I'll be live-blogging the press conference (mostly just the questions from the journalists as we're focused on the bias) and if a video update is warranted, we'll post one shortly after the conference concludes:
10:44 closes press conference, leaves podium.
10:41: Mark Silva, Chicago Tribune, says reading Bush's body language he can tell he's "somewhat dispirited." Then he says "the facts have failed you" on things he's telling the American people. Quotes Harry Reid. "Are you feeling troubled... credibility gap?"
10:37: unid'd reporter "Wolf" asks about if Bush's personal relationship with the Democrats in Congress is affecting getting legislation through.
10:35: another unid'd reporter named "Wolf" asks Bush to react to 2008 U.S. presidential race
10:35: reporter asks if he discussed Russian elections with Putin
10:33: unidentified reporter asks Bush if in his conversation with Putin if he asked him to not sell uranium to Iran.
10:30: Baier, Fox News: "What does the vote in Venezuela mean for the U.S.? .... What's your reaction to Chavez opponents winning?"
The Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post are all referring to a package of recently-defeated Venezuelan constitutional amendments as "reforms." In reality, those so-called reforms were all bent on amassing more power and influence in the hands of Hugo Chavez.
Washington Post's Juan Forero gave readers early of the December 3 Home Edition article (published before the outcome of the December 2 referendum was finalized) an idea of what was at stake for everyday Venezuelans waking up this morning.:
For all their self-important huffing and blustering about "dictatorial" policies of the Bush administration, when it comes to standing up to actual dictators and reporting the truth, the American press usually takes the easy way out.
This ignominious tradition of pandering to the world's dictators began with Cuban ruler Fidel Castro and continues to this day. The Associated Press provides the most recent example (h/t Ace), wondering if Castro will be able to swing getting "elected" president:
City council officials in eastern Cuba nominated Fidel Castro for a parliament seat Sunday, a position the ailing 81-year-old must hold if he wants to remain the communist-run island's president after national elections in January.
Oh, how Old Media wants a recession. Too bad the economy isn't cooperating.
The latest Institute for Supply Management (ISM) report on the Manufacturing Sector, covering about 15% of the non-government economy, was just released this morning, and led as follows:
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in November for the 10th consecutive month, while the overall economy grew for the 73rd consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.
True, the reading of 50.8% was barely above the 50% cutoff point for expansion. But it's barely lower than the 50.9% turned in last month, and still came in slightly ahead of expectations, which averaged 50.4%, according to the Associated Press, and 50.7%, according to Bloomberg.
This makes three out of three fourth quarter ISM reports showing continued growth -- two in manufacturing, plus October's non-manufacturing report that came in at 55.8%, up from 54.8% in September. If Wednesday's ISM report on non-manufacturing for November comes in at 55.9% or higher, it will means that the economy as a whole, as ISM measures it, is not only growing, but growing faster. Recession, reschmession.
Al Gore must've gotten to the Associated Press and introduced to them his invention, the Internet, because they have announced a refit for the new news age. The New York Times spins some coverage for the venerable news wire service's newest venture, even taking the chance to extend a compliment for AP's creation of the "24-hour news cycle" (I know, that one made my head turn, too). So, at last the AP has decided the world has changed... took 'em long enough.
First off, let's dispense with the Times' claims that the AP invented the "24-hour news cycle."
Democrat Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton was hundreds of miles from a hostage crisis that occurred at a campaign facility in Rochester, New Hampshire, Friday, and had absolutely nothing to do with the matter's resolution.
Yet, the Associated Press - almost as if parroting talking points from one of Hillary's campaign workers - managed to not only give her credit for what local officials in the area did to quickly solve the takeover without any injury or loss of life, but also painted a picture of the junior senator as being presidential in the midst of a crisis.
NewsBuster Jason Aslinger reported earlier that Politico.com was similarly guilty of Clinton-sycophancy concerning this unfortunate event.
With that in mind, what follows is nothing less than sick-making, and I apologize for ruining your Saturday by sharing it with you (disgusted emphasis added because misery loves company, h/t to NB reader Damian G):
Have you noticed the genie concerning the real modus operandi behind climate alarmism beginning to peek its head out of the bottle lately?
After the United Nations announced earlier in the week that rich countries - code for America, of course - are going to have to pay billions of dollars to help poor nations deal with global warming, several international press outlets published articles of similar content.
Is it possible media are recognizing that since the Democrat presidential candidates are all advocating a tax the rich platform it is safe to begin discussing the need for developed nations to foot the bill for international global warming solutions?
Consider an op-ed published Friday by Britain's Guardian (emphasis added, reader is strongly advised to hide wallet or purse before proceeding):
Journalism's defenders often describe it as a profession or craft unto itself, and minimize the importance, or even sometimes the relevance, of subject matter expertise.
That lack of subject matter expertise, and the apparent unwillingness to seek out a source of that expertise when necessary, probably explain how a Hillary Clinton whopper has survived on the campaign trail for so long.
There's little the MSM likes more than to report the latest thing that's bad for us. Today's news brings a double-header of doom: night shifts and salt.
First, the AP reports that the UN's World Health Organization will soon list working the night shift "as a 'probable' cause of cancer."
Then Reuters informs us that the Center for Science in the Public Interest, arguing that excessive salt in Americans' diets is a major factor in high blood pressure and increases risk for heart disease, is urging stricter regulation of salt by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
A conservative comedian [yes, there are some], appears at a venue in a heavily-white suburb at a campaign event for a white candidate and tells his audience composed overwhelmingly of people of pallor they'd be embarrassed if they supported a black candidate and the white candidate won, saying "Oh no. I can't call him now. I had that black guy. What was I thinking?"
What are the odds the MSM would laugh it off?
But when Chris Rock does the equivalent on behalf of Barack Obama, the MSM raises nary an eyebrow. Rock appeared last night at an event for Barack Obama at Harlem's famed Apollo Theater and said:
"You'd be real embarrassed if he won and you wasn't down with it. You'd say, 'aw man, I can't call him now. I had that white lady. What was I thinking?'"
According to the Associated Press, folks who are "foreign-born" are "newcomers" who "feel anything but welcome" in the Chicago suburb of Waukegan, Illinois. The AP piece leads the reader to imagine that several of the town's laws have been specifically written to chase out Mexicans and that the immigrant community (legal or otherwise) in Waukegan is feeling pressure to get out. Yet, upon close examination of this AP piece, one cannot help but realize that the AP does not offer any statistics to prove that Mexican residents are leaving in any numbers, they don't cite any rise in arrests of Spanish speakers there to indicate possible harassment, nor do they even quote anyone to "prove" their contention but one Yolanda Torrez, a lawyer who specializes in criminal, DUI traffic violations, Social Security and DWL traffic violations cases for Spanish-speaking clients. In the final analysis, the AP offers no proof whatsoever that "foreign-born" residents are afraid or truly being discriminated against at all. They just state it as a fact using a single, biased person's words to assert it.
As NewsBusters has been reporting for many months, one of the key elements to the advancement of global warming hysteria is money, in particular, taking it from those that have to give to those that don't.
Of course, during this time, the media have been less than forthcoming concerning this inconvenient truth.
A fine example of where all this alarm is heading was surprisingly reported by the Associated Press Tuesday.
In a piece hysterically titled "Poor in Need of Help From Global Warming," AP author John Heilprin exposed - with tugs at the heartstrings, of course - the real modus operandi behind the hysteria (emphasis added throughout, h/t NBer DontFeedTheTrolls):
Old Media reporters have worked themselves into such a lather trying to talk down the economy that you have to wonder if retailers got lulled into believing them.
The Associated Press's report on Black Friday sales by reporter Anne D'Innocenzio went through the normal good news/"yeah, but" routine (bolds are mine throughout).
First, the good news:
The nation's retailers had a robust start to the holiday shopping season, according to results announced Saturday by a national research group that tracks sales at retail outlets across the country.
According to ShopperTrak RCT Corp., which tracks sales at more than 50,000 retail outlets, total sales rose 8.3 percent to about $10.3 billion on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, compared with $9.5 billion on the same day a year ago. ShopperTrak had expected an increase of no more than 4 percent to 5 percent.
But in bringing out the supposed "bad news," D'Innocenzio may have inadvertently exposed a retailer miscalculation:
Abracadabra seems to be the magic word - at least for one New Hampshire Democrat and United Press International (UPI).
Prosecutors in Strafford County are claiming in court papers that former congressional candidate, Gary Dodds (D-NH) staged his own car accident and faked his disappearance in 2006 in order to garner sympathy and support for his weak campaign.
*****Update at end of post includes detailed response to unhappy e-mail messages concerning this subject.
As someone that has done a lot of economic writing and financial media analysis, I'm used to gloom and doom from journalists.
However, Saturday's Associated Press article concerning the credit crunch and how it's impacting the mortgage market could be the worst example of economic and financial misreporting and exaggeration I've seen since the press universally forecast an economic downturn after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.
Entitled "Have We Seen the Worst of the Mortgage Crisis," Joe Bel Bruno's piece actually suggested that a depression could be looming, and that housing prices in some areas could decline by 40 percent (emphasis added):
The AP has used the somewhat heartwarming tale of an illegal alien who found an American boy and his mother suffering from a car accident in the Arizona desert and stayed with them until help arrived as an excuse to plead that illegals aren't "criminals" and should somehow be given a break. The AP tried to pin this wild leap in logic on Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada, but they offer no quote marks around the sentence, so it is hard to say if the Sheriff really said that or the AP was extrapolating and putting words in the Sheriff's mouth. Still, that this one illegal did something morally right even while he was breaking our laws, does not erase all the illegalities and law breaking that every other illegal immigrant has done over the last 30 years. Nor does it erase the fact that this particular illegal was breaking the law even as he was nice enough to help the little boy and his mother.
You know the drill. An elected Democrat gets in trouble with the law, and the party label might as well be in the witness protection program when it comes to some reporters at the AP. Now, in this particular case the infraction is minor --a traffic violation bearing a $75 fine -- but all the same writer Carla K. Johnson left out a Chicago congressman's party label in her November 23 story:
CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois congressman said he was a victim of racial profiling when police gave him a traffic ticket alleging he swerved over the center line.
U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, who is black, said he will go to traffic court to challenge the $75 ticket given to him early Monday by two white officers.
"I'm not one of these people who cry racism," Davis told The Associated Press on Friday. "I'm a person who believes in hard work and follows the rules."
In the past couple of days, you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting an hysterical press report concerning an excerpt of former White House press secretary Scott McClellan's soon to be released book seemingly implicating President George W. Bush in lying about the Valerie Plame Wilson affair.
Those guilty of premature emasculation will likely be distraught over statements by the book's publisher indicating the media overreacted to the 121 words posted at Public Affairs Books.com Monday which were part of a marketing campaign to rollout upcoming spring printings.
The amazing discovery that apparent embryonic stem cells can be made in the laboratory without destroying human embryos could be spun as a victory for pro-lifers, who have been mercilessly mocked as the Antonym of Science for suggesting any delay in crushing embyros in the hope of finding other methods that would be less destructive of human life. That media spin hasn’t happened. But look at how some reporters are still skirting around the hard, cold fact of embryo destruction for research. Here’s NBC on Wednesday morning, courtesy of MRC’s Justin McCarthy:
ANN CURRY: There is a potential breakthrough in stem cell research to report this morning. Scientists have found the way to create stem cells without using human embryos. NBC's chief science correspondent Robert Bazell has more now....
ROBERT BAZELL: Many people, including President Bush, are thrilled with the research, because it does not use embryos, which have been the only source of embryonic stem cells.
Those who believe in the civil right that the Second Amendment was created to protect were not surprised when the Supreme Court decided today to hear a case that challenges the District of Columbia's draconian gun laws, which are arguably the toughest in the nation.
The AP story on the decision correctly notes that the case "could produce the most in-depth examination of the constitutional right to ‘keep and bear arms' in nearly 70 years."
D.C. law only permits those people who had handguns when the gun-prohibition law was enacted 31 years ago to keep them, creating a privileged class of D.C. residents who, unlike the rest of us, have the ability to defend themselves from the thugs who terrorize large portions of the city. The blatantly unconstitutional law hasn't worked, and The Onion rightly mocked D.C.'s skyrocketing violent crime rate in a satirical news story in 2003, D.C. Once Again Murder Capital, Mayor Brags.
The U.S. military plans to seek a criminal case in an Iraqi court against an award-winning Associated Press photographer but is refusing to disclose what evidence or accusations would be presented.
An AP attorney on Monday strongly protested the decision, calling the U.S. military plans a “sham of due process.” The journalist, Bilal Hussein, has already been imprisoned without charges for more than 19 months.
Here is the kind of lapse in logic that drives me crazy (no pun intended). The AP today has a story headline that just makes me cringe: "SUV plunges into canal, killing 7 people inside." Now here is the problem, HOW did an SUV go about killing these poor people? Did it unpark itself, drive across town, slam open its doors and gobble up some folks waiting at a bus stop and then drive them into a canal? Should we be wary of every SUV on the street for fear that it may kidnap us only to drive us off cliffs or into canals? Or is it more likely, AP, that a driver was responsible for killing the passengers INSIDE the SUV? Isn't it a tad more likely that the SUV did not kill anyone, but that the actions of the human at its wheel was the culprit?
1. Venezuela's Hugo Chavez calls former Spanish prime minister Aznar a "fascist." 2. Chavez interrupts current Spanish prime minister Zapatero. 3. Spanish King Juan Carlos tells Chavez to "shut up."
Let me get this straight. King Carlos of Spain started this?
According to a Nov., 11th AP story, it was Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who first "triggered the exchange by repeatedly referring to former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar as a ‘fascist.'" Chavez, reportedly also piled on the defamatory remarks by adding, "Fascists are not human. A snake is more human."
The AP account proceeds to lay out the course of events:
Spain's current socialist prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, responded during his own allotted time by urging Chavez to be more diplomatic in his words and respect other leaders despite political differences.
Did you hear about that challenge famed oilman T. Boone Pickens made on November 6 when he offered $1 million to anyone that could disprove even one charge made against Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth?
Like most people that weren't at the American Spectator dinner the evening Pickens made the offer, you probably didn't learn about this until Kerry accepted the challenge ten days later.
I guess that's when media outlets figured it was news, for at that point, they circled the wagons, and jumped all over a story that had gone totally ignored for nine days.
As reported by the Associated Press Friday (h/t Dan Gainor):
The New York Times newspaper headlined its article about the recently concluded United Nations-sponsored Internet conference in Brazil as US Control of Internet Remains Issue. However, as is usual with the Times, while the tone of the article was complaining about the fact that the United States maintains control over the core Internet, they offered no evidence that handing over control to a foreign or even worse, a UN-controlled entity would be better. As the Associated Press article used by the Times reports,
A U.N.-sponsored Internet conference ended Thursday with little to show in closing the issue of U.S. control over how people around the world access e-mail and Web sites. With no concrete recommendations for action, the only certainty going forward is that any resentment about the American influence will only grow as more users from the developing world come online, changing the face of the global network.
On Monday, NewsBusters reported the ironic occurrence of a Missouri newspaper firing a former journalism professor for plagiarism.
At the time, I wrote, "I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry."
Well, new information suggests the latter, as the piece which started the brouhaha, a November 3 column by professor emeritus John Merrill, was critical of a new department for women's and gender studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia (emphasis added):
In our never-ending quest to identify the worst - nay best - example of Bush Derangement Syndrome in the media, NewsBusters disrespectfully offers the following.
Even though George W. Bush is not an actor, he not only made a listing of Hollywood's coldest people, he topped it.
You've got to be kidding!
As reported by the Associated Press Wednesday (h/t NB reader tracyz20, emphasis added):
The online magazine Film Threat placed Bush at the top of its "Frigid 50," an annual ranking of the "least-powerful, least-inspiring and least-intriguing people in Hollywood" in contrast to the "hot" lists that celebrity magazines often compile.
Thinking the AP must have been mistaken, I ambled over to Film Threat's website, and confirmed the lunacy (emphasis added):