Michelle Obama's name must really be mud in the school nutrition community these days.
I had to do a double-take when I read today's coverage of the School Nutrition Association's Annual Conference in Boston by Philip Marcelo at the Associated Press today. What Marcelo hid from the nation is that the SNA didn't want Michelle Obama or anyone else from the White House anywhere near their conference.
In the early 1970s, the press obsessed about President Nixon's alleged "isolation," especially as the Watergate scandal, which in an objective lookback has to be seen as relative child's play compared to what we're seeing now, unfolded. Proof that Nixon's "isolation" had been a constant media theme in previous months is found in an NBC Nightly News report on May 10, 1973, when a White House staff reorganization was characterized by reporter Richard Valeriani as "Nixon moving to end President('s) isolation."
On Fox News's "The Five" on Friday, Democrat Bob Beckel relayed what he said was an anonymous comment by a person in a position to know about how cut off from external advice President Barack Obama is. It seems arguably creepier than any degree of isolation Nixon may have ever had, for reasons which I will explain below. Let's see what Beckel had to say following co-host Andrea Tantaros's comment that Obama has a "Stepford staff just sort of nodding at whatever he says," and Greg Gutfeld's assertion that Obama "doesn't have anybody in his circle" with the nerve or access to intervene (bolds are mine):
Telemundo anchor José Díaz-Balart lauded his brand new MSNBC show as being “for you,” “for all of us” and “for all people”on Monday. Of course, by “all of us”José Díaz-Balart meant MSNBC’s usual target audience, liberals.
Díaz-Balart invited MSNBC anchor Lawrence O’Donnell on to the show to discuss what TheLast Word host described as the outrageous Republican rhetoric that “this presidency is out of control.” Without offering any rebuttal, Díaz-Balart allowed the Lean Forward left winger to dismiss Obama’s overreach in altering legislation as the president merely “changing some dates.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
A Justin Lynch column ("Wartime Press") originally posted at the Weekly Wonk and republished at Time.com with a more foreboding title ("Bloggers, Surveillance and Obama’s Orwellian State") really ends up being an attempted justification by those Lynch quoted for having a close alliance between the government and "journalists" with "professional standards." Thom Shanker, the Pentagon correspondent for the New York Times, gets the award for the most Orwellian quote in the litter, which will come after the jump. Its prelude is his belief that "The government really needs to get its message out to the American people, and it knows that the best way to do that is by using the American news media." Excerpts follow.
NPR’s absentee ethics watchdog/ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos is ending his three-year term (with three items in the the first six months of 2014, one of them insisting on a ban of the word “Redskins.”) NPR is looking for someone who has a “diplomatic style that will earn the respect and trust of the public and the NPR staff and other NPR managers.”
In reality, they’re not looking for someone who makes sure all taxpayers get a fair shake from the media outlet they’re subsidizing. They’re looking for someone to please NPR staff and the hard-core lefties known as the NPR “public.”
Richard (RJ) Eskow, "a writer, consultant, and Senior Fellow at the Campaign for America's Future," is a certified "respectable" lefty. So as much as the idea which follows may seem laughable, it shouldn't be dismissed as the unhinged rant of someone with no influence engaging in some isolated "thought experiment" which isn't shared by others in leftyland.
Eskow, in a Tuesday column at Salon, advocated regulating Internet titans Google, Amazon and Facebook as "public utilities." His justification is that they "define our lives," they're "close to monopolies," and besides, employing a breezy myth still held by many in the press, "Big Tech was created with publicly developed technology." Read on (the headline overstates Eskow's position; bolds are mine):
At the Associated Press on Friday afternoon, Andrew Taylor, who it should be noted covers Congress and is not routinely on the economics or business beat, relayed an Obama administration prediction that economic growth in 2014 will come in at 2.6 percent.
Taylor noted that this estimate, lowered from 3.3 percent, came about because of "the unexpected 2.9 percent drop in gross domestic product in the first quarter of this year when unusually severe weather dinged the economy." Besides failing to note that the contraction was an annualized drop (the actual contraction was about 0.7 percent), he didn't tell readers how absurdly strong growth will have to be during the rest of the year to hit that 2.6 percent target; it works out to an annualized 4.5 percent during each of this year's remaining unreported quarters. Perhaps the AP reporter isn't economically astute enough to recognize how unlikely that is — or worse, he recognized it and let it pass unchallenged.
One of the reasons President Barack Obama and the left can continue to make their cherished "budget stalemate" arguments against conservatives and Republicans is that the establishment press has memory-holed tax increases, including "the largest tax increase in the past two decades," which have already taken place. It now acts as if taxes on "the wealthy," which are really taxes on "high-income earners," have never been increased during Dear Leader's administration.
Josh Boak's coverage of the June budget surplus yesterday at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, is a case in point. After regaling readers with the administration-manipulated recent history of budget deficits (without mentioning the manipulation, of course), Boak uncritically relayed the Democrats' version of the argument that the standoff between the White House and the House of Representatives is over "sharp cuts on needed government programs" versus "higher taxes on the wealthy." Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post; numbered tags are mine):
In what appears to be an act of leftist self-defense, an unbylined story at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, describes certain Colorado Democratic politicians' crticisms of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg over recent "off-base remarks about two of its cities," but noted no reactions from Republicans — who are genuinely outraged, as opposed to arguably trying to cover their political tracks.
In a story which was apparently prematurely posted at Rolling Stone Magazine's web site (link is to a separately saved Google cache copy), Bloomberg told Simon Vozick-Levinson that in recent recall elections in the Centennial State, "The NRA went after two or three state Senators in a part of Colorado where I don't think there's roads. It's as far rural as you can get." Really.
The July 11 edition of ABC’s The View began with a discussion on a Kentucky bank teller fired from her job for violating the “high ethical standards” of US Bank. Her transgressions apparently were wishing patrons to “have a blessed day” after her interactions with them and, on at least one occasion, chastising a customer for taking the Lord’s name in vain.
While co-host Sherri Shepherd, a professing Christian, spoke to the discretion needed when Christians “are commanded to go out and tell the good news,” to others, guest panelist Sunny Hostin of CNN strangely brought up the “history, in our society” of people hiding “behind religion to do some really terrible things to other people.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
When TV’s Sunday-morning political chat shows book conservative guests, maybe they’re just trying to be evenhanded, but The Nation media blogger Leslie Savan opined in a Tuesday post that often the programs do it so that the right will be less likely to badger them about their liberal bias. As Savan put it, “Sometimes seeking balance is really a plea to call off the dogs.”
What riled up Savan in the first place was one such booking, of Dinesh D’Souza on last Sunday’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos,” but she also griped about the Sunday shows generally letting Tea Party guests off easy (“It’s as if mainstream media are as afraid of the far right as John Boehner is”) as well as about “the corporate media…offer[ing] their stage to far-right media figures” including Laura Ingraham.
There were three developments in the IRS-targets-the-Tea Party scandal in the past two days, all individually meriting coverage on their own right but, taken together as a package are most definitely newsworthy. Despite this, neither ABC's World News nor the CBS Evening News nor the NBC Nightly News spared even a second of coverage to them on their July 10 broadcasts.
By contrast, time was made to cover stories like country artist Garth Brooks's return to the industry (ABC), the 100th anniversary of Babe Ruth's start in the big leagues (CBS), and a baby boom in Washington, D.C., nine months after the government shutdown (NBC). Both NBC and ABC briefly mentioned the Emmy Awards nominations and all three broadcasts had time to note the passing of modeling agency executive Eileen Ford.
I'm sure that many will pass off what Reuters and Yahoo News have just been caught doing as some kind of an innocent mistake, and perhaps it was. But isn't odd how often those "mistakes" so often end up giving President Obama and the left more credit than they deserve?
Yesterday, a Reuters story at Yahoo News was headlined "President Obama Visits the Border." That's a pretty remarkable headline, given Obama's quite widely known refusal — except perhaps by low-information Yahoo readers — to visit the Texas-Mexico border or to visit facilities where Unaccompanied Alien Children are being detained by the Border Patrol. The headline, before it was corrected to "President Obama Visits Austin," along with evidence that Google News was still carrying the original headline until just a short time ago, follow the jump.
MSNBC is not limited to televised displays of liberal bias. On the economics page of MSNBC.com, reporter Ned Resnikoff published an article earlier today entitled “Gap between minimum wage and tipped wage hits record high.” The All Inwith Chris Hayes contributor cited a new report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) claiming that tipped workers make a “significantly lower than the overall median wage” and “experience poverty at much higher rates than the overall workforce.”
Of course, Resnikoff forgot to mention that the EPI “receives much of its funding from organized labor.” That fact was added later in a “clarification” note under the original article.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s vacation was ruined by the news that her anti-American on-air foe would be returning to the set of The View. On the July 9 edition of Fox & Friends, Steve Doocy, Anna Kooiman, and Brian Kilmeade called the Fox host and former View moderator to comment on the news that Rosie O’Donnell would be resuming her radical left wing rhetoric on the ABC talk show.
Hasselbeck responded, “what could ruin a vacation more than to hear news like this” before expressing her dismay that “the very woman who [has] been in the face of our military, been in the face of her own network and really in the face of a person who stood by her and had civilized debates for the time that she was there” would be returning as a moderator. [Click here for MP3 audio. See video below]
At the Politico Wednesday afternoon, Jonathan Topaz covered Texas Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar's sharp criticism of President Barack Obama's failure to visit the nation's southern border, or for that matter any of the detention centers set up for "Unaccompanied Alien Children" (the Department of Homeland Security's term).
The Politico is where many stories the rest of the establishment press would rather not cover go to die; they then appear to say, "Well, the Politico covered it, so we don't have to." During the Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43 presidencies, the press went with saturation coverage of Republicans who criticized a president from their party. The degree of coverage in Cuellar's situation is quite the opposite, even though, as we shall see, the White House has contacted him in an attempt to convince him to shut up.
On Tuesday, Harry Reid told the press that "the one thing we're going to do, during this work period, sooner rather than later, is to ensure that women's lives are not determined by virtue of five white men. This Hobby Lobby decision is outrageous, and we're going to do something about it."
Obviously, Reid's statement assailing the Supreme Court majority in the Hobby Lobby decision is incorrect, as black African-American Clarence Thomas was among the five justices who defended the religious freedom of the Green family which owns and runs Hobby Lobby. Ordinarily, in an obvious gaffe involving a Democratic Party politican, coverage would be sparse. But in this case, there are at least two instances where an establishment press outlet actually reported Reid's statement without pointing out that it was wrong. One occurred at the New York Times.
On his Wednesday program, Ronan Farrow called on MSNBC’s favorite failed congressional candidate Krystal Ball to aid him in decrying both the “corrupt system of Congress” today and the “U.S. policies in the '90s” that have lead to the immigration crisis on the border. This was after the host of Ronan Farrow Daily unironically brought Jack Abramoff, a lobbyist convicted of bribing public officials in 2006, on to hype the backhanded relationships of congressmen and lobbyists.
Both Farrow and Ball teamed up to counter Republican strategist John Feehery’s defense that congressional relationships with lobbyists are evidence of “distraction[s]” rather than of a “system” that “is necessarily corrupt.” Krystal responded by citing “new research that shows that the voices of ordinary citizens literally have no impact on our legislative process,” while Farrow switched the subject to immigration reform before Feehery could respond. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was sentenced to 10 years in prison today on fraud, bribery and related charges. In a January 2006 appearance on PBS's Tavis Smiley Show, Nagin, who in many several previous news reports had been described as a Republican who became a Democrat once he sought political office, told Smiley that he "never was a Republican" and he has been a "life-long Democrat."
As would be expected, several media outlets are failing to report Nagin's declared status as a "life-long Democrat." A particularly egregious example is at USA Today (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes, and in case USAT makes revisions; HT longtime NB commenter Gary Hall; bolds are mine):
Michael Eric Dyson successfully filled in for Ed Schultz on the June 8 edition of The Ed Show by continuing the tradition of blaming America’s problems on Republicans and ranting about their heartlessness. For this show, Dyson chose to focus his opening monologue on blasting “the party that claims to believe in family values and Christian charity” that also calls for Obama to tighten border security and deport illegal immigrants crossing the border.
Dyson stated that “maybe it's time for people of faith to come forward to show conservatives what true compassion means.” He completed his attack on conservative devotion to religion by asking his liberal viewers to text their answer to his poll question “is compassionate conservatism dead?” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Ronan Farrow devoted a significant portion of his July 9 show to attempting to coopt the storied heroism of Raoul Wallenberg to spin the Mexican border crisis. The MSNBC host invited the US Ambassador to Sweden Mark Brzezinski and Swedish Ambassador to the US Bjorn Lyrvall onto Ronan Farrow Daily to discuss the accomplishments of the Swedish humanitarian who saved thousands of Jewish lives during the Holocaust and the Congressional Gold Medal to be awarded to his surviving half-sister.
After the interview, Farrow turned to his two favorite liberal pundits, Karen Finney – of the canceled Disrupt news show – and Howard Fineman of The Huffington Post for their analysis about how we should take to heart the “lesson of Raoul Wallenberg” not to “turn away these people as they’re being persecuted.” [See video below. Click here for MP3]
On Monday evening's NBC Nightly News, host Brian Williams used a perhaps revealing verb to describe a belief held by former Soviet foreign minister and Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze, who died on Monday at 86.
It would be good to look back and learn how Shevardnadze came to say what he said a decade ago before getting to how Williams framed it. As reported in Doug Martin's obituary at the New York Times (bolds are mine throughout this post):
"Imagine after Katrina that reporters are getting ready to go to New Orleans, and the Bush administration says to reporters, now one thing: no recording devices, no questions, no interacting with staff or children, no photos, and no interviews, but other than that you can cover Katrina," MRC president Brent Bozell noted on this afternoon's Your World with Neil Cavuto. He observed that the media's response would be that it was "fascistic" to impose such "demands on the press." Fast forward to now with the Obama administration slapping these sort of restrictions on the media on the U.S. border with Mexico, and the press are taking it lying down rather than telling "the Obama administration to go fly a kite."
