Print, broadcast or web, the media sure aren’t Nostradamus. In spite of their best attempts, the news media have gotten it wrong prediction after prediction on a wide range of business and economic issues in 2013.
Just in the past year, reporters warned of “economic doomsday,” thought Healthcare.gov was going to be “easy” just like Amazon.com, and warned of melting polar ice, even as a new record was set for ice mass.
Earlier this morning, Joe Newby at NewsBusters posted on the Denver Post's scrubbing of the word "socialist" from a fellow student's description of Karl Pierson, who police say shot two other students and then took his own life at Arapahoe High School on Friday. The Post story originally said that classmate Thomas Conrad described him as "a very opinionated Socialist." Sometime later, the Post watered the description down to "very opinionated" without telling readers what it had done.
James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal took on the strange conflict that is PolitiFact picked a “Lie of the Year” they’ve repeatedly defended as “Half True.” Barack Obama repeatedly claimed that if you liked your health plan, you could keep it once he passed his badly named "Affordable Care Act." He called it "PolitiFact's Forked Tongue."
PolitiFact has only drawn a yellow Hi-Liter through what’s wrong with liberal media-elite “fact checking” patrols: It exploits their "objective" image as it declares a campaign promise as factual (or not) prematurely, before there’s any factual reality to judge. From the beginning of the “truth squad” tendency in the 1992 presidential campaign, we’ve found this disturbing tendency.
Seung Min Kim and Jennifer Haberkorn at the Politico have apparently been living in hermetically sealed Beltway caves since early October.
In an item which appeared Tuesday evening, the pair acted as if the idea that Americans stand a great chance of losing access to their current doctors and other medical providers as a result of signing up for a health care plan through the Obamacare exchange is something brand new. Kim and Haberkorn write that Republican opponents of Obamacare are going to have to "replicate the uproar" which occurred with "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan," when the uproar has been building for weeks, based on numerous stories involving real people (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
As has so often been the case since Barack Obama took office in 2009, the editorialists at a major national business newspaper are reporting facts that the wire services and broadcast networks should have relayed to the American people weeks or months ago.
In this case, it's the Wall Street Journal. A Friday evening editorial published in Saturday's print edition directly refutes the Obama administration's key Obamacare memes involving affordability, choice, and the nature of the once-free health insurance market (bolds are mine):
Here’s one fairly obvious sign The Wall Street Journal isn’t run as a partisan Obama-bashing rag after being acquired by Rupert Murdoch. On the front of Wednesday’s paper is an article headlined “The Fall of King Coal Hits Hardest in the Mines of Kentucky.” Reporters Kris Maher and Tom McGinty used federal data to note the number of mining jobs has collapsed in eastern Kentucky.
But there’s no mention of who the miners blame for their plight until paragraph 29. That’s a “war on coal” waged by Barack Obama:
In Tuesday's Wall Street Journal, former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw is feeling Barack Obama's pain in an article titled "Imagine the Tweets During the Cuban Missile Crisis." The pull quote was "The JFK who charmed the press would have had a harder time in today's media world."
Translation: JFK wouldn't have had as many eager myth-makers as he did. Brokaw despaired about how he was working on a JFK special while observing the shutdown -- "food fight, meltdown" -- between Republicans and Obama. He couldn't help but recall the good old days before New Media challenged liberal orthodoxy:
The news media worried a lot about how awful the government shutdown would be and estimated it would take a huge toll on the economy as well. Now it looks like they were wrong about the size of the damage.
The networks touted a recent Standard & Poor’s (S&P) estimate that the shutdown would cost $24 billion. That figure was mentioned on the networks five times from Oct. 17 to Oct. 24. But according to new figures from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the economic toll was one-fourth that size or less: between $2 billion and $6 billion. The OMB estimate was only mentioned in one Nov. 8 story on CBS, according to a Nexis search from Nov. 7 through Nov. 10.
The press has been obsessed with the fate of Obamacare's contraception mandate ever since religious, corporate, and other litigants began challenging it in the courts.
