Do the science writers and political reporters at the Associated Press ever compare notes? Based on their divergent coverage of stem cell research, it seems doubtful.
On Sunday, AP science writer Milan Rising reported that a Japanese scientist was under probable consideration to win this year's Nobel Prize in medicine:
A Japanese researcher who discovered how to make stem cells from ordinary skin cells and avoid the ethical quandaries of making them from human eggs could be a candidate for the medicine award when the 2010 Nobel Prize announcements kick off Monday, experts said.
Several prominent Nobel guessers have pointed to Kyoto University Professor Shinya Yamanaka as a potential winner of the coveted award.
Though the prize, announced this morning, went to another gentleman, the question remains: How could this be? As a court case over President Obama's executive order permitting federal funding of embryonic stem cell research has been progressing through its various appeals during the past several weeks, AP's political writers have been giving readers the clear impression that it is the research involving the destruction of human embryos that holds the real promise of scientific progress. Uh, not exactly. In fact, not at all.
At about 3 p.m. Saturday, one version of the reportage from the Associated Press's Philip Elliott concerning the "One Nation" rally in Washington opened as follows (saved here at host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes; bold is mine):
Tapping into the same anger that fuels the tea party movement, a coalition of progressive and civil rights groups marched Saturday on the Lincoln Memorial and pledged to support Democrats struggling to keep power on Capitol Hill.
Elliott must have realized he had gone way over the top with that one, as he watered it down a bit an hour later (also saved at host): "Tapping into anger as the tea party movement has done ..."
On Thursday's Larry King Live, future anchor Kathleen Parker verified her tenuous conservative credentials, as she identified herself as a "conservative," but added, "a pox on everybody's house, as far as I'm concerned." She later confessed that she "would put myself...slightly to the right of center," and that she was "a big fan of Barack Obama as he came into office...I didn't want him to fail."
Anchor Larry King brought on Parker and future co-host Eliot Spitzer of "Client Number Nine" fame during the first half of the 9 pm Eastern hour. Three minutes in, King asked about the format of the show, which begins on October 4. After the two briefly described it, the columnist stated that "Eliot is identified as a Democrat and I'm identified as a conservative." Spitzer replied, "Well, you said Democrat/conservative, not Republican," and the resulting exchange led to Parker revealing how she saw her position politically.
CNN's Rick Sanchez lashed out at multiple groups left and right during an interview on satellite radio with comedian Pete Dominick. During the interview, Sanchez slammed Jon Stewart, who has regularly made fun of the anchor, as a "bigot," and stated that the media is run by Jews. But the anchor also went into detail about his hatred of Fox News and falsely claimed that he doesn't smear people himself.
Mediaite, HotAir.com, and Politico on Friday all highlighted Sanchez's anti-Stewart remarks and his questionable statements about Jews. Dominick, on his own website, gave additional details about how the CNN anchor not only targeted apparent prejudice against him from "top brass" at CNN: "Sanchez's example was an illustration that the problem of racism in the media business goes further than many expect, enveloping 'not just the Right,' but also 'elite, Northeast establishment liberals' that 'deep down, when they look at a guy like me, they see a guy automatically who belongs in the second tier, and not the top tier.'" This isn't a surprising characterization from Sanchez, who sees himself as in the "middle" or "not ideological."
Dominick, who once worked with Stewart on The Daily Show, posted three clips from the interview on his website, and 10 minutes into the second clip, the standup comedian tried to explain his trade to the anchor, that comics don't think about people's feelings when they make fun of them, but only think about being funny. Sanchez didn't buy this, and made a claim about how he operates [audio clip available here]:
CNN's Rick Sanchez positioned himself above the fray between "right wing" Fox News and "liberal" MSNBC on Thursday's Rick's List. Sanchez named Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, and their network to his "List U Don't Want 2 Be On," after the Obama administration supposedly exposed his competitor's left wing bias, and claimed that he "wasn't necessarily liked" by the current or previous administrations.
Before putting his colleagues at MSNBC on his "list," the CNN anchor invoked his longtime vendetta against his other competitor and took a swipe at the last vice president: "Much was made of Vice President Cheney's insistence- remember this?- on only watching Fox News in his travels. It's a true story. Whenever he checked into hotels, he would have his staffers tune all of the TVs in the hotel to only Fox News, so he could just hear about his policies, repeated back to him by a right-wing television network."
Sanchez then moved on to his main subject: "Well, today I asked this question: what about MSNBC and their relationship now with this White House? Here's 'The List U Don't Want 2 Be On.'" He continued with the claim that "if you don't think for one minute that MSNBC is to Barack Obama what Fox was to Bush and Cheney, then you obviously haven't heard this comment that I'm about to share with you- this comment from Deputy White House [Press] Secretary Bill Burton."
On Wednesday's Rick's List, CNN's Rick Sanchez implied that Fox News played some kind of part in James O'Keefe's attempted "punk" of correspondent Abbie Boudreau: "The same right-wing videographer, who entrapped and embarrassed innocent people in the past, tries it again- this time on a CNN correspondent....How could he try something so stupid, and what was Fox News's role?" [audio clip available here]
Sanchez made this parting shot at his longstanding nemesis on the last prime time edition of his show, as the 8 pm time slot on CNN is being taken over on October 4 by a new program featuring former New York governor and "Client Number Nine" Eliot Spitzer and pseudo-conservative Kathleen Parker. The anchor raised his implying question about the apparent "role" of Fox News during the lead-in to his program. Instead of making a direct accusation against Fox News, as he did in the aftermath of the murders of three Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania police officers in April 2009, he replayed an earlier interview with Boudreau from the top of the 4 pm Eastern hour of his program.
It is truly remarkable to observe how press outlets continue to misreport and misinform the public in the area of stem cell research.
One of the latest examples came yesterday at the Associated Press. In a report covering a court ruling on government funding of embryonic stem cell research (ESCR), the AP's Nedra Pickler completely failed to acknowledge that there are any other kinds of stem cells. Every single use by Pickler of the terms "stem cell" or "stem cells" has no modifying adjective, except the very first, whose modifier is "embryonic."
It's as if there are no other avenues besides ESCR for "scientific progress toward potentially lifesaving medical treatment." In fact, Pickler's less-informed readers would have no reason to believe that there is any form of stem cell research besides ESCR. The reality, which will be shown later for the umpteenth time, is that non-embryonic stem cells, often referred to as adult stem cells, have already shown that they can do virtually everything embryonic cells can with far less potential for side effects and, of course, no loss of human life. The word "adult" does not appear in the AP report.
Here are several paragraphs from Pickler's pathetic piece, which also includes a deeply deceptive quote (is there any other kind?) from Obama White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs (bold is mine):
CNN's Jack Cafferty may end up eating more than his words if Sarah Palin is elected the next president in 2012. After outlining how a current poll indicates "Obama's best hope of winning a second term just might be Alaska's dropout governor" on Tuesday's Situation Room, anchor Wolf Blitzer warned him that there's always the chance she may end up being elected. Cafferty replied, "If Sarah Palin is the next president, Wolf, I will eat this building I'm talking to you from one brick at a time" [audio clip available here].
The commentator devoted his regular 5 pm "Cafferty File" segment to a recent Politico/George Washington University poll that found that only 38% would vote to re-elect President Obama, and 44% would vote for his hypothetical opponent. Besides these poll numbers, Cafferty noted that "by double digits, they disapprove of his new health care law. They trust congressional Republicans to create jobs more than they trust Mr. Obama."
On Monday's Rick's List, CNN's Jessica Yellin leaned against California Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina as she compared one of her ads against that of her opponent, Senator Barbara Boxer. While Yellin acknowledged that Boxer's ad was "negative," she also complimented it as "very effective." The correspondent went on to label Fiorina's commercial "mean" [audio clips available here].
Substitute anchor Brooke Baldwin discussed the California Senate race with Yellin 17 minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour. Baldwin first noted that the San Francisco Chronicle declined to endorse either candidate in the race, for in their view, "[i]t is a dismal choice between an ineffective advocate for causes we generally support and a potentially strong advocate for positions we oppose." She then asked the correspondent, "[I]s that more of a slap in the face at Boxer or Fiorina?"
Yellin replied that it affected the Democrat more: "For Boxer, by far- I mean, it's fairly stunning that...a Democratic-leaning newspaper...their op-ed page tends to be left-leaning- would not endorse the long-term Democrat in the state is very, very bad for Barbara Boxer. I mean, their conclusion there is essentially that Boxer, they think, is ineffective. Carly Fiorina, they argue, is too conservative, so they're not endorsing."
CNN's Kyra Phillips gave a ringing endorsement to a Christian minister and his heterodox views on homosexuality on Monday's Newsroom. Phillips interviewed televangelist Bishop Carlton Pearson, who, in her words, went "out on a limb...[to] say gays are accepted in heaven," and concluded the segment by stating how she "respect[s] very much" what he preached on the highly-debated moral issue.
The anchor led the 10 am Eastern hour with the allegations against Bishop Eddie Long, who has been sued by four young men so far who accuse him of coercing them into sexual relationships. Four minutes into the hour, Phillips introduced Pearson as a "pioneering black televangelist and a close friend of Eddie Long's...[who] lost a lot of his flock when he began preaching that everyone has a place in heaven, including gay people." She first asked the bishop, "Why did you go out on a limb and say gays are accepted in heaven, something that the black church disagrees with?"
Pearson lauded his "gay friends" as "some of the most sensitive, loving, creative, ingenious, generous people" and touted how he "started preaching the Gospel of inclusion" and criticized how supposedly "the devotion to the devil and hell is stronger, or as strong as anybody's devotion to Jesus in many of the Christian circles." After spending some time discussing what Pearson knew of Long, Phillips posited what would happen if the accused minister came out as a homosexual: "What if he does come forward, Bishop, and say, I told you I wasn't a perfect man and I've been- I have been struggling with this issue, and he does say that he's gay. What if this story changes? How will you deal with that? Will you accept him? Will you embrace him? How would you counsel him as his friend?"
In a Sunday 60 Minutes story that gave a glowing portrayal of the real estate developer and imam behind the Ground Zero mosque, CBS anchor Scott Pelley also used the opportunity to smear opponents of the project: "...a national controversy with anger, passion, and more than a little misinformation. Opponents whipped up a fury, calling the project a grotesque mega-mosque tied to terrorism."
Pelley began by touting how building developer Sharif El-Gamal was simply trying to improve a "dingy block in lower Manhattan" and that he "thought his project would be a step up for a seedy part of downtown." Pelley described how "the community enthusiastically agreed. The plan was endorsed by the Mayor, the borough president, and the community board." He then emphasized the distance from Ground Zero: "You can't see Ground Zero from here, but when you make the corner...you can see the cranes where the new World Trade Center buildings are going up....It took us another two minutes to walk to the edge of what the government officially designates as Ground Zero."
Pelley highlighted El-Gamal's multi-cultural background: "...you're a Muslim who married a Christian girl. Your mother is Catholic. And you joined the Jewish community center on the West Side of Manhattan." However, he then turned to mosque opponent Pamela Geller, whom he characterized as "a former New York media executive who writes a politically far Right blog that mixes news, opinion, and conspiracy theories."
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly and guest Laura Ingraham on Sept. 23 highlighted the left's latest line of attack on Tea Parties: that they're crazy. Ingraham characterized the attacks as an attempt to distract from the liberal record and said the critique "doesn't work."
"As you may know, the Tea Party was racist for about six months as the far left tried to demonize the movement," O'Reilly said when introducing the broadcast's "Top Story" segment. "But now things have changed; the Tea Party is simply ‘crazy.'"
He showed clips from a report by the MRC's Culture and Media Institute illustrating liberal commentators and journalists attaching the "crazy" label to Tea Parties and Tea Party candidates like Christine O'Donnell, Sharron Angle and others.
Ingraham suggested "the critique doesn't work" because more Americans are in line with the Tea Party's views than with the liberal establishment.
Newsweek's Ben Adler is decidedly cool to the newly-unveiled Republican "Pledge with America." No surprise there, coming from a liberal journalist. But among his criticisms, perhaps he's most off-base in his complaint about Republicans' promise to ensure that legislation must be constitutional before it is passed along to the president for his signature (emphasis mine):
Not so harmless, however, is the promise to require every bill to be certified as constitutional before it is voted on. We have a mechanism for assessing the constitutionality of legislation, which is the independent judiciary. An extraconstitutional attempt to limit the powers of Congress is dangerous even as a mere suggestion, and it constitutes an encroachment on the judiciary.
In those three sentences, Adler betrays both his ignorance of the U.S. Constitution and its imperative on all members of all three branches of government to uphold the Constitution's limits on federal power.
On Wednesday's Situation Room, CNN's Jack Cafferty revisited his anti-Sarah Palin obsession and somewhat predictably, grouped U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell with the former Alaska governor, stating it "feels like Sarah Palin all over again....O'Donnell has some big question marks on her resume, just like...Palin." Most of the viewer e-mails Cafferty read bashed the two politicians.
The commentator devoted his 5 pm Eastern hour commentary to the two Republican women. After his "feels like Sarah Palin all over again" line, Cafferty recounted O'Donnell's emergence on the national political scene, and wasted little time in outlining her negative similarities to Palin: "Suddenly, everybody can't seem to get enough of her. This is despite the fact that O'Donnell has some big question marks on her resume, just like Sarah Palin. She's come under fire for allegedly misusing campaign funds for personal expenses-just like Sarah Palin."
In his 7-question September 22 Q&A with Markos Moulitsas, Time magazine's Ishaan Tharoor timidly challenged the left-wing blogger on his extremist rhetoric about how conservative Americans, particularly religious ones, are the "American Taliban."
Moulitsas was interviewed as part of his publicity tour for his new book, "American Taliban: How War, Sex, Sin and Power Bind Jihadists and the Radical Right" which "takes aim at what Moulitsas thinks is animating this right-wing revival," Tharoor noted. "You refer to a whole swath of U.S. conservatives as American Taliban. Is that really helpful?" Tharoor began meekly. Moulitsas, of course, cranked it up to eleven and let loose with a boilerplate screed about how evil and subversive American conservatives are:
CNN's Gary Tuchman blasted Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell on Tuesday's AC360, suggesting that the Republican was like the leader of a totalitarian regime, after she dared to say that the media should be left out of certain campaign events: "I think, for most Americans, that gives you a little chill. When we go to places like Cuba and Iran and North Korea and China, we're often kept out" [audio available here].
Anchor Anderson Cooper led the 10 pm Eastern hour of his program with the latest on O'Donnell's candidacy, particularly her interview with Fox News's Sean Hannity the previous hour. Tuchman, who was reporting live from Wilmington, Delaware, raised the issue of her finances, and after reporting on two recent local events which the Republican attended, went into his lamentation over her stab at the media:
On Tuesday's Rick's List, CNN's Rick Sanchez again bashed Fox News and the conservative media, two of his favorite subjects of ire. Sanchez stated that President Obama was being "dogged" and blamed "conservative talk radio hosts...lambasting this man 24/7.... [and] Fox News, which is essentially the voice of the Republican Party, whose job it is to make this man look bad no matter what he does" [audio clip available here].
The CNN anchor brought on political correspondent Jessica Yellin at the bottom of the 3 pm Eastern hour to discuss the President's town hall meeting on Monday. After playing a clip of Velma Hart, an Obama supporter who bluntly told the chief executive that she was "exhausted of defending" him, Sanchez asked Yellin for her take on whether "others out there are thinking in many of the ways that she [Hart] expressed herself."
I suspect that headline writers at the Associated Press would be pleased as punch if readers stopped at their capsulization of Randall Chase's story and didn't read it.
The headline at the AP's main site currently reads: "Surprise Del. primary winner seeks GOP support."
Perhaps they're hoping that Christine O'Donnell's Tea Party base will be disappointed at the impression the headline gives, namely that O'Donnell is going to the Republican Party establishment for help, and in the process presumably compromising sensible conservative principles.
Well, that hope naively assumes that informed readers trust the factual basis of AP headlines. If they trust AP headlines as much as the rest of the press's and Big Three TV networks' output, that's mostly not true (i.e., only 25% have a great deal of trust). Chase's report makes it pretty clear that a lot of heavy hitters and strategists in the GOP are actually coming to her:
CNN contributor John Avlon returned to his consistent theme of bashing conservatives on Monday's Newsroom, labeling Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell the "new queen of the wingnuts." Avlon also referenced Reason magazine's label of O'Donnell as a "crackpot of the first order" and didn't provide the full context of her 1997 remarks on AIDS.
Anchor Kyra Phillips led the 9 am Eastern hour of Newsroom with the Republican's 1999 appearance on ABC's Politically Incorrect where she cited how she "dabbled" in witchcraft as a teenager. After playing a clip from the 11-year-old appearance, Phillips continued that O'Donnell's remarks are "raising eyebrows and some concerns from the GOP establishment" and brought on Avlon, who has a knack for being tougher on his identified "wingnuts" on the right than those he picks from the left. The anchor referenced The Daily Beast writer's September 15 column in her first question: "O'Donnell actually canceled two Sunday talk show appearances after this came to light, and now, you are calling her the new queen of wingnuts."
CNN's Suzanne Malveaux led Friday's Situation Room by labeling the social conservative Value Voters Summit a "traditional showcase for hardcore conservatives." Later in the same segment, senior political analyst Gloria Borger stated that the Tea Party movement was "anti-health care" and bizarrely referred to Ronald Reagan as "the most secular president we've known in our lifetime."
Malveaux used her "hardcore conservatives" line as she introduced a segment on Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell's speech to the Summit. Just before this, she stated how "some are calling her [O'Donnell] the new poster girl for the Tea Party phenomenon" and later continued that she apparently "preached a new kind of gospel at the Values Voter Summit: the Tea Party's anti-government mantra."
On Friday's American Morning, CNN's Carol Costello followed up on her biased report from the previous day, which promoted Catholic women posing as priests, with a second report on dissenting Catholics, focusing on heterodox nuns inside the U.S. Costello promoted the claim of the nuns, who accuse the Vatican of conducting an "inquisition," or wanting to "silence nuns when they disagree with the Pope."
Substitute anchor Drew Griffin gave a brief on Pope Benedict XVI's second day in the U.K. 25 minutes into the 6 am Eastern hour, just before his colleague Kiran Chetry introduced the correspondent's report. Chetry proclaimed how the Vatican is apparently "squarely at odds with American nuns," and that many of these nuns "feel they're under siege from the Church, which is questioning the quality of their religious life." Costello picked up where the anchor left off: "[T]he Vatican is now conducting two sweeping investigations of American nuns...the Vatican hopes to have a better understanding of how nuns live their lives in the United States. Nuns don't see it that way, though. Many think these investigations are nothing short of interrogations, designed to take away all they've gained."
Costello led her report by featuring Sister Maureen Fiedler, a liberal public radio host who attended the "ordination" of seven women on the Danube River in 2002. Fiedler stated during her first sound bite, "Some of my friends asked me why the Vatican officials suffer from a deep seed hatred of women." The correspondent continued by describing how "the Vatican ordered two sweeping investigations into the religious views and lifestyles of American nuns- investigations that have alarmed many sisters like Marlene Weisenbeck, whose organization represents thousands of American nuns across the country." Sister Weisenbeck was president of the Leadership Council of Women Religious until August 2010. She led the organization when it endorsed ObamaCare, contrary to the stance of the U.S. bishops' conference. Costello played two sound bites from the nun during her report.
Appearing on Friday's CBS Early Show, Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer continued to compare the rise of the tea party and possible candidacy of Sarah Palin in 2012 to the 1964 campaign of Barry Goldwater. In response, co-host Harry Smith remarked that Palin could take Republicans "to the edge of the abyss, as it were."
On Wednesday's CBS Evening News, Schieffer argued: "...it is very much like 1964....they threw out all the establishment candidates...they nominated Barry Goldwater who – fine man – but he was far to the right of most of the people in his party, and they lost in a landslide. And that's why you have establishment Republicans worried about what's going to happen now in November." He repeated the same line on the Early Show and described the tea party as being full of "very, very conservative" voters who would not be as influential in the general election.
Prior to the discussion between Smith and Schieffer, correspondent Dean Reynolds reported on Palin taking a fundraising trip to Iowa and supporting "tea party insurgents...to the chagrin of GOP regulars, who worry they are too extreme, unelectable, or both." He went on highlight how "Democratic strategists say the more Sarah, the better for them" and touted: "Indeed, our latest polling shows the number of Americans viewing her unfavorably has been rising along with her visibility."
On September 16th's Larry King Live, guest Bill Maher called "Teabaggers" racists, claimed they hate black people, and added when referring to President Obama as a "Kenyan", it's code for "nigger".
Note the chuckling Larry King who didn't at all seem phased by Maher's casual use of a racial epithet as well as lack of any kind of media coverage. We all know when liberals use racial slurs, it's never out of sensitivity or hate. Bill was just trying to make a point, right?
On Sunday, NewsBusters contributor and Media Research Center video producer Bob Parks attended the 9/12 rally in Washington, D.C., where he interviewed some black attendees to bust the liberal media meme that the Tea Party movement is a practically all-white affair.
At the top of Thursday's CBS Early Show, fill-in co-host Erica Hill teased a report on Pope Benedict's visit to Scotland: "...it's a rather controversial visit for a number of reasons." Later, correspondent Richard Roth proclaimed the state visit "has more pomp and potentially more problems" and would "bound to be shadowed by controversy along with ceremony."
Roth went on to tout a gaffe made by a Papal aide prior to the trip and noted how the Pope "courts criticism on a range of issues, from the visit's cost – figured at around $20 million – to the cover-up of sex abuse among Catholic clergyman." He also highlighted predictions of low turnouts at Papal events during the visit: "[Benedict's] welcome will be measured, in part, by the size of his crowds. Some Church officials this morning were already lowering expectations, saying seats were still unsold for several outdoor events." In fact, about 125,00 people lined the streets of Edinburgh to see the Pope's motorcade, with 65,000 attending a later outdoor mass.
The only positive comment about the Papal visit was a sound bite of Queen Elizabeth welcoming the Pontiff: "On behalf of the people of the United Kingdom, I wish you a most fruitful and memorable visit." Roth concluded his report this way: "This is a country with a strong anti-clerical streak and a critical press. But, one leading paper's comment here that Benedict's 'entering the lion's den,' may also reflect a flare for dramatic overstatement."
Dubbed as "ultra right wing extremist" and "crazy," Republican candidate Christine O'Donnell and her Tea Party supporters have been smeared by every major broadcast and cable network since she won the Delaware primary against GOP establishment candidate on Tuesday night.
This is mudsliging at its ugliest. Pure character assassination. These networks have never treated a viable Democratic candidate with this level of contempt. How dare they lecture anyone on manners or decency ever again.
The MRC demands the media Tell The Truth! about the Tea Party, its momentum and the revolution of people whose votes are proving America is fed up with Washington.
Here are just some of the latest smears by the liberal media:
[Update, Wednesday, 11:15 pm Eastern: The Tweet by O'Brien apparently "doesn't exist" any more. A screen cap of the Tweet in question can be seen after the jump.]
Former CNN anchor Miles O'Brien (no relation to current CNN special correspondent Soledad O'Brien) slammed Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell as a "Tea Party nutbag" in a Tweet on Wednesday evening. O'Brien continued that he "forget [sic] her ignorant nonsense," referring to her defense of the creationist viewpoint during a 1996 appearance on his former network.
O'Brien, who was let go by CNN in 2008 after they closed their science unit, linked to an article on the left-wing website Talking Points Memo after his attack on O'Donnell. The article, by Eric Kleefeld, highlighted an item by Dan Amira of New York magazine, who "dug up" the Republican's March 1996 appearance with O'Brien and Dr. Michael McKinney of the University of Tennessee-Chattanoga. During the panel discussion, O'Donnell defended the creationism. Kleefeld labeled it as just another part of the social conservative's "religious right work," citing her apparent "long career in anti-sex and anti-masturbation activism."
CNN's Ali Velshi leaned against extending the Bush tax cuts during a commentary on Tuesday's Newsroom, warning that it "may not be a brilliant idea," and spouted the liberal talking point that tax cuts are a costly matter. Velshi also misleadingly stated that "we have not seen a huge surge in spending."
The anchor devoted his regular "XYZ" segment at the end of the 2 pm Eastern hour to the tax issue. He began by outlining how "President Obama wants to extend the Bush-era tax cuts that apply to the middle class, or households earning less than $250,000 a year...and that sounds like a great thing." He then continued with his argument about the "cost" of cutting taxes: "But let me put this into perspective. First, it's not free. Extending the tax breaks to the top 3 percent of earners would cost between 650 and 700 billion dollars. Extending it for the rest of us is going to cost a lot more, possibly $3 trillion. Everyone wants to pay less in taxes, but in an economy with a debt like America's, that may not be a brilliant idea."
It seems reasonable from their coverage in anticipation of the Census Bureua's release of income and poverty statistics this week that Hope Yen and Liz Sidoti of the Associated Press have a roof over their heads and aren't particularly worried about where their next meal is coming from. If so, good for them; may those circumstances continue.
What's remarkable, though, is how a government report that the media, especially the AP, has traditionally treated as an indicator of society's alleged failure to take care of its neediest --with the blame often directly aimed at Republicans and conservatives -- is now primarily a political problem for the party in power. Yen and Sidoti engage in a presidential pity party, and in the process come off as indifferent about what the numbers, for all their imperfections (and they are substantial), might mean in human terms -- again, something the press normally obsesses over, especially when a Republican or conservative is president. This time, it seems that if Ms. Yen and Ms. Sidoti had their way, this unfortunate information would be held until at least November 3.
What follows are graphic capture's of the pair's first four paragraphs, followed by paragraphs 12-16:
Adopting language and tactics more typical of tyrants, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius yesterday sent a public letter to the head of a health insurance industry group demanding that carriers stop "falsely blaming premium increases for 2011 on the patient protections in the Affordable Care Act," and that "that there will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases."
She reinforced her short-term threat with a longer-term one:
We will also keep track of insurers with a record of unjustified rate increases: those plans may be excluded from health insurance Exchanges in 2014. Simply stated, we will not stand idly by as insurers blame their premium hikes and increased profits on the requirement that they provide consumers with basic protections.
When Sebelius threatens exclusion from the "Exchanges," she is really saying: "Shut up and eat your costs, or you'll be out of business in a few years."