The fate of former Luzerne County, Pennsylvania Judge Mark Ciavarella is in the hands of a jury tonight.
After an initial media slip-up that occurred and was quickly "corrected" when he and a fellow judge were indicted two years ago ("Un-Name That Party" proof here), Ciavarella's party affiliation (Democrat, natch) has gone virtually unmentioned.
One such non-party-identifying example (overall details to follow) this evening comes from the Associated Press's Michael Rubinkam. Those who are unaware of the outrages allegedly perpetrated by the these judges need to brace themselves:
When the legislators and good-government people who drafted the law requiring the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to audit and render an opinion on the financial statements of the federal government as a whole and the major departments within it, they must have known that early-year results would not be very pleasant. But I also suspect that they thought the shame of being exposed as having unauditable records would be lead to constructive action and improvement.
Maybe on the margins, but not on the whole, as this GAO press release addressing its report on Uncle Sam's financial statements last week tells us:
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) cannot render an opinion on the 2010 consolidated financial statements of the federal government, because of widespread material internal control weaknesses, significant uncertainties, and other limitations.
A funny thing happened on the way to finding yet another year of media emphasis on the use of "holiday" vs. "Christmas" in describing the shopping season.
Google News searches conducted this morning at about 7:30 ET on "Christmas shopping season" and "holiday shopping season" came back with the highest percentage of "Christmas" results I've seen in the six years I've been doing these searches. Not that the result is yet impressive, but at least it's an improvement:
There are many areas where the establishment press's terminology preferences are significantly out of sync with everyday usage by the general public. To name just two examples, the ever so PC press routinely replaces publicly favored and more informative terms such as "illegal immigrants" and "Muslim terrorists" with "undocumented workers" and "militants." And of course, we can't forget the press's affection for "a certain late-term pregnancy-ending procedure," when it's really "partial-birth abortion."
Though the disconnect I'm about to describe isn't as serious as the ones just noted, there is another area where press terminology is at wide variance with the public's preferences. That would be in how to describe the shopping season that occurs from Thanksgiving until the end of the year.
For a while, the press's terminology choices seemed to be winning over retailers. But at least this year, that isn't so, as noted in an item at Advertising Age (HT to Tim Graham at NewsBusters, who tweeted on this about 10 days ago):
Shortly after the Labor Department announced a very disappointing jump in the unemployment rate to 9.8 percent, Google News featured as its top story an Associated Press article published Thursday predicting "the tight job market may be easing at last."
Here's a screen cap of Google News from about an hour ago:
This is the sixth year I have looked into how the media treats these two topics: The use of "Christmas shopping season" vs. "holiday shopping season," and the frequency of Christmas and holiday layoff references.
I have done three sets of simple Google News searches each year -- the first in late November, followed by identical searches roughly two and four weeks later.
A graphic containing key results from the past five years is here.
The results of this year's first set of searches, done at roughly 3:00 p.m. this afternoon, largely reinforce the trends noted last year:
Here's a delightful little story from the Sept./Oct. issue of Mother Jones, the far-left political magazine. It's called "Rick Santorum's Anal Sex Problem," and, with its helpful creative artwork, it's not something you want to read over lunch.
Thanks to the efforts of a vindictive liberal writer, anyone Googling conservative former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is fairly likely to get an unpleasant surprise. Among the top three results will probably be a nauseatingly offensive website based on making "Santorum" a "sexual neologism," according to Mother Jones' Stephanie Mencimer.
Back in 2003, Santorum expressed a traditional Catholic view on the issue of homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Then talking in general about "orientations" always excluded from understandings of marriage, he included pedophilia and bestiality along with homosexuality.
"The ensuing controversy," wrote Mencimer, "prompted syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage, who's gay, to start a contest, soliciting reader suggestions for slang terms to "memorialize the scandal." Having selected the nastiest entry, "Savage launched a website, and a meme was born."
Earlier today, Shirley Sherrod, who, according to the current version of ruling class wisdom, was prematurely evacuated from the USDA by Director Tom Vilsack, decided not to accept an offer to return to the agency.
Instead, according to Politico's Matt Negrin, "she hasn’t accepted the department’s offer to work there again, but that she wants 'some type of relationship' with it later." We wouldn't closure or anything, would we?
Five weeks or so have intervened since Andrew Breitbart posted a video excerpt of Sherrod's speech at an NAACP event. (It should be noted USAactionnews.com actually posted the video earlier; though their link has been taken down, their original July 15 tweet is here.)
In that time, the establishment press has either seriously downplayed or totally ignored the several important items relating to the background and outlook of Ms. Sherrod and her husband Charles.
Former USDA employee Shirley Sherrod says she will meet Tuesday with agriculture secretary
Shirley Sherrod, the former USDA rural development director for Georgia, said today she plans to meet Tuesday with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to discuss a new job offer.
... Sherrod today spoke in the Sumter County town of Epes at an event hosted by the Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund. Ben Jealous, executive director of the NAACP, shared the stage with Sherrod during a panel discussion.
Sherrod said she had no ill feelings toward the NAACP or President Barack Obama.
It the meeting does indeed occur, it will be an interesting test of establishment media credibility, given the accusations leveled at Ms. Sherrod and her husband Charles by Ron Wilkins at the leftist publication Counterpunch several weeks ago. Here are some of the specifics:
On August 3 ("U.S. To Train 3,000 Offshore IT Workers"), InformationWeek.com's Paul McDougall reported that the U.S. Agency for International Development is operating at cross purposes with the Obama administration's stated goal to keep high-tech jobs in the U.S.
USAID has since attempted to do some backing and filling about the assistance it is providing in Sri Lanka, but its arguments may ring hollow, given McDougall's report two days later that the agency is also helping to fund IT outsourcing efforts in Armenia.
As it continues its exponential expansion to cellphones, mobile advertising, television sets and book publishing internet giant Google has been simultaneously expanding its presence in the U.S. political scene, adding lobbyists, DC-based employees, and ramping up its campaign donations.
Google boss Eric Schmidt is one of the nation’s most politically active business leaders — a man who uses the cachet of the company he leads, as well as his own charisma, to build strategic alliances in the Obama administration and on Capitol Hill.
Schmidt, 55, grew up in Washington and returns frequently to visit his mother, who still lives in Northern Virginia. Those trips often double as chances to meet with President Barack Obama, chat with staffers at the Federal Communications Commission and meet with top lawmakers.
A new study found significantly more people trust tech giants Apple, Google, and Microsoft than they do traditional media.
Adding insult to injury, the relatively new social networking website Facebook is even more trusted than the media which 88 percent of respondents said they had little to no trust for.
As reported last week, "A Zogby Interactive survey of U.S. adults found that among Apple, Microsoft and Google, 49% had trust in each of these brands. Twitter and Facebook were rated much more poorly, with trust levels of 8% and 13% respectively."
And here's the marvelous punch line (h/t NBer pvoce):
In an article published yesterday afternoon, CNBC news associate Joseph Pisani took note of something the rest of the media mostly hasn't, or at least hasn't highlighted: the terrible job market for teenagers. The headline and text indicate that this is the worst such market in 41 years. That's true, based on the stat Pisani presented. But barring a near miracle in the next three months, in terms of the stat that matters most, the unemployment rate, it's the worst ever.
Give the CNBC reporter props for doing something almost no other journalist has done, which is to use the not seasonally adjusted (NSA) employment numbers as his factual source. As I have discussed several times, including here, the reported NSA numbers represent the government's best estimate of what really happened in a given month, while the seasonally adjusted (SA) numbers published (and appropriately labeled) by the government and reported (but usually not labeled) by the press represent the result after smoothing out seasonal fluctuations.
This is one of those "you know the ending, but someone has to take note anyway" media bias posts.
On Thursday, NewsBusters colleague Noel Sheppard revealed that Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder had told an oversight hearing of the House Judiciary Committee the following about his knowledge of Arizona's recently pass immigration law-enforcement measure:
I have not had a chance to, I've glanced at it. I have not read it.
... I have not really, I have not been briefed yet.
... I've only made, made the comments that I've made on the basis of things that I've been able to glean by reading newspaper accounts, obviously, looking at television, talking to people who are on the review panel, on the review team that are looking at the law.
It will surprise almost no one who visits this site that Holder's admitted ignorance about a routinely misrepresented law -- misrepresentations that have led to calls for boycotts of Arizona, a PC-obsessed cancellation of a girls high school basketball team's hoop dreams, and hysterical hyperventilation at Holder's Justice Department as well as by the President of the United States himself -- has received very little establishment media attention.
The editorialists at Investors Business Daily are not pleased with the values on display in the relative importance given to three major stories: the deaths of 11 oil rig workers off the Gulf Coast, the oil spill that resulted from that rig's collapse, and the historic flooding in Tennessee that has taken at least 30 lives.
What does it say when 11 men who perish on an exploding oil platform, or 30 poor souls who die in a 1,000-year Tennessee flood, get less coverage than two oil-soaked birds? It says news is driven from the left.
It is to the credit of the one media outlet that reported the paparazzi-like scrums of reporters trailing rescue workers as they tried to clean off one oil-soaked gannet caught in the oil spill off Louisiana waters after a rig exploded in the Gulf on April 20. Not only did the U.S. and European media obsess breathlessly about the bird, and later about a brown pelican that followed, they seemed to be panting for more.
That's because birds are convenient tools for driving the radical green agenda to halt all oil drilling. TV media and the national papers pounded the bird story because it served a political purpose.
Ed Whitacre, Chairman of Government/General Motors, took to the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday to crow about repaying a loan (link may require subscription). Note the deceptive headline and its accompanying end-zone dance:
The GM Bailout: Paid Back in Full The investment of U.S. and Canadian tax dollars worked.
Whitacre can try to make a case that the government's loans have been repaid, but unless and until the government's $43 billion equity investment is recouped, the company (and Uncle Sam) have no right to claim that "the GM bailout" has been "paid back in full."
Further, this particular risible rendering in Whitacre's op-ed would lead many a casual reader (and perhaps most journalists, ha-ha) to believe that GM was able to make the repayment out of cash flow:
Our ability to pay back these loans less than a year after emerging from bankruptcy is a sign that our plan for building a new GM is working.
An unbylined Associated Press item on today's Tea Party Express tour wrap-up in Washington uses a word that the wire service almost never (if not absolutely never) applies to truly violent leftist groups.
The Google page carrying the AP report also has an interesting lead "Related article."
Here's the brief AP item (produced in full for fair use and discussion purposes), whose headline seems to want to twist the event into an act of hypocrisy simply because of where it's being held:
Tuesday, a brick was thrown though a window at the Republican Party's headquarters in Marion, Ohio, 50 miles north of Columbus.
It would appear fans of Gateway Pundit would be about the only ones outside the local area who would know this. Virtually no other establishment media outlet has been involved in reporting on this incident. Meanwhile, the fact that a window was broken at Hamilton County, Ohio's Democratic headquarters was reported nationwide.
When Apple CEO Steve Jobs put the New York Times at the center of the ceremonious unveiling of his company's iPad tablet device, the implication was clear: this is the future of the news--or at least Jobs wants us to think it is. He stands to gain not only financially but politically as Apple becomes a major gatekeeper for information.
The news media industry itself is divided on whether e-readers like the iPad and the Amazon Kindle can revitalize the news business. Newspaper sales are, after all, at historial lows. Over 90 newspapers failed last year.
While there are scores of competing theories for why newspapers (and books to a lesser extent) are seemingly on the decline, a prominent and plausible one seems to be that they have lost control of their content. Aggregators like Google News have provided news consumers with faster, more reliable sources for news. The proliferation of the blogosphere has loosened Old Media's grip on that news.
It is a strange paradigm among much of the mainstream media that plummeting poll numbers are of far greater import for Republicans than they are for Democrats. That, at least, is the logical conclusion of the relative silence of major media outlets on the steep decline in President Obama's poll numbers compared with the decline in President Bush's.
According to an Allstate/National Journal poll released Wednesday, 50 percent of Americans would vote against President Obama if the presidential elections were held today. Only 39 percent say they would vote to re-elect the president.
But so far, this stunning development--given the President's sky-high approval ratings upon entering office--has gone seemingly unnoticed by the major television networks and most prominent print publications. Aside from some prominent blogs (whose coverage is by no means substandard), the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the Washington Examiner are so far the only major outlets to report on the poll, according to a google news search (as of 2:00 PM).
The Obama administration's Home Affordable Modification Program (known as "HAMP" to lenders and services, and MHA, or "Making Home Affordable" to the general public) is "failing."
I only learned this because I looked at the Associated Press's feeds on Christmas evening and saw this headline -- "No consequences for lying borrowers."
In an item time-stamped December 25, AP national business columnist Rachel Beck (note: not a reporter) used language that would ordinarily cause many in the press to characterize such a person as a hard-hearted meanie to describe the results of this core Obama initiative this far:
No consequences for lying borrowers
The government shouldn't reward liars. But that's the effect of changes to the Obama administration's failing program to help homeowners modify their mortgages.
This is the fifth year I have looked into how the media treats these two topics:
The use of “Christmas shopping season” vs. “holiday shopping season” (note how the AP photo at right uses “holiday” and not “shopping,” even though there is a C-C-, Chr-Chr-Christmas tree in the picture).
The frequency of Christmas and holiday layoff references.
I have done three sets of simple Google News searches each year — the first in late November, followed by identical searches roughly two and four weeks later. The results of this year's first two sets of searches are here (NewsBusters; BizzyBlog) and here (NewsBusters; BizzyBlog).
A table showing the results from this year, plus key comparisons to prior years, follows:
Has anyone else noticed how chilling it has been during the past few days? Not chilly (though it's been that too). Chilling.
On Monday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declared, in the Associated Press's words, that "greenhouse gas emissions are a danger and must be regulated."
The AP, in the item just linked, and many other news outlets carried U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donahue's warning that regulations based on EPA's declaration could lead to "a top-down command-and-control regime that will choke off growth by adding new mandates to virtually every major construction and renovation project."
Two days later, in an item carried at FoxNews.com that says it was the result of contributions by Fox's Major Garrett and the AP, a White House official confirmed the legitimacy of Donahue's stated fear (bolds are mine):
Administration Warns of 'Command-and-Control' Regulation Over Emissions
This is the fifth year I have looked into how the establishment media treats these two topics:
The use of "Christmas shopping season" vs. "holiday shopping season" (the AP photo at right uses "holiday" and not "shopping," even though there is a C-C-, Chr-Chr-Christmas tree in the picture).
The frequency of Christmas and holiday layoff references.
I have done three sets of simple Google News searches each year -- the first in late November, followed by identical searches roughly two and four weeks later. The cumulative results of all three search sets during the past four years are in this graphic.
On November 24 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that references to this year's shopping season came up with just over 6% of references to the "Christmas shopping season," while the rest referred to the "holiday shopping season." That's a 9-point, roughly 60% drop from just four years ago.
Here are the results of the relevant Google News searches done late last night compared to roughly the same date in 2005 --
Rupert Murdoch sees a future in journalism. With newspaper circulation at post-war lows and major dailies shutting down in a number of cities, he may be one of the few optimists left. But first, Murdoch claims, the American government must change its obsolete and destructive regulatory policies that, he says, are preventing major news outlets from competing.
"Good journalism is an expensive commodity," Murdoch told an audience at a Federal Trade Commission workshop on the future of journalism today. "Critics say people won’t pay, but I say they will. But only if you give them something good." Murdoch has announced plans to institute paywalls for all online content offered by his giant news conglomerate, News Corp.
Though Murdoch is confident that paywalls would more than make up for revenue lost by shortfalls in advertising dollars, other newspapers' experiences with the system have failed to do so. The New York Times in 2005 began charging for many of its columns, but eliminated the paywall after revenues failed to outweigh advertising dollars. Still, there are a number of unexplored options for online news payment schemes, and Murdoch is no rookie in the news business.