This morning, the Census Bureau, in its advance report on retail sales, revealed that seasonally adjusted July sales were "virtually unchanged" from June. Expectations were for a 0.2 percent gain, supposedly with "solid upside" potential. Oops. June's result stayed at its previously reported 0.2 percent increase.
Reuters did the "U-word" honors this time out: "U.S. retail sales unexpectedly stalled in July, pointing to some loss of momentum in the economy early in the third quarter." Someone needs to tell the wire service's Lucia Mutikani that no increase means no momentum. Over at the Associated Press, Josh Boak tried the deadpan approach.
We don’t know who’d win a presidential race between Thomas Jefferson and Richard Nixon, but apparently we could be almost certain of three things: Jefferson would campaign ethically; Nixon would play dirty; and the media would have no problem with Nixon’s sleazy tactics.
The above scenario is extrapolated from Paul Rosenberg’s Salon article last Saturday in which Rosenberg argued that liberal Democrats, “fair-minded and rule-abiding,” have long been at a competitive disadvantage against conservative Republican “streetfighters,” and that “the Beltway media takes these double standards for granted, accepts them as normal and even adopts them as their default framework.” From Rosenberg’s piece (emphasis added):
So what's more newsworthy: A white, privileged, female lawyer wearing pink shoes whose filibuster failed to stop abortion restrictions from taking effect in Texas, or a an African-American female state representative who sponsored and helped successfully shepherd a similar law through Louisiana's legislature — with overwhelming support from Democratic legislators? If you think it should be the latter, you obviously don't understand the priorities of the nation's establishment press.
The events in Texas have led to the gubernatorial candidacy of Democrat filibuster leader and media darling Wendy Davis. In June of this year, the legislature in next-door Louisiana passed a similar measure. Katrina Jackson's outspoken sponsorship and Democrats' majority support of the law has gotten nowhere near the attention Wendy Davis's shenanigans have received.
On the August 11 edition of CNN Newsroom, Brooke Baldwin invited fellow CNN host Don Lemon and former NYPD detective Gil Alba on the show to discuss the latest reports of unrest in Ferguson, Mo., following the shooting of an unarmed African-American teen. While the policeman bluntly stated that “there should never be rioting,” Lemon seemed to excuse the behavior, arguing that “when people are put in dire situations, you don't know how they are going to react.”
Alba argued that “when you have the riots, it kind of ruins anybody's having -- you know, trying to help out with this.” The looting allows for a few opportunistic people to use discourse for their own personal gain, and to destroy “their own community” instead of confronting the real “relationship between the police and the community.” The CNN Newsroom anchor remained unmoved and adhered to his position. [See vidoe below. Click here for MP3 audio]
A brief report at the neighborhood web site DNAinfo in New York City, which describes itself as "New York's leading neighborhood news source" with "award-winning journalists" on staff, exemplifies how weak and negligent reporting on urban crime can be.
A video capture of an assault in the City's West Greewich Village area shows a young black man first punching and knocking to the pavement a man who it turns out is in his 70s, and then running away. That video and most of how it was written up by reporter Natalie Musumeci follow the jump.
On the August 11 edition of Morning Joe, the MSNBC morning show aired a clip from Obama’s interview with Thomas Friedman that was transcribed in print in the August 9 edition of The New York Times. In the video, Friedman asked the president to comment on “the biggest difference between Democrats and Republicans.” According to Obama, the Democratic “consensus” is “a pretty common sense mainstream consensus” while the Republican consensus is based in “wacky ideological nonsense.”
That’s a heck of a way to reach across the aisle and work for bipartisan agreement on the nation’s pressing issues. Of course, the president’s partisan rhetoric has not been picked up by the Big Three broadcast networks. For its part, MSNBC only devoted 2 minutes and 18 seconds to the clip, 38 seconds of which was just a tease before a commercial break. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Amidst the discussion of ISIS’s offensive and Obama’s failed foreign policy with various political experts on the August 11 edition of Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough took the time to berate his fellow Republicans for refusing to “salute the President for being involved.” The host whined that he is “so sick and tired of the same people bitching and moaning about this President not doing things” and then going “on the Sunday shows and bitch and moan” when Obama actually “does things.”
Scarborough even went so far as to lecture former chief spokesperson for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq Dan Senor: “Will you do what a lot of Republicans didn't do this weekend and salute the President for being involved?” According to the MSNBC host, Republicans should support the President for “doing what we all know, what realists, what neo-con alike understand we have to do, we have to confront ISIS.” [ See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Fort Thomas Independent Schools in Northern Kentucky have decided to get out of the federal school lunch program, specifically because of the requirements imposed in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act championed by First Lady Michelle Obama. Simply put, the district is tired of being forced to give kids food they won't eat.
