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.
Joel Gehrke at the Washington Examiner (HT Meredith Jessup at the Blaze) reports that Karen Vaughn, mother of Aaron Vaughn, a member of Navy SEAL Team 6 and one of 30 American servicemen, including 21 other SEAL Team 6 members, killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan three months after the May 1, 2011 execution of Osama bin Laden, says in a video released yesterday by Veterans for a Strong America that the Obama administration "put a target on my son’s back and even on my back" by revealing the SEAL Team unit's identity after the Bin Laden raid.
Actually, as seen here in a September 10 Fox News story, Mrs. Vaughn has been saying this for almost a month, which makes me wonder where Maureen Dowd at the New York Times has been. But first, the specifics from the Vaughns (bolds are mine throughout this post):
In her September 26 report in the paper's Fashion & Style section ("Last Call for College Bars"; Sept. 27 print edition), Courtney Rubin at the New York Times devoted over 1,600 words to a portrayal, primarily in Ithaca, New York, home of Cornell University, of the declining college bar scene.
Rubin described the travails of, among others, Michelle Guida, Vanessa Gilen, Tracy O’Hara, and John Montana. A photo which originally accompanied the article said it pictured David Lieberman and Ben Johnson. There's only one teeny tiny problem, one which might lead one to question the degree to which Rubin's underlying work is fictional (i.e., containing fictional stories relayed by those interviewed, not items made up by Ms. Rubin). It's explained in an "Editor's Note" dated September 28 at the end of the online version Rubin's report (a graphic of the Note as it appeared in the print edition is here; bolds are mine throughout this post):
"When a little boy is kidnapped" and forced to become a child soldier, "that's slavery," President Obama noted in a September 25 speech at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City. Yet a mere three days later, the president waived-- for the third year in a row, no less -- U.S. sanctions on countries that use child soldiers, including Libya, where, as you may have noticed, we've had some nasty diplomatic security issues of late.
For those who want the short answer to the question in this post's title, the answer is almost definitely "no." But in a New York Times op-ed piece in mid-September, former Obama "car czar" Steven Rattner effectively said that the so-called "fact-check" site known as PolitiFact should make amends to former Alaska Governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
At the Associated Press on Saturday, Gosia Wosniacka did something one rarely sees any more in wire service coverage, actually blaming a government policy for an industry's financial problems -- in this case, state-imposed price controls on the California dairy industry.
But price controls in the highly tarnished Golden State, while very relevant, have been around for decades. Ms. Wosniacka ignored the most recent cause of farmers' difficulties, namely the government-mandated diversion of much of the corn crop towards ethanol production. Several paragraphs from her report (also carried at CNS News) follow the jump:
Note: This post has been revised to reflect the Times's 2012 coverage. The original version erroneously linked to a 2010 article. I sincerely regret the error.
The New York Times's coverage of year's annual Muslim Day parade in Manhattan appears to have consisted of a photo at This Week in Pictures and another at the City Room blog.
At the end of the parade, in news not relayed by the Times, at least one speaker called for suppression and criminalization of free speech and another seemed to revel in violence-based rhetoric. One can hardly argue that these presentations weren't related to the parade, since invited political dignitaries were on hand, including one gentleman, Democrat New York State Senator Tony Avello, who walked out after hearing calls for punishment speech seen to commit "blasphemy" against Muslim prophet Muhammed.
One really wonders if there is any adult supervision in the department where CNNMoney's business headline emails originate.
There certainly isn't much knowledge of the general business environment or of the recent history of the housing market present, because if there were, the following email would almost certainly never have been published -- or if the message had somehow escaped by accident, it wouldn't have taken more than a half-hour to "correct" it. The original and the "correction" follow the jump:
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.
Entitled "Fed action a welcome move for small businesses" and appearing very early this morning, it claims that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's third round of quantitative easing, aka QE3, is "confidence-building move" and "a reassuring sign to the financial markets as it signals to investors that U.S. monetary policy will serve as a stabilizing partner as our economy continues to improve. Its author, Sharon Jenkins, described as "is principal and lead strategist at Alexandria-based My Brothers’ Business Enterprises," is not a regular at the blog; unlike all others I saw, her name isn't even hyperlinked at her post. So who is this "Sharon Jenkins"?
Clearly, they didn't like what a properly weighted result would have told them, which is that Mitt Romney is in a deadlock with Barack Obama if one uses Gallup's party affiliation numbers from before Democratic National Convention, or that he's up by five points if one opts for Rasmussen's affiliation numbers. In their latest poll, with registered voters, CBS/NYT not only oversampled Democrats, but they took the number of actual responses and further weighted them towards Dems, as seen after the jump.
Poll cooking season is officially in full swing. The headline today at the Washington Post reads: "Among likely voters, Obama-Romney close." Dan Balz and Jon Cohen report that in a September 7-9 poll, "the (presidential) race remains close among likely voters, with Obama at 49 percent and Romney at 48 percent, virtually unchanged from a poll taken just before the conventions." Ah, but Obama supposedly has a six-point lead among registered voters.
Based on pair's report, the easy choices on how to interpret the results are these: Either President Obama really didn't come out of the Democratic Convention with a polling bounce, or, if he did have a bounce, it disappeared after last Friday's dreadful employment news. There's a third and far more likely choice, which only becomes apparent once one sees the mix of respondents in the poll's final listed question.
For the New York Times, what better way to observe the 11th anniversary of 9-11 than by exploiting it for political purposes and seeking to blame George W. Bush?
The Times chose to publish on its op-ed page today a column by Kurt Eichenwald, a former Times reporter now with Vanity Fair, entitled "The Deafness Before the Storm." Its gruel is thin when it comes to actually assembling a case of any real Bush-administration negligence. And that is the best evidence that Eichenwald and the Times were not motivated by any sincere desire to review the historical record with the goal of preventing future lapses. Rather, this is cheap political exploitation and finger-pointing at its basest. More after the jump.
Less than 48 hours from now, Chicago's teachers, whose union head insists, as quoted by the Associated Press, that "we are here to negotiate for better schools in Chicago," may walk off the job, leaving the children entrusted to them to languish in half-days of activities unrelated to learning "staffed by non-union and central office workers."
There seems to be an unwritten rule that news coverage of these matters not discuss the current earnings of those who are threatening to strike. In a writeup of over 900 words, AP writers Tammy Webber and Don Babwin stuck to that script, and also failed to tell their readers the size of the raise union negotiators initially requested. Those two figures follow the jump.
Completing a two-month full reversal of a tiny decline which began earlier in the year, the USDA reported on Friday that participation in the Food Stamp program, which the government wants everyone to call SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), reached an all-time record high in June. The program's had 46.67 million participants that month, eclipsing the previous record of 46.51 million in December 2011.
Only the business press seems interested in covering the story. What follows are excerpts from the story at Bloomberg Business Week, where the most important story element for reporter Alan Bjerga was the impact on Dear Leader's reelection effort:
In his weekend syndicated column, Deroy Murdock unearthed and relayed information the establishment press hasn't told the nation about how certain public-sector pension funds and university endowments have chosen to invest money entrusted to them in Bain Capital. Yes, Bain Capital.
Until three weeks ago, it would have been somewhat understandable if the business press didn't expect to find a story here. After all, who would expect that the organizations complaining the loudest and longest about the conduct of Bain, the private-equity firm GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney left over a decade ago, would actually have significant funds invested there? These people couldn't possibly be that hypocritical, could they? Oh yes they could.
Ezra Klein, the "former" head of the Journolist news coordination conspiracy (given the evidence of coordination seen during the Republican convention, it's hard to believe it hasn't continued in some form), rolled out a graphic yesterday at the Washington Post which he touted as "the one graph you need to see before watching" the Republican convention.
To show would be to give it more attention than it deserves. Its core contention, delivered via the lefty-driven Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, is that "Tax Cuts, Wars Account For Nearly Half of Public Debt by 2019." They could have changed the title to "we're going to blame Bush for eight more years." Some of Klein's clanking follows the jump; I'll deal with the "Blame Bush's tax cuts" mantra after that (the "wars" claim has been addressed several times before, and is just as dumb):
As I suggested yesterday (hardly a prediction since it was so clearly going to happen), "2016: Obama's America" has taken in enough in estimated gross proceeds this weekend ($6.238 million from Friday through Sunday) to become the top conservative post-1982 documentary (and number six overall, behind four Michael Moore films and Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth").
Some critiques, currently compiled at the Hollywood Reporter (this post went directly to the underlying write-ups), are coming in, and let just say that there's no Michael Moore-level fawning:
If we're to believe a report by Heidi Przybyla at Bloomberg News on August 13, the country might be operating under bipartisan deficit-reduction framework instead of being without a budget for over three years if it weren't for Wisconsin Congressman and GOP vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan. Her lead: "Representative Paul Ryan was a pivotal figure in killing the 2010 Bowles-Simpson agreement, which Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney now holds out as a model for putting America’s fiscal house in order."
There are many deceptions and unsupported assertions in Przybyla's report, but before getting to some of the others, many of which relate to her inability to recognize objective truth, the two most important related to her treatment of President Obama's role in the rejection of Simpson-Bowles:
About a month ago, I joked in a column published elsewhere that the reason a certain New York Times column didn't resonate with anyone is because no one pays attention to the Old Gray Lady any more.
