Apparently, March 15 was “get Beck” day at the Washington Post. Columnist Howard Kurtz criticized Fox News’ Glenn Beck for “dividing” Fox. He pointed out that companies have boycotted the show, and noted all the controversial things that Beck has said. Yes, Beck is wildly successful, “But that growth has come at a price, at least for those at Fox who believe that Beck is beginning to define their brand.”
That same day, Post religion writer and leftist hack Anthony Stevens-Arroyo attacked Glenn Beck on March 15 in a “Catholic in America” entry to the Post’s On Faith blog.
“Glenn Beck’s anti-Catholic Rants,” sprang from Beck’s position on the social justice movement in the Catholic Church. Stevens-Arroyo first attempted to discredit Beck and wrote, “Few people are better at making accusations with code words than Glenn Beck, the Fox News celebrity. With his chalkboard logic, Beck creates conspiracies that almost always make him a savior against anything named ‘Democrat’ or ‘Obama.’”
The company eked out full-year pre-tax earnings of roughly $23.7 million (after adding back $3.8 million in taxes to the company's reported net income of $19.9 million).
In the midst of all of this, the Journal reports that Times Company chairman "Pinch" Sulzberger's total compensation more than doubled in 2009 to roughly $6 million, and that his CEO compadre hauled in a similar amount:
Yesterday, Jim Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's indispensable Best of the Web took note of a report by the Washington Post's V. Dion Hayes about the state of the employment market in DC, Maryland, and Virginia, and summarized its findings thusly:
So what looks to the Post like good news that looks like bad news is actually bad news that looks like good news.
Even that assessment turns out to have been overly charitable. Hayes, like most of the press, betrayed that he doesn't understand the crucial difference between raw and seasonally adjusted data by mixing the concepts (perhaps without even realizing it), failed to look at data from previous years, and ended up producing an incoherent report with no supportable conclusions.
The following table identifies all relevant changes in the three employment markets between December and January (sources -- Bureau of Labor Statistics state and selected areas tables 3, 4, 5, and 6 for January):
How much of a pickle is Pelosi potentially in? Enough that Dem loyalist Charles Blow had to resort to some truly twisted reasoning to explain away her delay in responding to allegations against Eric Massa.
Of all things, the New York Times columnist tried to excuse Pelosi's failure to act by blaming . . . "our crazy misogynistic culture." Huh?
Blow offered his odd opinion on today's Morning Joe . . .
Frank Rich believes Barack Obama is approaching a "do or die moment" and that "we face the alarming prospect that his presidency could be toast" if he doesn't push ObamaCare through. Rich's New York Times column of today, The Up-or-Down Vote on Obama’s Presidency, is a crushing compendium of criticism for a president he sees as talented but too timid.
I'd encourage readers to read the full piece, but let's have fun with this super-condensed version of Frank's frustration-venting:
Brian D. McLaren, a leading figure of the “emerging church” movement appears to have homosexuality all figured out in the religious sphere: traditional, conservatives – especially Evangelicals – are wrong. In a March 4 “On Faith” column, “The Church and the Sex Question,” the far-left former pastor explained how to become in favor of gay rights.
In order to support homosexuality, according to McLaren, “someone close to them – someone they already know, love, and respect – comes out to them. The issues then goes from being theoretical to personal, and it engages their emotional and social intelligence, which then gives their rational or analytic intelligence additional data to work with.”
The Post’s “On Faith” blog/column has been home to liberal views of religion for some time. In 2008, David Waters, then editor of the “On Faith” blog, proposed in his Dec. 3 entry that the phrase “under God” be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance.
Beyond that, it appears that no establishment media outlet has raised a few self-evident points made in a Wednesday Wall Street Journal editorial, proving yet again that the paper's editorials are as much a real news source as they are a rundown of the editorialists' particular take on things.
The critical points of the editorial (link may require subscription, and will probably not be available in a few weeks) are these:
Bunning was trying to do in practice what Nancy and Pelosi, Harry Reid and President Obama are fond of only talking about (Clay Waters also made this point in one of those NewsBusters posts).
The outrage is the result of substance-free political gamesmanship.
(Tea Partiers take note) Many of Bunning's fellow party members headed for the tall grass when the media heat commenced.
What follows are the Journal excerpts that make those points (bolds are mine):
USA Today’s Jon Swartz reported March 1 that the porn industry is suffering financially. Swartz detailed all of the reasons that the porn industry is experiencing financial woes, as though it was just another suffering business.
Swartz lamented that, “The adult-entertainment industry is in a tailspin, shattering the notion that it is one of the few recession-proof industries. The slump is especially stinging because technology – which helped adult-entertainment enterprises reap riches through innovations such as video streaming, webcameras and online payments – is contributing to the misery.” The poor porn industry.
The Washington Post’s Peter Slevin lauded abortion doctor Carol Ball on Feb. 26, for bravely traveling to perform elective abortions in South Dakota when no doctors in state will.
In his glowing tribute “Minnesota Abortion Provider Helps Meet Need in South Dakota,” Slevin not only turned Ball into a hero, but sympathized with her “difficult” situation. “This is a difficult time for Ball and her colleagues,” Slevin wrote before citing last year’s murder of abortion provider George Tiller.
Slevin and Ball downplayed the controversial nature of her profession. Ball told the Post her decision to start performing abortions was easy. “It was legal. It was right…Why would anybody argue with that?” Talking about pro-lifers upset with what she does in South Dakota Ball said: “I think to myself, ‘What century do we live in?’”
It’s one thing to advocate for the repeal of "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" (DADT). It’s altogether another to maintain that you find the other side of the argument “incomprehensible.” But that’s what Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus did in her Feb. 24 column, “The Inevitable Backlash on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’”
While stating that DADT should be repealed, Marcus professed to be perplexed at why some are hesitant to repeal the military’s policy and frustrated that the top brass chose not to precipitate the change all at once.
Did you think the negative economic reporting would stop once George W. Bush was out of office and Barack Obama was in? It hasn't.
Although you could argue that the press has done its best to make Obama look good despite economic troubles, as Congress debates a jobs bill and other legislation meant to improve the economy before elections in November, could the media be painting a darler economic picture than is accurate?
If the goal of whoever leaked the contents of a presentation originally made internally at Toyota's Washington, DC offices and turned over to congressional investigators was to drum up an intense level of negative press coverage against the company, they can sit back and say, "Mission accomplished."
It seems to have started Sunday with David Shepardson of the Detroit News, who reported that the company had "bragged" about avoiding recall costs. Though he appears to have erroneously believed that he had the whole thing, Shepardson's "evidence" consisted of only ten of that presentation's sixteen (or possibly more) pages with a couple of references to "wins." His report was picked and spread widely by the Associated Press's Ken Thomas, who turned "bragged" into "boasted."
How coincidental. A Detroit News item by David Shepardson supposedly indicating that Toyota is more concerned about saving money than driver safety surfaces less than 48 hours before congressional hearings are to begin. His story's basis is a presentation that appears to have been leaked by someone either in Congress or working there, or who is involved with the Department of Transportation.
Lo and behold, Associated Press writer Ken Thomas is right behind him to make sure the story goes national and to mimic Shepardson's breathtaking cultural ignorance in time for the wee-hours press runs for Monday's newspapers and for the writers at the morning news shows.
Shepardson and Thomas, absent any other evidence they chose to make readers aware of, believe that four documents in what was originally an internal company presentation somehow prove that Toyota "bragged" and "boasted," respectively, about saving money in connection with the potential "sudden acceleration" problem in many of its models.
Further, and crucially, Shepardson seems to be a bit numerically challenged, while Thomas appears to have relied on Shepardson's innumeracy. The Detroit News writer told readers that he obtained a "10-page" presentation, but the page numbering on the actual documents indicates that its full length was at least 16 pages. I'm not kidding.
New York Times columnist Gail Collins appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Thursday, to worry about "scary," fringe conservatives who will be appearing at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington D.C. Picking out certain panels at the three day event, she fretted, "But, suddenly, we're back to nullification. All this sort of succession stuff. That part of it is very scary." [Audio available here.]
Collins portrayed those in the conservative establishment as simply trying to keep pace. The columnist dismissed, "The rest of it, you almost sort of a feeling [sic] that the movement has passed these people by, that these are sort of the '90s conservatives, who you know, are not quite- trying to race to catch up."
Scarborough derided the selection of conservative host Glenn Beck to be the keynote speaker for the 2010 CPAC. He allowed that there could be some "good people there," but added, "...They have Glenn Beck, a guy that called the President a racist who hated all white people, as their keynote speaker. And you sit there going, 'Really, is that who you want to project as the most important person of the conservative movement?'"
In a story primarily about President Obama's plan to campaign on behalf of incumbent Democratic senators in Nevada and Colorado, Washington Times reporter Joseph Curl did not name Colorado Senator Michael Bennet's opponent.
That oversight would ordinarily be defensible if the Bennet's primary competitor were polling weakly. But he is most decidedly not, at least where it ultimately counts -- in general election match-ups against the current Republican primary front-runner.
USA Today just can't move on. It's been over a week since the pro-life Tebow ad aired during the Superbowl - and it wasn't nearly as controversial as the liberals said it would be. Tim Tebow's mom said nice things about her son; Tim hugged her, both of them smiled, and that was it. Most people shrugged and forgot about it. But not USA Today. On Feb. 15, it's Faith & Reason section touted the headline "Tebow pro-family ad leads to surprising 'choice' message."
The article gave the tired argument that even if you're choosing life, it's still a choice. Pam Tebow "chose to ignore doctors" but she still had options open to her. Author of the article Cathy Lynn Grossman, however, painted Tebow's choice as both ignorant and selfish, since the pregnancy could have left her first four children motherless.
If Rachel Maddow's MSNBC gig doesn't work out, why not a career in stand-up? Earlier today, Tim Graham highlighted a Howard Kurtz WaPo article on Maddow. Although she has persistently focused on the gays-in-the-military policy, inviting gay soldiers on to tell their stories, Maddow insisted that she is not "mounting a crusade" or "explicitly pushing for change."
That same "lady doth protest too much" routine is echoed in the latest MSNBC promo for Maddow's show, in which the host looks into the camera and proclaims: "I'm not trying to push an agenda."
UPDATE, 6:15 P.M.:An unbylined 11:57 a.m. AP report (i.e., 54 minutes after the time stamp of the original post at BizzyBlog) contains two paragraphs about Delahunt's involvement. Based on a search on Delahunt's last name at about 6:15 p.m., this version of AP's report is either still not at its main site, or has not been indexed by its search engine.
Democratic Congressman Bill Delahunt's far from minor role in the 1986 release of Amy Bishop, the University of Alabama in Hunstville biology professor implicated in the murder of three colleagues on Friday, has garnered significant press attention in the past 24 hours or so. Some reports have noted Delahunt's party affiliation; others, mostly but not entirely out of New England, where Delahunt's party affiliation may be common knowledge, have not.
Romantic comedies and candlelight dinners are two common activities that couples like to engage in on Valentine’s Day, but Bill Talen is offering a rather, uhh, unique suggestion on February 14: un-marry your spouse for gay rights. USA Today reported that Talen is inviting all couples to participate in the “unMarriage event,” taking place in New York City, which apparently isn’t anything new.
Talen, who is also known as Rev. Billy, invites all to join in on this event on his website and writes, “Join hundreds of couples at the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park this Valentine’s Day for a mass ritual in support of all the rights of ALL people to marry whomever they wish.”
He continues to write, “Brides and Grooms will suspend their vows in a ritual officiated by Reverend Billy. Tragic and hopeful love songs will be sung. Participants will be issued an official unmarried certificate suitable for framing.” How romantic.
Press reports about the prediction by President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers that the economy would add an average of 95,000 jobs per month during calendar 2010 weren't exactly overflowing with praise, but were lacking in something one would have expected: historical context.
Philip Elliott's Associated Press report provided none. Sewell Chan's New York Times coverage at least pointed out that the promised level of job growth was "barely enough to keep up with the normal number of jobs the economy would have to create to meet the growth in the labor force and keep the unemployment rate steady."
But how would what the administration predicts compare to previous recoveries? As seen in the following chart based on more detailed information here, all based on data from the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics, a 95,000 per month performance in job growth following a breakout quarter after a recession wouldn't exactly be impressive:
Update: Rush cites this article to rip global warmist hypocrisy. On today's show, Rush Limbaugh cited NewsBusters and read from this article to demonstrate the global warmists' hypocrisy: "when there is less snow, they say it's because of global warming. When there is more snow, they say it's because of global warming. Now you cannot have it both ways." Rush played several clips of Dem senators in recent years attributing the lack of snow to global warming. Listen to Rush cite NewsBusters and blast the warmists here.
By now, we're all familiar with the global warmists' attempt to explain away the record-breaking mid-Atlantic blizzards. Take this, for example, from the New York Times [emphasis added]:
"government and academic studies had consistently predicted an increasing frequency of just these kinds of record-setting storms, because warmer air carries more moisture."
So more snow fell from Philly to DC because the temperatures were warmer than normal during the blizzards? That got me wondering: just what were the temperatures in DC on the snow days, and how do they compare to the norm? And guess what?
As described in a Wall Street Journal editorial today, those two organizations have caught the Obama administration playing with the federal budget numbers, specifically the "baseline." The editorial also makes two important points in its two final paragraphs (bolded by me):
... the White House is proposing to convert spending sold as a one-time economic boost into a permanent feature of future government growth. As both the Tax Policy Center and the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget have pointed out, supposedly temporary parts of the stimulus—expansions of the earned income tax credit, the child tax credit and Pell Grants for college students—have now found their way into the budget baseline.
True to the way Mr. Obama has honored his campaign pledge of transparency, this news was buried in a footnote on page 170 of the budget's Analytical Perspectives.
Hollywood actress Anne Hathaway has come a long way since her innocent breakout role in Disney’s “The Princess Diaries.” In a recent interview with British GQ, Hathaway stated that she and her family left the Catholic Church after her older brother announced that he was gay. USA Today, New York magazine and The Huffington Post used the public break as an opportunity to scold the Church.
Hathaway supposedly considered becoming a nun in childhood, so deep was her Catholic faith. But it wasn’t deep enough to get in the way when the “whole family converted to Episcoplianism.” USA Today reported Hathaway stating, “Why should I support an organization that has a limited view of my beloved brother?”
In stories currently carrying Friday afternoon and early Saturday time stamps, the Associated Press weighed in with supportive articles about Illinois Democrats who are desperately trying to convince Scott Lee Cohen (pictured at right; image is captured from his web site), who won the party's nomination for Lieutenant Governor, to step aside.
In the Friday afternoon's report ("Embattled Dem Ill. candidate won't step down"), AP reporter Karen Hawkins swallowed the line that "details had emerged" about Cohen's 2005 arrest on domestic battery charges, despite the fact that Cohen himself preemptively disclosed many of those details to Chicago Sun-Times reporter Mark Brown in March 2009 (link is to a cached copy of Brown's article that was posted at Cohen's campaign site). Brown apparently chose not to relay much of what Cohen revealed, but he clearly had a lot of it.
In an early Saturday item ("IL Gov. might want to run from his running mate"), the wire service's Deanna Bellandi owned up to the existence of the Sun-Times story and relayed the demands of several Illinois Democrats that Cohen withdraw.
Each reporter seemed to go out of her way to avoid mentioning the remaining candidates for the Republican Party's gubernatorial nomination, Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard, who are currently locked in a razor-thin, currently undecided race.
In a post late Thursday afternoon (at NewBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that the half of the teases (6 of 12) for the Associated Press's short videos in business stories at its web site were about Toyota, specifically its recent product quality issues and falling sales.
In that post, I noted a conflict of interest in the relationship between the U.S. government and Toyota, and wondered when someone in the press would bring the matter up:
To the extent the government is leaning hard on the company, somebody in the press should be questioning whether the motivations are purely related to safety or whether they also involve generating as much negative publicity as possible about the principal foreign-based competitor of government-controlled General Motors and Chrysler.
I didn't realize at the time that one wire service, AFP, actually had actually brought up the matter, complete with quite a provocative headline, Thursday morning.
When Apple CEO Steve Jobs put the New York Times at the center of the ceremonious unveiling of his company's iPad tablet device, the implication was clear: this is the future of the news--or at least Jobs wants us to think it is. He stands to gain not only financially but politically as Apple becomes a major gatekeeper for information.
The news media industry itself is divided on whether e-readers like the iPad and the Amazon Kindle can revitalize the news business. Newspaper sales are, after all, at historial lows. Over 90 newspapers failed last year.
While there are scores of competing theories for why newspapers (and books to a lesser extent) are seemingly on the decline, a prominent and plausible one seems to be that they have lost control of their content. Aggregators like Google News have provided news consumers with faster, more reliable sources for news. The proliferation of the blogosphere has loosened Old Media's grip on that news.
The declining (or is it dying?) newspaper industry has suffered another blow to its image as punctilious skeptic with the motto "If your mother says she loves you, check it out." It turns out a pile of American newspapers can’t manage to check out the most basic information about people who are flat-out using their pages to push political agendas.
A person with the name of "Ellie Light" has been successfully published with the same letter in at least 68 newspapers defending President Obama – defrauding the editors by using local addresses. Reports have "her" published in two papers overseas.
Who is "Ellie Light"? We know this much: "She" is a fraud.
Sometimes getting hung up on percentage increases causes one to miss what's going on with the actual numbers.
Such is the case in a January 26 front page story by USA Today's Richard Wolf. USAT's is the only recent original coverage I have found thus far relating to increases in the national welfare rolls during the recession. (An unbylined story at UPI merely reports on what USAT's Wolf wrote.)
USAT's Wolf let himself get distracted by double-digit caseload increases in certain states, but missed the big story: California, with roughly 12% of the country's population, was responsible for over half of the increase in both families and recipients receiving benefits. The reason the state's percentage increase was smaller than several others was because its caseload is already scandalously out of control.
Wolf also made a point of comparing the relatively small increase in the national welfare caseload to steep rises in the number of Americans receiving food stamp and unemployment insurance benefits.
Here are the first five and final paragraphs from Wolf, followed by a closer look at the numbers:
In a Page C1 column in Friday's Washington Post about the National Enquirer's plans to apply for a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the John Edwards-Rielle Hunter affair and love child, Howard Kurtz delivers a completely inexcusable pass to his fellow alleged journalists in the establishment media (bold is mine, internal link is in original):
When the Enquirer first reported in 2007 that Edwards had had an affair with Hunter, the former North Carolina senator dismissed the account as tabloid trash. The rest of the media, having no independent proof, steered clear of the story, even as Edwards, aided by his cancer-stricken wife Elizabeth, was mounting an aggressive campaign for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.
Howard's "no independent proof" statement is a howler on one of two possible levels. It's either false on its face (i.e., one or more establishment media reporters had the proof and suppressed it), or it reflects a complete and journalistically negligent lack of interest in a story about a man who, if things had broken differently, could conceivably have become his party's presidential nominee or even the country's chief executive. Either way, Kurtz is unforgivably easy on his fellow "professionals," especially because I have learned that one of his fellow "professionals" had plenty of clues that something was amiss even before the Enquirer's October 2007 story broke.