"This is an administration that is becoming unglued.... They are reacting with panic the way the Chicago machine reacts where they're just trying to ram down the throats of the public the rules as they see fit," Bozell argued, adding "they are breaking the Constitution at every level. This seems to be the First Amendment that's threatened by these people." [watch the full segment by pressing play on the embed below the page break]
The press loves billionaire Warren Buffett, who can be relied to support President Barack Obama even in implausible circumstances — such as the current economy, where the "recovery" following the 2008-2009 traditionally defined recession has been worse than any since World War II, and barely better than what was seen during the awful post-Depression 1930s.
Thus far, the press has managed to ignore one of the implications of the first quarter's serious contraction. One more quarter of economic contraction could mean that the end of the recession, as Buffett himself has defined it, failed to permanently arrive.
This goes back to a week ago Saturday morning, but given the content and that it occurred on a weekend, it really needs more visibility.
On June 28, Juan Williams put in an appearance on a Fox News "Cashin' In" show panel which discussed the IRS scandal. Host Eric Bolling discussed poll results revealing that three-quarters of Americans believe that the IRS deliberately destroyed emails, and overhwelmingly want to see people involved in destroying the emails to be held accountable. The video after the jump, accompanied by Mediaite coverage containing key quotes, will show that Williams not only insists that he is completely unimpressed with the newsworthiness of the story, but also believe that those who believe it to be important are engaging in a "paranoia conspiracy" (Warning: Those who are on blood pressure meds should make that they have taken them and have allowed enough time to pass for them to achieve their proper effect; bolds are mine):
Andrea Mitchell devoted three minutes of the July 7 edition of Andrea Mitchell Reports to assist Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards in promoting the abortion-clinic chain’s latest publicity gimmick.
What’s more, instead of inviting a conservative pundit on to rebut the guest or perhaps attempting an unbiased, tough-but-fair interview in the first place, Mitchell tag-teamed with Richards in denouncing the conservative wing of the Court – and logic would dictate, liberal Justice Stephen Breyer as well. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Would right-wingers like a larger presence in mainstream news and entertainment media, or would they rather grumble about the MSM’s liberal bias while patronizing conservative media outlets? To American Prospect blogger Paul Waldman, it’s clear that the second is correct.
Waldman’s peg for his Wednesday post was a National Review piece by editor and publisher Adam Bellow on the need for a conservative counterculture that would produce novels, movies, music, and so on. Apropos of Bellow’s comment that it’s too bad righties have “hived ourselves off into our own politicized media bubble,” Waldman snipes that conservatives want very much to stay inside said bubble, even though it leaves them prone to “all kinds of pathological beliefs and behaviors.”
Fox News contributor and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer made a very interesting and logical correlation Friday. The press has predictably failed to make the connection or even to relay Krauthammer's point, simply because it leads to the default assumption that conservatives were right on an important economic issue.
To be clear, the point Krauthammer and National Review Online's Robert Stein made on Thursday isn't directly provable. But the fact that an acceleration in job growth and a significant reduction in the unemployment rate have occurred in the six months since extended unemployment benefits expired is hard to explain away as some kind of lucky coincidence — especially given the endless blather of "weather" excuses the press and the administration have made about the economy in general since early this year. Video and a transcript follow the jump.
In the latest White House press release disguised as analysis at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, AP stenographer Paul Wiseman sang the praises of this nation's "humming" job market and its "steadily rising" growth as the economy is "finally showing the vigor that Americans have long awaited." Wow.
Of course, the White House — er, Wiseman — never mentioned the following (to name just a few): two straight months (April and May) of real declines in consumer purchases; the seasonally adjusted decline of 523,000 in full-time employment paired with an increase of 799,000 part-time jobs in June; April’s and May's trade imbalance coming in worse than March’s, which was already very high; shipments of durable goods barely budging in April and May; factory orders falling in May; or May's flat construction spending. It got worse, as Wiseman concocted five reasons why the U.S. economy is a "world beater." Excerpts from Paul's pathetic prose follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
A prominent exhibit explaining why the nation's trust in its media establishment has dropped to precipitous lows would likely include Tom Cohen's Thursday afternoon column at CNN expressing befuddlement over President Barack Obama's unpopularity.
After all, Cohen's headline crows that under Obama we have "more jobs" and "less war" (!), so there's a "disconnect" which must be explained. To give you an idea of how pathetic his attempt is, he managed not to mention any form of the words "immigration," "scandal," or "contraction" (as in, the first-quarter decline in GDP) while pretending to present a complete analysis. Meanwhile, one of CNN's embedded headline links to another story ("Obama to Republicans: 'So sue me'") openly mocks Cohen, doing a better job of explaining the "disconnect" in six words than anything he wrote in his first 37 paragraphs. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post; numbered tags are mine):