Network has apparently decided that they need to do all they can to promote it. After today's sharp decline in consumer confidence as reported by the Conference Board, AP reporter Marcy Gordon's related dispatch opened with a whine about "massive government spending cuts," tried to reinforce her claim in a later paragraph, and saved contradictory information for an even later one (bolds are mine throughout this post):