On Thursday, several media reports used Obama campaign talking points to downplay a new Romney campaign ad that accused the President of a "war on religion" following the ObamaCare contraception mandate that would force religious institutions to cover birth control in employee health insurance plans.
Articles for The Washington Post, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal all touted the Obama White House reaching a supposed "compromise" with religious groups on the issue. The Post's Rachel Weiner explained: "In a compromise designed to quell criticism, church-affiliated employers (such as universities) do not have to directly provide contraception coverage....But that compromise did not satisfy Catholic critics."
A year ago, Standard & Poor's cut its rating of U.S. government debt from AAA to AA+.
Very early Monday morning, in what read more like an Obama administration press release than a wire service news report, Paul Wiseman at the Associated Press claimed that subsequent events and other agencies' decisions not to deliver similar downgrades represent a "decisive repudiation" of S&P's call. Gee, I think an element of other agencies' holdbacks had quite a bit to do with the Obama administration's almost immediate move to launch an investigation into how S&P handled the ratings of mortgage-backed securities leading up to the housing and mortgage lending mess in 2008. The others didn't want to become the Department of Justice's next targets. But of course Wiseman didn't bring up that inconvenient point. Excerpts follow:
You would think after all the negative press MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell got for trashing Ann Romney's multiple sclerosis therapy of riding horses, media members would have wised up.
Apparently not, for on CNN's State of the Union Sunday, USA Today Washington bureau chief Susan Page referred to Mrs. Romney's remedy as a "very expensive horse riding dressage habit" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Thursday's NBC Rock Center, just days after calling for more liberal media bias against conservatives, left-wing screen writer Aaron Sorkin dismissed the idea that he has a reputation as an outspoken liberal: "I don't know so much about my being known for my liberal politics.... I don't have very much political sophistication at all." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Correspondent Savannah Guthrie skeptically replied: "Really, you're not known for your liberal politics?" Sorkin argued: "I don't feel that way about myself. Maybe I am. I've met activists, I'm not one of them. You know, they'll march. They'll do things that are hard. I, I don't."
It wouldn't quite be fair to say that the Associated Press's Christopher Rugaber sugarcoated his dispatch on today's release of the April Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) by Uncle Sam's Bureau of Labor Statistics. But it would be more than fair to say he missed several chances to tell readers how significant the setbacks BLS relayed really were (openings fell 8.7% from a seasonally adjusted 3.741 million to 3.416 million). That's especially true, given what we already know about May's employment situation.
What follows are several paragraphs from Rugaber's report, followed by contextual factoids the folks at Zero Hedge found which the AP reporter missed or ignored:
On May 27, going to the same theme Scott Bauer employed at the Associated Press yesterday, USA Today's Ben Jones did his level best to cast Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker as the richly funded perpetual campaigner, while portraying Walker's recall challenger, former Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, as the underfunded man of the people underdog. Of course, as was the with Bauer's bombast, there's not a word about union-driven funding, which Walker estimated in an April Newsmax interview at about $60 million. This seems like preemptive excuse-making for a Walker victory on Tuesday. Preelection polls show Walker ahead by anywhere from 2 to 10 points.
Without a whit of skepticism, Jones relayed the following dissembling quote from a Barrett spokesperson which follows the jump:
On Tuesday, USA Today topped their front page with an "Essay by Ken Burns" headlined "National parks feed the American soul." Naturally, this liberal PBS filmmaker/sermonizer began by celebrating Barack Obama, which the newspaper put in large type.
"Just before our documentary film series on the history of our national parks was first broadcast on PBS in the fall of 2009, I had a once-in-a-lifetime chance to share scenes from the film with President Obama in a small screening room at the White House. It was a great honor." He had to confess his wife and kids were "blurred into the background" as he shared his work with this special president:
Liberal columnist Kirsten Powers on Saturday made an observation about Barack Obama's same-sex marriage flipflop that few media members would dare.
During a Fox News Watch discussion about how differently the press handle the President's changes of heart versus Mitt Romney's, Powers observed, "This is less evolution and more intelligent design" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The sexualization of children is now promoted on “edgier” cable entertainment outlets. “Angry Boys,” an Australian “mockumentary” shown by HBO, showed a young girl drinking out of a pink plastic cup shaped like a penis in Episode 12.
The incident is meant to be comedic. But showing a young girl sucking on a penis in a comedic fashion is akin to showing child pornography.
In Friday’s USA Today, music critic Edna Gundersen became the latest liberal journalist to hail the new Springsteen album as a 2012 soundtrack for Barack Obama as the Boss goes on “a tear to raze Wall Street and raise Main Street.” (Earth to Edna: Springsteen earns tens of millions a year. Would you dare to check his stock portfolio?)
Gundersen gushed that the new album’s “populist anthems are unlikely to be misinterpreted and appropriated by Republican candidates. President Obama, however, has a ready-made campaign playlist.” She called it his “most politically pointed” work yet."
The entertainment industry has begun to exhibit an increasingly pro-abortion agenda. A Feb. 8 USA Today article examined the latest example of a member of the entertainment industry promoting abortion. In season 9 of the comic book series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” the main character, Buffy, decides to have an abortion.
The USA Today piece examined the circumstances behind Buffy’s decision with startling frankness: “Season 9 finds the character in her early 20s with no idea of what she’s doing with her life and in free-fall while everyone around her seeks to me maturing… …Buffy learns she is pregnant – with the unknown father possibly one of the guests at a wild party at her place – and in the new Issue 6, she confides in the heroic anti-vamp Spike of her decision to have an abortion.”
A "breaking" email I received from USA Today this morning is a definite sign of establishment press scrambling to give deceptive cover to an Obama administration mandate whose unpopularity continues to grow as more people become aware of it. It also shows the lengths to which the press will go to keep the relatively disengaged, which would include those who only primarily informed via email and other brief alerts without digging further, from encountering basic facts.
The email pretends that the president is about to announce a "decision" (as opposed to changing one), and refers to a "rule" without saying where the rule came from, or why:
In his pre-Super Bowl interview with Matt Lauer on Sunday, President Obama was asked the following question about Iran in light of the heightening tensions over its nuclear program and the possibility of an Israeli air strike: "(In repsonse) Do you fear that they will wage attacks within the United States on American soil?" Obama responded as follows: "We don't see any evidence that they have those intentions or capabilities right now."
Really? The President's statement directly goes against statements made recently by other government officials, up to and including Attorney General Eric Holder. Lauer, who is paid to look good while delivering the news and conducting interviews but not necessarily to deliver on substance, especially if it might disturb the American people before the Big Game, totally missed the contradiction. Fortunately, Ed Lasky at American Thinker didn't (internal links added by me):
After Rick Perry ended his presidential bid on Thursday, the Associated Press's Chris Tomlinson opened his dispatch about the announcement thusly: "Gov. Rick Perry dropped out of the presidential race on Thursday, endorsed his old friend Newt Gingrich and returned home to Texas, where the failed White House candidate has three years left to serve as the chief executive."
Based on much of his prior reportage, Tomlinson appears have a particular animus towards the Texas Governor. But tagging GOP presidential candidates or their candidacies as "failed" is not an aberration at the AP, while the wire service's omission of such tags on wildly unsuccessful Democratic candidates pointedly betrays the presence of obvious bias.
The "Doomsday Clock" has been with us since 1947. It is a symbolic construct of the now left-leaning Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a group which "was established in 1945 by scientists, engineers, and other experts who had created the atomic bomb as part of the Manhattan Project. They knew about the horrible effects of these new weapons and devoted themselves to warning the public about the consequences of using them."
Most people who know of it probably think that the clock's intent is to symbolize how close the world is to the disaster of nuclear war; that was indeed its sole focus for decades. However, the group just moved the clock from six minutes before midnight to five. Wait until you see why, as sympathetically reported on Tuesday by Doyle Rice at USA Today's Science Fair blog:
It's certainly not the most egregious media bias or error story you'll every see. But hey, it's the end of the year and almost GOP primary time, so take a break, lighten up a bit, and enjoy this one.
On Wednesday, as shown here and based on when comments first appeared, USA Today's Chris Woodyard put up an item in McPaper's "Drive On" blog about how the funeral of North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Il used decades-old Lincolns. The headline: "North Korea's elite use Nixon-era Lincolns." Figures, right? Any chance to get in a dig at a Republican or conservative. What's wrong with just saying "1970s"? Well, nothing, especially when you're proven wrong about the Nixonian lineage.
There's good economic news today, at least for those who only scan headlines. On USA Today's Web site, the headline is "Weekly jobless claims at lowest level in over 3 years." Oh, happy day! The president's stimulus is finally working. But if you read the Associated Press story under the headline, the news isn't quite so sanguine:
The number of people seeking unemployment benefits rose last week after three straight weeks of declines to a level consistent with a modest pick-up in hiring.
The cover story of Tuesday's USA Today blared "Resurgent Republicans close gap in key states." Susan Page reported a new USA Today/Gallup poll of 12 battleground states found "the number of voters who identify themselves as Democratic or Democratic-leaning in these key states has eroded, down 4 percentage points, while the ranks of Republicans have climbed by five points." GOP voters were also found to be more attentive to the campaign, more enthusiastic about the election, and more convinced the outcome matters. ABC, CBS, NBC coverage? None.
Gallup also found "Americans' concerns about the threat of big government continue to dwarf those about big business and big labor, and by an even larger margin now than in March 2009. The 64% of Americans who say big government will be the biggest threat to the country is just one percentage point shy of the record high, while the 26% who say big business is down from the 32% recorded during the recession." Network coverage? None. On Wednesday morning's Early Show CBS reporter Jan Crawford found only the Gallup result that would discourage Republicans:
Many journalists recognize that Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow has become a lightning rod for religious conflict in America. What some columnists seem less willing to recognize is the intense hatred that he has engendered among those offended by his Christianity.