Until it ran into problems, HHFA was seen as Mrs. Obama's signature achievement, and the press fawned over its alleged awesomeness. Now that the program has encountered fierce real-world resistance, her association with it seems to have vanished from many press reports. One such report was filed by the Associated Press last month from the School Nutrition Association's annual convention in Boston. A local example appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer Saturday evening. Excerpts from that report by Jessica Brown follow the jump (bolds are mine):
To read the Associated Press's Friday evening coverage of a federal judge's refusal to block North Carolina's election law reforms from taking effect in the upcoming general election, you'd think it was an unsuccessful effort on the part of a group of poor Davids to defeat the Tar Heel State's government Goliath.
As J. Christian Adams at PJ Media noted shortly after the decision, it was nothing of the sort. Attorney General Eric Holder's Department of Justice weighed in heavily, and is in fact listed as the plaintiff in one of the three cases Federal District Judge Thomas D. Schroeder decided. Additionally, a prominent national law firm took the case on a pro bono basis for the allegedly aggrieved groups. I'll first look at a bit of what AP's Michael Biesecker and Gary D. Robertson wrote, and follow it with Adams's reality-based rendition.
Reid Cherlin, an Assistant Press Secretary during the first two years plus of the Obama administration, managed to deliver two laugh-worthy howlers in a piece for Rolling Stone posted this past Monday:
> “Barack Obama never had reporters eating out of his hand the way that right-wingers love to allege.”
> “I...believe he’ll be remembered as an excellent President.”
Yesterday, Roll Call and The Hill both relayed Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein's call, in Roll Call's words, "for a broader military campaign against ISIL, not just the targeted missions authorized by the president." She believes it is needed because "It has become clear that ISIL is recruiting fighters in Western countries ... and possibly returning them to European and American cities to attack us in our backyard."
Searches at their web sites indicate that the Associated Press and New York Times have not reported Feinstein's stark warning, which directly contradicts the President's January ridicule of ISIL/ISIS as the equivalent of junior varsity basketball players. At the Politico, in a worry-wart piece on "Obama's liberal problem," Seung Min Kim and Jeremy Herb shamefully omitted Feinstein's "in our backyard" warning — while covering the rest of what she said.
In an English language report at NDTV.com on Tuesday, Sreenivasan Jain, reporting from Gaza, witnessed a Hamas "rocket silo being created under a tent right next to the hotel where our team was staying."
His news team then "saw the rocket being fired, just before the 72-hour ceasefire came into effect." It would seem that Western news organizations who have seen their onsite reporters intimidated and threatened by Hamas in Gaza would jump at the opportunity to report some of the reality they've refrained from showing. But there's very little evidence that these organizations have used NDTV's work. Video and a portion of the report's accompanying text follow the jump.
Friday’s Morning Joe panel made sure to express how it was “disappointed” that a Minnesota restaurant had the audacity to put a “minimum wage fee” on its receipts after the state hiked the wage requirement. While Joe Scarborough acknowledged that “it's hard” for “small business owners running restaurants” he had no sympathy for the restaurant, which had received shocking blowback from its customers for simply specifying why it increased the bill by 35 cents.
The former congressman and MSNBC host, who reportedly earns $99,038 a week for his morning show, stated that he “understand(s) the difficulty of any extra burden” an increase in minimum wage exerts on small businesses. However, he concluded that “with the minimum wage as low as it historically is, you may not want to advertise your contempt for raising it a little bit on the bill.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
The left constantly and falsely characterizes the right, particularly those sympathetic to Tea Party-related causes, for their alleged incivility, racism, bigotry, nativism, blah-blah-blah.
This stereotype apparently drives Kevin Drum's contention, expressed at at Mother Jones, that Americans who say the believe that abortion is murder really don't feel that abortion is murder. After all, even the most passionate of abortion opponents generally engage in orderly protests, counsel guilt-ridden women who have had abortions, and work calmly and persistently to change abortion law and promote a culture of life. To Drum, the fact that they don't go ballistic upon learning of each and every abortion must somehow mean they don't really care that much, and — get this — that their opposition to abortion is really the product of sexual prudishness (bolds are mine):
It looks like Shannon Bream of Fox News lost a friendly bet with Brent Bozell, the president and founder of the Media Research Center, NewsBusters's parent company.
On last night's Kelly File, the fill-in anchor argued that the liberal broadcast networks would have to devote time to covering John Walsh if he bowed out of his Senate race due to his plagiarism scandal. Bozell insisted otherwise and placed a dinner wager on the table [Watch that video in the embed below, fast forward to 2:48 into the video]. Well, this afternoon Montana Democratic U.S. Senator John Walsh did indeed announce he was dropping out of the race, and, alas, neither ABC's World News nor CBS's Evening News nor the NBC Nightly News even made a passing reference to the development.
Ronan Farrow could barely contain his glee on his August 7 program at being able to work an odd twist in a border-crisis story that ensured the segment was a two-fer involving illegal immigrants and, wait for it, the transgendered.
As “schools across the country are bracing for up to 50,000" “undocumented migrants” -- MSNBC no longer refers to them as immigrants, let alone illegal ones -- the host of Ronan Farrow Daily reports, “an interesting wrinkle" has occurred in the form of Marichuy Leal Gamino, “an undocumented transgender woman held in custody with men.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
On Thursday, August 7, CBS This Morning’s coverage of President Obama’s Africa Summit consisted of a glowing puff piece on how being First Lady was like being in a sorority.
Rather than acknowledge the existence of President Obama’s news conference from Wednesday night, Major Garrett, CBS News Chief White House Correspondent, played up how “Michelle Obama and Laura Bush shared the summit stage with moderator Cokie Roberts and talked candidly about the hard knocks of political criticism.” [See video below.]
It's different when the MSM puts a Republican inside a bullseye, because, uh . . . Remember when in 2011 voices on the left from Keith Olbermann to Paul Krugman to the Huffington Post among many others suggested that Sarah Palin was at least partially to blame for the shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords because Palin had put out a map of House seats with bullseyes depicting districts, including Giffords', that Republicans were targeting? Krugman for example wrung his hands over the "climate of hate" that Palin and others on the right were supposedly fomenting, and predicted growing political violence in the years ahead.
Will those same leftists condemn the Daily Beast, which today featured a photo of Rand Paul inside a big red bullseye over a story headlined "Rand Paul = Democrats’ Enemy #1." Enemy #1? Bullseye? Oh, the humanity! View the photo after the jump.
Several months ago, based on several far from minor out-of-the-gate mistakes, I characterized the candidacy of the Democratic Party's challenger to incumbent Republican Governor John Kasich as "the wreck that is Edward FitzGerald."
In the past week, FitzGerald has utterly imploded. The latest revelation Tuesday afternoon, namely that he had "no license to drive at all from 2002 to 2008," leaves one wondering whether his party vetted him at all. Former Cleveland Plain Dealer editorial director Brent Larkin calls this "at or near the top of the list" of "bizarre developments" he's seen in 45 years of covering politics. Despite the fact that Ohio is a key battleground state and that Kasich had in some quarters been seen as vulnerable after his attempt at Scott Walker-like reforms went down in flames in 2011, national news about Fall-Apart FitzGerald is sparse — and when it appears, it's often made to look like a GOP dirty tricks exercise.
On August 6 the ladies of The View tackled the perpetually thorny hot topic of religion in the public square and moderator Whoopi Goldberg let slip her vehement disgust with religious Americans, but particularly it seems Christians, who pray in public over their food.
The discussion centered on a news item out of Georgia where a group of power-walkers were told by mall security that they were not allowed to bow their heads in group prayer, and “even saying grace at the food court wasn’t allowed.” The discussion quickly devolved into an argument between the two outspoken atheist at the table Whoopi Goldberg and guest host S.E. Cupp, complete with Goldberg clapping her hands in Cupp’s face and asking “Did you hear what I said?!” [See video below]
They had to invent Sarah Palin's supposedly most embarrassing gaffe when she was the vice-presidential nominiee in 2008. She never said, "I can see Russia from my house!" Comedienne Tina Fey did. As noted at NewsBusters several days ago, that hasn't altered the folklore.
You don't have to invent gaffes for Joe Biden, the man who became Vice President after the 2008 election. He generates them continually. The lists seen here and here contain many of the golden oldies through August of 2012. There have been plenty since then. His latest, following the jump, is a doozy. The smart money would be on the establishment press ignoring it, as they have the vast majority of the others.
On Tuesday, August 5, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that President Obama’s popularity reached its lowest point since he first took office in 2009. Overall, 54 percent of Americans disapprove of the job the president is doing compared to just 40 percent who approve.
Despite the record low numbers for President Obama, NBC Nightly News failed to cover its own polling results during their Tuesday night broadcast.
Amid the usual anti-Israel and anti-Tea Party articles peppering the July 5 homepage of The Daily Beast, one article stands out. In an post titled “In Kentucky, Elaine Chao Endures Racist Attacks From Liberals,” Republican operative Ron Christie calls attention to recent since-deleted tweets from Democratic PAC ElectWomen founder Kathy Groob.
After attending the Fancy Farm event in Kentucky in which Mitch McConnell praised his wife as the “biggest asset I have by far,” Groob tweeted:
Joe Scarborough today continued his new Morning Joe routine of making anti-Israel remarks and then shouting down anyone who disagrees. Unlike the previous editions of the MSNBC morning show in which the former congressman focused on insulting his critics in the media, on the July 5th edition, Scarborough opted to attack a recurring guest at the program’s roundtable discussions, Donny Deutsch, no conservative stalwart he.
The liberal advertising executive had the tenacity to disagree with the MSNBC host about his characterizations of Israel. After Scarborough invited Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd onto the show to emphasize the “deep dismay from the White House and the State Department toward what Israel has done” and how “you get the sense that Israel really listened” to their critiques, Deutsch commented “let’s just not forgot that Hamas is a terrorist organization and Israel is a democracy.” The former Florida Republican immediately became defensive, demanding “Who disagrees with that?” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
A popular blood libel Palestinian leaders and parents tell their people and children goes as follows: "Jews used to slaughter Christians in order to mix their blood in their holy matzos."
In the video (HT Twitchy) which follows the jump, Blitzer asks Hamas spokesman Osama Hamdan to confirm that the quoted words just cited are what he recently said and meant. Over nearly seven agonizing minutes, Hamdan never admitted to anything, but certainly conducted himself as if he had uttered those words. To his credit, Blitzer noted that the end of the segment that his question had not been answered, leaving reasonable viewers to believe Hamdan did say previously say them, and that the bare outlines of his attempted excuse, which was essentially a claim that "I was just repeating something someone else said," doesn't fly.
It would almost not be worth noting, because it's so predictable. On Fox News Sunday, Juan Williams, with strategic support at opportune times from National Journal's Ron Fournier, characterized the support within the Republican Party for impeachment as coming from "Tea Party opposition ... (with) no diversity, it's a white, older group of people."
What makes it worthy of notice is the fact that Michael Needham, head of Heritage Action for America, called out Williams for his comments and held his own as Fournier attempted to be the supposed voice of reason while really bringing aid and comfort to Williams. Video and a transcript follow the jump:
In a classic "bury the news we don't like" maneuver, MSNBC on Thursday rushed through reporting a drubbing of the Left by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, barely allowing viewers to comprehend the news.
As the music began to play before the mid-show hard break for commercial, a time usually reserved for light chatter or a "tease" for a big news report coming after the break, Crystal Ball, the substitute host for "The Reid Report" took a matter of mere seconds to report two major repudiations of the left.
Bill Maher is known for his pathological, frothing attacks on all things conservative. However, on the August 1 edition of Real Time With Bill Maher, the HBO host took a controversial stance for a liberal: he defended Israel. When his Iranian-American guest Reza Aslan argued that “Amnesty International...have found no evidence whatsoever of any kind of human shield being used,” Maher interrupted to state “It's a war. It's a war that Hamas started.”
The left-wing comedian continued, claiming that “somehow when Israel reacts to this, they have to do everything in a way that doesn't kill any civilians. People die in wars.” Maher repeated his sentiment from July 20, that “if the situation was reversed, Hamas would kill every single person in Israel. The reason that's not happening is because they can't. Because they can't doesn't make them good, it makes them weak.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
On Thursday, as Connor Williams at NewsBusters reported, Joe Scarborough at MSNBC "ripped Israel for their 'indiscriminate' attacks upon Gaza, and feared that this would only cause the conflict to worsen in the future." Specifically, Scarborough said that "this is asinine. This continued killing of women and children in a way that appears to be indiscriminate is asinine," and "we will rue the day that this is happening every day and women and children are being seen."
On Friday, as Laura Flint at NewsBusters noted, Scarborough attempted to walk back some of what he said, insulting his objectors by saying he would use "simple talk that simple minded people can understand." He was apparently so proud of what he said that he had it printed virtually verbatim at the Politico late Friday afternoon, complete with an emphatic, condescending title. Let's revisit the screed to make a few important points (produced in full because it has already been broadcast; bolds and numbered tags, used so Joe can better follow "simple-minded" points, are mine):
The Poynter Institute, which keeps an eye on all things journalistic, is maintaining a list of media people and institutions who have decided they are so enraged by the idea of calling the Washington Redskins the …well, you know..….that they will no longer participate in this heinous practice.