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.
After a two-year hiatus, the Associated Press has apparently decided that Americans need a weekly reminder of how bad weekly layoffs were during the recession.
In June 2011, possibly as a result of some hectoring by yours truly, the wire service totally or almost totally stopped reminding readers that "(unemployment) claims applications peaked at 659,000 during the recession." That tired figure was already over two years old, and isn't even an all-time record (several weeks during the 1980s were higher, even with a much smaller workforce). So who cares? But in each of the past three weeks, AP has resurrected that tired number (since revised slightly upward because of changes to seasonal adjustment factors), as if a one-week stat from almost 4-1/2 years ago means anything to anybody right now:
Maybe because it's a UFO, we're not supposed to be able to explain it.
No, I'm not talking about unidentified flying objects at the recently acknowledged Area 51. I'm talking about an unexplained financial observation, the one made by the Associated Press's Christopher Rugaber on Monday after the release of the July Regional and State Employment and Unemployment report Monday morning. Rugaber observed that the unemployment rate rose in the majority of states and fell in a relative few, while July's national unemployment rate reported two weeks ago fell from 7.6% to 7.4%:
On Monday's Morning Edition on NPR, Cokie Roberts did little to hide her feelings about the Republican National Committee's recent decision to exclude NBC and CNN from hosting future debates between would-be GOP presidential candidates. Roberts asserted that "some might think it's a little bit childish."
Roberts also brushed off the impact of the RNC's move, stating that it's "not likely to play much one way or the other" with voters.
On Monday's Morning Edition on NPR, Minnesota Public Radio correspondent Elizabeth Stawicki featured Karen Pollitz of the Kaiser Family Foundation during a report about ObamaCare, but failed to mention the left-leaning political affiliation of the organization. Stawicki merely labeled the foundation "non-partisan".
The public radio journalist also failed to mention that Pollitz is an alumna of both the Obama and Clinton administrations, and previously worked for two Democratic politicians.
A November 15, 2010 blog post by Michael S. Derby at the Wall Street Journal ("San Francisco Fed Official Says QE2 Is Working") told us that "The Federal Reserve‘s recently announced plan to buy $600 billion in Treasury securities to improve economic growth is having a positive effect on growth." The Fed official involved also predicted "the U.S. gross domestic product to come in at 2.5% this year (2010), and at 3.5% next year and 4.5% the year after that."
Uh, not exactly. Actual GDP results: 2.5% in 2010 (that was a gimme), followed by 1.8% and 2.8% in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Almost three years letter, the San Fran Fed's acknowledged result of that effort at "quantitative easing" — it "added about 0.13 percentage point to real GDP growth in late 2010" — is starkly different, and is only "positive" if you think a football team managing one field goal in four quarters is "positive." Of course, though it should be, the news is getting very little coverage.
Two reporters at the Associated Press covering the trial of the alleged (but really confessed) perpetrator of the Ft. Hood massacre still believe there is a "key but difficult question" which needs to be answered: "Why did Maj. Nidal Hasan attack his fellow soldiers in the worst mass shooting ever on a U.S. military base?"
Although the narrative of Nomaan Merchant and Michael Graczyk is couched in the context of what prosecutors will allow themselves to say in the trial itself — after all, the government claims that the murders represent an incident of workplace violence, and therefore not one involving terrorism — the pair's opening, which is what will get most readers' attention, still makes it appear that Hasan's motives remain vague (bolds are mine):
In the actual story, one expects at least a feeble attempt by writer Hadas Gold to come up with a tangible reason as to why Detroit doesn't deserve its status as an perfect-storm exemplar of the failures of liberalism, public-sector unions, a race-based political model the elites once praised, and corruption. Instead, the objections Gold cites are vague. Because of that, apparently contrary to the headline's apparent intent, we're left with a pretty strong compilation of valid criticisms relating to the Motor City's fall from riches to rags. Excerpted after the jump are primarily the pathetic attempts at leftist defense saved for the final story's three paragraphs (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Although football has probably never been more popular or prosperous, there are threats to the sport which could radically alter how it is played in the short-term, and perhaps, based on reports of reduced youth participation in the game and attempts to ban young people from playing it, its very existence in the long-term.
At the New York Post, writer Daniel Flynn, the author of "War on Football," has compiled quite a bit of information which contradicts the "football is deadly and damaging" meme which has gained popular and media currency, including in an unchallenged interview on Fareed Zakaria's CNN show, as a result of "more than 4,800 named player-plaintiffs in ... 242 concussion-related lawsuits" against the National Football League (bolds are mine):
Here's another name to add to the "name that party" file: Michael Thornsbury. The Mingo County, West Virginia circuit court judge was the subject of a federal indictment on Wednesday "after federal authorities allege he targeted his ex-lover's husband and used his position on the bench to manipulate criminal charges against the man," Kate White of the Charleston [W.V.] Gazette reported yesterday.
The Mountain State has partisan judicial elections and Thornsbury is a Democrat. Both ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today covered the bizarre story on their August 16 programs, but both neglected to mention Thornsbury's party affiliation.
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):
One day before the one-year anniversary of Floyd Lee Corkins's failed terror attack on the Family Research Council -- he was inspired by a "hate map" by the Southern Poverty Law Center -- MSNBC brought on SPLC's Mark Potok to mislead viewers about the nature of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing, insisting that the Tsarnaev brothers were not motivated by radical Islamic ideology so much as by right-leaning conspiracy theorist websites that investigators found in Tamerlan Tsarnaev's search history.
"This isn't the first time MSNBC has done this," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell reminded Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity during Hannity's August 15 "Media Mash" segment. Indeed, it was Hardball host Chris Matthews who on the day of the attack theorized that it was a homegrown right-wing terrorist responsible for the bombing because it occurred on Tax Day, Bozell noted. What's more, the Media Research Center founder added [for the full segment, watch the embedded video below the page break]:
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.
Norah O'Donnell and Charlie Rose acted as apologists for President Obama on Thursday's CBS This Morning, after former presidential assistant Reggie Love revealed the Democrat's apprehension to monitor the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden. O'Donnell worried that "some people are going to take that headline out of context today", and underlined that it was "clearly a tension-filled day."
Rose was even more blatant in his defense of the President: "I want the President to do whatever he needs to do to clear his mind, so he can make the most effective decision he can." [audio available here; video below the jump]
Of the East Coast's most prestigious papers -- The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post -- only the Journal today failed to note Jesse Jackson Junior's Democratic Party affiliation, with staff writer Devlin Barrett failing to mention that fact in his 11-paragraph story. For their part, Washington Post staffers Ann Marimow and Rachel Weiner did mention Jackson is a Democrat, but that came 13 paragraphs into their 32-paragraph front-pager in the August 15 paper.
On Thursday morning, neither ABC nor CBS labeled former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. a Democrat as they reported on his 30 month jail sentence. NBC's Today did not report Jackson's sentence on Thursday, but on Wednesday they covered it without identifying him as a Democrat.
"Jesse Jackson, Jr. will spend two and a half years in prison. The former Illinois congressman was sentenced Wednesday," reported Charlie Rose, co-host of CBS This Morning. ABC's Josh Elliot said on Good Morning America that "former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for misusing campaign funds, spending $750,000 on things such as a gold Rolex and 500 dollar dinners."
CBS This Morning and NBC's Today couldn't be bothered to give Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s political affiliation as they devoted just 35 seconds of air time on Wednesday to his upcoming sentencing. Both morning newscasts merely identified the onetime Democratic politician as a former congressman.
The same morning, ABC's Good Morning America completely ignored the story about Jackson, who pled guilty in February 2013 to misusing campaign funds to buy big ticket items, such as a $43,000 Rolex watch, and Michael Jackson memorabilia.
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":
John Blackstone promoted Hillary Clinton's potential 2016 presidential run on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, and minimized the ongoing questions about her leadership before, during, and after the September 11, 2012 Islamist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. For opposition, Blackstone merely noted that "a new ad, just released by the GOP, criticizes Clinton's handling of the terrorist attack in Benghazi", without further explaining the issue.
The correspondent also buried the staunchly pro-abortion and partisan stance of Emily's List. He vaguely labeled the pro-Democratic PAC a "group that promotes women candidates."
