In the world of Hollywood politics, U.S. News & World Report is hyping "Peter Pan's Lily-White Tiger Lily Problem." Warner Brothers is making a movie called "Pan" (due in July 2015), and the Indian princess Tiger Lily is being played by white actress Rooney Mara.
“This casting choice is particularly shameful for a children’s movie,” an outraged petition said. “Telling children their role models must all be white is unacceptable.” Tierney Sneed at U.S. News highlighted how this "stings" for the Native American actors:
Media mogul Mort Zuckerman wins this weekend’s funniest line on a political talk show.
Asked by the host of PBS's McLaughlin Group why successful billionaires would invest in a dying business such as newspapers, Zuckerman replied, “Because they no longer wish to be billionaires” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Mort Zuckerman really schooled Eleanor Clift on PBS's McLaughlin Group Friday.
After Clift commented that if she closed her eyes during House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's (R-Va.) speech to the American Enterprise Institute last week, she "would have thought it was Barack Obama," Zuckerman marvelously fired back, "Eleanor, if it had been Barack Obama, you would have supported everything he said" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
A Monday US News item by Jason Koebler ("Study: Global Warming Can Be Slowed By Working Less") illustrates how radical thought injects itself into establishment press news stories.
Koebler's work attempts to be cute, with its picture (a cyclist taking a nap), its subheadline (a suggestion that "a more 'European' schedule would reduce the effects of climate change"), and its opening ("Want to reduce the effects of global warming? Stop working so hard"). The seemingly innocent concept is that "working fewer hours and more vacation time, could prevent as much as half of the expected global temperature rise by 2100." It takes a bit of digging before one learns that the whole idea is really premised on "de-growth" -- "a political, economic, and social movement ... (which) advocate(s) for the downscaling of production and consumption," or, in other words, "the contraction of economies."
This Thanksgiving, a record high of 42.2 million Americans will use food stamps to curtail the cost of a big meal. At a whopping expense of $72 billion to the taxpayer per year, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has grown by 70 percent since 2007, an increase of over 15 million more people.
Despite acknowledging all of this, Elizabeth Flock of US News & World Report declared "More Americans will use food stamps to buy their Thanksgiving dinner this year than ever before," and implied these government handouts aren't as sufficient as they could be.
A common media deception is to accuse Republicans of being anti-immigration.
When Newsweek's Eleanor Clift tried this on PBS's McLaughlin Group Friday, US News & World Report's James Pethokoukis quickly scolded, "They’re anti-illegal immigration. They’re not anti-immigration...That’s just wrong" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
U.S. News and World Report's Mort Zuckerman deliciously smacked down the perilously liberal and unwarrantedly arrogant Newsweek columnist Eleanor Clift on this weekend's edition of PBS's The McLaughlin Group.
When Clift ignorantly said Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney didn't create jobs at Bain Capital, Zuckerman quickly dismissed her saying, "I’m not going to argue. I know about Bain Capital since I was involved with it" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
As the national media's political attention turns again to a Wisconsin recall election ginned up by angry labor unions -- that's not counting Ed Schultz, who's never stopped obsessing about ousting Gov. Scott Walker -- it's easy to forget that the national media used to be on the other side of a recall election.
In 2003 in California, it was liberal Gov. Gray Davis who was recalled, and conservatives who ginned up the campaign. Back then, the governor was a hero and the opponents were cranks. As reporters Howard Fineman and Karen Breslau summed up in a Newsweek cover story: "So this is California: in thrall, at least for the moment, to an earnest crank and in the grip of what can only be described as a civic crackup."
There are times when I'm truly sickened by the total lack of economic acumen possessed by today's so-called journalists.
On PBS's McLaughlin Group this weekend, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift once again said something so totally ignorant that she had to be corrected by US News & World Report's Mort Zuckerman (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Newsweek's Eleanor Clift got a bit of a tongue-lashing from US News and World Report's Mort Zuckerman on this weekend's McLaughlin Group.
After Clift predictably praised President Obama's press conference last week, Zuckerman aggressively shot back, "That's nonsense to say the Israelis don't think through the consequences of war! That’s ridiculous!" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Obamacare will not be fully implemented for another three years, but the Internal Revenue Service is already requesting money for the legion of bureaucrats required to oversee its implementation. The IRS has requested funds for an additional 1,054 employees in 2012 alone, hirings that would cost taxpayers $359 million.
Appearing as a guest on Sunday’s Reliable Sources on CNN, Steve Roberts - who has worked for both the New York Times and U.S. News and World Report - after conceding that the Tea Party movement is important, dismissively asserted that the movement "didn’t win. You only won a couple of seats." Roberts:
I think that they are an important part of the American landscape. Now I don't think they're as important as they think they are. I mean, you had people coming into Washington this week and saying, wait, we won. No, you didn't win. You won a couple of seats, and you got to deal with everybody else.
After host Howard Kurtz wondered "did the media kind of turn on" President Obama and claimed that the media had not spent enough time giving credit to Obama for his recent legislative successes, leading to guest Thomas Frank of Harper’s to bring up complaints against Obama by disaffected liberals, Roberts asserted that there is no liberal media bias:
As part of its week-long special report on "Big Green," the Washington Examiner's Mark Tapscott wrote a piece detailing the cozy relationship - often brushing right up against unethical - between journalists, policymakers, and environmental advocacy groups.
The Examiner raises serious ethical concerns regarding a 2003 article in U.S. News and World Report that, according to Tapscott, continues to influence policy concerning the nation's fisheries.
The article, written by reporter Thomas Hayden, warns that "fish stocks are dangerously overexploited" and at risk due to commercial fishing. But nowhere in the article did Hayden disclose that he two of the primary sources for the had recently returned from a Carribean junket funded by a leading organization in the push for stricter environmental regulations, including on commercial fisheries. Nor did he mention that another 11 sources cited in the article received funding from that same organization.
This is one story that U.S. News & World Report's Washington Whispers might want to keep to a low whisper or risk even more ridicule than what they are already receiving. Paul Bedard, writing in Washington Whispers, quotes Kennedy's biographer and former girlfriend who claim that Ted was really an innocent victim of the Chappaquiddick accident. Here is Kennedy biographer Burton Hersh making the case for Kennedy as merely a lousy driver:
Now, a year after Kennedy died, his lifelong biographer Burton Hersh, armed with fresh interviews with Kennedy's mistress at the time, tells Whispers that the whole July 1969 episode should have been handled as a simple crash, leaving the senator's legacy untainted. "It was a car accident," he says. "Ted was a terrible driver. He never paid much attention to where he was going."
"He took a tremendous blow on the head," says Hersh. In interviews following the crash, Kennedy displayed confusion and amnesia, he says.
Days after Mort Zuckerman, the Editor-in-Chief of U.S. News and World Report, claimed to be close to President Obama's advisors, the national media have yet to express any interest.
Of the few outlets that mentioned it, the White House's denial was taken as gospel truth, and no more investigation was apparently warranted.
What a difference when the sitting president is a Democrat.
Under the Bush Administration, the media were obsessed with linking the White House to Fox News in an effort to accuse Republicans of spreading propaganda. Yet now that U.S. News is linked to Obama, suddenly such allegations are quickly dimissed.
For a taste of the double standard, observe two different reports from Politico. First is a post on Tuesday concerning Zuckerman:
"Although the Gulf spill has lowered the percentage of Americans who support offshore oil drilling, a new Pew Forum poll finds a stunning 54 percent still support it," an incredulous Erbe wrote, adding, "So it will take more than a major, irreversible environmental disaster to persuade gas glugging Americans to trade in their pickups for hybrids. I see."
To Erbe, it can't possibly be that average Americans are more even-keeled than their hot-headed, grandstanding congressmen who would capitalize on a disaster for crass political gain. No, it's that oil-addicted American idiots across the fruited plain just aren't following the example of their betters on the Hill:
It seems that the U.S. News & World Report is in some serious competition with the Associated Press over who can put the most positive spin on April's increase in unemployment. So the unemployment figure rose last month from 9.7% to 9.9%? Great news according to Rick Newman in his U.S. News blog titled, "Why a Rising Unemployment Rate is Good News." And why is it good news? Newman explains...sort of:
It sounds dreadful. After drifting down consistently since last fall, the unemployment rate has suddenly shot up again, from 9.7 percent in March to 9.9 percent in April. But don't despair: A rising unemployment rate is actually one of the best signs yet that the economy is bouncing back.
The unemployment rate rose for the right reason. Instead of shedding jobs, employers added 290,000 jobs in April, the strongest showing since 2007. The reason the unemployment rate went up is that a lot more people are suddenly looking for work. The government said that the labor force swelled by 805,000 people in April. That's more than three times the number of new jobs, so the proportion of people looking for a job but unable to find one went up. Still, that big increase in the labor force marks an important shift in sentiment among people on the fringes of the economy.
Usually a man bemoaning the lack of positive role models for girls would receive feminist plaudits, but not from Bonnie Erbe and certainly not when he talks about the need of role models for young women who want a family and a career.
Daily Beast's Peter Beinart ticked off Erbe, a contributing editor at U.S. News and World Report, when he urged President Barack Obama in his recent column to nominate a mother to the Supreme Court because he thought that it would provide a good role model for women.
Nevermind the fact that Beinart argued his case partly because a woman nominee would help swing the Court further left or that the tenets of feminism teach that a woman can do anything she wants.
Nope, Beinart's opinion "annoys" Erbe and, according to her April 27 blog post, is "also dumb" and "offensive" because motherhood isn't a worthy option in her eyes.
What is the religious right doing by campaigning against abortion? First and foremost, its efforts seem aimed at trying to keep church pews filled by bringing more and more poor people into the world. Second, it will just end up boosting the teen unwed pregnancy rate every time it guilt trips an unwed, pregnant teen into bringing to term a child she does not want and cannot afford to raise. Third, it will effectively subjugate women and girls in the same way women and girls in developing nations are consigned to a life of child-bearing and little else.
"Never before have you seen an allegation of corruption going that close to the governor's office in modern history."
So said a Democratic consultant in North Carolina reacting to the latest casualty in the ongoing investigation of former governor Mike Easley.
The scandal has brought down Easley's wife, bankrupted his coffers, disgraced a state university, and now, most recently, set federal charges of extortion against Easley's own closest assistant - with more and more signs pointing back to Easley's doorstep.
How did the national media react to the latest turn? By burying the details and then complaining about citizens who might vote Republican as a result of the scandal.
To see the full scope of corruption afoot, behold this disturbing account from CBS's Raleigh affiliate last Friday:
Good grief. We're still talking about Palin's clothes? You'd think that with the latest Democratic scandals - like Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid's racist comments and new revelations about Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards' affair - they'd be too busy beating out their own fires to revisit old fodder against Republicans. But apparently U.S. News & World Report's Bonnie Erbe has nothing better to do.
On Jan. 11, Erbe crowed on her blog, "So today Sarah Palin delivers some great news: She's becoming the TV star she's apparently always wanted to be and sparing us (for the moment, at least) the worry that she might run for national office."
Bonnie Erbe of U.S. News and Report praised Kathleen Kennedy Townsend’s efforts to change the Catholic Church’s perennial teaching against abortion in a December 23, 2009 blog entry, calling her a “modern-day Crusader of sorts” and outlandishly predicted that the Church would eventually “recognize the wisdom of...[her] approach.” Erbe would even go so far as to liken Townsend to St. Joan of Arc.
The left-wing contributing editor to U.S. News began her editorial with the “Crusader” label for the former Democratic lieutenant governor of Maryland, even going so far as to quote from the early 20th century Catholic Encyclopedia: “Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is a modern-day Crusader of sorts. As defined by the Catholic Encyclopedia, crusade means, ‘all wars undertaken in pursuance of a vow, and directed against infidels.’ I use the term Crusader figuratively, not literally, as she’s speaking out publicly, she’s not leading a war. She’s trying to change the minds of her own church leaders—she’s not directing her rhetoric toward infidels. Nonetheless she’s leading a crusade for her church that many clergymen see as blasphemous.”
Today is World AIDS Day, on which we reflect on the global epidemic that has taken so many millions of lives and ponder ways in which we can improve world health by combating the terrible illness. In honoring the day, however, some news outlets have neglected to note the tremendous contributions to the AIDS effort undertaken by our last president.
MSNBC noted on its website a recent U.N. report that found that new cases of the syndrome are "stabilizing." "There are now 4 million people on lifesaving AIDS drugs worldwide, a 10-fold increase in five years," the article noted, adding that those drugs have saved roughly 3 million lives, according to the report (h/t NB reader Tom M.).
Yet MSNBC makes no mention of President Bush or his tremendous efforts to combat the global AIDS epidemic. It's not as if his contribution to the fight is ambiguous. U.S. News reports that the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is credited for saving roughly 2 million lives.
What's $100 million of taxpayer money between a few U.S. Senators?
After reports surfaced of $100 million for Louisiana was added to the Senate's health care reform legislation, originally from ABC News, and subsequently commented upon by prominent lefties, like U.S. News and World Report's Bonnie Erbe as my colleague Noel Sheppard pointed out, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., took the Senate floor on Nov. 21 to announce she would vote in favor to proceed forward with the Senate Democratic leadership's bill.
She also responded to allegations that $100 million earmarked for the Louisiana was added to that legislation to sway her vote. She referred to the likes of ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl and Erbe as "very partisan Republican bloggers."
"I know that might time is up, but I would like to ask personal privilege for just one more minute to address an issue that has come up unfortunately in the last 24 hours by some very partisan Republican bloggers so I need to respond I think and will do so now," Landrieu said. "One of the provisions in the framework of this bill that I've just decided to move on to debate has to do with fixing a very difficult situation that Louisiana is facing and any other state that might have a catastrophic disaster - let's hope they don't - like we did in 2005."