The New York Times didn't even wait for the French election results to become general knowledge before they began their sniping of the new "Conservative" French president, Nicolas Sarkozy. In what is supposed to represent an analysis of his election, the Times spends more time in naked name calling than substance.
Let's review some of the harsh words, slights and names the Gray Lady hurls at the new president-elect.
Arrogant, brutal, an authoritarian demagogue...
...one of the most polarizing figures to move into Élysée Palace in the postwar era...
He has always been nakedly ambitious, pragmatic and calculating and not beyond betrayal to reach his goals.
Mr. Sarkozy is a tad shorter than Napoleon was. His profile is remarkably similar to that of Louis XIV.
Mr. Sarkozy’s brash manner and strong oratory style...
Many people regarded the anticrime campaign as a calculated effort to win support from France’s far right in anticipation of his presidential bid.
Mr. Sarkozy’s personal life has been less successful than his public one...
Man, it seems impossible that such an ogre could have anyone who would like him enough to vote for him... well, if you'd listen to the New York Times, anyway.
On Friday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) spilled the beancounters' beans (PDF report is available at the link) in advance of this next Thursday's release of the Monthly Treasury Statement. The coverage of CBO's report has been very light.
Impressive tax receipts bring in 'low' deficit of $150 billion
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Washington- The federal budget deficit could go as low as $150 billion this year, congressional analysts said Friday.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office had earlier seen a deficit for 2007 of about $200 billion, but continued strong revenue growth has led CBO to lower its estimates.
..... Impressive tax receipts during the April filing season prompted the more optimistic estimates. This year's April receipts ran $70 billion higher than last year's. CBO says receipts are likely to grow at a 9 percent pace over the first months of the budget year.
Through the first seven months of the budget year, which ends Sept. 30, the government posted an $83 billion deficit, about $100 million less than during a comparable period last fiscal year.
The $70 billion revenue increase and the $83 billion deficit mentioned in Taylor's report, plus CBO's note in its report that April's surplus was $176 billion, are enough info to enable an update of a chart of what has happened during the first seven months of the government's fiscal year (the final numbers will differ by very small amounts):
Did the Dow’s ‘Bull Run’ Milestone Get to Your Paper’s Front Page Today?
Front page? Heck, the overwhelming odds are that it didn't get mentioned anywhere.
It should have been.
At CNNMoney.com, writers Alexandra Twin and Steve Hargreaves appear to be the only ones who even recognized the significance of yesterday's positive market close (bolds are mine):
Dow: Longest bull run in 80 years Major gauges hit new milestones, but just barely; investors mull jobs report, oil prices, talk of a Microsoft-Yahoo merger.
May 4 2007: 4:09 PM EDT
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The Dow Jones industrial average squeaked out another record high Friday, making this the longest bull run in 80 years, as investors cheered tame inflation numbers, talk of big mergers and a jobs report that appeared just right.
..... The Dow has now risen in 23 of the last 26 sessions, marking its longest bull run since the summer of 1927, when the indicator ended higher in 24 of 27 sessions, according to Dow Jones.
For all journalists' talk about political elitism and cronyism, they are probably more inclined to toe the party line when one of their own comes under fire.
Almost always, you can count on an elite media figure to defend another one. Such was the case earlier today when Donald Graham, the Washington Post's publisher defended the second-class status that regular shareholders receive in comparison to a small liberal clique that has almost exclusive control over the money-losing paper. Incredibly, Graham's argument includes the preposterous premise that making Times (or his paper which operates under a similar structure) be accountable to public investors would promote biased journalism.
Answer: When the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) keeps on issuing monthly reports, such as the one yesterday covering April, telling us that manufacturing is in expansion mode.
On February 28 (second item at link), Times Business writer David Leonhardt wrote the following:
For Manufacturing, a Recession Has Arrived
The nation’s manufacturing sector managed to slip into a recession with almost nobody seeming to notice. Well, until yesterday.
To this day, Leonhardt appears to be the only person to "notice" the recession in manufacturing -- because it doesn't exist.
The TimesSelect current tease for Leonhardt's article, which is now behind the Times' subscription firewall, is even worse, leading one to think that it tells us that the whole economy is in recession (bolds are mine):
The Washington Post is tsk tsking the U.S. Army and Walter Reed Army Medical Center today for their uninviting of aging 60s' war protester Joan Baez from appearing in a concert for wounded soldiers with John Cougar Mellencamp last Friday. In a sympathetic article the Post can't seem to understand why the Army wouldn't want an over the hill, anti-establishment activist to appear before our wounded heroes.
But even a look at just some of the quotes in their article -- much less any perusal of all her wild-eyed rants of the last 40 years -- seems to explain pretty clearly why a patriotic American soldier would not find her brand of "entertainment" desirable.
It's hard to believe the Post could be at all confused.
In 1995, Bill Clinton said this to a Houston fund-raising audience about the 1993 tax increase his administration is infamous for:
Probably there are people in this room who are still mad at me at that budget because you think I raised your taxes too much. It might surprise you to know that I think I raised them too much too.
John Edwards, on the other hand, must think that the Clinton Administration and the congress at the time raised taxes too little, because he said on Sunday that he wants to go beyond what was done in 1993 (link requires registration; HT Colorado Right):
For the fifth straight year, America's biggest newspapers (especially the left-leaning ones) have experienced big drops in circulation.
The Audit Bureau of Circulation released its annual numbers today. Among the findings: Two of the three national newspapers (USA Today and the Wall Street Journal) gained circ while the New York Times fell 2 percent on weekdays and nearly three-and-a-half percent on Sundays.
The biggest loser was the Dallas Morning News which was off 14 percent on weekdays and 13 percent on Sundays. The Miami Herald lost 10 percent on Sundays and 5.5 percent on weekdays.
Let's imagine for a moment now what types of stories we'd be hearing about these bad numbers if liberal journalists applied the same standards to themselves as they do to Republican presidents.
Now that you're done laughing, let me say that I don't think that liberal bias is the sole reason for these drops. It's also old thinking. The proof is that some papers like the New York Post and the Indianapolis Star have gained circulation. It can be done in an age of mass alienation from mass media. (h/t Stephen Spruiell)
Imagine a conservative congressperson doing something this unhinged and not getting raked over the coals in the press (Wall Street Journal link requires subscription):
Tuesday was Africa Malaria Day, and Michigan Representative John Conyers marked the event by inviting something called the Pesticide Action Network to Capitol Hill to denounce DDT as an unsafe malaria intervention. What was he thinking?
Malaria, which is spread through mosquito bites, kills about a million people annually, mostly children and pregnant women in Africa. We're not sure where the House Judiciary Chairman got his medical expertise, but he won't reduce that death toll by promoting disinformation about DDT and malaria prevention. And at taxpayers' expense, no less.
PAN and a shrinking band of other activist know-nothings insist that employing DDT against malaria is "especially dangerous for developing infants and children," but there is no scientific basis to the claim. Zip.
In Sunday’s paper, the L.A.Times has a piece that mourns a downturn of a portion of Mexico’s economy and, naturally, the Times blames the USA for it. How is it that the USA is responsible for this downturn? New home construction is down in California and illegal Mexicans have found themselves out of work because of it. This means that these out of work Mexicans cannot send US dollars to Mexico and, therefore, Mexican families back home are finding less money in their family incomes.
So, according to the L.A.Times, the US is unfairly hurting Mexican families because of a downturn in new home building in the USA. Why are we Americans so darn mean to those innocent illegals, anyway? For shame you selfish Americans!
Journalists in Washington are supposed to be public watchdogs. But when it comes to the crisis facing Social Security, they act more like lapdogs for politicians determined to shirk their responsibility.
The Washington Post, New York Times and Associated Press all led off their stories on the latest Social Security and Medicare trustees' projections by pointing out that Social Security isn't expected to deplete its trust fund reserves until 2041. This supports the contention of Democratic politicians and the AARP that the day of reckoning is more than three decades away, so reform is not an urgent need .....
Since the VT shootings in Blacksburg, Virginia, we have seen all manner of wild-eyed, anti-gunners come out of the woodwork to cynically use this crime as a chance to beat their gun grabbing drums. But, proposing that we send government Stormtroopers to smash down the doors of every home with a gun in it to confiscate their Constitutionally legal firearms is a step I haven't seen in a purportedly responsible newspaper. That is, until the Toledo Blade published a proposal for taking away our right to self-protection that included "Special squads of police" with unlimited powers to confiscate all guns. A hit squad that would traipse about the country invading homes at will and accosting peaceful citizens everywhere.
The author of this tyrannical proposal is Dan Simpson, who is described as "a retired Ambassador" and a "member of the editorial boards of The Blade and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. " He is a former US Ambassador to various African states... which can easily be read to mean one who thinks government knows best, darn the citizen's rights, apparently.
Putting aside the obvious question ("Why are you an LA Times reader?") for the moment -- Apparently you'll get closer to the truth of what's happening in Iraq by reading a Times columnist than you will by reading reports from Times reporters actually assigned to deliver that information.
An Iraq success story Once-violent Ramadi, which now enjoys relative calm, shows that Iraqis can achieve peace -- with our help. April 24, 2007
'A FEW WEEKS ago you couldn't drive down this street without being attacked. When I went down this street in February, I was hit three times with small-arms fire and IEDs." Col. John Charlton was describing Ramadi as we drove down its heavily damaged main street, dubbed Route Michigan by U.S. forces. Even though this was an unlucky day — Friday the 13th (of April) — we did not experience a single attack on our convoy of Humvees.
A troubled newspaper industry is beset with a raging journalistic debate around using the Internet to bolster the bottom line for the nation's broadsheets.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Faced with declining circulation, many U.S.
newspapers are trying to engage readers by allowing them to respond to
news stories online. But the anonymity of the Internet lets readers
post obscenities and racist hate speech that would never be allowed in
the printed paper.
LaShawn Barber lays out her thoughts in an April 26 post to her eponymous blog, suggesting that newspapers are misguided to attempt to co-opt the blog format. Rather than allowing anonymous comments that can encourage trolls that cheapen honest debate and discussion, Barber suggests another strength of the blogosphere that is easily adaptable to newspapers' online versions.:
To show the feeding frenzy that is the MSM -- as well as the constant inaccuracy -- reports abounded yesterday with rebukes to Rudy Giuliani from Democratic candidates for the 2008 Presidential election over something they all merely assumed he said at a campaign appearance.
Every single paper out there quoted the stern rebukes of each of the front running Dem. candidates and nearly every source of MSM news, from TV to the internet, repeated what it was that Rudy "said" to force the rebukes.
Unfortunately for all concerned, it appears that Rudy never said the phrase attributed to him.
Yet, not a soul in the MSM (except Fox's Brit Hume) took the time to do the research necessary to fact check and assure the story was correct.
The left-wing press is notorious for its hypocrisy and double-standards, especially when it comes to itself. No news organization is a bigger case in point than the New York Times, the so-called paper of record which touts itself as holding the Bush administration accountable, all the while engaging in unprofessional and unethical behavior and never being held accountable for it.
Well today, some accountability came.
Investors in the New York Times have been outraged as the paper continues to lose market share and bleed money faster than Rosie O'Donnell at a hamburger stand. This has been going on for years and nothing's been done to stop it, in part because the people who own most of the Times stock actually have no control as to who runs the company since their shares can't vote on a majority of the board of directors. That position is reserved for the uber-leftist Sulzberger family (headed by Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger Jr.) who has been running the paper into the ground financially and off a cliff when it comes to bias, all the while stuffing its own pockets.
Fed-up investors finally had enough. Earlier today, they gave the Times a loud vote of no confidence by refusing to vote at all for the small number of director seats that they can vote on:
Brian Wesbury, whose previous writings have been blogged on many times by yours truly (including here, here, here, and here), is very tired of the dissing the current economy is taking, and especially how it is unfavorably compared to the economy of the 1990s:
One would think the writers of The Onion satirical newspaper snuck into the offices of The San Francisco Chronicle after reading a report about a pizza shop owner who saved the lives of his family by killing a gun wielding robber that was attempting to rob his store, a store with the owner's whole family inside. The Chronicle calls the meeting of the thief and would be killer and the innocent pizza shop owner "tragic" and the report is filed as if the whole story was all just some unfortunate accident instead of a crime stopped cold.
The lives of the two men intersected tragically at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday when Hicks, armed with a pistol and joined by two other men, tried to rob Piedra inside the popular pizzeria at 89th Avenue and International Boulevard. Fearful that the assailants might hurt him, his wife and three children -- all of whom were inside the restaurant -- Piedra pulled out his 9mm semiautomatic pistol and opened fire, killing Hicks, police said.
The Chronicle made the story as an excuse at a morality play revealing how friends are remembering the robber as one who "...always had a smile on his face", that the shop owner "took no satisfaction in taking Hicks' life", and the police "...by no stretch of the imagination" were they "agreeing with or justifying what the owner did." We are even treated to a telling of our "tragic" robber's happy little "rap artist" name; "Boonie".
Obviously the San Francisco Chronicle has decided that this story is going to be their platform to show how guns "traumatize" everyone when the real focus of the story should be on how a shop owner protected himself and his family inside the shop from an armed criminal.
'One-Third Probability' in '07, Former Fed Chief Says
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said yesterday that there is a "one-third probability" of a U.S. recession this year and that the current economic expansion won't have the staying power of its decade-long predecessor.
"We are in the sixth year of a recovery; imbalances can emerge as a result," Greenspan said in an interview at his District office. "The historically normal business cycle is much shorter" than a decade and is likely to be this time, he said.
Greenspan's outlook contrasts with the prediction of his successor, Ben S. Bernanke, who told Congress last week that the economy might strengthen this year. Bernanke's upbeat assessment helped steady stock markets on Feb. 28 after a plunge the day before that some traders attributed partly to Greenspan's musing that a recession could not be ruled out.
Several major media players, including print icons, are losing money. An April 20 article in the New York Times reported that the New York Times Company (NYT and the Boston Globe) and the Gannett Company (USA Today) declined in first-quarter revenue while the Tribune Company (the Chicago Tribune and the LA Times) actually lost money.
The Times has recently been rocked by major scandals such as Jayson Blair’s plagiarism and fabrication and Rick Bragg's plagiarism. Newsbusters and Times Watch have documented the Times’ leftward-tilting reporting and an inability to acknowledge reporting mistakes in stories like the Duke lacrosse hoax, the story about rape in the military that was printed when known to be false and the recent article which wrongly claimed an El Salvadoran woman was jailed for an illegal abortion. Radar Online noticed the lowering of journalistic bar at the paper and ranked their ten worst reporters. It’s no secret that the print media are in dire straits, and even the NYT wrote that the “disappointing results underscored the increasingly tough economic times faced by the industry as advertisers continued to shift their focus away from print to the Internet.” The Times gave the numbers for the downturn:
four papers included descriptions of the gruesome abortion procedure,
although none described the suctioning of the unborn child's brain from
the skull as the manner of ending the fetus's life, and the NY Times
failed to mention the brain suction at all. While all four papers also put "partial-birth abortion" in quotes or chalked the label up to pro-life rhetoric, the NY Times's
Linda* Greenhouse piled on, calling the label "provocative" and describing the ruling as a shift from a focus on the
"rights" of women to the "fate of fetuses."
If one were to contemplate all the horrible results of the actions of this murderous psychopath in Virginia, if one were to wonder how hard and emotional have become the lives of the survivors of those whom this sick individual killed, it would seem axiomatic that the Mainstream Media would be the last group such a reflection would see as a recipient of the "tough decisions" resulting from the murders . We would naturally feel pain at the loss of the families of the VT victims. Our hearts would go out to the turmoil that surviving students would face upon trying to resume their education schedules after this monumental outrage. We would even feel bad for residents of the surrounding Virginia communities as they attempt to cope with the crime. Yes, there are a lot of people to empathize with and to feel sorry for.
For the last few weeks I have been watching two stories that, were they about Conservatives or Republicans, would have been scandals that would have shaken the rafters of the MSM. But, since these stories are about two favored Liberals, one old and one newly minted, we have seen no faux outrage, no shocked commentary, no calls for heads on pikes to be posted at the entrance to Congress, and no calls for resignations. Oh, the stories were reported all right, but all sensationalism was eschewed with the usual extrapolation to the level of a “culture of corruption” cast aside for a straight, newsy style atypical to their normal means against Republicans.
These two stories and the lack of passionate coverage of them by the MSM shows that the MSM employs as much liberal bias in what they chose not to cover as they do in what they chose to go ahead and focus upon.
Leave it to a liberal to claim that Americans are "cheapskates" because our government does not spend enough money on foreign aid. In the L.A.Times for April 13th, that is just what we are treated to with Rosa Brooks' screed titled, "To the rest of the world, we're cheapskates" and subtitled, "The U.S. international affairs budget -- which helps fight AIDS, poverty and more -- is just 1% of total spending." But, by attacking our country over its record on charity and foreign aid spending, Brooks proves that she neither understands the nature of American generosity, nor the American character.
OVERVIEW: I believe that the sale of The Tribune Company last week to investor Sam Zell is an unrecognized low-water mark in the newspaper publishing business. In fact, after subtracting the value of the Tribune's non-newspaper properties from the deal, what little value remains indicates that the value of having access to a newspaper's readers is a mind-boggling 70% less than it was a mere seven years ago.
Is it possible that Tribune Company investors are paying the price of many years of relentless misreporting and biased reporting at its newspapers, especially those it acquired when it bought Times Mirror in 2000? While the numbers presented here of necessity involve a fair amount of approximation, it's hard to avoid concluding that the answer is "yes."
Eric Alterman recently got his dander up over at the Nation about many of the MSMs political pundits today, calling them "lazy" and blasting them for their near universal refusal to address Blogger's critiques of their work. Obviously he isn't happy over the treatment he received at the hands of Time Magazine's Joe Klein who dealt him a series of "schoolyard insults", as Alterman phrased it, after he criticized some of Klein's work. But, this personal vendetta aside, Alterman is on to something.
Alterman is filled with disgust at many Pundit's arrogance as they ignore the ankle biting leveled at them by Internet opinionists and Bloggers. And I cannot say that I disagree with him over his contention that the MSM is trying so hard to ignore rising Internet pundits and the influence they are garnering that they have damaged their own credibility in the process by overlooking substantive critical analysis offered at lightening speed by Internet writers.
The New York Times Co. has been taking a beating over their increasing steep decline in the company's share price, extravagant executive compensation and the dual roles of Class B shareholder Arthur Sulzberger Jr. who acts as both the Chairman and Publisher of the company. These factors have prompted influential wall street investment advisor Institutional Shareholder Services to advise Class A shareholders to withhold votes for 4 directors who are up for election this month. A virtual vote of no confidence by one of the most influential investment advisors in the business according to the Gawker Manhattan Media News and Gossip website.
I have been waiting for the MSM to start the drumbeat against Fred Thompson that they so often and so boringly used (and still do) against Ronald Reagan; the refrain of "He's just an actor." Now, Rebecca Sinderbrand of the New York Observer has used the general theme for her latest piece, The Mysterious Appeal of Fred Thompson. Subtitled "Actor, Senator, presidential candidate... but what G.O.P. gap is he filling?", Sinderbrand makes liberal use of Thompson's "roles" as a foil for his seriousness as a candidate and seems to be saying that the only reason anyone is considering him is because he looks the part as a result of his "camera presence."
Sinderbrand's entire piece is dismissive and shallow in its approach to the Senator with constant allusions to his being an actor playing a role and treats the Senator as if his candidacy is an effort at bait and switch, or at the very least a silly proposition. Throughout, Sinderbrand constantly mentions the acting aspect of the Senator's life as if that is all there is to him just like they have always done with Reagan.
Talk about making a mountain out of a mole hill. The Boston Globe reports on the "push" to draft Al Gore to run for president in 2008 in the April 4th edition of the paper. The story's starry-eyed subjects launching Gore for president websites and sponsoring web petitions are in for the best fluff treatment lending their claims of a "surge" in support for a Gore candidacy far more legitimacy than it deserves.
The sunny representation of these Gore for president campaigns the Globe gives is almost pathetic in it's obvious wishful thinking. The only qualifying language to downplay the efforts used in the piece is an understated "How big is the effort? Hard to say."
No, it's not really that hard to say even when assessing the fluff the Globe reported. In fact, it's pretty easy to say that there is little interest -- at least far from enough interest to show a "surge" in support for a second Gore run for the White House. Far from "heating up" it seems more likely that there is a flaming out in the offing.