Coverage of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's death and life was relegated to below the fold at USA Today this morning (pictured here; the paper stopped posting front-page pics two years ago).
Three items above the fold (excluding left-side teases to coverage of other stories) were considered more important that the Iron Lady's passing: "Remembering Annette Funicello"; a "Duplicate programs waste billions" item about wasteful government spending (useful, but it's not as if we didn't know this already); and to top it off, a 6x6 photo from the first half of the NCAA men's basketball finals, the result of which the paper was unable to report because the game ended after its publication deadline.
The Comcast Corporation, sole owner of NBCUniversal now, recently made the decision to refuse advertising from gun stores and ammunition manufacturers. Operating in 39 states and the District of Columbia, it is by far the largest cable company in the country. What's more, it holds a regional monopoly on cable TV in a multitude of markets, meaning it's the only affordable televised commercial access that many gun stores have.
The blanket directive was issued just as soon as its purchase of NBCUniversal was finalized, which has had a long-standing policy against gun-related ads on its networks.
Today, on the third anniversary of the enactment of state-managed healthcare, aka the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka ObamaCare, it's worth noting a precursor of what we can expect from the establishment press as the law's implementation presses on. It can be summed up in eight words: "Hype the alleged good. Ignore the obviously bad." Distilled in four words: "Toe the administration line."
Two examples of how the press is ignoring the obviously bad came from the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, in its March 6 caoverage of the contents of the Federal Reserve's "beige book" released that day. The Fed's report contained five specific comments, four of them negative and one neutral, about the current and imminent impact of ObamaCare. None made it into either AP report. Many other outlets also ignored or minimized those comments.
USA Today highlighted a study on gun violence, giving it top billing on its front page March 5. The headline read: “Gun Violence Annual Cost: $12 Billion.” But the USA Today story didn’t give any indication of the left-wing inclinations of the group behind that study.
The Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, or PIRE, is a Maryland based advocacy group that is anti-alcohol, anti-tobacco, and in its latest study, anti-gun. The $28 million non-profit organization is also financially connected to left-wing donor George Soros. PIRE has received funding through the Tides Foundation, which itself is a Soros-funded organization.
"Seven years after it arrived in the U.S., Al Jazeera is putting up its sign," Martha Moore began her February 20 USA Today story, "Al Jazeera makes major U.S. expansion," a 20-paragraph item lacking any critics of the Qatari-government backed network which has a history of anti-Americanism.
"With the $500 million purchase of Current TV from former vice president Al Gore and other investors last year, Al Jazeera bought a place on cable boxes in 41 million homes. Now the network plans to grow from a news operation of 13 people to 200 people working in cities across the country," Moore noted, quoting a "psyched" Bob Wheelock "a former ABC executive now in charge of setting up Al Jazeera America" in the preceding paragraph.
Kirsten Powers is definitely liberal, but not blind.
Here's her take on President Obama's State of the Union speech last night as expressed in her Wednesday USA Today column, with an added bonus of a delicious potshot at the sycophantic press: "It was so hackish, so devoid of any theme or purpose, that it makes one wonder whether part of Obama just wants to see how bad he can be before his cultists in the news media can see it." Obviously, from reaction seen at various NewsBusters posts today (here, here, here, and here), the cultists are still mesmerized. More from Powers's good by hardly error-free column is after the jump (bolds are mine):
At one time, newspapers were America’s source for news and current events. Today it’s a completely different story. While President Obama has declared a push to ban or limit types of guns, the nation’s major newspapers are nearly unanimous in their support of gun control. The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today and other most-popular papers led the list.
The consistent theme of almost every gun editorial from Dec. 15, 2012 to Jan. 11, 2013, was that stricter gun laws were needed, and semi-automatic rifles should be completely banned from civilian use. Some newspapers were even more aggressive.
Remember the hand-wringing from the Left about how the Citizens United Supreme Court decision was supposed to turn America into a corporate dystopia. The media obligingly amplified those complaints. Well, the December 12 USA Today published an analysis showing minimal corporate participation in this year’s election cycle. In fact, their contributions amounted to roughly 10% of the mega donations doled out in 2012.
Granted, there was a lot of money spent on this cycle. $518 million dollars came from just 150 people, businesses, organizations, or unions, however:
Perhaps hoping that readers wouldn't scroll down to peruse what followed, a Tuesday evening Detroit Free Press report by David Jesse and Lori Higgins carried at USA Today featured a video taking up my entire computer screen which consisted entirely of union protesters chanting slogans for 49 seconds.
The pair's actual report carries a misleading headline ("Mich. governor signs anti-union bills after protests") directly contradicted in their dispatch's content ("The right-to-work legislation ... makes it illegal to require financial support of a labor union as a condition of employment"). But it's their description of Tuesday's incident involving Steven Crowder and Americans for Prosperity which is the report's biggest flaw (HT Instapundit):
Michigan may very well become the 24th state to adopt right-to-work legislation on Tuesday, and liberal media outlets have given its opponents ample opportunity to state their case. While proponents have not been allowed to defend the law at all, MSNBC's Chris Jansing was more than happy to briefly play "devil's advocate" with her guest on Monday -- newly elected state representative Tim Greimel who called right-to-work "too divisive and too extreme for the state."
Following his lengthy diatribe on the subject, in which he also called right-to-work the "surest path to poverty that anybody could pursue here in Michigan," Jansing invited the Washington Post's Dana Milbank and Jackie Kucinich -- daughter of retiring liberal Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) -- of USA Today back on the program to reinforce the argument Greimel made. Hardly a balanced analysis of legislation designed to safeguard an individual's right not be coerced into a union or into financially supporting a union in which he/she is not a member [ video and transcript below ]
The third page of an unbylined report with an early Saturday time stamp credited to "USA Today" carried at the Jackson, Mississippi Clarion Ledger (like USAT, a Gannett Company) claimed that "Walmart heiress Alice Walton expressed solidarity with Walmart's striking workers."
Putting aside whether or not an action taken by what the company estimated may have been fifty associates is a "strike" or a "temper tantrum," the claim was not true. USA Today fell for a hoax. Following the jump are several paragraphs from the Clarion Ledger report and an LA Times writeup identifying the hoax. Additionally, I learned that Alice Walton's Crystal Bridges Museum was the object of Occupy and union movement protests when it opened a year ago.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, so it’s hardly shocking that the children of a journalist would prefer President Barack Obama’s re-election, but instead of being embarrassed by such stereotype-confirming views, Al Neuharth embraced them and decided to follow their advice in casting his vote – as if there were any doubt.
In his weekly column back on Friday, November 9, the 88-year-old founder of USA Today recounted how his six adopted kids, ranging in ages from 12 to 21, all supported Obama, including “Rafi, 12,” who “said Romney wants to ‘take from the poor and give to the rich’” and “Ariana, 14,” who “said if Romney wins, she wants to leave the USA and move to her second favorite country -- the Netherlands.”
Up or down, the media often hype changing gas prices, in spite of a long track record of incorrect predictions. But the most recent forecast stands to benefit media favorite: President Barack Obama.
In recent months, all three broadcast news networks and the USA Today have offered predictions ahead of the presidential election, saying prices would be much lower by late November: after the election.
CPSI continued to wage war on soda and sugary beverages. In a new ad campaign they launched called TheRealBears.org, CPSI hired ad guru Alex Bogusky to construct an animation that parodied the Coca-Cola polar bears. It’s just the latest attack as part of the group’s longstanding crusade against soda. The difference this time is the attention USA Today paid to it.
If you've been paying attention to the Drudge Report lately, you've seen headlines linking to Real Clear Politics data showing how the presidential race has tightened since President Obama and Mitt Romney debated in Denver.
As NewsBusters previously reported, the New York Times informed readers Wednesday about a nonprofit group's new ad campaign attacking the Koch brothers, but chose to withhold the organization's ties to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
USA Today's Web site features an Associated Press report with the headline "Housing starts, jobless claims in good shape." For the many readers who just scan headlines, that sounds encouraging. Yet by the second paragraph the article notes "that construction of single-family homes and apartments dipped 1.1% in July compared with June. . ." And by the third paragraph:
Housing has been making a modest comeback this year. But even with the gains, the rate of construction and the level of permits remain only about half the 1.5 million annual rate considered healthy.
In an apparent attempt to pin blame anywhere but on the Obama administration for the rising unemployment rate, a USA Today item currently carried at Newsmax's MoneyNews.com web site opens by claiming that "Companies across the country are cutting training programs for new employees, broadening the divide between workers with skills needed to compete in today's economy and those left out, pushing up unemployment rates in the process."
The incoherence is stunning, and it continues after the jump:
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.”