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.
Well, it looks like I was right earlier this afternoon when I thought that the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, was among those holding off on reporting the Wall Street Journal's Sunday evening disclosure that Kathryn Ruemmler, the head of the Office of the White House Counsel, "learned weeks ago that an audit of the Internal Revenue Service likely would show that agency employees inappropriately targeted conservative groups" was "nervous about the Journal’s report, waiting for administration apparatchiks to tell them what to say, or both."
It turns out that the AP, in an unbylined report, waited until Jay Carney told them what to say and then pretended that the Journal's Sunday story didn't exist (the time stamp seen at story as carried at the AP's national site at the time of this post was 2:51 p.m.; the graphic which follows is of the identical story at Yahoo News):
Covering Barack Obama's Monday May 13 press conference for the May 14 edition of the Wall Street Journal, reporters Peter Nicholas and Janet Hook painted the president as above the partisan fray and Republicans as the ones sidetracking Washington from the "plenty of unfinished business" that the president has on his plate just "[f]our months into his new term."
In their 20-paragraph story, "Obama Dismisses Benghazi Claims," Nicholas and Hook seemed particularly interested in the president's charge that the Benghazi focus was all about GOP campaigning and fundraising, even as the veteran reporters left out that shortly after the president's joint press conference, he jetted off to New York City for a closed-door Democratic National Committee fundraiser at a private residence (emphasis mine):
Just in time for Mother's Day this year, President Obama has threatened a veto on a bill that would be of great benefit to working moms throughout the country.
In the May 11-12 edition of the Wall Street Journal, the editorial board took Mr. Obama to task for pledging to kill a bill that would reform the Fair Labor Standards Act "to allow employees to swap overtime pay for compensatory time off." The bill, "[s]ponsored by Alabama Republican (and mother of two young children) Martha Roby," passed the House last week. If signed into law, it would give private sector non-union employees the sort of flexibility that federal government employees have had since 1985.
It's no surprise that the liberal media are ignoring poll after poll showing widespread discontent, even among Democrats, with ObamaCare. But what's utterly inexcusable is the man-bites-dog story coming out of a labor union this week, which is now calling for ObamaCare's repeal.
Janet Adamy of the Wall Street Journal noted on April 16 that the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers is the first union to call for the repeal of Obamacare. Why? Because it could lead to members losing their existing coverage:
For about two decades now the liberal media have been blaring the warning sirens about global warming and calling for greater government regulation and taxation to stop it. On April 18, Russell Gold of the Wall Street Journal gave readers an excellent front-page article exploring how U.S. carbon emissions have decreased in the past few years, not thanks to government action but the power of the free market. It's expanded natural gas exploration -- something that drives the environmentalist Left batty, by the way -- which is the chief culprit for reduced emissions.
Energy-related emissions of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas that Is widely believed to contribute to global warming, have fallen 12% between 2005 and 2012 and are at their lowest level since 1994, according to a recent estimate by the Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the U.S. Energy Department.
When it comes to the failure of the Democratic gun control package in the U.S. Senate earlier this week, "[t]he media [have been] amplifying... with less subtlety" President Obama's gripes about the power of the NRA and a minority in the Senate supposedly scuttling the will of the American people on background checks, the Wall Street Journal editorial board noted today. But the truth of the matter, the board explained, is that Democrats have only themselves, and more specifically President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, to blame.
The Journal editorial board explained how "[t]he White House demanded, and Mr. Reid agreed, that Congress should try to pass the [Manchin-Toomey background check] amendment without" the benefit of 30 hours of floor debate which "would have meant inspecting the details" of the legislation and "opened up the bill to pro-gun amendments that were likely to pass." A simple majority was needed for such a debate, the Journal notes, a threshold they could have cleared as Reid had 54 votes for his cloture motion. So why did Reid not go that route? Because it would "have boxed Mr. Reid into the embarrassing spectacle of having to later scotch a final bill because it also contained provisions that the White House loathes," the Journal argued, adding (emphases mine):
In a comparatively rare feat, a conservative writer has won a Pulitzer Prize, the most prestigious award in journalism. Bret Stephens, who writes a column for the Wall Street Journal primarily about world affairs is the first conservative to win the award in more than a decade.
Congratulations are certainly in order to Stephens for pulling off the win, especially since the very liberal Columbia University is in charge of the award.
President Obama’s budget is finally out -- a mere 65 days late -- and it’s loaded with tax increases.
At yesterday’s press briefing, White House flack-in-chief Jay Carney admitted that middle class tax increases were coming. But if a tree falls in the woods, does anyone hear it? Major media outlets like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and sadly even the Wall Street Journal failed to mention this aspect in their coverage of the budget’s unveiling today. Here's the relevant exchange from the April 9 briefing (emphasis mine):
When Jimmy Fallon replaces Jay Leno at NBC's The Tonight Show, the show will move back east to New York City, to be broadcast from network headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The move makes financial sense for the network in part because the state of New York worked out a sweetheart tax deal for NBCUniversal to execute such a move.
In essence, the long suffering taxpayers of New York State will take a hit because their state's politicians create a tax break which seems designed explicitly to both relocate the Tonight Show and the variety show America's Got Talent, which will be moving its production from New Jersey. From today's Wall Street Journal editorial, "A Tax Break for the 0.01%":
Update (April 5): Fisker has laid off three-quarters of its workforce at its headquaters in Anaheim, owes DOE approximately $193 million | With a substantial repayment of the $529 million loan guarantee it received almost four years ago -- courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer -- coming due at the end of the month, the electric car company Fisker is exploring the idea of filing for bankruptcy before then. Sources have confirmed that an influential law firm from Chicago has been hired to help with the proceedings.
The major networks have been reticent on the subject however, as if they have no intention of breaking the next Solyndra-like scandal. It should be noted that no cars have been built since last July, and 200 of Fisker's American employees were recently furloughed.
The saga all began in 2009 when the Obama administration handed out $1 billion worth of loans to two electric car manufacturers, Fisker and Tesla. The latter appears to be on the verge of becoming profitable, but that assumes there's going to be a substantial number of people willing to pay near $1200 per month in leasing charges.
Fisker promised to do the majority of its auto assembly in Delaware, home of Vice President Joe Biden. Private investment partner Al Gore predicted that tens of thousands would be rolling off the the assembly lines there someday. But alas, two years later, it was revealed that production had shifted to Finland, where 500 workers had been hired to build the $100,000 cars called Karma.
Another report exposed that only 40 cars had been built at the time, and just two had been delivered. One of which was to actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio. Adding insult to injury, over 230 were recalled in late 2011 because of a fire hazard risk in the battery compartment. Luckily, very few were in the hands of consumers anyway.
Asked for comment back in October of 2011, founder and executive chairman Henrik Fisker was defiant. "We're not in the business of failing; we're in the business of winning," he said. "So we make the right decision for the business. That's why we went to Finland." Nearly a year and a half later, he would resign from the company that bears his namesake - citing 'differences with company management' in a March 2013 statement.
Now that the Kirkland & Ellis law firm is getting involved, to presume that a bankruptcy filing is coming isn't far-fetched. We'll keep our eyes open for the media's attention to this, but we're not holding our breath.
Kara Swisher of the Wall Street Journal's AllThingsD.com has a March 9 post in which she noted how former U.S. Vice President Al Gore was confronted at 2013 SXSW Interactive Festival about his sale of Current TV to the Qatari government-backed Al Jazeera network by her colleague, AllThingsD editor Walt Mossberg:
You sold your network to Al Jazeera, which is owned by a government that’s a big oil producer,” asked Mossberg. “How could you do that?”
CBS’s Bob Schieffer was clearly uncomfortable Sunday when two of his perilously liberal guestsclaimed there are many gay priests.
At the end of a Face the Nation discussion about the pending selection of a new Pope, Schieffer pushed back when the Washington Post’s Sally Quinn brought up homosexuality in the priesthood, and then he cut quickly to a commercial when Vanity Fair’s Carl Bernstein supported her contention (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The release of Apple’s iPhone was a godsend, or so thought J.P. Morgan’s chief economist Michael Feroli. In September of 2012, the release month of the latest version of Apple’s iPhone, NBC, CBS, and ABC all reported Feroli’s prediction that the sales from the iPhone 5 could boost U.S. GDP by a quarter or half of a percent.
But the recent drop in GDP by .1 percent and Apple’s own stock drop have showed that predictions sometimes don’t come true. Unfortunately, not one of the networks has pointed that out.
For most of President Obama’s first term, Republicans used legislative trickery to try to prevent the functioning of two federal agencies they hate, the National Labor Relations Board and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. First they would filibuster the president’s nominees to the agencies, knowing that neither agency could operate without board members or a director. Then they would create fake legislative sessions for the Senate during its recess, intended solely to prevent Mr. Obama from making recess appointments as an end run.
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.
In 2008, as reported by Tim Graham at NewsBusters at the time, Thomas Friedman at the New York Times wrote that America ought to become "China for a day," so that Friedman's dream, in Graham's words "of a green revolution -- all those allegedly planet-saving taxes and regulations and product bans -- can be permanently enacted."
The mainland's totalitarian regime isn't merely not "green" in any meaningful sense. It also is often remarkably unconcerned about the health and well-being of its subjects. For example, a recent chemical spillp poisoned the water of millions (that's right, millions), and the government didn't bother telling anyone about it for almost a week. The story has received almost zero attention in the U.S. press. Excerpts from a January 7 story at the UK's Financial Times follow the jump (bolds are mine):
It doesn't take much of an effort to find plenty of establishment press reports (just four such examples are here, here, here, and here) about the reaction to the Newtown, Connecticut coming out of Dunblane, Scotland, the site of a 1996 school massacre where sixteen children and one adult were murdered before the gunman committed suicide.
Most reports note that strict gun legislation was passed in the wake of the massacre, but don't cover the laws' impact. One of the four reports just cited, from CNN's Peter Wilkinson, called "How UK school massacre led to tighter gun control," waits 19 paragraphs before discussing results, and then fudges (bolds are mine throughout this post):
If Hollywood doesn’t like something, then clearly state legislators should react. At least that’s what Dave Fehling, NPR’s StateImpact Texas reporter suggested. StateImpact is a “reporting project of local public media and NPR,” and has many financial backers including George Soros (through his Open Society Foundations).
“Chances may be better this time around that the Texas legislature might actually strengthen regulation of oil and gas drilling by the Texas Railroad Commission,” he wrote on the StateImpact website that accompanied his radio story aired on Dec. 18, 2012.
Christmas: a season of generosity, good cheer, preparation for Christ’s birth – and a swarm of lawyers seeking to purge any mention of Christianity from the public square.
Every Christmas, the so-called secular community starts shrieking whenever any mention of religion is brought into the public eye. Lawyers successfully targeted a school’s performance of ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas.’ Even Christmas trees have too much religious content to suit the self-appointed censors.
While it's not fair to criticize the press's coverage of November's vehicle sales as unfair or not balanced, it would be more than fair to say that the press is either ignoring or minimizing the impact of two important influences which have been at work all year. The first is the continued loss of combined market share at the industry's two US-headquartered makers, General Motors and Ford (Chrysler, the other member of Detroit's "Big 3," is owned by Fiat).
The second is that 2009 government bailout beneficiary GM continues to "channel-stuff" its dealers with vehicles they won't sell for four months or longer -- and that's if the economy doesn't slow down or go into a recession. Dealer inventories are now twice as high as they were three years ago -- and no, GM's sales haven't doubled in the meantime -- which makes one wonder, especially this fall, if it was being done solely to make the government and President Obama look good.
In a story the New York Times appears not to have touched, Hunter Walker at Observer.com's Politicker ("about" page is here) reported on Tuesday that Thomas Lopez-Pierre, a black Harlem activist, "circulated an email" Monday night "in an attempt to plan a 'private meeting' to 'discuss the potential damage to the political empowerment of the Black and Hispanic community if Mark Levine, a White/Jewish candidate was elected to the 7th Council District in 2013.'" So we see that black Chicagoland establishment officials trying to ensure that the successor to the recently resigned Jesse Jackson Jr. in Illinois' 2nd Congressional District are not alone in seeing a political office as somehow "belonging" to them.
The Wall Street Journal (subscription may be required) has also picked up the story ("Race, Religion Used as Basis For an Attack"). Verbiage from the Politicker report, along with separate comments from James Taranto at the WSJ's Best of the Web, follow the jump (internal links are in originals; bolds are mine throughout this post):
As has so often been the case for nearly four years, one needs to go to the editorial pages of the nation's two leading financial publications, the Wall Street Journal and Investor's Business Daily, to get to the truth behind news developments, especially the ones with potential to cast the Obama administration in a bad light.
There may not be a better example of the press ignoring the obvious than the circumstances surrounding Mohammed Morsi's dictatorial power grab in Egypt. Morsi gained substantial perceived world standing when the U.S. government praised him lavishly (or is it slavishly?) for his involvement in brokering a truce of sorts in the Israel-Hamas conflict. As a Friday IBD editorial pointed out, Morsi is now "using America's stamp of approval to oppress his own people" (bolds are mine throughout this post):
“Bin Laden is Dead and GM is Alive!” That slogan emanating from Vice President Biden, which has resonated in states, like Ohio, which could decide this upcoming election. But Gov. Romney’s call from late 2008 to send Detroit into managed bankruptcy would have saved the auto industry as well, according to expert Edward Niedermeyer.
Let's get the easy part out of the way first. The New York Times and the Associated Press are only covering the outrages emerging in Solyndra's bankruptcy in the vaguest of terms. The only related Times item I could find was a sentence at the end of an October 11 Green blog post indicating that "the I.R.S. and the Energy Department argue in court papers" against the company's bankruptcy plan. The AP's Randall Chase was a bit more specific that day, writing that "The plan allows for two private equity funds that control Solyndra to potentially reap hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks after Solyndra emerges from bankruptcy, using net operating losses." Beyond that, the details are news only in the business press, and even then not to a great extent.
Are the private equity funds (you mean they're sort of like the eeeevil Bain Capital?) getting hundreds of millions in "tax breaks" as in tax deductions or tax reductions? Unbelievably, it's the latter (the former is almost $1 billion), as an October 15 Wall Street Journal editorial and an October 17 Bloomberg News item which seemed to be simultaneously trying to catch up to but then cover up what the Journal revealed.
UPDATE: Henry Blodget at Business Insider reports that a "source, who is an analyst at the Department, " has told him that "the number of California claims that were not processed totalled about 15,000-25,000."
Today's release of the Department of Labor's weekly unemployment claims report showed 339,000 initial claims filed during the previous week -- a sharp decline of 30,000 from the previous week's upwardly revised 369,000. Shortly after that, the Wall Street Journal reported that "one large state didn't report additional quarterly figures as expected, accounting for a substantial part of the decrease." The Associated Press's framing: "... spokesman said one large state accounted for much of the decline." At Reuters: "one state ... reported a decline in claims last week when an increase was expected."
So you would expect caution in assessing the meaning of the report, right? Wrong -- At the AP and Reuters, they apparently just can't help themselves.
On Saturday, President Obama spoke at a campaign rally in Wisconsin. As I noted on Sunday, contradicting a local Milwaukee Sentinel crowd size estimate of 5,000, Politico, the Wall Street Journal, and the Associated Press reported that 18,000 were on hand, with the AP further claiming that the event was "the largest yet of Obama's reelection campaign."
Charles Spiering at the Washington Examiner believes he has learned why the national press reported that the crowd was 18,000. It's because Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett told them it was, and the press's pool reporter took his word for it:
Saturday, Joel Pollak at Breitbart's Big Journalism observed that President Obama is having some trouble drawing big crowds these days, and that the national press is exaggerating the turnout at his events.
He specifically cited the situation this weekend where Politico and the Wall Street Journal claimed there were "18,000 people inside a 5,000-seat arena at an Obama event in Milwaukee on Saturday." I looked at the Associated Press's national site, and the AP did the same thing, while adding that the crowd with the made-up size was "the largest yet of Obama's reelection campaign." Really.
“Writers have been bowing to the ‘fact checkers’ as submissively as Barack Obama upon meeting some anti-American dictator,” the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto quipped in a devastating take-down of the rise of the news media’s so-called “fact checkers.”
In “The Pinocchio Press: The bizarre rise of ‘fact checking’ propagandists” posted on Tuesday, the author of the daily “Best of the Web Today” noted “the usual conservative complaint about all this ‘fact checking’ is the same as the conservative complaint about the MSM’s product in general: that it is overwhelmingly biased toward the left.” But, he concluded, “the form amplifies the bias. It gives journalists much freer rein to express their opinions by allowing them to pretend to be rendering authoritative judgments about the facts.”
Friday’s Wall Street Journal tackled the issue of joking about the candidates – especially how hard comedians have found it to mock President Obama. Four years ago, "you couldn't tell jokes about Obama," said the leftist political humorist Will Durst. "You couldn't even see him—the halo was too bright."
"Since I've been doing this, going back to the '70s, I don't remember two contenders for the presidency who had fewer handles for comedy between them," said Saturday Night Live writer Jim Downey, but even now, Obama is too perfect (?) for humorists: