An early review of press coverage relating to this morning's warning by General Motors that "there is substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern" shows no coverage of the reason why, despite $13.4 billion in taxpayer money (NOT counting bailout money going to GMAC), things have gotten so much worse so quickly.
The reason is that sales in the two full months since the Bush-approved, Obama-cheered bailout took place have tanked (see graphic at this NB post yesterday):
December 2008 (last [mostly] pre-bailout month) — down 31.2%
January 2009 (first full bailout month) — down 48.9%
February 2009 (second full bailout month — down 53.1%
Press reports I have seen are saying nothing about this frightening decay in the past 60 days:
CNN commentator Jack Cafferty flat out admitted in a CNN.com commentary on Tuesday that he is “developing a crush on America’s first lady,” Michelle Obama: “Michelle Obama is more compelling than her husband. He’s good, but she’s utterly fascinating....Mrs. Obama has blown away the stale air in a White House musty from eight years of the Bushes. It’s like the sun came out and a fresh spring breeze began wafting through the open windows.”
Such high praise for a member of the Obama family isn’t something new for Cafferty. Almost a week earlier, the CNN commentator gushed over President Obama’s seeming calm in the midst of all the serious issues that the country faces: “...[O]ur president seems remarkably unruffled by all of this, serene in an inner confidence that he’s got what it takes to lead this country back into the sunlight.”
Back on January 29, we discussed the daily strategy phone call engineered by Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel for friendly TV commentators and "reporters." Politico reported that Emanuel has a daily phone conference call with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, and CNN's James Carville and Paul Begala. With Rush Limbaugh's raucous CPAC address, as he termed it his "first address to the nation," we can see at least one example of what is likely an attack strategy resulting from the Emanuel phone session with a rush to bash Rush the day after the appearance. [Image credit: politico.com]
As soon as the sun rose on the day after Limbaugh's CPAC appearance, three of the four of the phone call participants attacked Limbaugh with the same talking points. It seems obvious that they coordinated their attack together in the Obama secret strategy session. It is amazing that a president's staff can have such power over major media figures without a peep being heard from those that only months ago bashed former presidents over a perceived undue, even "dangerous," control of the media.
Once again CNN goes over the top in its gobsmacked praise of its Obammessiah. This time appropriating Ronald Reagan's famous "morning in America" theme and assigning it to President Obama as a result of his not-the-state-of-the-union speech last night. In reality, Obama's speech was more like a moaning in America as opposed to that bright new morning that Reagan invoked.
Worse, Reagan's main theme for his "morning in America" ideal was to provoke Americans into a renewal of the American way of self-reliance, one removed from sucking at the teat of government. On the other hand, Barack Obama's main point was that without government, without The One and all his fixes, we are all doomed.
It was obvious to anyone's ears that Obama's theme was as far removed as Reagan's as can be.
Remember that juicy story last week of the Chinese mistress that convinced her rivals and her lover to go for a drive? The mistress that then drove them all off a cliff in revenge for being dumped for one of the rivals by the lover?
Great story. It had pathos, humor, revenge and... apparently it never happened. The U.S. media picked this story up from the Chinese speaking media and ran with it last week but obviously didn't do much by way of checking the accuracy of the tale. Turns out the Chinese "reporter" that wrote the story pulled a Jayson Blair -- he made up the whole thing.
It was 69-year-old Carole Dunham’s last request: she would like to “be a home for fish.” That’s right; she wanted her remains to construct an artificial, underwater reef.
Valerie Streit, of CNN, wrote an article highlighting the Green Burial Council, a nonprofit organization that accommodates the last wishes of those who desire to minimize their final carbon footprint. Streit quotes only the eco-friendly death-care providers, ignoring any who might be oppose this particular type of “burial.”
Streit writes that while dying may be very natural, modern burying rituals such as “formaldehyde-based solutions” and “concrete vaults” are not at all “nature-friendly.” The Green Burial Council's executive director Joe Sehee supported the basis for Streit’s point by saying that “We can rebuild the Golden Gate Bridge with that amount of metal,” he said referring to Streit’s figure that the U.S. buries 1.6 million tons of reinforced concrete, and 90,000 tons of steal each year. “The amount of concrete is enough to build a two-lane highway from New York to Detroit,” he said.
Like Seinfeld's "soup Nazi," CNN is yelling "No birthday for YOU" to Abraham Lincoln on his 200th birthday -- at least not one for Lincoln alone. Interestingly, the Cable TV Newser can't seem to just give Lincoln his day without shoehorning Barack Obama into many of its stories about Lincoln. It's Lincoln/Obama day as far as CNN is concerned.
Certainly it is natural to see Obama as the culmination of Abraham Lincoln's legacy, but CNN takes this coupling a tad too far. Out of the 12 stories about Lincoln on their Lincoln page, fully one third include Obama. Additionally, the header graphic on the Lincoln page celebrates the day as being "From Lincoln to Obama." One of the stories is about an artist that morphed photographs of Lincoln's head with Obama's face as if this was somehow pertinent to Lincoln's birthday... or even pertinent to art, for that matter.
The winter in Alaska has been a particularly harsh one this year. The early winter piled on top of economic hard times has caused some troubles for native people and those that live in remote areas in Alaska. But this is not a new tale of woe, it IS Alaska, after all. While nothing to entirely dismiss, one wonders, why CNN suddenly found this story so compelling? Could it be that they want to portray Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as just as harsh as the winter?
Native peoples and their neighbors in Alaska have been surviving for generations in the same manner. They hunt, fish, and store foods in the summer to survive the harshness of winter, and since becoming a state, they marshal their money to buy fuel and other items brought to them by American ingenuity. Not an easy life, but a life they are used to nonetheless. It hasn't really changed much for a long time in that remote part of the world. Yet, despite the sameness of it all, suddenly CNN finds Alaskans are "struggling to survive."
President Barack Obama's pick to head his faith-based initiative is a 26-year old former Pentecostal pastor by the name of Joshua DuBois. The media have largely noted DuBois's religious affiliation in a matter-of-fact manner.
In a Newsweek Web exclusive, Lisa Miller and Amanda Coyne set out to find something juicy about Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's house of worship, Wasilla Bible Church. But finding a "staid" worship environment that "steer[s] clear of politics" and whose main attraction is Biblical preaching, they opted to focus on where the governor used to worship regularly years ago, an Assemblies of God church:
Pentecostalism is one of the fastest growing branches of Christianity in the world, and the Assemblies of God is one of the largest Pentecostal denominations in the country, claiming 1.6 million members. Pentecostals are generally characterized by a strict adherence to moral codes--no tobacco, no alcohol, no social dancing, no sex outside of marriage--and by their belief that the Holy Spirit bestows upon some the gift of "speaking in tongues," a reference to Acts 2: "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues." A spokeswoman for the McCain-Palin campaign has said that Palin attends many churches and does not consider herself to be Pentecostal.
When University of Washington Professor Eric Steig announced in a news conference and paper published in the January 22 edition of the journal Nature that he and several colleagues removed one of many thorns in the sides of climate alarmists -- in this case, evidence that Antarctica is cooling -- he received extensive worldwide attention in the mainstream press.
The Stieg paper's release was covered by 27 newspapers, including the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle & Los Angeles Times, by CNN, by the Associated Press, by NPR and quite a few others (see reviews of the coverage at the end of this post).
After independent analyst Steve McIntyre discovered a major error in the data, and released his results on his influential blog Climate Audit beginning on February 1, based on a Nexis search I conducted today, none of these outlets chose to inform their readers.
Here's how the Stieg research showing supposed warming was received by the mainstream press:
Have you ever wondered how the geniuses who report business news know why the stock market opens or closes up or down on any given day -- especially when they venture into political explanations?
I received this e-mail from CNN just after the markets opened:
Gosh, those e-mail drafters at CNN are smart. Who knew that the markets want the stimulus package so bad?
Can't you hear, senators? The markets want their stimulus and they want it now!
Give me a break. There is no hard evidence of CNN's assertion. Others commenting on the opening, including CNN itself, aren't buying all of what the e-mail was selling. Here's what CNNMoney.com had to say at 9:42 a.m.:
Remember the days when news agencies claimed they were the fourth estate? Remember when they claimed to be "objective" and pretended at being separate from the controlling power in Washington D.C.? Apparently that whole claim has proven somewhat chimeric if the several stories we've detailed this week are any indication. And now, to add to the gathering evidence that the Old Media are actively joining Team Obama and the political left, comes CNN to hawk a new line of Obama T-Shirts. So much for being objective. So much for staying above joining a political campaign.
Judi McLeod of the Canada Free Press was alerted by one of her readers to CNN's participation in Barack Obama's permanent political campaign with its new capitalist venture. CNN's headline shirts, where CNN fans can pick from various CNN headlines and have them emblazoned on a T-Shirt for their wearing pleasure, have been a round for a little while, of course. But never before has the TV Cable Newser dedicated an entire series of such shirts to celebrate a single politician... until The One descended upon Washington.
CNN correspondent Zain Verjee, in a report posted on CNN.com on January 17, likened the expected large crowds for the inauguration of Barack Obama to the Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca: “The coming political pilgrimage to Washington is similar to another grand event in both size and preparation -- the Hajj, the most important religious pilgrimage in the Muslim world.”
This post follows up on last night's NewsBusters post ("They Never Learn: CNN Withdraws Apparently Faked Video of CPR Attempt on 'Dead' Palestinian Child").
CNN has reposted a video it withdrew yesterday. That video purports to show the death and hasty burial of a cameraman's 12 year-old younger brother, one of two children allegedly killed on the roof of their home in rocket fire from an Israeli drone.
The video purports to show the death and hasty burial of a cameraman's 12 year-old younger brother, one of two children allegedly killed on the roof of their home in rocket fire from an Israeli drone.
A seemingly pretty knowledgeable LGF commenter spotted what many inexpert readers who see the video will also catch (bolds are mine):
I’m no military expert, but I am a doctor, and this video is bullsh-t. The chest compressions that were being performed at the beginning of this video were absolutely, positively fake. The large man in the white coat was NOT performing CPR on that child. He was just sort of tapping on the child’s sternum a little bit with his fingers. You can’t make blood flow like that. Furthermore, there’s no point in doing chest compressions if you’re not also ventilating the patient somehow.
Shortly before noon today, CNN anchor Tony Harris turned to producer Tyson Wheatley for a look at the latest from CNN's "iReport" desk. Wheatley proceeded to show Harris and the viewers at home some of the art work done by CNN's "iReporters," including one item that evoked an image from a promotional poster for 2004's Mel Gibson film, "The Passion of the Christ." [audio excerpt here]
Here's the CNN.com transcript, you can view the video embed at the right (h/t fellow NewsBuster Mark Finkelstein):
As most of you know, I originally posted this story on Sunday under the headline CNN Places Sarah Palin With 2008's Criminals, Sex Addicts, and the Corrupt here at NewsBusters. It raged all day Sunday in the Blogosphere and into the night among Palin fans and center right bloggers. Greta Van Susteren even posted about it on her FoxNews blog (It garnered 4 pages of comments there, too). A quick Google of the title of my NewsBusters piece gives several pages of hits all across the web. FreeRepublic, Lucianne.com, dozens of blogs and message boards took CNN to task for their outrageous inclusion of Sarah Palin's name among the year's worst criminal politicians.
Well by the time Monday morning arrived, CNN quietly and without explanation or apology erased Sarah Palin from the article I describe earlier.
Showing they have no sense of morality, no grasp of corruption and no understanding of what defines a criminal, CNN gives us another one of those ubiquitous year in review stories, this one titled "Politicians who fell from grace in 2008." In this one, CNN has decided to reveal for us their top eight politicians that found 2008 to be a "career-buster" because of their "crimes and misdemeanors" or their outrageous controversies.
CNN features corruption mired Rod Blagojevich, the sex crazed Elliot Spitzer and John Edwards, and the criminal bribe taker Ted Stevens among four others. Each of these men in the CNN list have either been convicted of criminal actions, are indicted for corruption, lost their positions, been drummed out of their party, or are soon to face jail time. Among these eight criminals, however, is a name that doesn't belong among this class of serial abuser of the public trust. It won't be shocking to note that among the worst sex criminals, bribe takers, liars and thieves in politics for 2008, CNN ridiculously included the name of Governor Sarah Palin.
Palin, however, has done nothing remotely like what these other political ner-do-wells have done. She did not take bribes, she did not indulge in sexual dalliances with co-workers or call girls, she did not get booted from her party or lose her job as Governor. She is not under indictment nor does she face jail time, yet CNN includes her in a list with Rob Blagojevich, John Edwards, Kwame Kilpatrick, Larry Langford, Tim Maloney, Elliot Spitzer and Ted Stevens.
Looking for a column loaded with racism, hyperbole, praise for a man embroiled in scandal, and an obvious disregard for the integrity of a Senate seat? Then you're in luck if you've read Ruben Navarrette's latest efforts.
Completely dropping the ball on why some people are apprehensive about any appointment that Rod Blagojevich could make for the vacant Senate seat, Ruben litters his article with some stunning phrases - statements which heap praise upon the disgraced Illinois Governor. Such phrases as:
But the story in question focuses on a few thousands protesting in a handful of countries with no consideration of who is behind organizing the protests and what their political agenda exactly is.
Consider, for example, that International A.N.S.W.E.R. (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) promises to remain a major organizer of pro-Hamas demonstrations, in the United States. ANSWER was formed just three days after the September 11 attacks to rally opposition to a retributive war against the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Here's ANSWER's call for a "National Day of Action" to "Stop the Massacre of Palestinians." Take note of the listing of ally organizations for the protest (emphases mine):
Why is is controversial to make fun of a liberal black columnist calling Obama "The Magic Negro?" It absolutely begs to be made fun of.
It all started when Time's columnist David Ehrenstein wrote a piece titled "Obama the 'Magic Negro" back in March of '07. (You will notice that Anderson doesn't bother to link that column, which would have taken all of 10 seconds to find, to make it clear where the song came from). Paul Shanklin (known of his parody songs) then recorded a parody song as satire directed at the Times that played on Rush Limbaugh's show.
An astonishing thing happened in Baghdad on Saturday: Christians, apparently for the first time in the city's history, publicly celebrated Christmas.
CNN's Jill Dougherty published an article about this extraordinary event at the network's website Sunday which included a video of her interviewing Iraqis of varied religious beliefs at the scene.
However, from what I can tell, this extremely charming report has not been aired yet by CNN television, nor has it gotten much coverage by other outlets here in America (video embedded below the fold, photo courtesy AFP via British Telegraph):
CNN has a segment that they call "CNN Student News" that is supposed to highlight the news of the day for the kiddie set. Pursuant to that, in a December 15 segment, CNN floats a question asking if Michelle Obama (or any First Lady) should get a government salary just for being First Lady?
But, what we really ended up with is a slight to those same students to whom CNN was ostensibly relating the news. No where in the report was there any talk of the Constitution in particular nor the law in general as the CNN anchor cajoled the kids into viewing with awe the "work" of the First Lady and in fostering in them a feeling that First Ladies should be paid for this "work."
In fact, one interview during the segment even made happy talk of the fact that, during the Clinton administration, Hillary Clinton's travel and causes forced a "moving public works project" wherever she went. There was no hint of the burden this posed on the places she visited and no sense that these expenditures were unfunded nor that such expenditures were never voted on by the people of the states she visited. The kids are left uninformed that this "moving public works" burden was forced upon taxpayers unawares.
In an article outlining the ridiculousness of New York State Governor David Paterson's budget proposal tax hikes, CNN misleadingly led with the following statement (emphasis mine throughout):
A budget plan by Gov. David Paterson that would plug budget shortfalls by slashing spending and raising taxes on items from sugary soft drinks to iTunes downloads is drawing criticism in New York.
Paterson may have proposed lower spending comparatively with year's past, he may have reduced spending, but he most certainly is not ‘slashing spending.'
A majority of today's politicians have completely abandoned the concept of slashing spending, Democrats and Republicans alike. Out of control spending is the very crux of our current economic crisis. So, how a mistake like that, while seemingly innocuous, could pass the proofreading staff at CNN is a mystery.
In an article posted on CNN.com's Political Ticker associate producer Martina Stewart touted the top ten quote list from this year's edition of "Yale Book of Quotations". The only problem is the list is nothing more than one liberal editor's opinion on which quotes best humiliate Republicans.
Here is an excerpt:
With less than three weeks left in the year, the Yale Book of Quotations is out with its list of the 10 quotes for 2008, and statements some politicians probably wish they could take back dominate this year's list.
This year had "a particularly important and dramatic election," said Fred Shapiro, editor of the Yale Book of Quotations, about the fact that so many political quotations appeared on the 2008 list. "An election that had a cast of characters among the candidates," Shapiro added
The list starts out with Tina Fey's famous belittling parody of Governor Sarah Palin, "I can see Russia from my house". That liberal favorite is quickly followed by another, the overblown Palin quote in regards to which newspapers she reads. And the top three is rounded out with former McCain economic advisor's comment that "we have sort of become a nation of whiners".
But "not to be outdone", as Stewart puts it, McCain actually appears twice on the list.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell will be featured on CNN's "GPS" program Sunday, and during the interview with Fareed Zakaria, Powell bashes Rush Limbaugh, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, and Joe the Plumber.
Powell also had negative things to say about the Republican Party in general.
As reported by CNN's Political Ticker Thursday (partial video of the interview embedded below the fold):
Updated below: CNN.com now noting Blago's Democratic affiliation
An unsigned CNN.com article on Tuesday which broke the news that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich had been arrested by federal authorities omitted his Democratic party affiliation. Both Blagojevich and his chief of staff John Harris face conspiracy and bribery charges related to the appointment of Barack Obama’s successor to his Senate seat.
The article did describe the accusations against the Illinois governor and his aide in detail. Among other things, Blagojevich is accused of trying to obtain “a substantial salary for himself at a either a non-profit foundation or an organization affiliated with labor unions; placing his wife on paid corporate boards where he speculated she might garner as much as $150,000 a year; promises of campaign funds -- including cash up front; [and] a Cabinet post or ambassadorship for himself.”
CNN is warning Americans that already making Barack Obama into one of America's greatest "heroes" may not be a good idea. Despite the fact that Barack Obama has yet to take office, despite that he has yet to really do anything to earn that status, CNN is saying that "already, he's being compared to the most remarkable leaders."
It might make one amazed that now, after cheerleading for him for the last four years, CNN suddenly finds that calling Obama a hero is not necessarily the best idea. "The Americans who are comparing him to those remarkable predecessors," CNN warns, "are putting a lot of faith in a man they barely know."
And why do we "barely know" Barack Obama, CNN? Is it perhaps because the American media never took the time to vet this man? Is it because all we've gotten is hero worship from the media?
In a showcase piece of just how far the network has sunk journalistically speaking, they have produced a segment that could only be described as childishly one-sided. The title of the piece - Palin Fantasies Revealed in Doodles.
The reality is that the analysis of these doodles reveals more about CNN's fantasies than anything else. It is a piece so laden with PDS overtones, so bereft of integrity, that one has to wonder how it can possibly be offered up by CNN as news.
Reporter Jeanne Moos compares two doodles, one done by President-elect Barack Obama, and one by Governor Sarah Palin, back when she was running for mayor. She manages to find some people on the street to comment on the two doodles, and the results are incredibly biased toward one side. And guess who gets the positive coverage...
How is it that in this time of historic change and euphoria, the media can remain so pessimistic?
The messiah has been elected, ACORN and Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie are stealing an election in Minnesota, conservatives are going to be silenced via the Fair-Less Doctrine, and gay marriage activists are assaulting the elderly. It is a time of hope and optimism in this, our liberal country.
So, why so negative?
The answer of course is, certain news might be perceived as a positive point in the waning days of the Bush Administration.