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."
While it's nice that the 2000 election cycle made a fool out of Al Gore for his outrageous claim that "I took the initiative in creating the Internet" -- which was in due course shortened by critics to a claim that he invented the Internet -- it's more than a little annoying that an accompanying myth emerged and has long persisted that the Internet was created by the government.
President Obama repeated this supposedly established wisdom during his infamous "You didn't build that" speech" on July 13 in Roanoke, Virginia: "The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet." Geez, even I know that the original purpose of the Internet had nothing to do with companies making money. But at the Wall Street Journal on Sunday evening, L. Gordon Crovitz took a deep dive into the actual history, and -- Surprise! (not) -- the government wasn't the Internet's creator, or its enabler, but was instead a barrier:
One useful interpretation of a journalist's use of "some people say that" or "some argue that" without an accompanying reference to or quote from a subject matters expert is that such phrases really mean "in my opinion."
This is the very likely case in a disingenuously headlined Associated Press story yesterday by Andrew Taylor concerning the standoff between the Republicans, who want the current income tax structure continued for at least another year, and Democrats, including President Obama, who want to raise taxes (they describe it as "ending the Bush tax cuts," which fully went into effect over nine years ago) on "the rich," currently defined as people making $200,000 or more per year. Taylor put the following statement out there without identifying any economist or political analyst who might agree with it (because I doubt there are many, or even any):
Natural disasters have a way of bringing out the worst on the Left. Flooding in Florida and wildfires in Colorado “inspired” nutty talk-show host Mike Malloy and the Daily Kos to rant about how conservatives in these states deserve these disasters because they’re anti-government, and too religious to boot.
Malloy teased from his atheist worldview, “Could that be, you know, Jesus or God saying hey, you know, we're sick of you right-wingers. We're sick of you religious nuts. We're gonna -- we're gonna flood you, we're gonna burn you?” Malloy mused maybe God was punishing the Christians at the Air Force Academy:
The Catholic News Agency's Michelle Bauman reports that there has been a "wave" of recent defections and departures from the Democratic Party that could be as many as several hundred. The establishment press is clearly being remiss in failing to note them at all -- something which would not be occurring if it involved Republicans going to the party of the left.
The reasons for the moves primarily relate to President Obama's endorsement of same-sex "marriage" and the assault on religious freedoms inherent in his administration's requirement that employers who offer health insurance plans, in Bauman's words, "cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, even if doing so violates their consciences." Excerpts from her report follow the jump, including a notable quote from Artur Davis, the former four-term Democratic congressman who announced to very little press coverage in late May that if he runs again for public office, it will be as a Republican:
David Corn, the perilously liberal Washington bureau chief for Mother Jones, got a much-needed civics lesson from the Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan on CBS's Face the Nation Sunday.
After Corn carped and whined about House Republicans blocking Barack Obama's fiscal agenda, Noonan replied, "When a President wants to make something happen, he can make it happen, and he can't sit back and say, 'Oh, they wouldn't talk. They wouldn't do this. I'm so sorry.' You make it happen if you are President" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan appearing on ABC's This Week Sunday gave Keith Olbermann a much-needed education on what living in a capitalist country is all about.
When the disgraced former Countdown host said, "It’s a very large view right now that business has never been viewed less favorably in this country," Noonan scolded, "There is a lot of people who think businessmen create businesses which create jobs" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Don’t you hate it when the Catholic Church gets all, you know, Catholic? Washington Post “She the People” columnist Melinda Henneberger does. In her April 19 column, “The instructive timing of the Vatican’s crackdown on nuns,” she twisted the Catholic Church’s critical doctrinal assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) into a story of a power-hungry male Catholic hierarchy attempting to crush the more sophisticated Christian consciences of poor, defenseless nuns.
Henneberger huffed, “After a lengthy investigation by the office formerly known as the Inquisition, Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle has been signed up to oversee a forced reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents about 80 percent of the 57,000 Catholic nuns in this country.” Henneberger quoted one of her Catholic friends: “Only do what Jesus told us to do,” in their hospitals, schools, and orphanages, “so no wonder they’re in trouble.”
There was a truly delicious moment on ABC's This Week Sunday that should be mandatory viewing for all liberal media members.
After the perilously liberal editor of The Nation magazine, along with Obama's former domestic policy adviser, blamed all the nation's problems on Republican obstruction in Congress, the Wall Street Journal's Paul Gigot struck back saying, "The first two years [Obama] had open field, Democratic, vast Democratic majorities. You got what you wanted. You got a huge expansion of federal government. How is that working out?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Monday, the editorial board at the Los Angeles Times was so mad that they fell victim to a corollary of Godwin's Law (he who mentions Hitler or the Nazis has automatically lost the argument) by the third paragraph.
What has them so upset? The very idea that K-12 classroom instruction might not teach human-caused global warming and the need for massive and radical government intervention in the marketplace to deal with it as established, irrefutable facts. In their fever-swamp view, the battle is between "credentialed climatologists around the globe" and "fossil-fuel-industry-funded 'experts.'" The editorial's language is so over at the top it makes one legitimately wonder how anyone who doesn't toe the line on climate change can remain employed anywhere at the Times. Here are the last four of the editorial's five paragraphs; I tried to select particular items to bold, but the whole thing is such an offensive, fabricated assemblage that I would have had to bold the whole thing (HT to Gary Hall):
During a lengthy Morning Joe discussion about the growing contraceptive controversy, co-host Mika Brzezinski took issue with the Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan saying the Obama administration is “mischievously” misinforming the public on this issue.
Noonan smartly responded with a much-needed lesson on exactly how the White House and the Left are dishonestly twisting this subject for political gain (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Yesterday's announcement by President Obama (headlined at the White House's website as "Remarks by the President on Preventive Care") of planned revisions to an ObamaCare-driven rule which, in the President's words, "if a woman’s employer is a charity or a hospital that has a religious objection to providing contraceptive services as part of their health plan, the insurance company -– not the hospital, not the charity -– will be required to reach out and offer the woman contraceptive care free of charge, without co-pays and without hassles."
Showing just how out of touch the establishment press is with reality, an editorial this morning in the Wall Street Journal cutely titled "Immaculate Contraception" points out something most, including the Associated Press, have missed -- that in a large number of cases involving many thousands of employees, there is no "insurance company" there to directly pay for these services:
On Tuesday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted an email I received from Obama For America -- I forgot to mention the subject line, which was "In honor of the GOP" -- that encouraged readers to give $3 or more to Barack Obama's reelection campaign and become entered to win dinner with the president and his wife. The email also promised donors that OFA would taunt (my word) a Republican acquaintance on their behalf with the fact that they just gave if they provided an email address to which to send the taunt. As will be shown later, establishment press coverage of this uniquely odious twist in campaign financing and conduct has been virtually non-existent.
In his commentary on the Obama campaign's childishness, the Wall Street Journal's James Taranto revealed that he had been forwarded a related OFA email targeting Facebook and Twitter users with another intensely annoying nuance. It reads as follows (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Two Republican presidential candidates, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann, are both promising to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem if they should become the nation's next president. There's literally no way to "fact check" something that is only a promise, but Gearan wasted over 500 words pretending to do just that. She couldn't even buy a clue that her item's title ("FACT CHECK: Israel embassy promise may be empty") gives away the, uh, fact that it wasn't a "fact check" at all. Jim Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web minced no words in critiquing AP's and Gearan's cluelessness (bolds are mine):
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."
Andrew Rosenthal may think twice before engaging in political parlay with James Taranto again. Rosenthal, the New York Times’s editorial page editor, came out on the losing end of a Twitter argument with Taranto, who puts together Opinion Journal’s Best of the Web, a Wall Street Journal project. Taranto summarized the argument in Monday's edition.
It started with an article by Slate's David Weigel shows Obama crushing GOP candidate Herman Cain among North Carolina voters, 86%-6%, barely improving on the Republican’s 2008 candidate John McCain, who got 5 percent of the black vote.
Herman Cain has been ahead of Mitt Romney in the most recent GOP presidential candidate polling average at Real Clear Politics by a microscopic margin since late last week.
Readers might be surprised to know that the wordings of the presidential preference questions at the various polling organizations differ significantly. In my view, the same person might given a different answer depending on which organization's polling question was asked. Here are the examples, with the Cain-Romney split identified in each instance (links are to fairly large PDFs in some instances):
UPDATE, 4 p.m.: NB gets results? The Lowe's story is currently #10 on the AP's Business home page (saved here).
It's a good thing I heard this on the radio at about 11:00 a.m., because I might otherwise have missed it. With yours truly's opinion along for the ride, I'll let readers judge whether the news of the Lowe's home improvement chain announcing that it will close 20 stores and cut its new store opening plans by one-half to two-thirds deserved to be in the top ten business stories at the Associated Press as of 12:52 p.m.
Here are the ten which made the cut in order of appearance on the wire service's Business home page (saved here for future reference, fair use, and discussion purposes; original link not made because of frequent changes):
Based on a report filed earlier today and time-stamped 8:16 p.m. as of when this post was prepared, it would appear that the last thing Associated Press writers Charles Babington and Kasie Hunt want is a competitive Republican primary season, and that they'll twist reality and the numbers to fit their meme. Oh, and in case you haven't gotten the establishment press memo, Rick Perry is still Mitt Romney's only real competitor.
Funny, I don't remember the AP or anyone else in the establishment press calling Hillary Clinton's nomination "inevitable" in October 2007, when, according to Real Clear Politics (RCP), Ms. Clinton was outpolling Barack Obama by an average of 24 points in 18 polls (and by probably more over John Edwards, though that info wasn't available at RCP).
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.”
On Sunday's "Meet the Press," Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne wheeled out the typical Democrat talking point that President Obama can't get anything accomplished because of Republican obstructionism in Congress.
Not buying this nonsense was the Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan who smartly responded, "A leader leads. Part of the president's problem is that he has never, from day one, been able to really pull in bipartisan support, either make Republicans afraid of him or want to follow him. He's never been able to do it" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It will be interesting to see if a quote noted at the end of Jim Kuhnhenn's early Associated Press report about the President Obama's proposed tax increases (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) makes the cut in later revisions. I'll bet not, because it sends both the arrogance and ignorance meters well into the red.
This post will look at the first and third paragraphs of the 11:20 a.m. version of the AP dispatch, and then relay the quote (bolds are mine throughout):
The public learned on September 3 from William McQuillen at Bloomberg (possibly earlier elsewhere) that now-bankrupt Soyndra's private investors restructured the company's finances in January by lending the company "$75 million." As a condition of doing so, they convinced the government to give the new loan senior status over all other creditors. Now taxpayers face a likely loss of hundreds of millions in Department of Energy loans, perhaps over $500 million.
But if you haven't stayed with or are unfamiliar with the story and read the Associated Press report this evening by Matthew Daly and Jack Gillum, you would think that the wire service did all of the dirty work to learn these things (credit-hogging language in bold):
As NewsBustersreported, America's media last week gushed and fawned over billionaire Warren Buffett's call for higher taxes on the rich.
On Monday, Harvey Golub, the former CEO of American Express, responded to the Oracle of Omaha in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that reveals a side of this tax story media refuse to share with the American people:
Opening up the Sunday paper might lead you to the national newspaper supplement Parade Magazine, which devoted its July 10 edition to "Summer Reading" picks. Smack-dab in the middle of the issue is "12 Great Summer Books: PARADE's picks of terrific new reads, in no particular order." But that's not exactly true, since the first six are fiction, and the second six are nonfiction. Somehow it's not shocking that the number-one recommended book is "Faith" by Jennifer Haigh, a novel about a Catholic priest in Boston accused of molestation during the scandal's heyday in the last decade.
Publishers Weekly advised, "Although this all-too-plausible story offers a damning commentary on the Church's flaws and its leaders' hubris, Haigh is concerned less with religious faith than with the faith [the accused priest] Arthur's family has — and loses, and in some cases regains — in one another."
Yesterday mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger -- captured last month with $800,000 in his possession -- was granted the right to retain taxpayer-funded counsel by a U.S. Magistrate judge Marianne Bowler, who "appointed high-profile Boston criminal-defense lawyer J.W. Carney Jr. as Bulger's public defender," Wall Street Journal's Jennifer Levitz reported in today's paper.
Bulger, you may recall, is the older brother of former Massachusetts State Senate President William "Billy" Bulger. The younger Bulger was once one of the most powerful Democratic Party bosses in the Bay State, having served 18 years as Senate president.
Yet when it came to noting the family dynamic in the Bulger family, Levitz wrote one short paragraph and in it left out any reference to the Democratic Party:
How convenient. Via Editor and Publisher, the newspaper industry's Audit Bureau of Circulations, in issuing its March 31, 2011 circulation figures, tells us we shouldn't try to compare this year's numbers to last year's:
Because of the new and redefined categories of circulation on this FAS-FAX report, ABC recommends not making any direct comparisons of March 2011 data to prior audit periods.
As readers will see, if the ABC was really interested in enabling us to make apples-to-apples comparisons, it could have done so with appropriate definitional caveats. But it didn't; instead, it revised its definition of "total circulation" this year without disclosing the impact of the switch.
I've made the comparisons where possible for daily editions anyway, and they follow after the jump (original info links: March 31, 2011; March 31, 2010; Boston Globe data obtained here):
As night follows day, the press is beginning to go after a business entity which had the nerve to do its job and call attention to Uncle Sam's dire fiscal situation.
Standard and Poor's is presumably not 100% populated with angels, but it didn't deserve the gratuitous and ignorant shots fired at it this evening by the Associated Press's Bernard Condon and an "expert" he quoted. In attempting to tar the firm, Condon acted as if the mortgage-lending mess was the creation of "banks" which marketed mortgage-backed securities and asleep at the switch ratings agencies. He didn't once mention Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the fiasco's Democratic crony-run uber-culprits, which for 15 years consistently deceived the markets about the quality of the already marginal loans underlying the securities they issued .
Here are selected paragraphs from Condon's cracked creation, including a headline which gives away a resentment that the ratings agencies are still actually able to do what they were designed to do (bold is mine):