So what explains the fact that a search on "Korte" at the Associated Press's national site and at the New York Times return nothing and nothing relevant, respectively? Or that there are only nine stories at Google Newsin a search on “Korte contraception court” (not in quotes), only two of them from establishment press outlets, on the Friday Appeals Court ruling in Chicago in Korte vs. Sebelius? That's easy. It didn't go the "right" way, and the ruling appears to have been significant. Excerpts from Joe Palazzolo's coverage at the Wall Street Journal, one of those two establishment press outlets, follow the jump (bolds are mine):
On Saturday morning, three Wall Street Journal reporters told readers that as President Obama was promoting Obamacare, there was internal debate between "policy advisers" and "political aides" as to whether the President's obviously unqualified and unconditional "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan" statement, made roughly 20 times between his inauguration and the law's March 2010 passage, "was a promise they could keep."
"Policy advisers" didn't like it, but "political aides" prevailed, concluding that Obama's promise should remain dishonestly unconditional because "salability" and "simplification" were more "practical" and important than the truth. One particularly weak paragraph in the Journal report ends up reading like Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First?" riff (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Striking the Northeast on Oct. 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy tragically devastated communities causing an estimated $50 billion in damages. By the end of January 2013, a relief bill was passed for Sandy aid, after the bill was delayed because of wasteful spending.
House Republicans opposed a pork-ridden $60 billion Senate bill ($10 billion higher than damage estimates) and chose not to vote on it. Politicians, including some Republicans, and the media criticized them for delaying this legislation. A $51 billion bill was passed by both houses of Congress by the end of January, after a $9.7 billion flood insurance bill passed in early January.
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):
So here's an angle on the federal government shutdown that you're not getting from the liberal broadcast media.
With non-essential personnel furloughed, federal regulators have not been at work, which is a huge blessing to an overregulated American economy, the Wall Street Journal's editorial board noted today. Indeed, new regulations published in the Federal Register have slowed to a trickle since the work stoppage began on October 1:
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.
Tomorrow the Supreme Court will hear arguments on a campaign-finance case that will "test the justices' willingness to buck public opinion," Wall Street Journal Supreme Court correspondent Jess Bravin noted in his page A4 article about the open of the high court's October 2013 term. Bravin devoted the first several paragraphs of his October 7 story, "Campaign Giving Tops High Court's Docket," to painting the Court as highly unpopular when it comes to campaign finance case law following Citizens United.
It wasn't until the 8th paragraph that Bravin actually explained to readers what the new case before the court, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, was all about:
On Tuesday, Ron Binz, nominated by President Obama to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, withdrew his name from consideration. Those who want to see the economy prosper should be relieved that the position described by Matthew Daly at the Associated Press as that of "the nation's top energy regulator" won't be occupied by a died-in-the-wool "renewable" energy radical.
The AP's Daly somehow kept the word "carbon" out of his coverage of Binz's withdrawal, even though, as the Wall Street Journal noted in a September 15 editorial which appropriately used the word 11 times, the man is obsessed with it to the point of wanting to establish, in the Journal's words, a "carbon-free paradise." Excerpts from Daly's dodging, followed by additional ones from the Journal's editorial, follow the jump.
Corrected from earlier | "After three years of last-minute deals, delayed decisions, and acrimonious finger pointing, the process for one of Congress's most basic functions—spending money—finally buckled and broke down Monday night," the Wall Street Journal's Damian Paletta sighed in the opening paragraph of his October 1 story, "Breakdown Is New Norm in Spending Fights."
"Since passage of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the House and Senate have been directed to pass annual budget resolutions setting targets for government spending levels and then work out the differences," but "Congress in recent years has abandoned its traditional budget and appropriations process," Paletta noted. Yet nowhere in his 21-paragraph story did the Journal scribe lay any blame at the feet of Senate Democrats and their leader, Harry Reid (D-Nev.), even though the upper chamber failed to pass a budget in nearly four years, only doing so in March.*
It's amusing to see how the left reacts when things don't work out as predicted. Earlier today (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted how USA Today's Kelly Kennedy described a major malfunction in Obamacare which will cause hundreds of thousands of children to go without health insurance next year as a "glitch."
On the "climate change" front, those darned "glitches" abound. In an item today about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Karl Ritter at the Associated Press attempted to report on how the IPCC plans to address the fact that there hasn't been any global warming, human-caused or otherwise, since the late 1990s. A hilarious headline spewed forth, followed by eruptions of ridiculous and hysterical words (HT James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web; bolds and numbered tags 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:
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.
The Obama Labor Department announced yesterday a new regulation that mandates that home health care workers be subject to the federal minimum wage and federal time-and-a-half overtime requirements. Reporting the story for the Reuters news wire, correspondent Amanda Becker hailed the move, noting that newly sworn-in Labor Secretary Thomas Perez was "setting an assertive tone" with the regulation. "Today we are taking an important step toward guaranteeing that these professionals receive the wage protections they deserve while protecting the right of individuals to live at home," Becker quoted Perez as exulting.
Nowhere in her 18-paragraph story -- which I found published on page A20 of the September 18 Washington Post -- did Becker turn to critics of the new regulation, which is not slated to go into effect until January 1, 2015, after the crucial 2014 midterm elections. By contrast, Wall Street Journal reporters Melanie Trottman and Kris Maher gave their readers both sides of the story in their September 18 front-pager, "Regulators Boost Wages, Overtime for Health Aides." Indeed, Trottman and Maher wasted no time noting there are two sides to the policy argument, mentioning objections by "some business officials" in their lead paragraph (emphases mine):
In a 66-paragraph masterpiece, Journal reporters Adam Entous, Janet Hook, and Carol Lee gave a behind-the-scenes look of how, "Through mixed messages, miscalculations, and an 11th-hour break, the U.S. stumbled into an international crisis and then stumbled out of it." Among other things disclosed, "The same day [Secretary of State John] Kerry made his fateful remark" that Syria could simply give up its weapons to the international community, "the State Department sent Congress a memo detailing: 'Russian Obstruction of Actions on Syria.'" It really is a great exploration of the Keystone Kops nature of the Obama team's bungling of Syrian foreign policy. Here's a taste (emphasis mine):
I guess we should acknowledge a tiny improvement when an ordinarily in-the-tank apparatchik like Jim Kuhnhenn at the Associated Press expresses even the slightest bit of skepticism about a White House claim.
But let's not take it too far. Kuhnhenn is reporting in a brief "Big Story" item this morning that President Obama "is laying claim to an economic turnaround and warning Republicans not to risk a backslide by threatening a government shutdown or a debt default." Kuhnhenn's skeptical points are that "The economic scorecard is mixed. ... Growth has been tepid and unemployment remains high." His five-paragraph report, reproduced in full for fair use and discussion purposes, follows the jump.
A Friday article in Politico described a "GOP on the Rise" while citing the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, noting that "Republicans are now leading Democrats on handling several key issues..." By contrast, on Friday's NBC Today, political director Chuck Todd minimized that development, claiming that Republicans "only fare a little bit better" in the poll than Democrats. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The Today segment began with news reader Natalie Morales declaring: "...many remain disappointed with high unemployment, a sluggish recovery, and limited job growth. 45% now approve of the President's handling of the economy in our new poll. 52% disapprove." She then turned to Todd and wondered: "...we've got a gridlocked Congress, so does the President have much of a shot of turning this around? Do Republicans fair much better?"
While the liberal media predictably focus on the domestic political ramifications for President Obama as regards his strange and ever-evolving policy on Syria, the real story worth reporting is how Obama may actually be strengthening Bashar Assad's hand, even making him "a national hero" who can not only survive but thrive as a result.
In her September 12 front-page story "Syrian Rebels Hurt By Delay," The Wall Street Journal's Nour Malas has an excellent story to that effect. Filing from Istanbul, she quotes Mohammmed al-Daher, "a commander in the rebels' Western backed Free Syria Army" as lamenting that he "wouldn't be surprised if the end result of these negotiations is that [Assad] remains as president and beyond that, turns into a national hero who saved his country." Malas continued (emphasis mine):
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 president's call on Saturday for Congress to debate and pass a resolution authorizing airstrikes against Syria also served as a telegraphed message to the liberal media about how to spin the message in a way that puffs the president politically while turning a serious question of foreign policy and use of military resources into a domestic political grist for the 2014 midterms.
Well, the Wall Street Journal's Jay Solomon and Janet Hook smartly saluted and fired their salvo in a piece filed at the paper's website on Sunday afternoon headlined, "White House Girds for Battle With Congress." Here's how they began: