In yet another negative milestone for the bailouts that supposedly saved the U.S. auto industry — already a hard-to-handle claim given that Chrysler, one of the two beneficiaries, is now 100% owned by an Italian company — Volkswagen has surpassed General Motors as the world's number two automaker behind Toyota.
The reporting on this development has been quite sparse. It's not news at the Associated Press's national site, even though AP mentions VW in a report on Super Bowl ad and social media strategies. At USA Today, James R. Healey's could easily have inserted the news into his story today on the 65th anniversary of the VW Beetle's first arrival here, and didn't. What follows is an excerpt from Expatica, one of the few publications to note the shakeup in the auto industry hierarchy:
Before anyone seeks to level a criticism for picking on someone's mistake, let's imagine what the press, which is so desperate to pin anything on Ted Cruz that one of its members recently tried to hold him responsible for others' comments on his Facebook page, would do to him if he made the error recently elected New Jersey Senator Cory Booker made two days ago on Twitter — and has yet to correct.
We've seen it play out in several areas, one of which is climate science. Any researcher who questions the supposedly "settled science" of global warming is a hack who will produce whatever industry wants if they have ever accepted a dime from an energy company, while those who depend on government grants to sustain their livelihood — grants which heavily depend on toeing the politically correct line that human-caused warming is one of the greatest evils of our time — are as pure as the driven snow.
In an item about head injuries and football, USA Today's Dan Wolken went to the same, uh, playbook with neuroscientist Sandra Chapman, who contends that "concussions don't pose a significant long-term health risk." It almost seemed as if Wolken believes that those who have sued the NFL and obtained a tentative $675 million settlement — an amount which a judge believes is likely inadequate — have "settled science" on their side (HT Rush Limbaugh; bolds and numbered tags are mine):
At least one government watchdog is learning to bark again.
USA Today’s Opinion section dedicated “Today’s Debate” to religious freedom – or the fight over Obamacare’s contraception mandate. In a January 13 piece entitled, “Obamacare Overreach Tramples Little Sisters of the Poor,” USA Today rebelled against its own (media) kind to call out the Obama administration for having “picked a fight with Catholics and other religious groups.” Among other faults, the article found the administration’s “position” on the mandate “constitutionally suspect, politically foolish and ultimately unproductive.”
Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe wrote an inflammatory post for Deadspin.com headlined "I Was An NFL Player Until I Was Fired By Two Cowards And A Bigot." He claims he was released for his "gay rights activism," his wild rants and tweets against social conservatives. The “cowards” were Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier and GM Rick Spielman. The “bigot” was special-teams coach Mike Priefer, a man Kluwe wants banned from coaching for a "doctrine of intolerance."
Kluwe claimed Priefer once said "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows.” USA Today’s Tom Pelissero reported that not only did Preiefer deny that, but Vikings kicker Blair Walsh also insisted the allegations were false.
In an October 3 column at USA Today, economics correspondent Tim Mullaney pronounced "HealthCare.gov a winner despite glitches."
Mullaney from all appearances has never retracted any of what he wrote that fateful day. He also defended himself vigorously in correspondence with yours truly during the week or so after my NewsBusters post critical of his writeup appeared. Accordingly, in light of what has really happened with HealthCare.gov, it seems more than appropriate to republish several paragraphs from his October review for their value as pure comedy gold.
This morning, in an apparent rush to get a jump on the rest of the excuse-making establishment press, Aamer Madhani at USA Today claimed that President Barack Obama's shameless, lame Monday night attempt to explain away his serial guarantee, namely that "If you like your health insurance plan, you can keep your health insurance plan, period" — made roughly two dozen times in 2009 and 2010, and repeated on the campaign trail in 2012 — represented a "tweaking of his claim" in which he "added a caveat." So that makes it all okay. (/sarc)
Madhani also acted as if it's only Republicans who have directed "an avalanche of criticism" at Obama. He also swallowed the false line that "only" 5 percent of Americans have been affected, ignoring a similar impact in the small group market and several well-known large-employer terminations of plans which had been offered to part-timers and retirees. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post; numbered tags are mine):
David Callaway, Editor-in-Chief of USA Today, is so upset by Republicans using the HealthCare.gov roll-out mess to discredit ObamaCare, that he penned an op-ed for Friday’s edition of the national newspaper to dismiss the problems as a blip with no relevance to the overall program.
Headlined “Obama’s Y2K moment,” Callaway unpersuasively equated the current situation of the ongoing dysfunctional HeathCare.gov with the concerns before January 1, 2000 about how that date change could cause computer havoc. But it did not, so he equated an actual technology mess with one that never occurred, contending the current situation is just like Y2K – a big nothing.
Believe it or not, the media is celebrating births, as they recently noted that 5 million “assisted reproductive” births since have occurred 1978.
But while they’re cheering the productivity of the chemically enhanced and scientifically tweaked stork, it would be nice to mention how busy the vulture has been during the same period – over 36 million U.S. children were aborted during those years.
The healthcare sector, particular hospitals, is hitting a wall. In a Sunday morning writeup, USA Today reporters Paul Davidson and Barbara Hansen considered this news "surprising," because Obamacare is supposedly going to bring hospitals so much new business.
Well, guys, that new business needs to be profitable. Odds are it won't be. The staff cuts also appear to foreshadow the rationing so many people have predicted would result, and which has resulted under state-run healthcare in U.S. states like Massachusetts and other countries, if Obamacare passed. Of course, the USAT pair didn't recognize that possibility. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
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.
Liberals have grown increasingly angry at Republican “gerrymandering” as a cause for today’s “crazy” conservative House, that Republicans represent overwhelmingly anti-Obama districts and are in no danger of losing. They often completely ignore that many minority Democrats represent overwhelmingly pro-Obama districts and are in no danger of losing. (In response to Voting Rights Act-caused racial gerrymandering, we have silly-looking districts like Mel Watt’s in North Carolina. See PJ Media for more.)
In Tuesday’s USA Today, black columnist DeWayne Wickham -- a former reporter for U.S. News & World Report magazine -- took this willful blindness to new heights, and bizarrely made it sound like a white conspiracy that Republican districts are so white the House GOP “looks like a Klan klavern”:
Well Redskins fans, it’s over. The ruling has been handed down from on high – The Washington Post and USA Today. They’ve got a foam finger for you, but it’s not the index and you’re certainly not #1 to them, and they’re the ones who matter. They’ve decided your team name will change.
They got some help last week from President Obama, who took a break from refusing to negotiate with Republicans to tell the AP, “If I were the owner of the team and I knew that there was a name of my team – even if it had a storied history – that was offending a sizeable group of people, I'd think about changing it.” In other words, if he had a team mascot, it wouldn’t look like the ’Skins’ logo, and Dan Snyder is acting stupidly.
Early Friday afternoon, USA Today's Tim Mullaney excused HealthCare.gov's "glitches," confidently predicted that "they'll get fixed" (in about two months!) and pronounced the enterprise "an out-of-the-box success for consumers shopping for health insurance" which will "sell tons of insurance," even though he had to go to a canned calculator found elsewhere to do much of his work. As to "selling tons of insurance": Well of course it will, if allowed to continue. Thanks to a Supreme Court majority led by John Roberts, it's a legal requirement to do so under penalty of law.
Mullaney also contended that HealthCare.gov's virtual failure to sign up "consumers" — a situation that certainly was not remotely remedied when he submitted his column — was little different from what many private-sector companies have experienced and overcome. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Richard Wolf of USA Today can’t use the word “left” to describe recent Supreme Court rulings, only “right.” It came in a story headlined “Supreme Court poised to tilt further to the right.”
When the Court tacks left, it’s a “blockbuster” term of “landmark" decisions. Wolf began: “After two blockbuster terms in which it saved President Obama's health care law and advanced the cause of same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court appears poised to tack to the right in its upcoming term on a range of social issues, from abortion and contraception to race and prayer.”
You have to wonder what it will take for anyone in the establishment press to call out a major malfunction associated with Obamacare for what it really is. The threshold is apparently something worse than hundreds of thousands of children, many of whom previously had coverage, going without health insurance.
One of the latest headlined examples of reality avoidance first appeared at USA Today's web site Monday evening (the current 11:55 p.m. time stamp indicates that there has since been a story revision): "'Family glitch' in health law could be painful."(Could be?) Additionally, as seen here (HT Twitchy), that pathetic headline to Kelly Kennedy's story also appears in McPaper's Tuesday print edition (bolds are mine):
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:
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.
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).
Are solar panels are the way to a bright future of clean energy – or the way to an empty bank account?
On Aug. 14, USA Today profiled a man who built solar panels in his backyard to demonstrate the inefficiency and high costs of solar energy as well as the taxpayer-funded government subsidies he got in the process.
According to the article, Rochester, N.Y. resident Jeffrey Punton installed the solar panels in the backyard of his home for a combined personal and government subsidized price of $42,480. This price doesn’t include maintenance. Punton received $29,500 in government subsidies to install them, which he calls as a “foolish investment.”
USA Today's "breaking news" email ("Ex-Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. sentenced to 30 months") opened with the following opening sentence: "The nine-term Democrat from Illinois and son of the former civil rights leader had pleaded guilty in February to using $750,000 in campaign money to pay for living expenses, clothes and luxury items."
So it seemed like it would be a waste of time to click through to confirm that Jackson would be tagged as a Democrat in the story itself, right? Wrong. (UPDATE, Aug. 15: USAT revised the story and included a couple of Democrat references later in the day. The original as it appeared when this post was written is here.) USAT's Fredreka Schouten applied the "Democrat" tag once — to describe Mel Reynolds, the disgraced Congressman Jackson replaced in 1995, in her 18th paragraph. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
ObamaCare is set to hit all of us this October, and Susan Page of USA Today is already blaming the Republicans in the likely case the law turns out to be an abject failure. Appearing on MSNBC’s Weekends with Alex Witt on Saturday, Page made a confession that has been hard for the liberal media to make: “[W]e are entering this really critical period when we’re going to find out if [ObamaCare] works the way it's supposed to work or not.”
A previous Democratic Congress passed the Affordable Care Act so we could find out what was in it, as Nancy Pelosi infamously quipped. But we won’t truly know how it works – or if it works – until it is implemented. It was courageous of Page to admit that ObamaCare is still a question mark. But she may sense that the health care law will fail to work as it was intended, because she quickly blamed Republicans for the potential failure of the law: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
For decades, no American president has successfully navigated the tenuous relationship between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, each one failing to broker a long-term peace agreement between the two groups. Despite the daunting task of establishing Middle East peace, USA Today believes that President Obama has a secret weapon that no president has had before: Secretary of State John Kerry.
In a glowing review of his involvement, the July 30 USA Today hyped how Secretary Kerry is “running show in Mideast talks.” Reporter Aamer Madhani’s praise doesn’t stop there, Gushing that the secretary has notably “worked a bit of magic” in his efforts to create peace between Israel and the Palestinian people.
One of the most important things a journalist is supposed to do is check, double check, and sometimes even triple check sources to make sure the news being reported is accurate.
That's not what happened in the case involving George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin, according to Rem Rieder, a former journalism professor and a media columnist for USA Today. Instead, the members of the news media portrayed Zimmerman as “the neighborhood watch captain/'wannabe cop'” who profiled Martin, “an unarmed, hoodie-clad black teenager” out on the streets “simply because he wanted some Skittles.”
If the newly gay-friendly Boy Scouts were paying attention last week, they may have caught a glimpse of their future.
According to USAToday, Girl Scouts marched in San Francisco’s infamous gay Pride Parade “for the first time.” Celebrating the “boost” that the DOMA and Prop 8 rulings gave to the Pride Parade, the article quoted Girl Scout parent Del Gregor, who brought her 11-year-old daughter to march in the parade, as saying that she wants her kids “to be able to tell their children they were a part of this.”
On Wednesday and Thursday, as seen in this search result at its national site, the Associated Press devoted six stories and a morning "10 Things" tease to the death-penalty execution of Kimberly McCarthy.
Make that seven, as an unbylined AP story which appeared at USA Today the morning after McCarthy died appears to have been replaced at the wire service's national site by another during revisions. The "significance" of McCarthy's execution was that it was the 500th in Texas since the Lone Star State reinstated the death penalty in 1982 -- and of course, that a potential GOP presidential contender in 2016 happens to be the state's governor. Maybe I missed them, but I'm unaware of any AP stories in the past few years marking the one-millionth U.S. abortion in any calendar year, or the 500th murder in any state. Excerpts from the report appearing at USA Today, complete with "grim milestone" language seen so frequently during Iraq War coverage, follow (bolds are mine):
Believe it or not, none of the largest national newspapers put an article on Wednesday’s IRS hearings on the front page. The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal had a picture of Lois Lerner, but sent the reader to an inside page for the story. The New York Times and USA Today offered no picture, either.
USA Today has an excuse: it put Lerner taking the Fifth on Wednesday’s front page in a preview. But The New York Times only put this taxpayer scandal on Page One: “Europe Pushes to Shed Stigma Of a Tax Haven.” Oh, heavens forbid. Andrew Higgins championed a “sweeping global assault on tax evasion,” starting in Luxembourg.