On Saturday morning, Tom Johnson at NewsBusters called attention to how Paul Waldman at The Week recently crowed about the Obama administration's supposedly scandal-free record consisting of "only piddling little scandalettes." Waldman's fever-swamp take is made even more hilarious by the fact that he considers George W. Bush's "selling of the Iraq War" a genuine scandal. But somehow, President Barack Obama's selling of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare — where even the reflexively leftist evaluators at Politifact labeled his core "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan" promise the Lie of the Year in 2013 — must not be a scandal, or is at worst a "piddling little scandalette."
On Fox News Sunday, in a segment comparing statements in the State Department Inspector General's report with claims Hillary Clinton has made about her emails and use of a home-brew private server while she was Secretary of State, host Chris Wallace had to endure Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff's obsessive insistence on bringing up former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who left office over 11 years ago, at seemingly every turn.
At one point in the Sunday morning segment, Wallace said, twice: "We’re done with Colin Powell," and then told Schiff that "I would expect more from you," clearly meaning, "I expected better." But then, after quoting a section of the IG's report noting that Powell was interviewed, while Mrs. Clinton, despite public assurances to the contrary, refused to cooperate with the investigation, Schiff basically said, "Aha, you brought up Powell!" Wallace's final comeback was priceless: "You know what? I’m not going to vote for Colin Powell for president this time." He did not give Schiff a chance to speak again — nor should he have.
Those poor, naive folks who have been expecting a mea culpa from Katie Couric for the deceptive insertion into her Under the Gun documentary of a long silence following a question directed at Virginia gun-rights supporters will be disappointed at what has transpired since the controversy arose.
As of Thursday afternoon, no one was genuinely apologizing for anything. Stephanie Soechtig, the film’s producer, employed a tired "I apologize if anyone was offended, but I didn't mean any harm" excuse — garbage which the Washington Post's Erik Wemple, as Tim Graham at NewsBusters noted, should cause anyone using it to lose "their standing as professionals." For her part, Couric issued a statement saying “I support Stephanie’s statement and am very proud of the film.” Early Thursday evening, however, Couric appeared to move into damage-control mode, but in a way that should forever earn her the nickname "Katie Coward."
Wednesday evening, Bill O Reilly at Fox News sharply criticized the Black Lives Matter movement, assigning it primary blame for the spike in violent urban crime seen throughout the nation since late 2014.
Though his monologue contained one significant exaggeration, his overall take — expressed in layman's terms, that the "Ferguson effect" is real — was spot-on. Leftists, up to and including President Obama, with the full cooperation of a sympathetic establishment press, have denied the linkage between the orchestrated attempt begun in Ferguson, Missouri in August 2014 to embed into the nation's consciousness the false idea that police are on a mission to gun down innocent black youths and the rising crime levels which have since arisen in so many of the nation's cities. O'Reilly also sharply rebuked the press, which has been far too quick to downplay the serious increase in urban crime and to ignore the violent records and actions of BLM and its leaders.
Liberal interviewers are quick to question reasonable but somehow "controversial" assertions made by Republicans and conservatives, while loony statements uttered by leftist interview subjects often slide right on by without challenge.
On Tuesday, MSNBC host Thomas Roberts heard Bernie Sanders delegate Angie Morelli claim that single-payer health insurance might "help those people out" who made "death threats" against Democratic Party officials after Nevada's contentious delegate selection process last week. Instead of bursting out in laughter or questioning Morelli as to how she could possibly believe what she had just said, Roberts wrapped up the segment as if she had just made a perfectly reasonable statement.
On Tuesday at TheFederalist.com, 2015 Noel Sheppard Blogger of the Year recipient Mollie Hemingway pointed to several outrageous examples of poor press coverage of the Supreme Court's unanimous move to send Obamacare's HHS contraception mandate case back to the lower courts.
Hemingway's core observation was that usually plaintiff-sympathetic establishment press outlets "suddenly have trouble even naming the Little Sisters of the Poor" until their stories' very late paragraphs. She even found that Adam Liptak's story at the New York Times, one of the establishment press's two primary gatekeepers, failed to mention the Little Sisters at all in a 1,283-word report. One item she did not cite was at the Associated Press, the other primary gatekeeper, where the coverage was in some respects even worse.
On Thursday, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell, following a meeting the previous day between some of the nation's top conservative leaders and company officials at Facebook, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg, "told Fox Business Network’s Neil Cavuto ... that he 'left encouraged' that the site wants to fix the 'erosion of trust' set forth by allegations of censoring conservative news topics."
An incident the previous week confirmed that Zuckerberg and Facebook have a genuine and serious credibility problem on their hands, as the site's "Trending Topics" monitors characterized a well-known actress's shout-out for the wonderful work done by a DC-area pregnancy and parenthood center as an "anti-abortion message."
Three offensive elements pervaded the Associated Press's Monday coverage of Hillary Clinton's statement that she will put her husband "in charge of revitalizing the economy." The first was how AP reporters Lisa Lerer and Catherin Lucey decided to resurrect the infamous "2-for-1 offer" then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton campaigned on in 1992 — an especially weak move, given its real-world results during the first two years of his presidency. The second was the reporters' implicit assumption that political beliefs are infinitely fungible if the old ones are getting in the way of a leftist's march towards victory. Finally, the AP pair engaged in blatant historical revisionism in glorifying the economy of the 1990s.
Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton believes we're supposed to be impressed by the idea of putting her husband Bill, in the Associated Press's words, "in charge of revitalizing the economy." Yep, the old "2-for-1" offer from the early 1990s is back.
In 1993, President Bill put First Lady Hill in charge of health care. Fortunately, nothing tangible resulted, but we did get an early lesson in the extremes of Clintonian secrecy and stonewalling. This time, a President Hill would put "First Dude" Bill — as the AP's Lisa Lerer and Catherine Lucey, brazenly stealing Sarah Palin's description of husband Todd while she was Alaska's Governor, prospectively described him on Monday — effectively in charge of the economy. Here's the big problem the press is virtually certain to ignore: Bill Clinton guaranteed in 2012 that the economy under a reelected Barack Obama would not need revitalization by now.
In mid-April, as I noted in a NewsBusters post, the Associated Press, apparently desperate to find any kind of good economic news that might offset the impact of an awful national industrial production report from the Federal Reserve, cited a positive manufacturing survey from just one state to claim that "goods production in the U.S. could be stabilizing."
Lo and behold, yesterday that same one-state survey, the Empire State Manufacturing Index, showed that manufacturing in New York went into the tank in May, dropping into serious contraction after just two months of expansion. The wire service produced a terse four-paragraph report on the news, and appears to taken measures keep the bad news away from much of the nation.
Consider this one small step in what should be a long series of such exposures of dishonest political posturing with media acquiescence by leftist politicians.
A week ago Sunday, John Dickerson, CBS News's brazenly biased Face the Nation host, who has among other things contended that Hillary Clinton’s email scandal is "a stupid issue," allowed the Democratic presidential frontrunner to go to her shopworn claim that she "was absolutely permitted" to conduct her private affairs and the nation's business simultaneously using one or more personal email accounts on her own private server. FactCheck.org and CNN's Jake Tapper took that claim apart — something the notoriously partisan Dickerson should have done in real time.
The establishment press has given an open mic to proponents of raising the minimum wage nationally, and has cheered $15-per-hour legislation passed in California and New York earlier this year as "historic."
The silence from those same quarters, e.g., the Associated Press, the New York Times and others, is deafening now that one of the predictions of those who have criticized such sharp increases, which take the minimum to double the current federal level of $7.25 and triple the $5.15 seen in early 2007, is beginning to come true. Critics have contended that employers would mechanize key processes to control their labor costs faster than they otherwise would have. That is exactly what The Wendy's Company, "the world's third-largest quick-service hamburger company," is about to start doing.