Unfortunately, that's not true. But the fact that almost no other establishment press outlet has mentioned the paper's disclosure late Wednesday (appearing in Thursday's print edition) that former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine and others at the bankrupt firm likely won't face criminal prosecution in the firm's crack-up, which featured raiding individual customers' accounts to the tune of $1.6 billion, seems to indicate that the Times has become a favored holding cell for stories detrimental to Democrats which will otherwise be ignored. Oh, and contrary to the belief expressed in a very long Vanity Fair item in February, when Corzine was seen to be in "a scandal he can’t survive," and that "his career is likely finished," the man is seriously considering starting up a new hedge fund.
Andrea Mitchell's Freudian slip was showing on her MSNBC show this afternoon. Mitchell's moment of unintentional honesty came during a discussion with Chris Cillizza of Joe Biden's ugly remark yesterday to a largely African-American audience that Mitt Romney would "put y'all back in chains."
As noted here, Capehart defended Biden on Morning Joe today, claiming he had "nothing to apologize for." Mitchell, seeking faux balance, cited Capehart as having enumerated a number of supposedly racially-tinged remarks made by Republicans. Just one problem: Mitchell described Capehart as a "Democratic analyst." Oopsie! Surely a distinction without much of a difference, but Capehart's official job title is that of editorial writer for the Washington Post. View the video after the jump.
In an apparent attempt to pin blame anywhere but on the Obama administration for the rising unemployment rate, a USA Today item currently carried at Newsmax's MoneyNews.com web site opens by claiming that "Companies across the country are cutting training programs for new employees, broadening the divide between workers with skills needed to compete in today's economy and those left out, pushing up unemployment rates in the process."
The incoherence is stunning, and it continues after the jump:
The media doesn’t like food much these days. Papa John’s Pizza founder John Schnatter is the latest individual in the food industry to draw fire from the left; in his case the he made the mistake of discussing the economic effects of Obamacare on his company. Outlets from the Colbert Report to the Boston Globe savaged Schnatter for having the effrontery of publicly explaining basic economics.
In a conference call with shareholders last week, Schnatter (who is a Romney supporter) said:: “Our best estimate is that Obamacare will cost 11 to 14 cents per pizza, or 15 to 20 cents an order from a corporate basis.” He also assured listeners that, “If Obamacare is in fact not repealed, we will find tactics to shallow out any Obamacare costs and core strategies to pass that cost onto consumers in order to protect our shareholders best interests.”
A year ago, Standard & Poor's cut its rating of U.S. government debt from AAA to AA+.
Very early Monday morning, in what read more like an Obama administration press release than a wire service news report, Paul Wiseman at the Associated Press claimed that subsequent events and other agencies' decisions not to deliver similar downgrades represent a "decisive repudiation" of S&P's call. Gee, I think an element of other agencies' holdbacks had quite a bit to do with the Obama administration's almost immediate move to launch an investigation into how S&P handled the ratings of mortgage-backed securities leading up to the housing and mortgage lending mess in 2008. The others didn't want to become the Department of Justice's next targets. But of course Wiseman didn't bring up that inconvenient point. Excerpts follow:
Clay Waters at NewsBusters addressed this item earlier today, but I want to emphasize one particular quote in the related New York Times piece which also caught the (possibly gullible) attention of Chris Ariens at Media Bistro's TV Newser: "In private meetings with columnists, he has talked about the concept of 'false balance' — that reporters should not give equal weight to both sides of an argument when one side is factually incorrect. He frequently cites the coverage of health care and the stimulus package as examples, according to aides familiar with the meetings."
Wow. Where do you start? I'll cite just one example in each area Obama cited. I suspect readers will have more.
What does it take to win a Pulitzer Prize or write editorials for the Washington Post? Hard to say [though being a liberal certainly helps], but familiarity with the basic constitutional principles upon which our country was founded is apparently not required.
On today's Morning Joe, Pulitzer Prize winner and Washington Post editorialist Jonathan Capehart apologized to Senator Tom Coburn for being unfamiliar with Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, the Enumerated Powers clause. As you'll see from the clip, Capehart's befuddlement regarding the clause seemed to extend beyond the specific article number to the very principle that it embodies. View the video after the jump.
Sunday on ABC, as Rush Limbaugh noted on his show yesterday, Obama campaign senior adviser and former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs called GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney a "schoolyard bully."
Just a couple of hours later (the time stamp is noon on Sunday), what little is left of Newsweek published "Mitt Romney's Wimp Factor." Zheesh -- So which is it?