In what many may see as a "pigs fly" moment, actor Richard Dreyfuss, long known for his involvement in leftist causes up to and including efforts to impeach George W. Bush, appeared on Mike Huckabee's weekend Fox News program to promote the importance of U.S. citizens knowing "our constitution or our history."
He went further, noting that "the constitution is the most single greatest step toward humans improving civilization since the beginning of man's sojourn on earth." Those aren't exactly the typical messages we see delivered by the Hollywood or media elites these days. Instead, those groups seem to be doing all they can to ignore very significant encroachments on our fundamental freedoms originating in Washington. [See video below.]
The estimated cost of the initial segment of California's bullet train, Golden State Governor Jerry Brown's pet project, has (excuse the pun) just shot up from $6.19 billion to $7.13 billion. If this is the only overrun encountered in this opening phase, which would be atypical, and if the California High Speed Rail Authority has similar experiences during the remainder of the project, assuming it's ever completed, its cost will rise from a currently estimated $68 billion to about $78 billion.
Obviously a big cost overrun is news. But normally, evidence of an attempted government coverup of such an overrun is even bigger news. But not at the Los Angeles Times. The paper's Ralph Vartabedian kept it out of his headline and waited until his story's ninth paragraph to note it. Even then, his description was needlessly vague. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
While I was aware that a fever-swamp Democrat in Wisconsin was planning to pass out Ku Klux Klan hoods at some kind of Wisconsin Republican gathering, I had no idea until this morning that the Associated Press actually considered it a national story back on May 1. It was really even more than a national story at the self-described "essential global news network." It was so vital that the nation know about this offensive plan that the AP carried it at its "Big Story" site.
I should have figured that Scott Bauer, the bitter critic of Republican Governor Scott Walker disguised as an AP reporter, would be the guy who thought that devoting 13 paragraphs and over 400 words to Democratic State Representative and gubernatorial candidate (seriously) Brett Hulsey's anticipated stunt was a worthwhile expenditure of precious journalistic time and resources. Given that level of original attention, the wire service should have followed up (but of course didn't) with a national story noting that Hulsey abandoned the KKK hood idea, but still showed up at the May 2-4 Badger State GOP Convention to call out Republicans as racists — and, as captured in the following video (HT The Blaze), was confronted by a "colorful" Republican attendee:
On Friday, Glenn Kessler at the Washington Post (HT Hot Air) gave "Four Pinocchios" (i.e., a "Whopper") to a statement President Barack Obama made about Senate Republicans' filibuster track record on Wednesday in a speech at a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee dinner in Los Angeles.
In the process, Kessler essentially delivered a rebuke to reporters who cover Obama. Every one of them should have recognized that his DCCC claim that "since 2007, they (Republicans) have filibustered about 500 pieces of legislation that would help the middle class" is false. For it to be true, GOP senators would have had to average 68 filibusters per year only of middle-class relevant bills for the past 7-1/3 years. With the Senate being in session an average of just under 112 days per year during the time involved, that' an impossible frequency of more than one every other day. Excerpts from Kessler's critique follow the jump (links are in original; bolds are mine):
Watch Jodi Miller zing the liberal media and liberal politicians in the latest edition of NewsBusted, embedded below the page break. Sign up for NewsBusted in your email here. Subscribe to the NewsBusted channel on YouTube by visiting here.
One of the Indiana University professors who recently found that almost four times as many journalists self-identify as Democrats than as Republicans doesn't believe that that imbalance causes biased reporting.
IU's Lars Willnat remarked to Salon magazine that "we don’t think that our findings reflect a ‘liberal media bias’...Journalists’ political preferences don’t usually translate into political bias in news coverage unless they are working for openly partisan news media. Their professional norms and values, as well as market pressures, prevent most of them from being biased politically.”
During an interview with Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday's MSNBC Daily Rundown, NBC political director Chuck Todd challenged Reid's suggestion that Republicans were solely to blame for legislation not getting through Congress: "You don't believe Democrats play any role in this? It feels like a tit-for-tat game....you don't belief there's any tit-for-tat going on here?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Reid launched into a rant against supposedly unfair media coverage: "One of the problems that the press has in modern-day journalism is everything you do is a tit for tat. You won't call things the way they actually exist. What has happened here is the Republicans have stopped everything from happening....So, you can give me the tit for tat all you want, but the fact is we want to legislate. We want to legislate, we want to take votes."
"George W. Bush is a racist." Those where the first words I heard about modern American politics when I came here to study back in 2000. How did my friends know? Well, he was the Republican candidate. I wouldn’t want to be associated with someone like that, so I became a Democrat.