An August 6 opinion column at the Politico labeled co-authors Jared Bernstein and Paul Van de Water as "senior fellows at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities." CBPP, that oxymoron known as a "leftist think tank," went unlabeled. The Politico also must have thought that Bernstein's background as the Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joseph Biden from 2009 to 2011 was irrelevant.
That's okay. Any reader could tell from the piece's headline and content that it was a shameless, reality-avoiding propaganda piece (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
On Monday's CBS This Morning, Major Garrett played up how President Obama has vacationed "less than his predecessor, President George W. Bush – 14 trips and 92 vacation days, compared to 50 trips and 323 for Mr. Bush." Garrett cited colleague Mark Knoller's presidential vacation figures, but overlooked Knoller's emphasis that whatever the amount of vacation time, "the burdens and responsibilities of the office" travel with the President.
Garrett did point out that the Mr. Obama is "confronting some of the diciest poll numbers of his presidency." Anchor Norah O'Donnell also stated that "the President's approval rating is taking a nosedive."
One has to sift through the biased blather to get to it, but Mary Clare Jalonick's August 1 coverage at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, of the House's plans to rein in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, still popularly called "food stamps," contains an important admission which most of the establishment press has avoided as the program's costs and enrollment have skyrocketed, all in the name of preserving the false impression that the program is exclusively about preventing people from starving.
As usual, one of those distractions is the tired idea that what the House is proposing represents harmful "cuts," when what is really occurring is a long overdue and yet still watered-down effort to target benefits to the truly eligible and prevent their disbursement to people who either don't need them or shouldn't get them (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
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):
On Thursday, the Department of Labor announced that initial unemployment claims during the week ended August 3 rose to a seasonally adjusted 333,000, up from a revised 328,000 the previous week.
A "breaking" tweet from the Associated Press issued just a few minutes after the report's 8:30 a.m. (5:30 PT) release read as follows: "U.S. unemployment aid applications up only 5,000 to 333,000 - a level that signals steady job gains." The folks at Twitchy.com properly wondered how rising jobless claims can lead to more jobs. The wire service abandoned the tweet's claim only 19 minutes after its release, and went as far as admitting that "hiring lags" in a longer, late afternoon item.
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.
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.
For CNN, "purist" Republicans are daring to shut down the government to defund Obamacare while those Republicans trying to dissuade them are "pragmatists."
New Day co-host Kate Bolduan borrowed from the New York Times to play her label game. "Yeah, and I think the New York Times put it pretty well. It's the difference between the purists and the pragmatists. And there's that struggle in the party right now." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Our friend Steve Ertelt over at LifeNews.com caught the New York Times in an incredible display of cold-hearted clinical language in service of political correctness. The occasion was an incredibly heartbreaking story of a 30-year-old New York woman who was killed when a tree fell on the park bench on which she was sitting. The woman, Yingyi Li-Dikov, was six months pregnant with a baby girl who also perished in the accident.
But the only use of the term "baby" was found only at the close of the article, when Times staffer Sarah Maslin Nir [pictured below page break] quoted distraught widower Aleksander Dikov lamenting the loss of his wife and child. Otherwise Maslin Nir referred to the dead unborn child as a fetus:
If ever a story had the earmarks of being agenda-driven from the get-go, Mackenzie Weinger's writeup at the Politico on Glenn Beck published Saturday morning fits the bill.
Weinger's premise is that Beck will never be as influential as he once was as long as he doesn't have a cable news program and continues to branch into entertainment-related ventures consistent with his beliefs. Excerpts, evidence which easily refutes Weinger's wishful thinking, and further commentary from yours truly follow the jump.
In this case, the old saying, "Better late than never" really shouldn't apply. In June, when the government's Household Survey used to determine the unemployment rate reported that there were 240,000 fewer full-time workers and 360,000 more part-time workers than there were in May, the establishment press, particularly the Associated Press, largely ignored or downplayed the result.
The AP's Christopher Rugaber broke the ice a bit in early July after June's jobs report, and the wire service has finally gone full-bore into noting the trend towards part-time work in the past two days. But while the press slept for months, center-right bloggers and many others have been chronicling the trend anecdotally since late last year, and gradually with solid numbers from the government's own reports as the year has worn on.