Just in time for Barack Obama's Greco-Roman Oration tomorrow night, two significant economic reports have gone or are about to go in a positive direction:
Earlier Wednesday, the Census Bureau reported that durable goods orders increased 1.3% during July, repeating June's performance; shipments of durables were up 2.5%; and unfilled orders were at their highest level since 1992. There are exceptions, but these companies are generally very busy.
Thursday morning, the pundits are predicting that second quarter Gross Domestic Product, originally estimated at an annualized 1.9%, will be significantly revised upward. Predictions that GDP will come in at 2.7% are at Reuters, Briefing.com via CNN, and MarketWatch. If you go to the links, especially the second and third, you will detect the distinct aroma of sour grapes; the headlines found there are "The economic growth mirage" and "Big revision in GDP won't mean much," respectively.
Don't count on these statistics to get much positive traditional media play while the Obama coronation is in progress.
But there's one other number that's even worse for the everyone's-a-victim crowd than those just noted. It is one that I can almost guarantee will remain invisible during tomorrow's festivities.
CNN is suddenly backtracking from a report it made early Sunday evening concerning Hillary Clinton releasing her delegates to Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday.
During the 6PM EDT installment of "CNN Newsroom," Rick Sanchez announced the "breaking news" that was later posted at the network's website under the headline "Clinton to Release Her Delegates to Obama."
Yet, just moments ago, that headline was changed to "Clinton Likely to Release Her Delegates to Obama," with alterations inside the opening paragraph.
CNN has just released what it claims to be the "first national poll conducted after Barack Obama publicly named Joe Biden as his running mate," and the news isn't good for those heading to Denver to watch what likely will be the official nomination of the junior senator from Illinois.
In fact, according to this poll conducted Saturday and Sunday after Obama's announcement, the race is now all tied up.
As reported at CNN.com moments ago, "This looks like a step backward for Obama, who had a 51 to 44 percent advantage last month" (emphasis added throughout, photo courtesy Getty Images):
So, why did the Old Media seem to miss the John Edwards Love Affair story? Well, maybe it was because the Old Media hadn't deigned to decide for us that it was "news" until after the New Media had chewed up and spit out the story for days and days? Apparently, that is what David Carr of The New York Times thinks, anyway. In an interview with CNN he alludes to the fact that he is used to the Old Media deciding when something is officially "news" and that maybe he and his contemporary journalists have lost that level of control they were used to enjoying. This fall from grace is being seen most readily in the Edwards story that the New Media had digested for a week before the Old Media got to it
The CNN piece cites many factors from the fact that the Old Media has a disdain for National Enquirer stories to a claim that the Old Media is reticent to exploit sex stories. The former is a sensible precaution and the later an outright laugher. After all, the Old Media had no problem whatsoever in exploiting the rumors of George H.W. Bush's affair, Newt Gingrich's affair, Newt's successor to be Bob Livingston’s affair, the John McCain affair story, Larry Craig's restroom stall story, or Mark Foley's Page Scandal... but then again, THOSE are Republican sex scandals. The same delicacy the Old Media handles sex stories with as claimed by CNN does not exist for those sorts of stories.
The Obama campaign appears to have come up with a neat way to deflect criticism of the presumptive Democrat presidential nominee's failure to visit wounded American troops while visiting Germany last month: have wife Michelle sponsor a meeting with military families.
As CNN.com reported Monday (emphasis added): "Days after a television spot from John McCain’s campaign suggested Barack Obama did not hold enough respect for members of the military, the presumptive Democratic nominee’s campaign announced Monday that Michelle Obama will host a roundtable discussion with military spouses highlighting the launch of a military families advisory group."
UPDATE AT END OF POST: OBAMA MISSES THE FOLLOWING TOWN HALL MEETING FOR A VACATION AND FUNDRAISER IN HAWAII!
I guess the campaign felt this was a better idea than the junior senator from Illinois attending a presidential town hall meeting to be held next Monday in Fort Hood, Texas, the largest active-duty military installation in the country (photo courtesy NY Daily News). As the Dallas Morning News reported Monday, much like in July when he couldn't find the time to visit our wounded soldiers at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, Obama is also too busy to meet with families at Fort Hood (emphasis added):
Apparently, CNN decided that they didn't have enough video of rioting in their recent story on unrest in Belgrade, Serbia, so they decided to add in footage of rioting in Budapest to sexy up the story. I have to say, if the Kosovars intend to make the cut with CNN in the future, they'd better start rioting to the satisfaction of CNN's video editors. Either that, or CNN can start showing us all some truthful video with their stories. Whatever the case, CNN's misstep doesn’t just make them look bad, it makes all Americans look bad.
On July 30, CNN aired a report in their international news titled "Serb Ultranationalists Rally" in which footage of riots in two different cities and two different countries were edited together to represent the unrest in Kosovo. Serbian TV was a bit mystified by this embellishment, and rightfully so. RTS asserted that since CNN didn't have violent enough footage for their riots story, they "resorted to their favorite Hollywood trick" of "montaging and pasting together the sequences from Budapest and Belgrade protests" to accompany the story. (See foreign language report from Serbian RTS TV)
Apparently complacent about criticism from the Tennessee Center for Policy Research that his family's energy use at his Nashville home is more than 19 times greater than the average American household's, Al Gore has committed conspicious energy consumption once again.
In Washington D.C. Thursday to deliver yet another speech warning Americans about global warming caused, Gore believes, by excessive use of fossil fuels, Gore handed yet more evidence to critics who believe he's a hypocrite.
He did so by traveling to his speech in what almost certainly was an unnecessary entourage of three luxury gas-guzzling vehicles -- two Lincoln Town Cars and a Surburban SUV -- one of which was kept idling outside for twenty minutes, apparently to keep the interior cool for the driver, Mrs. Gore and the Gores' adult daughter.
Covering the recent decision by a synod of bishops in the Anglican Church to permit the ordination of female bishops, CNN.com repeatedly alluded to "traditionalist" opposition to women holding episcopal office, but failed to find one such spokesman for traditionalists to defend the theology behind the position. (h/t Damian G. of Conservathink)
Indeed, the one traditionalist cited in the article had a middle-ground position, saying he had no problem with female bishops, so long as conservative Anglicans could have an out of sorts. Of course that compromise was smacked down in another synod vote:
The picture alone of a weak little girl was enough to cause the heart of anyone who viewed the CNN.com home page earlier today to ache. What proof do they have that the drought in West Timor is due to climate change? Some unnamed aid officials:
Maria is fighting to live, wasting away in her remote village where aid officials say climate change has brought on a severe drought in recent years. It's nearly impossible for residents to live off the land like they have for generations.
We've taken notice that Iraq is suddenly out of the news now that things are consistently going so well for U.S. forces there. Well, since CNN can't find much bad to talk about in Iraq they've finally found some "bad" news they can use as a needle to stick in the Bush Administration's collective eye. In Coalition troop deaths in Afghanistan surpass Iraq, CNN has discovered that they can make a body bag contest out of casualties between Iraq and Afghanistan. Oh, joy!
For the second month in a row, U.S. and allied troop deaths in the Afghan war have surpassed those in Iraq, according to official figures tallied by CNN... In June, 46 foreign troops died in Afghanistan and 31 troops died in Iraq. In May, 23 foreign troops died in Afghanistan and 21 died in Iraq.
Stop the presses! And, did you notice that now they are adding foreign troops up because they can't get enough American deaths to report? Can you remember the last time the American press was worried about the casualties among our foreign coalition?
If an elected official in the United States, at any level, promises to "rip apart" six year old rape victims, then describe in vivid detail how their lives would be ruined, one would assume such a statement would lead the news. But it did not.
Following up on D.S. Hubes post on the local media coverage, Massachusetts State Representative James Fagan (D) voiced his opposition to Jessica’s law requiring stiff mandatory sentences to child rapists. As a defense attorney, Fagan promised if such a law were in place and victims assume the stand "I’m gonna rip them apart." Fagan continued "I’m going to make sure that the rest of their life is ruined, that when they’re 8 years old, they throw up; when they’re 12 years old, they won’t sleep; when they’re 19 years old, they’ll have nightmares and they’ll never have a relationship with anybody."
On CNN's AC-360 blog, Anderson Cooper's senior producer Barclay Palmer conflated Karl Rove's critique of Barack Obama and Don Imus's latest racial radio flap into a racial knife fight: "anyone who thinks that Obama’s presumptive victory in the Democratic primary means we’re in a post-racial America might want to think again. Race will play the falling knife in this… race. And you can bet your country club membership, we’re just getting started."
How Rove suggesting that Obama is an arrogant country-club elitist puts you in "nappy-headed ho" territory is a mystery outside the liberal media tent. Not only that, but Rove is apparently packing a blade and waving it at Obama's throat. The liberal media apparently plan to spend the next few months breathlessly waiting for every Republican criticism of Obama that can be construed (or misconstrued) as an attack on Obama's blackness. Here's the whole blog post:
PBS's Bonnie Erbe hosts that network's weekly news analysis program, "To the Contrary with Bonnie Erbe," is a weekly columnist for Scripps Howard Newspapers, and blogs at USNews.com.
Erbe called for the impeachment of George Bush in February 2006. Anyone looking through her Scripps Howard archive will conclude that she can't possibly be labeled a conservative ideologue -- which is why her take on the attempt by CNN's John Lewis to make it appear as if both the Obama and McCain campaigns are equally hampered by flip-flops is so compelling.
Here's how "A battle of accused political 'flip-flops'," the CNN report at which Erbe takes umbrage, begins:
Days after both men reversed course on major issues, the presidential campaigns of Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain spent much of Sunday's talk-show circuit working to ensure accusations of "flip-flopping" don't stick.
Subtle bias towards emphasizing unfavorable economic news and against reporting good economic news is present in many places. I will demonstrate that it's even sometimes in the brief e-mail alerts many people receive.
This alert I received today from CNNMoney demonstrates a long-known (by me) but, until now, unproven point:
But when the Dow closed above 14,000 for the first time on October 1, 2007, here is what that day's CNN alert had to say:
CNN calls this serious news, apparently, but a recent report about a Pew Research poll of "more than 24,000 people in 24 countries" shows that foreigners favor Barack Obama over John McCain for president. Aside from the general "who cares" of it all, why is it news that people who wish the United States ill will would pick the candidate most friendly to their interests to become our president? Shouldn't it be obvious that foreigners would want someone that would favor their views to become the next president of the U.S.? Who would expect a Frenchman or a Swede to pick someone that would least favor a foreigner's point of view on international politics? After all, why would a foreigner want an American president that would strongly advocate for the United States when they themselves are not Americans? Naturally, they'd gravitate to the candidate that seems to represent what Europe wants and not the candidate that would strongly advocate for the U.S.A.
And on top of that, why the heck would an American care what a foreigner thinks about U.S. elections? Yet, in theirs headlined "Poll: Image of US will 'change for the better' with Obama," here is CNN acting as if this is important and perhaps shocking news that Obama has an "enormous" polling advantage among foreigners.
Sounding like an impeachment obsessed left-wing blogger Jack Cafferty asked on CNN.com "Why won’t Congress consider impeaching Pres. Bush?" In his June 12th blog posting he writes, "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi long ago made it known that impeachment is “off the table.” This is a joke. We have a president who has abused the power of his office over and over again. It’s what got the Democrats elected to the majority in Congress in 2006." It's funny how he never mentions exactly how George W. Bush has abused his power. It should somehow be evident to all of us. If a contributor to a news organization and their professional Web site is going to claim the president of the United States has abused his power and therefore should be impeached then shouldn't Cafferty back it up with some tangible proof. That's what a person with journalistic integrity would do. Impeachment talk by liberals is designed to rile up anger in people and if the comments attached his post are any indication that is exactly what Cafferty did.
Cafferty is not the only cable news personality talking about impeachment. On Tuesday's episode of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann, " the host theorized that perhaps the impeachment trials of Bill Clinton were in some way done to immunize George W. Bush. Here's a partial transcript:
Inspired by featured CNN.com video of a McCain gaffe -- wherein the Arizona senator says he'd veto every beer -- I decided to search the CNN.com Web site for video of Obama gaffes.
I got a grand total of two.
Now, to be fair, searching "McCain gaffe" yielded no videos of McCain gaffes, but one from November 2006 entitled "Kerry's gift of gaffe," referring to the liberal Massachusetts senator and 2004 Democratic nominee and his suggestion that American troops were stupid.
All the same, given Sen. Obama's numerous gaffes, it is notable that only two videos surface when one does a search for them:
May 27: Paul R. La Monica for CNN Money reporting on Warren Buffett's belief that "we are already in a recession." Notice the lede:
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- It's getting harder and harder to deny that the economy is in recession.
May 29: The federal government releases an upward revision of the first quarter GDP growth. The ever-pessimistic AP reporter Martin Crutsinger grudgingly admitted that the new numbers could bolster the view that "the country can dodge a full-blown downturn":
The economy plodded ahead at a 0.9 percent pace in the first quarter - slightly better than first estimated - but still underscoring caution on the part of consumers and businesses walloped by housing, credit and financial problems.
The media has been unfair to Sen. Hillary Clinton (D- N.Y.) is the new argument former President Bill Clinton made for his wife to continue on for the Democratic nomination. He's also hitting hard on the issue of seating Florida and Michigan: "I thought it was the Republican Party that disenfranchised voters in Florida, not the Democrats." View CNN video here.
The former president is also soundingconspiratorial these days. According to this ABC News report, he told a crowd in South Dakota he has, "never seen a candidate treated so disrespectfully just for running," and that, "she will win the general election if you nominate her. They're just trying to make sure you don't."
I was checking out CNN's election returns this evening when I came across an interesting article by Roland Martin, one of CNN's resident excuse makers for Barack Obama.
The article, Commentary: Make wearing a flag pin the 28th Amendment, is listed as one of the site's most read articles. I already knew what I would be getting into by reading the article. It turned out exactly as I had expected, a typical liberal defense of Barack Obama's patriotism as done by diminishing others; especially those that dared question the anointed one on the issue by classifying them as zealots.
See, if it is so important, then take it all the way. Don't make it optional. Don't leave it up to someone to choose to wear a flag lapel pin. Let's really show those politicians that nothing is more important to us than seeing them with the U.S. flag on our chest.
That's what zealots do. They take something so simple, so personal, so voluntary, and absolutely lose their mind, trying to force someone else to do as them, and everyone else be damned.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) is a drug-trafficking terrorist group that has vexed Colombia's government and citizenry for years. Yet the T-word was missing from a May 19 CNN.com article regarding the surrender of FARC Force 47 commander Nelly Avila Moreno, although Colombia's recent military pressure was cited by Moreno as the cause of her surrender:
[Moreno] said she and her longtime male companion made the decision jointly to abandon the FARC group, based in the jungle, at 5 a.m. Sunday.
She said pressure from Colombian soldiers had been key to their decision, and she called on her fellow rebels to follow her example.
"I invite them to change the sensibility that is among the guerrillas," she said, seated by her companion, who said nothing during the news conference.
CNN went on to note that Moreno, whose "nom de guerre was Karina," may be personally responsible for a bus hijacking and arson in 2004, as well as the maiming of a passenger on that bus:
West Virginia primary voters were asked at least two factually faulty exit poll questions yesterday, both of which asserted that the U.S. economy is already in recession. This, of course, is absolutely false. A recession is marked by at least two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth. The last quarter of 2007 and the first quarter of 2008 were marked by slow, but positive, economic growth.
See the screencap from CNN.com below (h/t e-mail tipster Jeff Williams):
"Average gas prices set record at $3.72 a gallon" reads the teaser headline on the USAToday.com Web site. Yet the photo (by Justin Sullivan, Getty Images) accompanying the teaser on the front page shows a gas marquee with gasoline at $4.09-a-gallon.
CNN has an article posted this AM about the on-going misery in Myanmar resulting from the recent cyclone that devastated the Irrawaddy delta and has left as many as 100,000 dead. The country's paranoid military dictatorship is hampering aid efforts, and as a result, is no doubt adding to the number of dead and injured.
In writing about the U.S. forces in the area poised to help if the dictatorship will only allow international aid, CNN makes the following curious claim (in bold):
When it comes to the economy, "it's not good. Not good," according to Jon Stewart. "But don't take my word for it. Seriously, I'm actually doing very well."
On May 1, "The Daily Show" host was introducing a segment that made light of doom-and-gloom economic reporting on network and cable news. His mash-up highlighted CBS's own "Grim Reaper," Anthony Mason, ABC's Betsy Stark, NBC's Brian Williams and CNN's senior business correspondent Ali Velshi.
Stewart poked hardest at Velshi, whom he called that "Hairless Prophet of Doom."
"Who is that hairless prophet of doom and how can we appease his anger, please?" Stewart pleaded, "If we give you our hair will you give us back our money? Will you do it, sir? I beg of you - Velshi!"