That scenario is not uncommon. That is how a large number of Hispanics get their feet wet in American politics. Conservatives are against other races, other countries and the poor, aren’t they? That general view of distrust for those racist southern conservatives is reinforced constantly in the media. Not that they are all racists, but everyone knows about that elusive “racist element” discussed all day on MSNBC and every day in the pages of the New York Times. The same narrative is showcased on Univision and in Hispanic newspapers all over the country.
Once again, as it did a month ago in two separate stories, the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, left the name of Lois Lerner, the former IRS official who ran its section on tax-exempt organizations, out of its headline and opening paragraph. This time, for good measure, AP reporter Stephen Ohlemacher didn't reveal Lerner's name until Paragraph 3.
Before getting to Ohlemacher's journalistic malpractice, let's take a look at the how the Politico handled the same story of Congress holding Ms. Lerner in contempt yesterday, and at one example of how the AP itself covered the story of another controversial figure's anticipated congressional appearance in the 1980s.
If I didn't know any better, I might have thought, based on an Associated Press report tonight by business writer Bernard Condon prepared with the help of four others, that governments everywhere had reinstituted child labor for those as young as six years old.
That's the only way to support the claims Condon made about how the birth dearth in the developed world driven by the 2008 financial crisis is responsible for the current worldwide economic malaise. This desperate grasping at straws is apparently necessarily because the press will never blame the ineffectiveness of Keynesian fiscal policies and national banks' interventions in the developed world's economies, which are really the culprits. Excerpts from Condon's calamity follow the jump (bolds are mine):
In his "analysis" on Tuesday's U.S. District Court ruling which called a halt to "a secret investigation into his 2012 recall campaign and conservative groups that supported" Scott Walker, Wisconsin's Republican Governor, Scott Bauer at the Associated Press basically gave away what the prosecution's agenda really has been all about.
It really hasn't been about cleaning up political campaigns, or whatever other similar tired bromides the Walker-hating left dishes out from time to time. It's been about hurting Walker's reelection effort this fall and punishing him for reforming public-sector collective bargaining in the Badger State. Short of that, it's an attempt to marginalize him as a potential 2016 presidential candidate by smearing him with the "under investigation" and "scandal" tags. Let's start with the opening paragraphs of Bauer's bluster (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Robert Costa's disdain for Tea Party-sympathetic conservatives was quite evident tonight in his coverage of Republican House Speaker John Boehner's primary victory at the Washington Post. Costa, a former writer at National Review, even insulted the noble pursuits of justice and the truth regarding Benghazi and the IRS's targeting of conservative and other groups by calling them "red meat for the tea party faithful."
The WaPo reporter characterized Boehner as having "swatted away" his opposition without revealing that the Speaker got only 69 percent of the vote. Yes, I wrote "only." Costa himself noted that "a sitting speaker still has never been defeated in a primary election," but didn't disclose Boehner's percentage of the vote. That's odd to say the least. I don't recall a sitting speaker ever losing 31 percent of the vote in a party primary, and it's possible that it has never happened outside of circumstances involving scandal or crime. I certainly don't recall a sitting speaker opening his wallet to defend his seat in a primary as Boehner did. Excerpts and analysis follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Michael Hirsh is the recently named National Editor at Politico Magazine, an effort which turning is out to be to the left of the crumbling Time Magazine and the for-now defunct Newsweek. One of Hirsh's career lowlights — he probably thinks it's a highlight — is his December 2008 contention that President George W. Bush having a shoe thrown at him in Iraq "was somehow appropriate."
Lest there be any doubt as to the possibility that there will be fair and balanced reporting on Benghazi on Hirsh's watch, I give you excerpts from "The Benghazi-Industrial Complex; Will the pseudo-scandal be enough to stop Hillary from running?" — wherein Hirsh plows new groveling ground (bolds are mine):
In stark contrast to the celebratory "AMERICAN ECONOMY BOUNCES BACK FROM BRUTAL WINTER" headline Friday afternoon at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, Ben White's "Morning Money" report at the Politico is notably concerned about whether Friday's "vexing jobs report" justifies the kind of optimism the AP conveyed with seeming finality in its headline.
To be fair, the underlying AP report by Chris Rugaber and Josh Boak pointed to several weaknesses in the jobs report. But to be appropriately critical, as I noted yesterday, they took it as a virtual given that the economy will turn in full-year growth of "nearly 3 percent." Achieving that result will require second-half annualized growth of nearly 4 percent — a level would likely cause the Federal Reserve to put on the brakes by raising interest rates to stave off inflation. In a separate post, I also criticized the AP pair for presenting economists's estimates of 3.5 percent annualized growth in the second quarter without telling readers that their prediction is premised on the first quarter's current 0.1 percent result getting revised downward into contraction.
¡Ay caramba! Imagine the cries of offensive ethnic stereotyping or worse if Fox News had observed Cinco de Mayo by having one of its yanqui persons of pallor stagger across the set in a sombrero while chugging from a bottle of tequila?
But it happened on MSNBC, so the PC police probably won't make a peep. At today's transition from Way Too Early to Morning Joe, there pranced producer Louis Burgdorf with his Halloween-store sombrero and pint bottle. WTE host Thomas Roberts encouraged Burgdorf "to drink the whole thing and eat the worm," meaning either it was mezcal not tequila or Roberts just doesn't know his south-of-the-border booze. View the video after the jump.
This morning (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that Friday afternoon's coverage of the government's jobs report at the Associated Press by economics writers Christopher Rugaber and Josh Boak carried predictions of "nearly 3 percent" economic growth this year. Those predictions ignore how difficult achieving that will be after the first quarter's miserable 0.1 percent annualized result and "most economists'" estimates that the second quarter will come in at 3.5 percent. Those two results require average annualized growth of 3.9 percent during the third and fourth quarters — something the economy hasn't seen in ten years. Additionally, it appears that if the Federal Reserve under Janet Yellen sees that kind of growth, it will put on the brakes by raising interest rates in the name of heading off inflation.
Since they were entertaining predictions about future developments, it's more than a little odd that the AP pair chose to ignore many analysts' predictions that the first quarter's GDP result will move into contraction when it gets revised in future months — especially since those downward revisions, supposedly reflecting deferred growth, partially justify their 3.5 percent second-quarter prediction. It sure looks like Rugaber and Boak were selective in deciding what they would report.
In a Friday afternoon dispatch issued in the wake of the government's jobs report earlier that day, Christopher Rugaber and Josh Boak at the Associated Press wrote that "most economists ... forecast a strong rebound in economic growth - to a 3.5 percent annual rate in the current April-June quarter. And growth should reach nearly 3 percent for the full year, up from 1.9 percent in 2013, they expect."
There are two problems with that prediction. The first lies in how strong the third and fourth quarters will have to be for the economy to get "nearly 3 percent" for the full year, given the tiny first-quarter annualized growth of 0.1 percent reported on Wednesday. The second and perhaps more crucial issue is that the full-year estimate significantly exceeds the "altered assessment" at the Fed concerning how fast it thinks the economy can grow without running the risk of igniting inflation.
In June 2006, the New York Times, over strident pleas not to from the Bush 43 administration, published details of how counterterrorism officials were "tracing transactions of people suspected of having ties to Al Qaeda by reviewing records from the nerve center of the global banking industry." According to the administration, the program had "helped in the capture of the most wanted Qaeda figure in Southeast Asia." Other outlets like the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times, which were apparently on the brink of breaking what the Times reported first, also chipped in with their own supplements. The stories received prominent network TV coverage, and reinforced the image of the Bush administration as secretive and far less than transparent.
So the details of how the government was monitoring the operation of the world's financial system to obtain clues to help catch terrorists apparently deserved full exposure. If that's fine, why has the press been barely interested in a far more troubling development, namely Eric Holder's U.S. Department of Justice using pressure on the financial system to conduct "a massive government overreach into private businesses that are operating within the law," which has been going on for at least a year? Welcome to "Operation Choke Point."
The liberal media all too often confuses temperamentally "low-key" red-state Democrats for moderates when their voting record is anything but.
The latest example comes today in Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold's 40-paragraph front-page profile for Sen. Mark Pryor, who is facing a tight reelection battle against the "sharply conservative" Tom Cotton. Pryor's "personality matches his politics: He is low-key and averse to big changes," Fahrenthold offered a few paragraphs after uncritically allowing Pryor to insist he's:
One day after accusing the press of ignoring the Benghazi scandal in order to protect President Obama, on Thursday's O'Reilly Factor, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly ripped into the media yet again: "Does it get any worse than that in our democracy?...The Obama administration was completely derelict in the Benghazi terror attack and was dishonest in the aftermath. And the national press doesn't give a damn? Disgraceful." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
O'Reilly cited desperate spinning of the controversy by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and observed: "While Carney may think the press corps is stupid, he knows the press corps doesn't care, and that's why he says these outrageous things. He knows the coverage will be minimal, except on Fox News."
House Republicans determined that just two-thirds of ObamaCare enrollees paid their first month's premium in the federal marketplace, but the broadcast networks ignored their finding on Thursday evening, while FNC's Special Report with Bret Baier devoted a full story. If true, the report would drastically undercut the White House's number of ObamaCare enrollees.
A report by the House Energy and Commerce Committee found that, according to data from all insurance providers, "only 67 percent of individuals and families that had selected a health plan in the federally facilitated marketplace had paid their first month’s premium and therefore completed the enrollment process."
On Thursday evening, ABC was the only broadcast network to cover the day's congressional hearing on the Benghazi attacks. Both CBS and NBC ignored the hearing. ABC only covered the story for 46 seconds; they gave twice that amount of coverage to the U.S. Olympic speedskating suits.
World News quoted retired Air Force Brigadier General Robert Lovell, at the U.S. Africa Command headquarters during the attacks, telling Congress that the military "should have done more" to respond. ABC also included the White House's response that according to top military brass, no units were close enough to respond. What ABC didn't include was Lovell's implied answer to that excuse: "The point is we should have tried."
Wednesday's Colbert Report, in an apparent boost to Democrats before November's mid-term elections, mocked GOP congresswoman Renee Ellmers and hosted her Democratic opponent Clay Aiken for a friendly interview.
Host Stephen Colbert made it clear who he supports for North Carolina's second congressional district. He mocked the "message of hope" Ellmers sent to furloughed federal workers after she voted to shut down the government and joked, "if she weren't enough of a shoe-in already, get a load of who the Democrats are running against her." [See video below. Audio here.]
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's group Everytown For Gun Safety was also present — but barely. Media coverage of that group's activities largely tiptoed around the tiny number of people, some allegedly paid, the group was able to gather. Let's start with a Sunday morning report from NPR's Bill Chappell (bolds are mine throughout this post):
CNN's Jake Tapper gave a full segment to Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson calling Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas an "Uncle Tom," but the broadcast networks completely ignored the controversy on Wednesday evening.
The networks' blackout of a Democrat using a racial insult against a Justice shows a clear double standard after their deluge of coverage of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling's racist remarks about his players. And just last week, the networks highlighted Republicans and conservatives who supported rancher Cliven Bundy's stand against the federal authorities but who had to backtrack after Bundy's racist rant went public.
When several members of Congress set out in the early 1990s to improve fiscal reporting and internal controls in the federal government, one thing they certainly had a right to expect is that the press would report on lapses as embarrassments, and that otherwise nonchalant or reluctant bureaucrats would figure out that it would be in their best interest to tighten their ships. It hasn't happened, largely because the press quickly got bored, enabling the bureaucrats to thumb their noses at those who called them out for weak reporting or control violations.
To name just one glaring example: Concerning the Internal Revenue Service, in August of last year, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration happily reported "the downgrade of the information security material weakness to a significant deficiency during the Fiscal Year 2012 financial statement audit," and that "the IRS removed it from the December 31, 2012, remediation plan" (that's bureaucratese for "finally solved the problem") — 19 years after it was first identified in 1993. In that context, let's look at an outrageous situation at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Wednesday April 30, Chuck Todd tried to spin the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll that shows half of Americans disapprove of Obama as “Improvement” for the Democrat.
Despite Todd’s desperate attempts to put a rosy picture on Obama’s flailing poll numbers, his analysis differs greatly from the pundits at The Wall Street Journal. James Freeman, assistant editor of WSJ’s editorial page, argues that “A mere 8% of respondents in the new survey say that the Affordable Care Act 'is working well the way it is'.”
General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt has made nice with President Barack Obama on several occasions. Among other things, he chaired the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, which met a grand total of four times in 2011 and 2012 before it was unceremoniously allowed to expire a year later. He fully expected that his company would benefit from its involvement in green energy and its membership in the U.S. Climate Action Partnership. He also endeared himself to Team Obama by calling "other U.S. business leaders greedy and mean."
In more than a minor comeuppance, as well as the latest evidence that business-related news reflecting badly on the Obama administration almost never escapes the business pages and center-right blogs and outlets, Inmelt's company has seen its medical division hit hard by the onset of Obamacare. Portions of Bloomberg News's original April 17 report follow the jump.
Reacting to the contents of Benghazi-related emails finally obtained and published by Judicial Watch, Hounshell asked, "Can you point me to a credible, authoritative story saying the WH knowingly pushed a false narrative?" Well Blake, on the off-chance that you're really interested in the truth instead of serving as one of your organization's lead Obama administration lapdogs, I give you the Tuesday night writeup from an investigative journalist who, per her "about" page, has won four national Emmy Awards and has been nominated for eight others.
The latest NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll found that President Obama’s approval was up slightly from his all-time low of 41 percent in March and NBC did its best to spin the 44 percent approval as good news for President Obama.
Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Wednesday, April 30, NBC’s Chuck Todd spun how “The poll numbers are better, they're still not good, okay? There is slight improvement on the health care law. And that directly related to slight improvement for President Obama.” [See video below.]