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):
Newsweek worried this week that “What’s Killing NPR” is declining to let its journalists deny (ludicrously) that there’s any liberal bias on its airwaves. Morning Edition anchor Steve Inskeep is now taking on the lead lobbyist’s role with an op-ed in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal with the headline “Liberal Bias at NPR?” Inskeep’s claiming the answer is “No.”
The pull-quote in the paper is “Surveys show that millions of conservatives choose NPR, even with powerful conservative alternatives on the radio.” He also uses a GfK poll to argue "most [NPR] listeners consistently identify themselves as 'middle of the road' or 'conservative.'" The actual results from that poll: 28% conservative, 25% percent middle of the road, 37% percent liberal. Even NPR lovers accused Inskeep of using “fuzzy math” to fight the liberal-bias claim, like Jeff Bercovici at Forbes:
So, yes, it's accurate to say that 53 percent of NPR listeners - ie. "most" listeners - are either self-described conservatives of middle-of-the-roaders. But it's even more accurate to say that most listeners - 62 percent - are self-described liberals or middle-roaders.
Amy Chua is a Hot Author for writing the book "The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" about how she's raising more successful children by having higher expectations. She stirred up trouble with a Wall Street Journal op-ed titled "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior." A February 20 Washington Post story by Monica Hesse on a Chua appearance at the fashionably "progressive" Politics and Prose bookstore included a weird out-of-place slam on a conservative ad:
If "Tiger Mom" had been written by a woman of a different nationality ("Why French Women's Kids Don't Get Fat"), it might not have raised so many hackles. But this book came on the heels of that weirdly racist Citizens Against Government Waste commercial - the one where the futuristic Chinese professor cackles maniacally over the downfall of America - and at a time of concern about the U.S. economy and American children's ability to compete.
Finally, a book that both permissive lefty parents and frightened righty wing nuts can both get behind hating.
James Taranto could be the best columnist around. Every day at his Best of the Web at the Wall Street Journal online, Taranto turns out an original, often unconventional, conservative take on the news, regularly managing to leaven the message with humor.
Rush today rightly extolled Taranto's column of yesterday, in which he made the point that there is a vast, inherent difference between private and public sector unions. In the former case, unions are negotiating against corporate interests. In the latter, unions are, by definition, organizing against the interests of the public itself.
Surely even Cenk Uygur understands this. So when Cenk suggests, as he did on his MSNBC show this evening, that without unions public employees would be "at the mercy" of "corporate executives," it seems fair to accuse him of . . . fraud.
The Washington Post had better refrain from telling other media outlets to tone down their rhetoric, for on Sunday, one of the paper's longest running columnists asked on national television, "How much time do we have left to talk about how stupid Sarah Palin is?"
Such was said by Richard Cohen, a man that has been with the Post since 1968, towards the end of CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The award for Best Line of the Weekend goes to Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Paul Gigot who on Sunday's "Meet the Press" offered a delicious irony concerning Friday's surprise press conference hosted by Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
"I love the symbolism of two Democratic presidents--not one, but two--endorsing Bush tax cuts, saying, 'We need them crucially to help the economy' (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The Wall Street Journal can't seem to decide whether Sarah Palin is knowledgable on monetary policy or not.
WSJ reporter Sudeep Reddy criticized Palin's "inflation hyperbole" in an article Tuesday, claiming that, contrary to Palin's claims, "Grocery prices haven’t risen all that significantly."
"Do Wall Street Journal reporters read the Wall Street Journal?" Palin shot back in a Facebook post, noting that the Journal itself had raised concerns about grocery prices mere days ago. "An inflationary tide is beginning to ripple through America's supermarkets and restaurants," an article claimed on Thursday.
This past week, we learned that it was another year, another dive for newspaper circulations: 5% for dailies, and 4.5% on Sundays, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. That's not as bad as some past declines, but it's still going the wrong way.
As usual, they'll blame the Internet, and reject the possibility that persistent, pervasive bias and blind adherence to politically correct reporting priorities have anything to do with the results. But as I've similarly asked before, how does one explain away the fact that the only daily paper in the nation's top 25 that has shown consistent gains during the past several years is the (usually) fair and balanced Wall Street Journal?