The left has been ridiculing supposedly wildly overstated estimates of the costs of building the calamitous HealthCare.gov website.
Based on a look at one contractor, CGI, which he must have assumed was the general contractor (i.e., the lead entity through which amounts paid to subcontracting firms would be funneled), Andrew Couts at Digital Trends originally estimated a total cost of $634 million. Couts later backed it down to "over $500 million" after identifying non-Affordable Care Act-related work with which CGI was associated. The New York Times has until recently been working with a figure of "over $400 million." All figures just noted are almost certainly miles too low, for two reasons.
If journalism school began with a course on Avoiding Puff Pieces, they could use as text this Sunday New York Times article by Michael Schulman: “Ronan Farrow: The Youngest Old Guy in the Room.” MSNBC’s newest star is puffed as large as the Sta-Puf Marshmallow Giant in "Ghostbusters." It invites the neologism "Ipe-cackle." It's so vomitous it's humorous.
This is how it started: “‘Wow, he’s handsome,’ one dinner guest said, peering over a throng of photographers. ‘He’s going to be our president in, like, 30 years,’ another gushed.” It was all downhill from there, at increasing speed:
Chris Matthews was deeply satisfied by the New York Times publishing an op-ed Wednesday they titled "The Cry of the True Republican" by John G. Taft, a descendent of our fattest president, William Howard Taft. "The body blows to the Republican Party just keep on coming," Matthews announced on Wednesday night's "Hardball."
This "stalwart Republican" suddenly sounds like a Xerox copier of the half-witticisms of Chris Matthews, as if Matthews was quoting himself on the air: "There is more than a passing similarity between Joseph McCarthy and Ted Cruz, between McCarthyism and the Tea Party movement." This is not the same John G. Taft as the guy who wrote for Forbes just last December that our spending addiction needed fixing:
On Monday's CBS This Morning, the New York Times' Peter Baker didn't reveal anything shocking about George W. Bush's opinion about the liberal paper. Charlie Rose wondered about one detail concerning Baker's new book on Bush and Dick Cheney: "Why wouldn't President Bush talk to you?" He replied, "President Bush didn't believe that a book written by a New York Times reporter could be fair. He felt that the paper had not been balanced in his time in office." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The journalist also dispelled the common liberal view about former Vice President Cheney's influence inside the Bush White House. Norah O'Donnell brought up how "there was this perception, of course, that Cheney was the one who was really pulling the levers of power." Baker bluntly retorted, "The picture that we have of this presidency and vice presidency is too cartoonish. It's too stick-figure – two-dimensional. It's a much more complicated story."
CBS This Morning brought on New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson on Friday with all the honors, with Charlie Rose lauding her for leading her paper to four Pulitzer Prizes this year as “the first female” in the top job, and asking her how she’d put an “Abramson imprint” on the paper. But the interesting part came later.
Abramson agreed with her reporter David Sanger that the Obama administration is worse than the much-criticized Bush administration when it comes to cracking down on reporters seeking interviews with government sources. It was almost funny, as three different CBS hosts asked the question, like they could not accept the answer:
Author Gay Talese, a man the media elite calls a “legend,” worked as a New York Times reporter in the Sixties and then wrote a book about the paper called The Kingdom and The Power, which Fox News president Roger Ailes has called one of the five best books about the news business.
From a new interview with Longform.org, Andrew Beaujon at Poynter MediaWire reportsTalese calls today’s Times “a much better paper than when I worked for it.” But he thinks it’s lost its radical Sixties edge. “It doesn’t have the anti-government tone that I want,” Talese sats, and says the Washington bureau is too “wimpy” with Obama, who’s a “disaster” as a president:
The New York Times is always selling its favorite Democrats, like this gooey introduction from Kate Zernike on Thursday’s front page: “Mayor Cory A. Booker of Newark easily won New Jersey’s special Senate election on Wednesday, finally rising to an office that measures up to his national profile.“
Who is it, precisely, who has built this expansive national profile? The politician, surely, but he’s had a lot of help from the national profile-builders of the major media. Zernike’s already measuring him for vice-president in 2016:
It's time for an "ObamaCare Success" victory parade!
And what was this "ObamaCare Success?" Why, it was Paul Krugman conveniently discovering ONE unnamed person who claims to have "signed up" for ObamaCare. Here is Krugman breathlessly describing this astounding "ObamaCare Success":
Three New York Times reporters' coverage of HealthCare.gov's systemic failures is inadvertently funny. Its opening paragraph quotes Henry Chao, described as "the chief digital architect for the Obama administration’s new online insurance marketplace," as "deeply worried about the web site's debut" way back in March, and hoping that "it’s not a third-world experience." The Third World, many of whose developers have shown that they can design functional interactive web sites, should feel insulted.
Despite all the trouble ObamaCare has been having since health insurance exchanges opened about two weeks ago, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on ABC’s This Week Sunday predictably had nothing but praise for the law.
Fortunately the Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan and former Mitt Romney advisor Dan Senor were present to set the record straight (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As video games grow ever more violent and realistic, the latest sign "progress" is the arrival of female characters you can take into combat in the latest version of the war game "Call of Duty."
You may watch a hundred commercials selling this product, but no one tells the audience what’s really in it. There’s a reason: You’d be shocked. A panel of young pundits on the gaming website IGN.com recently pondered the question "How does it feel to have a woman get stabbed in the face?"
Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years in prison yesterday. As has been the case for nearly six years as his scandals and prosecution have unfolded (seen here in dozens of NewsBusters posts), press coverage has usually avoided the inconvenient fact that Kilpatrick is a Democrat, and almost completely ignored Barack Obama's hearty endorsement of him during the early stages of his 2008 presidential campaign. A YouTube video from a May 2007 speech at the Detroit Economic Club shows Obama thanking Kilpatrick for "doing an outstanding job of gathering together the leadership at every level of Detroit, to bring about the kind of renaissance that all of us anticipate for this great city."
News outlets failing to note Kilpatrick's Democratic Party affiliation yesterday included the New York Times, CBS in Detroit, the Detroit Free Press in an item carried at USA Today, and Mike Tobin at Fox News. The Associated Press outdid itself in this regard, as will be explained after the jump.
New York Times TV critic Mike Hale fixed his gaze on the ABC show “Scandal” in Thursday’s paper, and the pull quote was “The affairs and conspiracies never end for a miracle worker.”
But then Hale concluded by leaping off a deep end: the show’s lead character, the public-relations fixer (and presidential mistress) Olivia Pope is a version of Jesus, and in fact better than Jesus, so who needs him anyway?
NewsBusters readers are well-aware that one of our problems with New York Times columnist Paul Krugman - besides his perilously liberal bias, of course! - is how he plays fast and loose with facts to support his agenda.
On MSNBC's Morning Joe Thursday, co-host Joe Scarborough said, "One of the public editors of the New York Times told me off the record after my debate that their biggest nightmare was his column every week" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The next Federal Reserve Chairman will be Janet Yellen. President Barack Obama plans to nominate her on Oct. 9. Ahead of the announcement, Yellen, the liberal Fed vice chairman, was considered the most likely candidate to replace Ben Bernanke ever since Larry Summers, her chief rival for the nomination, bowed out of the race on Sept. 16.
She was a frontrunner even before Summers’ withdrawal. But between July 12 and Oct. 8, the networks paid very little attention to Yellen and the Fed candidacy. In fact, they spent more time covering Miss America in one day, than in three months of coverage of the future Fed chairman.
One way to know if a journalist is asking a softball question is when the President of the United States compliments the reporter after he or she asks it. That happened twice on Tuesday as Barack Obama talked to reporters about the government shutdown. The President called on Sam Stein of the liberal Huffington Post website. Stein dutifully wondered, "With Speaker Boehner so far unwilling to hold a vote on a clean CR, what assurances can you give to those affected by a shutdown who are concerned about an even longer impasse?"
He added, "And how worried are you personally that your preferred solution to this -- a clear CR at sequestration levels -- may do harm to the nation's economy and your second term agenda?" Finding the question appropriately fawning, Obama responded, "Sam, you're making an important point." The President looked favorably on a similar query from a New York Times journalist. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Early Thursday morning, swallowing an Obama administration fallback talking point hook, line, and sinker, Juliet Williams and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, described the horrible problems users have had during the past two days in even accessing the Obamacare exchanges, including "overloaded websites and jammed phone lines," as proof of "strong demand for the private insurance plans," and of "exceptionally high interest in the new system."
Really, guys? That doesn't reconcile with other information gleaned from other sources about low enrollments and unimpressive site visit totals. I'll note just a few of them after the jump.
Isn't this rich? The New York Times, in a Sunday story placed on the front page of Monday's print edition, took shots at another news organization for leaking sensitive intelligence. The Old Grey Lady must think we all have short memories.
Unfortunately, Dylan Byers at the Politico does have a short memory — either that, or he's protecting the sacred Times and its history-challenged reporters Eric Schmitt and Michael S. Schmidt. Here's how Byers lays out the situation (bolds are mine throughout this post):
The New York Times won this morning’s athletic effort to bury the story of Lois Lerner retiring over “gross mismangement” of the IRS tax-exempt organizations branch. At the very bottom of page A-14, in the second item under a “National Briefing” header, the Times ran a 77-word AP snippet, because who really cares when Tea Party groups are harassed by the Obama administration?
The 1379-word lead item in the National section explored “An Effort to Punish Posting of Nude Images After Breakups.” (First idea: don't send nude electronic images.) The caption under a large picture explained "Marianna Taschinger, 23, in Groves, Tex., is suing her ex-boyfriend and a Web site known for 'revenge porn' where nude photographs of her were posted." The other papers were competitive in burying this item:
If you listen to the left, you're probably hearing about food stamp "cuts."
What you're probably not hearing is, as Ira Stoll reported in the New York Sun, that the Democrats wanted to increase food stamp spending by 65% over the next ten years but Republicans passed a bill to raise it by only 57%, so partisan spinners and liberals in the media are calling what the GOP passed "a cut."
Dare a top newspaper journalist to play connect-the-dots and chances are he’ll fail miserably – at least with drawing the line between Islam and terrorism. In Nairobi, Kenya last weekend, Islamist militants took over a high-end shopping mall and began executing non-Muslims. In Pakistan, Islamist suicide bombers detonated at a Christian Church on Sunday.
Yet on Monday, September 23, 90 percent of the top ten (via circulation numbers) daily newspapers’ headlines in the United States censored the words “Islam” and Muslim” from Nairobi and Pakistan reports. One – the New York Daily News – didn’t even have a headline for the latest Islamic terrorist attacks. That’s journalism at its finest.
Yesterday morning, Floyd Lee Corkins II was sentenced by a federal judge in the District of Columbia to 25 years in prison for his act of terrorism and attempted murder last August at the Family Research Council. Corkins targeted the socially conservative think tank because of what he considered their "anti-gay" views. In an interrogation with the FBI, he admitted that he drew inspiration from a "hate map" on the website for the liberal Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)
But if you depend solely on ABC, CBS, or NBC's newscasts, you didn't learn any of this. Those networks completely ignored Corkins's sentencing both in September 19 evening news programs and their September 20 morning shows. What's more, the New York Times, which prides itself on publishing "all the news that's fit to print," failed to report the story at all in the Friday newspaper. The Washington Post ran a 28-paragraph story by staffer Ann Marimow, which was printed on page B3. Marimow's story lacked any mention, however, of the role the SPLC's website played in Corkins's planned attack.
At the New York Times on Tuesday, Michael S. Schmidt claimed that "The suspect in the killing of 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday test-fired an AR-15 assault rifle at a Virginia gun store last week but was stopped from buying one because state law there prohibits the sale of such weapons to out-of-state buyers, according to two senior law enforcement officials."
The portion of that statement about being "stopped from buying" an AR-15 isn't true, writes Emily Miller at the Washington Times, not only because "state law" wouldn't have prevented such an attempt, but also because Aaron Alexis didn't even try to buy one. Miller asserts that the New York Times "should issue a correction immediately." She also decries the establishment media's "obsession" with tying the AR-15 to the Navy Yard shooting (bolds are mine throughout this post):
The American media have long supported gun control, but they have increased their attacks on the gun industry since the Newtown shooting in December with a careful shift in the language they use. The media will most likely exploit the tragic shooting at D.C.’s Navy Yard to push the propaganda term.
While the commonplace “gun control” has an aggressive connotation to it, and rightfully so, liberals have attempted to replace it with the softer-sounding “gun reform” to make their agenda more acceptable. And the print and broadcast media have followed suit in adopting the expression. An Agence France-Presse piece, published just hours after the Navy Yard attack, called anti-gun Sen. Dianne Feinstein a “Senate gun-reform advocate.”
The Daily Beast is celebrating a new exhibit on “A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk.” Naturally, this is funded by the New York Council on the Humanities and the New York State Council on the Arts, “with the support of Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.”
Here’s more government-subsidized liberalism, for the museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology. Peter Davis writes “One of the sweetest moments in the show is a celebration of the historical gay marriage rulings.”
Let’s look at the way the print media reacted to Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis after their first six months as pontiff.
We looked at the editorials in 15 of the nation’s largest newspapers to see what they said about the current pope, and his predecessor, after their first six months in office (Pope Francis will celebrate his first six months on September 13).
Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple was a little shocked that The New York Times would assign MSNBC host Rachel Maddow to write a gushing Sunday book review for anti-war favorite Andrew Bacevich. Maddow acknowledged in the review that Bacevich gave her a gushing blurb for her book “Drift.” He’s also appeared on her show, which wasn’t admitted.
The other dishonest note in this logrolling of mutual praise is everyone suggesting that Bacevich is some kind of “crusty conservative,” which in no way matches his actual writing. If he were a conservative, Maddow wouldn’t be praising his takedown of the “warrior myth” of the war-mongers:
Two Colorado senators have been recalled, and either already are not serving their former constituents or won't be shortly. Yet according to today's Democratic Party talking points, their recalls, the first-ever in state history spurred by the ousted senators' support of gun-control measures passed earlier this year, are only "symbolic" — despite all the money that poured in from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's gun-control group to save them.
I have found no visible press pushback against this nonsensical claim. How many press members would remain silent if, say, a conservative or Republican special election loser in a congressional race said that his or her loss was "symbolic" because it didn't change who controls the House? (Answer: Zero.) Three reports containing the Dem meme follow the jump.
The New York Times published a large color picture of a “defund Obamacare” rally on Capitol Hill on page A-12 of Wednesday’s paper. The headline was “G.O.P. Eyes Hard Line Against Health Care Law.” There is no such thing as a “hard line” in favor of Obamacare.
Sadly, the Jackie Calmes story below the picture saved any mention of the conservative rally until paragraph 13, where she briefly singled out protesters with bad spelling who favored impeachment and compared Obama to Hitler and Stalin:
If there's one thing Chris Wallace at Fox News does well that most others in the press don't — at least when interviewing Democrats and liberals — it's his refusal to let a question go until his interviewee either answers it or makes it obvious to viewers that he or she won't answer.
Such an incident took place today with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough on Fox News Sunday (video is here). The question, which I strongly doubt was even broached on any of the left-leaning Sunday talk shows today, concerned why the Obama administration hasn't been able to apprehend the September 11, 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack ringleader (bolds are mine):