After the jump is a graphic from Investor's Business Daily comparing post-recession consumer confidence readings from the Conference Board during the Reagan and Obama administrations. See it there or see it below, because you probably won't see it at any establishment press web site or in any of their publications.
What's remarkable about the graphic is how confidence was able to stay at or above 100 (a reading of 90 is considered the "healthy economy" benchmark) in the face of a virtually non-stop media onslaught which alternatively tried to deny the existence of the ongoing prosperity, constantly warned that another recession was just around the corner, or whined about how supposedly unfair the economy was becoming (Keep in mind that the Media Research Center didn't appear on the scene until 1987) -- which is quite different from the current establishment media cheerleading which occurs seemingly any time there's the least little sign that things might be getting better.
In a generally even-handed report on yesterday's drop in consumer confidence as reported by the Conference Board (from a revised 68.7 to 64.9, vs. expectations of a rise to 69.6, according to Bloomberg), the Associated Press's Mae Anderson, with assistance from Christopher Rugaber, engaged in a bit of excuse-making in and downplaying in their later paragraphs.
The AP pegged its water-down to a strong upward move in the yesterday's stock trading, pretending that investors didn't take the confidence report seriously. That's odd, because other press reports attributed those gains to "rising optimism about Greece's prospects to remain in the euro zone, which offset a disappointing reading on U.S. consumer confidence." In other words, the report was considered, but the news out of Greece was better. The relevant later paragraphs from AP's report, one relatively early, and the rest appearing much later, are after the jump (bold is mine):
At the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, Jesse Washington's Friday evening coverage ("Who's an American Indian? Warren case stirs query") of the nuances involved in claiming Native American Indian heritage -- or ancestry, or biology, or allegiance, or identity, or identification, or membership (and I've probably missed a couple) -- occasioned by Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts is the journalistic equivalent of what the occasional Atlantic Coast Conference men's basketball game was like (with final scores sometimes in the 20s) before the NCAA legislated the shot clock: a continuous exercise in stalling.
Washington's report is time-stamped at 10:31 P.M., meaning that its last rendition was at least 18 hours after the Boston Globe performed a rare exercise in journalism and found the following, of which there is no hint in the AP story:
Leave it to the Associated Press's Scott Bauer to take shots at Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker -- in seeming orchestration with Democratic Party officials -- for limiting his public recall election appearances because of unsafe conditions leftists in the Badger State have created, "public safety" officials have too often condoned, and the establishment press has generally downplayed for well over a year.
Bauer and his "Essential Global News Network" have been among the lead minimizers of the death threats, violence, hatred, and intimidation of Wisconsin businesses by organized labor during that time. A year ago, the AP treated the arrest of a person who emailed death threats to 16 GOP state senators and their families as a local story. AP and others have also mostly ignored the non-stop stalking by Walker's civility-challenged opponents, who among other things have disrupted school visits (with vandalism), a Special Olympics ceremony, and a police memorial. So it took a special brand of gall for Bauer and bullying Dems, including Walker's recall opponent, to criticize the governor for having to take conditions on which the press has not shone a light into account in how he campaigns (bolds are mine):
A Los Angeles Times editorial on May 23, naturally accompanied by a dour photo of House Speaker John Boehner, stated as if it's an indisputable fact that the August 2011 debt deal raised the ceiling by "enough to last until the end of 2012 or early 2013." A Saturday AP report by Ken Thomas and Jim Kuhnhenn so filled with distortions that it's virtually unreadable asserted, again as if it's a no-doubt fact, that hitting the limit is "more than eight months away," putting the ceiling-busting date at about January 31, 2013. Just a few of many other examples with late-December or later assumptions baked in are here (to be fair, this one frames it as a Geithner estimation), here, and here.
The real numbers, combined with the experience of the past two years, indicate that there is a good chance not only that we're not going to be that lucky, but that the government could even hit the ceiling before Election Day.
Distracted by ridiculousaurus Rex Nutting's write-up earlier in the week at MarketWatch ("Obama spending binge never happened"), which absurdly claimed that "government outlays (are) rising at slowest pace since 1950s," Taylor spent paragraph after paragraph going into the nuances of "the Wall Street bailout" (really TARP, which wasn't all about "Wall Street," unless GM and Chrysler have recently moved there) and the disputes over who should be responsible for various items of and increases in spending the fiscal 2009. He either didn't understand -- or didn't want to communicate that he really did understand -- exactly what President Obama said, which follows the jump:
If for no other reason than the uniqueness of the alleged crimes involved, the story of the arrests of West New York, New Jersey Mayor Felix Roque and his son deserves attention. It is getting some, complete with the predictable downplaying and omission of the Mayor's political party affiliation, which "just so happens" to be as a Democrat.
Since it's currently appearing at Yahoo News, which is the Internet's most popular news site, with an estimated 110 million unique monthly visitors, Alex Fitzpatrick's Thursday report on the mayor's arrest which originated at Mashable.com is worth calling out, especially because in almost 300 words, Fitzpatrick failed to identify Roque's party. Get a load of what this guy and his son allegedly did to protect their jobs:
CBS This Morning stood out as the only Big Three network morning show on Thursday to cover a conservative group's allegation that the Obama administration gave a movie director and writer "special access to government officials involved in the commando operation that killed Osama bin Laden," as reported by Reuters on Wednesday. ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today ignored the story.
Correspondent Chip Reid outlined that "the documents...obtained by Judicial Watch, a conservative government watchdog group...reveal that director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal...met with top national security officials; gained access to Seal Team 6; and visited the CIA."
"A House committee chairman charged Wednesday that the CIA and Defense Department jeopardized national security by cooperating too closely with filmmakers producing a movie on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden," reported Larry Margasak of the Associated Press yesterday. "[Rep. Peter] King [R-N.Y.] referred to documents obtained by Judicial Watch in a Freedom of Information Act request. He said the filmmakers received 'extremely close, unprecedented and potentially dangerous collaboration' from the Obama administration."
Margasak's story on Rep. Peter King's hearing investigating the matter was printed in today's Washington Post, but editors buried the item on page C4, deep in the heart of the Style section, which typically reports on fashion, music, and the entertainment industry. Noted Margasak:
Last week, what the Department of Labor had originally reported as a dip in new unemployment claims the previous week (from 368,000 to 367,000) was revised into an increase (to 370,000). This week, what DOL originally reported was a no-change situation (i.e., 370,000) was revised into an increase (to 372,000).
It's getting ever more difficult to accept DOL's ongoing underestimations, which now run to 60 of the 61 most recent weeks I've been able to track (the one exception was a "no change" situation during the week ended June 18, 2011). In covering today's charade, Reuters, Bloomberg, and the Associated Press (aka the Administration's Press), all failed to note that this week's revision to last week turned last week into an increase instead of a no-change. In what should be seen as only a marginal improvement, two of the three (the AP, predictably, was the exception), headlined this week's small initial reduction from last week -- which seems destined to disappear after revision next week -- as "essentially unchanged." Excerpts follow the jump.
To be fair, the full text of what Martin Crutsinger at the Associated Press wrote in the first sentence of what I believe was the final version of his report today on the Census Bureau's new-home sales release was that "Americans bought more new homes last month, the latest evidence that the U.S. housing market could be starting to recover." The other "evidence" he cited related to a small bump reported earlier this week in existing home sales and one homebuilder's improved financial results.
That's pretty thin gruel from which to paint a "could be starting to recover" scenario, especially when it's expressed by someone who isn't a housing expert, i.e., an AP reporter. The only expert Crutsinger cited told him that "Housing could be a pleasant surprise this year." Wow. How profound. Let's take a look at some quotes from experts Thomson Reuters was able to find. Readers will note that the variations on word "bottom" occur quite frequently (quotes are not in the same order as they appeared at the link):
We've written before critically about Twitter, including posts about how the micro-blogging site's was slow in removing a "Kill Zimmerman" account that encouraged violence -- in violation of Twitter's terms of service agreement by the way -- against alleged 2nd-degree murderer George Zimmerman. But today, we have to offer a hearty kudos to the folks at Twitter for refusing to cooperate with a censorship effort in Pakistan to silence "Everybody Draw Muhammad" tweets.