A Dec. 6 USA Today article by Reid Cherner, "Why Tebow Stirs Debate," acknowledged that Tebow's very public expressions of faith have caused intense religious controversy, and made some people uncomfortable. Cherner also quoted former Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer criticizing Tebow for excessively preaching his outspoken religious faith.
On November 15 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I compared how two of the leading wire services, Reuters and the Associated Press, covered the announcement by Geron Corp. of its decision to halt the first government-approved clinical trial involving embryonic stem cells. Reuters fairly noted that "teams working with adult stem cells -- a less ambitious area -- are making good progress." While one could quarrel with the characterization of adult stem cell research as "less ambitious" (unless you throw in cloning, which is what sometimes seems to be embryonic researchers' primary area of intrigue), its "good progress" descriptor was fair. Meanwhile, the Associated Press's coverage of the same story failed to even recognize the existence of adult stem cell research.
Wesley Smith, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute's Center on Human Exceptionalism and an influential prolife author, has observed that the establishment press has largely come down where AP did. A Friday Catholic News Agency item elaborates (bolds are mine):
Depending on which news outlet you rely on for current events, you may not have heard that convicted Chicago real estate developer Tony Rezko was sentenced to 10½ years in prison Tuesday.
On top of this, unless you read the following report from Reuters, you mightn't have known just how connected he was to a junior senator from Illinois who just so happens to be the President of the United States:
According to Rick Hampson in what is apparently an analysis piece in Monday's USA Today, the Occupy movement has a violent "fringe," which constitutes just a "fraction" of those involved.
Well, he's right about it being a "fraction," except that said fraction is a lot larger than he apparently believes. The USAT writer also attempts to perpetuate the Occupy Oakland myth that its November 2 "non-violent 'general strike'" was absolutely peaceful until "some masked anarchists broke off from the main protest." Here is some of Hampson's harrumphing:
Former President Bill Clinton is making headlines again, this time touting his liberal prescriptions to fix the economy. Those remedies are laid out his new book Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy. The news media is doing their part to promote Clinton's work and his economic legacy, portraying him as the economic savior of America.
This should come as no surprise, since Clinton is still beloved by liberal journalists. New York Times book reviewer Michiko Kakutani called Clinton's book "a lucid one-man rebuttal of the Tea Party's anti-government agenda." Kakutani also summarized Clinton's plan, saying "Mr. Clinton serves up a succinct common-sense argument, why both spending cuts and increased tax revenues are necessary for addressing the debt problem."
Editor's Note: A new USA Today/Gallup poll that finds Americans blame Washington for the country's economic woes much more than Wall Street and financial institutions. NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell is not surprised and issued the following statement.
The American people see right through the liberal media’s favorable spin on Occupy Wall Street. While they shamelessly coddle these clueless protesters, the public isn’t buying it. Americans overwhelmingly blame Washington for the nation’s economic mess and failure to address it.
Extremists in Guy Fawkes masks, Code Pinkers and "professional anarchists," have camped out in New York City to protest Wall Street, greed and the capitalist system. Through social media the first protest in New York's financial district has sparked copycat protests in more than a hundred cities. In a video posted on The Blaze, organizer Nelini Stamp made it clear that what she wants is "to change the capitalist system that we have today because it's not working for any of us." Moments later she said the conversation needed to begin about how "to reform and bring, you know, sort of revolutionary change to the States." She also labeled the OWS events part of a "new age radical movement."
Yet you're unlikely to hear about that from the liberal national news media, who have ignored the radical leftist underpinnings of the movement in nearly 9 out of 10 stories thus far.
Once again the media is completely ignoring the fact that an initiative it’s covering was funded by left-wing financier George Soros. The Soros-funded Brennan Center for Justice released a report opposed to new laws needed to combat voter fraud. This story was in turn promoted by Soros-funded progressive news sites that brought it to the national stage.
The Brennan Center for Justice, part of New York University’s Law School, reported that voting law changes “could make it significantly harder for more than five million eligible voters to cast ballots in 2012.” This 64 page report went on to explain that the effects “fall most heavily on young, minority, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities” and that the “wave of changes may sharply tilt the political terrain for the 2012 election.”
“When Newsweek was owned by the Washington Post, it was predictably left-wing, but it was accurate,” Neuharth observed before slamming the new owner/editor who picked a picture to make Bachmann look crazy: “Under Tina Brown, it is an inaccurate and unfair left-wing propaganda machine.”
The one I expected came from CNNMoney.com, which read: "Initial unemployment claims fall below 400,000 for the first time in more than 3 months, dropping 24,000 to 398,000 in latest week." The other one came from USAToday.com, which does not ordinarily issue alerts when this report appears, took the opportunity to relay the same message, followed by an assertion that today's report is "a sign the job market may be healing after a recent slump."