On February 28 (second item at link), New York Times business reporter David Leonhardt infamously 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 one to "notice" a recession in manufacturing -- because it doesn't exist. In fact, the latest related report from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showed that the manufacturing sector expanded for the fourth straight month. That would include February, when Leonhardt made his "recession" call. The ISM reading of 55.0 (any reading over 50 indicates expansion) actually inched up a bit from the previous month's 54.7.
Though it's not possible to tell for sure because of the TimeSelect subscription wall, a Times search on "manufacturing recession" (not in quotes) shows no apparent retraction of Leonhardt's call, but does include plenty of references to other reasons why a recession might be possible.
Leonhardt's "less than perfect" reporting has apparently continued.
Proving that few people in the entertainment industry can tell the difference between reality and fantasy and in a perfect example of why people who write about entertainment should stay away from the topic of politics, The New York Times today has let lose one of the silliest, most confused political "editorials" yet published about Senator Fred Thompson's possible run for the White House. Fitting the he's-only-an-actor mode of considering his potential candidacy, TV writer Alessandra Stanley compounds a prosaic dismissal of the man with a complete inability to keep straight in her head which Fred Thompson she is talking about; the REAL Senator from Tennessee or the character he plays on a popular TV show.
On May 29th a Catholic Priest from Chicago's St. Sabina Church joined a rally in front of a gun shop and called for the owner of the shop and all pro-gun legislators to be "snuffed out", yet, the media is strangely silent on the "Father's" extreme comments -- words one would think would be explosive enough to get media coverage. Father Michael Pfleger, known the city over for his overt political activism, made the obscene comments while demonstrating with Jesse Jackson and his Organization Operation Push in front of Chuck's Gun Shop in Riverdale, a Chicago suburb.
This from the Capitol Fax Blog (one of Illinois' best political sites):
Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina’s Church, went way over the top this week. During a protest against Chuck’s Gun Shop, Father Pfleger twice threatened to “snuff out” the shop’s owner and threatened the same fate for legislators who oppose his position on gun control.
“We’re gonna find you and snuff you out,” Fleger said about the gun shop owner, likening the man to a “rat.” He later repeated his threat to “snuff out” the owner.
It’s been a full 48 hours since antiwar icon Cindy Sheehan publicly announced that she was leaving the Democrat Party due to Thursday’s bipartisan agreement on an Iraq war funding bill.
Yet, Google News and LexisNexis searches have identified that not one major media outlet has covered her announcement.
Given the media’s fascination with this woman since she traveled to Crawford, Texas, in August 2005 to picket near President Bush’s ranch, one must wonder why they have abandoned her now?
Does this suggest that the media’s antiwar proclivities are only important when they shed a negative light on the Administration and Republicans, but not when events such as this speak poorly about Democrats?
Before you answer, consider the following data. Since August 1, 2005:
Hugo Chavez is simultaneously acting as Bull Connor (fire hoses/water cannons) and Gustav Husak (deploying tanks against his own people), yet what little Old Media coverage there is seems to want to avoid those elements of the story.
At 11:00 a.m. Sunday, Gateway Pundit blogged on Venezuela's virtual dictator sending in tanks to intimidate opponents demonstrating against a government-planned closure of one of the country's last independent TV outlets. An underlying post at Publius Pundit that GP linked to shows the tanks in place, and has a time stamp of 2:09 a.m.
Readers rarely get the truth about the US economy's performance from Old Media business reporters without having to sift through a litany of "yeah, buts" and "what ifs" designed to water down anything that might make the Bush economy appear successful. But if you look hard enough, you sometimes stumble across stories in other areas that indicate how things really are.
Stories on the environment are good candidates for finding economic truth, because the writer has to establish that continued economic growth without what the writer believes are appropriate environmental constraints is a bad thing. That means that the writer has to somehow acknowledge that economic growth exists.
Such is the case in a story buried on Page A14 of Thursday's Washington Post about lower CO2 emissions in the US last year (you read that right). In it, writer Juliet Eilperin let the reality of how the economy is performing slip in (bold is mine):
U.S. Carbon Emissions Fell 1.3% in 2006
U.S. carbon dioxide emissions dropped slightly last year even as the economy grew, according to an initial estimate released yesterday by the Energy Information Administration.
The 1.3 percent drop in CO2 emissions marks the first time that U.S. pollution linked to global warming has declined in absolute terms since 2001 and the first time it has gone down since 1990 while the economy was thriving. Carbon dioxide emissions declined in both 2001 and 1991, in large part because of economic slowdowns during those years.
Whoa. At what other time has the Post informed its readers that the economy is "thriving"?
In an excellent investigative report last Sunday (may require free registration) that is part of a series on how "how businesses and investors seek to profit from the soaring number of older Americans, in ways helpful and harmful," the New York Times' Charles Duhigg exposed the despicable tactics of elder-scam artists and the "information services" companies that supply them the "sucker lists" they need.
He may not have known that he was simultaneously exposing information that could, and arguably should, damage the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.
Duhigg led with the truly sad story of 92 year-old Richard Guthrie:
..... He ended up on scam artists’ lists because his name, like millions of others, was sold by large companies to telemarketing criminals, who then turned to major banks to steal his life’s savings.
It has been over three weeks since the fundamental claim of the "Food Stamp Challenge" was debunked, first by Mona Charen in her syndicated column, then in more detail by yours truly (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog). Yet the "Food Stamp Challenge" has spread.
As noted in this NPR report from April 23, it all started in Oregon. That state's governor, Ted Kulongoski, joined in and put on quite a show, getting plenty of Old Media attention (Associated Press; New York Times [may require free registration]) as he tried to buy a week's worth of groceries with $21, because that was said to be what "the state’s average food stamp recipient spends weekly on groceries."
The Challenge's claim that the average Food Stamp recipient's benefit of $21 per person per week is all that beneficiaries have available for purchasing food is incorrect, as anyone visiting the USDA's web site could have learned very easily.
As I noted in late April, the Food Stamp Program’s "Fact Sheet on Resources, Income and Benefits" provides a table of "Maximum Monthly Allotments" (i.e., benefits), and says the following about benefit levels (bold is mine; I converted the Monthly Allotments to weekly allotments per person by dividing by the average number of weeks in a month [4.345], and then by the number of people):
USA Today's "On Deadline" blog this morning picked up on a 5-day old McClatchy Newspapers item that showed Justice Clarence Thomas spoke exactly zero words during Supreme Court oral arguments since February. The original article it referred to seemed to take subtle swipes at the 58-year old George H.W. Bush-appointed jurist.
Mum's the word for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Very, very mum.
reticence to new heights, Thomas zips his lip during the robust
intellectual combat known as the oral argument. While his eight
colleagues joke, thrust, parry and probe, Thomas leans back in silence.
And that's how he stays.
Yet rather than leaving Thomas's silence to his quiet demeanor or personality, Doyle went on to suggest to readers that the taciturn Thomas was not intellectually engaged in his work (emphasis mine):
Sometimes you read something by a member of the MSM that is just so elitist, someone whose arrogance is so amazing, that it is hard to believe it was written by a member of a democratic society.
We MSM watchdogs love to poke our fingers in the eyes of the homogeneously leftist elitists in the media establishment assailing them for their pervasive assumptions of their own superiority. We don’t often, however, get to see them come right out and say that they truly do think they are better and smarter then the rest of us mere commoners. Usually they are sly enough not to show their arrogance so obviously, leaving it unsaid but broadly hinted at. But, once in a while their egos get the better of them and they let that upturned nose snort just enough at the rest of us to let us know where our “place” in life is.
You haven't heard of Robert E. Murray? That's not surprising.
If there were an open dialog instead of continual blather about "settled science" when it comes to supposedly human-induced "climate change" and "global warming" (two concepts I like to collectively refer to as "globaloney"), Murray would have visibility. But, as Strassel writes, a different "climate," the political one, appears to be keeping him largely out of the public eye, despite his best efforts to break through.
You see, Robert Murray is a coal-company executive who has first-hand experience with what will happen on a much broader scale if the radical changes envisioned by Al Gore and others (whom I like to refer to as "globalarmists") ever get enacted:
The Formerly Mainstream Media is favorably transfixed on the proposed immigration "reforms" being whipped through Congress -- legislation that opponents characterize as "amnesty."
"Somehow," they have managed to virtually ignore immigration-related legislation that has actually become law in Oklahoma.
Perhaps it's because Oklahoma's reforms have nothing to do with "amnesty," and everything to do with enforcement.
Specifically, from a May 8 Associated Press story on the bill's passage:
Governor Henry today signed a sweeping immigration reform bill that was passed overwhelmingly by the Oklahoma Legislature, but described it as a stopgap measure until the federal government takes action on the issue.
Among other things, the bill contains employment, labor law and civil rights provisions to protect citizens and legal immigrants who lose their jobs at companies that employ illegal immigrants to perform the same or similar work.
Beginning in November, public agencies will be required to use a program that screens Social Security numbers to make sure they are real and that they match up with a job applicant's name.
A One News Now story provided more detail. It also makes it clear that the sponsor of the legislation believes that the states have more power to enforce immigration law than the "it's the Feds' problem" types would like us to believe (bold is mine):
What does it say when porn-peddler and sex-shop owner Larry Flynt treated Jerry Falwell’s death with more class than CNN? As Newsbusters reported yesterday, during “Anderson Cooper 360,” CNN used a still from an old protest video that had a large illustration of Jerry Falwell next to a large illustration of Hitler.
Despite being courtroom and media adversaries that was kicked into overdrive when Flynt ran a fake ad in “Hustler,” which claimed that Falwell’s first sexual experience was with his mother in an outhouse and resulted in a lawsuit producing a landmark First Amendment ruling by the US Supreme Court, allowing the parody of public figures, Flynt issued this surprisingly generous and thoughtful statement to "Access Hollywood" on May 15 (emphasis mine):
Dick Kreck of the Denver Post seems to think there is a good "point" to a suggestion that Christians should be suspected bombers because Oklahoma City Bomber Timothy McVeigh was supposedly a Christian. In a column about local radio talk show host "Gunny Bob" of KOA, Kreck comments that a radio station detractor has "got a point" when he satirically said that, since McVeigh and Nichols were Christians, all Christians should be placed under surveillance because of the actions of the two bombers. The detractor was responding to talker "Gunny Bob's" idea that all Muslims in the USA should be forced to wear GPS tracking bracelets so the government could keep track of them all.
What is it about anti-gunners that they just have to lie in their advocacy against guns? Do they lie because they know the facts makes them look so bad? This time it's the Washington Times' turn to publish an anti 2nd Amendment piece based on several lies. This one, penned by an Alex Gerber, worries that gun control will "apparently be glossed over again" and claims that the evil "American gun culture" is so insensitive to have tolerated "some 14,000 firearm murders" in 2005.
Only there weren't 14,000 "firearm murders" in 2005. According to FBI statistics, there were 10,100 gun murders in 2005 instead of the 14,000 cited by Gerber. In fact, the whole of the 2005 murder rate of all causes was 15,517, not much more than just the gun deaths claimed by Gerber.
Conveniently ignoring all the evidence that says more armed people in a given area actually lowers gun violence, Gerber goes on to claim that the idea that if the students at Virginia Tech were armed, maybe so many would not have died before the killer was taken down is "a joke". Absurdly, he makes his claim as if he knows beyond doubt that it could not be true that others being armed could have lowered the VT kill ratio.
In a commencement address to New England College, Democrat Party presidential candidate John Edwards has issued a call to turn Memorial Day from a day to celebrate our troops to a day pushing a political message that attacks them. He has also created a new website to further that goal and the Washington Post is helping him advertise it breaking their more common practice of not posting links taking the reader outside their own website.
How often do you see MSM sources giving direct links to websites outside their own site? How many times have you seen a story mentioning a website, maybe even including the name of the website somewhere within the story, yet the story won't give the full address? Also, how many times do you see a web posting that actually includes a hypertext link to any website outside any paper's site? Not very often. But today the Washington Post has given John Edward's anti-war website a big boost by not only writing a story about it, but creating a direct link to it at the end of their story.
I wonder how many conservative or pro-war websites they have helped advertise in the past with a direct link?
Perhaps you read this week that in April, the US Treasury reported all-time-record tax collections of $383.6 billion.
If you did, you didn't read it in the dead-trees version of the New York Times. The Old Grey Lady did not deem Thursday afternoon's news "fit to print" on Friday (requires free registration), even choosing not to carry the related Associated Press report that is the main topic of this post (even though the Time posted it online Thursday evening). A Times search on "April treasury" (not in quotes) shows no evidence of any other coverage since then, nor does Sunday's Business home page.
So, unless you happened to read a brief report from MarketWatch (requires registration) or subscribe to the Wall Street Journal (requires subscription), odds are that anything you read or heard about April's Monthly Treasury Statement came from the aforementioned AP report, written by good old Martin Crutsinger (some previous examples of Crutsinger's demonstrated bias and ignorance are here, here, here, and here).
Crutsinger's full report is here. Before I get to his biggest oversight, here are the report's relatively minor (I'm not kidding) shortcomings:
Nancy Pelosi, in the run up to the 2006 midterms, decried the Republican Congress' "culture of corruption" and triumphantly claimed she was going to bring back an "ethical" Congress upon the close of the elections. The Democrat Party delighted in the real ills of lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the fictional ills of the evil genius Karl Rove and spared no expense to tout their warnings to the electorate. Their efforts seemed to succeed in gaining them a majority. So, what are the reforms this new, glorious era has produced now that the Democrat Party has retaken Congress?
For one thing, instead of decreasing junkets by Congressmen such trips have not abated at all in this new "ethical" Congress. As Examiner correspondent, Charles Hurt, reports, "Congress is keeping Andrews Air Force base plenty busy this year ferrying lawmakers all over the globe at taxpayers’ expense."
It is no wonder that jihadists everywhere imagine we can so easily be beaten when western MSM outlets are often filled with capitulators and defeatists. The Wisconsin State Journal has just such a foolish, western dupe in it's May 10th issue in a column by Kevin J. Mack who is scolding us all that these "so-called terrorists" just need a little understanding... as if they are merely errant teenagers who need a stern talking to and a little parental lovin'. And, Mack's sentiment that it is really all our fault is all too common in the media today.
Bush derangement syndrome strikes again, this time in Indianapolis, Indiana where the Indianapolis Star reports that students of the U of Indiana's Dentistry class have been caught in a massive cheating scandal. Naturally, it's all Bush's fault according to one of the so-called experts the paper interviewed for their article.
Apparently 16 students were suspended because they hacked their school computer system to get passwords that would open electronic teaching materials that contained the answers to upcoming tests. An additional 21 were given letters of reprimand for knowing of the cheating and not saying anything to school officials, a breach of the school's code of professional conduct.
So how is this all Bush's fault?
Because there's no WMDs in Iraq says Dr. Anne Koerber, an associate professor of dentistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Three of the six Fort Dix terror suspects are in the United States illegally, so I thought I'd look at how three major metropolitan newspapers reported that fact in today's papers.
Looking through coverage in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, I found that the first two put mention of the illegal immigration status of the Duka brothers one-quarter of the way through their respective articles, while the Post buried the mention more than halfway through the article, paragraph 14 out of 26 to be exact.
Here's how each paper reported the illegal status of three of the suspects:
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.