By contrast, the Associated Press is reporting that Facebook -- which on Friday became a publicly-traded company -- gladly cooperated with efforts by the Pakistani government to prevent users in Pakistan from accessing pages devoted to Draw Muhammad Day content:
Last night (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), yours truly questioned how the Associated Press could have two identically worded stories with different headlines -- "Cache of evidence in shooting, still huge gaps" and "Amid evidence cache in Martin case, questions nag" -- posted at its national site.
This morning, Paul Colford, Director of AP Media Relations posted a comment at BizzyBlog which included a request that I note his communication with me at NewsBusters. Mr. Colford's note and my response follow the jump:
A quick comparable: If George W. Bush had arranged to insert "Did You Know?" promos of his administration's accomplishments and positions into other presidents' biographies on the White House's web site, does anyone think that the press would have ignored it? Not only would they have not ignored it, they and every left-leaning entertainer would (quite justifiably) have ridiculed and criticized him for historical tampering bordering on vandalism.
Well, Dear Leader has done exactly what I described sometime in the past four days to 13 of his past 14 predecessors, sparing only Gerald Ford (I guess that will have to wait until Obama can compare his administration-ending pardons to Ford's pardon of Dick Nixon). After the jump, readers will find pictures of the conclusion of the bio of Franklin Delano Roosevelt from Google Cache as of May 12 and as of today, followed by a bit of commentary from Andrew Malcolm at Investor's Business Daily:
Really, the only surprise is that consumers came before Obama in the headline -- because Obama came before the economy in the underlying article.
A late-day dispatch from Jonathan Fahey and Paul Wiseman at the Associated Press even found someone to say that history will be on Obama's side if gas prices fall to below $3.50 a gallon or so by Labor Day. Excerpts follow (bolds are mine):
I just about knew it when I heard a top-of-hour radio report this morning. When the announcer intoned that there was a 3% increase in "home construction" in April, I said to myself: "There's the Associated Press again, up to its old tricks." That was indeed the case. When I went to the related AP reports, I found that they were, like the economic data coming out during the Obama administration, much worse than expected.
In this morning's coverage of the still bottom-feeding situation in new home construction, the AP's Christopher Rugaber indeed wrote that a 3% seasonally adjusted April increase in housing starts from an annualized 699,000 to 717,000 represented an improvement in "the rate of construction." But he was just warming up. In an afternoon report which can only be characterized both in tone and in detail as an attempt to blow smoke up the public's posterior, he falsely claimed that "Home construction is near a three-year high." I would call that assertion "horse manure," but that would be unfair to equine excrement.
On Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m. ET, the Commerce Department reported that seasonally adjusted U.S. retail sales in April rose by 0.1%. In an 11:12 a.m. report via the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, carried at the Detroit News ("U.S. consumers hold back retail sales, even as gas prices fall"), Martin Crutsinger was appropriately not impressed: "Lower gas prices in April weren't enough to embolden U.S. consumers to spend much more elsewhere. The Commerce Department said retail sales rose only 0.1 percent last month."
Look how things changed in a late afternoon AP report currently carried at its national site co-authored by Crutsinger and Christopher Rugaber, reworked in time to go into most newspapers' print editions Wednesday morning:
Reuters correspondent Margot Roosevelt touted over the weekend that “Weary Warriors Favor Obama.” According to the latest Reuters-Ipsos poll, “If the election were held today, Obama would win the veteran vote by as much as seven points over Romney, higher than his margin in the general population.”
Under the heading “Fading Cool Factor,” Roosevelt summarized that many veterans sound like Obama did in the last election cycle, pessimistic about the wars Bush started:
The headline at the Associated Press's Sunday morning story primarily about GOP presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney's commencement address at Liberty University ("Romney urges grads to honor family commitments") was at least acceptable. It went downhill from there, betraying what appear to be deeply-held biases held by writers Kasie Hunt and Rachel Zoll against Republicans, conservatives, and Christians -- up to and including a "red meat" reference in what the Administration's Press will probably still claim is an objective report.
Apart from the self-evident bias, Hunt and Zoll failed to grasp the fundamental concept that a commencement speech is not a political stump speech. It is supposed to be a chance for the speaker, at least one who isn't a self-absorbed narcissist, to inform, inspire and advise graduates on what awaits them in the real world and how they should generally consider carrying out the rest of their lives. That, to the AP pair's apparent disappointment and astonishment, is what Romney did. Their opening six paragraphs plus a few selected others come after the jump, with prejudicial verbiage in bold, followed by several paragraphs from Romney's speech which Hunt and Zoll, if they they had been there to report a story instead of serving as Team Obama apparatchiks, would have noted:
Let's grant that Associated Press reporter Mitch Weiss, in his dispatch Saturday on the headache Democratic National Convention host state North Carolina has become for the left, acknowledged by quoting someone else that "Nobody can sugarcoat the fact that we got problems here." That said, the AP reporter applied quite a bit of sweetener with generous pinches of distortion in several instances.
Weiss's biggest howler was the patently falsely impression he gave that the constitutional amendment approved by voters on Tuesday limiting marriage to one-man, one-woman relationships achieved success solely because of a "fired-up Republican base," when the support for it had to be far broader for it to achieve its 61.06%-38.84% victory margin (scroll to the very bottom at the link; the state's Board of Elections would appear to be quite unhappy with the result).
In their recast of reality, it's Mitt Romney whose presidential campaign has been focused on gay rights, not Barack Obama, his administration, his campaign, and the lapdog establishment press which have been obsessed with it for days. As to the 5,400-word hit piece prepared by Jason Horowitz and published in the Washington Post on early Thursday which portrayed an incident Romney says he does not recall during which he allegedly forcibly cut a classmate's hair against his will with the assistance of others -- It's "a news report" about which there are no stated doubts (there are lots of' em). Samples of the AP pair's misdirection and opportunism follow (bolds are mine):
As has been so typical in analogous instances for the year or so I have been following the weekly claims numbers closely, the Associated Press (aka the Administration's Press), Reuters, and Bloomberg headlined a "dip," a "fall," and a "drop" in filings for initial claims, even though the dip-fall-drop from 368,000 to 367,000 only occurred because last week's figure was revised up from 365,000. If this week's figure is revised up by 1,000 or more (based on the past 60 weeks, there's at least a 95% chance of that), the dip-fall-drop will be gone-gone-gone. The AP's Paul Wiseman produced the howler of the morning in the last of the five excerpted paragraphs which follow (bolds are mine):
The print and online guardians in the establishment press may have to open a new case of ellipses and order extra pairs of paraphrases to deal with this one. Video and audio editing will be easier, if not ethical (NBC has taught us that during the past several weeks).
Declaring what everyone with a functioning brain has known all along -- namely that President Barack Obama supports same-sex marriage but hasn't had the political integrity to admit as much until now -- the commander-in-chief of the nation's armed forces told ABC News that "when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines (sic) or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married." Yes, he said that our military is out there fighting on his behalf (links are later in this post; HT to an emailer).
This morning, in a report ("Romney, Obama win; Manchin to face Raese") with a 1:00 a.m. time stamp, Associated Press reporter Lawrence Messina informed readers that U.S. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia "refused to say whether he voted for Obama on Tuesday" in West Virginia's primary. That's news.
In his 6:01 a.m. dispatch currently at the AP's national site ("Against Obama, even a jailbird gets some votes") revising and updating his earlier work, Messina only tells readers that "Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Sen. Joe Manchin ... have declined to say whether they will support Obama in November." Messina would rather his readers not know that a sitting U.S. Senator in President Barack Obama's own party wouldn't say whether he made a choice between Obama and Texas prison inmate Keith Judd, whose name appeared along with Obama's on the state's Democratic Party presidential ballot. This is how news is scrubbed at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press. Comparisons of the two stories follow the jump.
In one of a virtually endless stream of such examples, a Monday Associated Press report by Elaine Ganley and Greg Keller on challenges facing newly elected French Prime Minister, Socialist Francois Hollande, described him as "the leftist who has pledged to buck Europe's austerity trend."
What a deceptive joke. Europe's attempt at "austerity" can't be a "trend," because it hasn't even started. The "Fiscal Treaty" involved (at Google Docs; at RTE News [large PDF]) hasn't even taken effect. Article 14, as explained by RTE's Europe Editor Tony Connelly, "will enter into force on January 1 2013 so long as 12 member states have completed ratification." A Monday editorial at Investor's Business Daily took the press to task for its pretense, and in the process noted facts about the monstrous growth of government in EU countries the U.S. establishment press won't report (bolds are mine throughout this post):
The last national press reports on the five men arrested Monday for plotting to blow up a Cleveland-area bridge reassured everyone that none involved were in responsible roles in the Occupy movement. On Thursday, the Associated Press's Thomas J. Sheeran wrote that Occupy Cleveland spokespersons "said the men were associated with the group but didn't represent Occupy Cleveland or its non-violent philosophy." An earlier AP report paraphrased a claim that they "had been associated with the anticorporate Occupy Cleveland movement but don't share its nonviolent views." Reuters carried this quote: "They were in no way representing or acting on behalf of Occupy Cleveland."
Well, last night, the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Michael Sangiacomo reported that at least one of the five was once in a sufficiently responsible position within the Occupy group to represent it while signing a lease for space the group used. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, the wire services just noted and others will do with what follows:
To the extent that it was there at all, there was far too little emphasis in yesterday's wire service reporting on yesterday's OMG-awful jobs report (worse than most believe, as will be shown in a later post) was far less on those who continue to be affected -- like, say, the unemployed, under-employed and discouraged, who should be the object of such news stories -- and far too much concentration on what it might mean for President Obama's reelection prospects.
This was noticeable yesterday at Bloomberg, Reuters, and of course at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine).
"Russia's top military officer told a conference in Moscow attended by senior U.S. and NATO officials that Russia would mount a preemptive strike on U.S.-led NATO missile defense facilities in Eastern Europe if Washington goes ahead with its plan to build a missile shield," the Associated Press has reported.
The Washington Post carried the 5-paragraph story, but buried it on page A6 of the May 4 paper under the headline, "Military ups the ante on missile defense."
Well, we can all stop thinking about the presidential election, because Barack Obama's victory is assured. This morning, Paul Wiseman at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, virtually celebrated analysts' predictions that the unemployment rate will drop a whole 0.3% between now and Election Day to 7.9%. But in searching desperately for a precedent, he claimed that a public which has historically tended to have a "What have you done for me lately?" mentality has rewarded presidents seeking reelection who have seen the jobless rate decline in "the two years before the election." By this "logic," Obama will be reelected even if the unemployment rate zooms to 9.7% by Election Day, because that rate will still be lower than November 2010 rate of 9.8%. So, as I said, it's over.
What follows in rebuttal isn't a claim that Obama won't get reelected. But if he does, it will be certainly be for reasons other than the economy's (brace yourself) "brighter jobs picture" and its move into a "virtuous cycle." Excerpts from Wiseman's wheezing follow the jump (bold is mine; HT to BizzyBlog commenter "Tony"):
On Friday evening, it was Christopher Rugaber and Paul Wiseman. Today it's Martin Crutsinger. Together with Derek Kravitz (who isn't in on the latest offense -- yet), perhaps the just-named quartet of alleged journalists should be named "The Four Distortsmen."
Today, it was Crutsinger who, in the wake of a mediocre report on consumer spending, again invoked "government budget-cutting as the primary culprit explaining why the economy only grew by an estimated annualized 2.2% during the first quarter: