In a report filed at the Los Angeles Times's Politics Now blog earlier today, Washington Bureau reporter James Oliphant relayed a number of whoppers delivered by Vice President Joe Biden without anything resembling a challenge.
Breaking Biden's bilge into three sections, they involve his claim about the historical origins of the Tea Party, which Biden characterized as a collection of "barbarians" only a month ago (and as "terrorists" two month ago); his hit at Bank of America and its $5 monthly fee for debit-card use; and the nature of the "bailouts" which followed the passage of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in the fall of 2008. In this first part, I will go after what Biden said about the Tea Party. An excerpt from Oliphant's writeup follows the jump (bolds are mine throughout):
This afternoon, Jack Coleman at NewsBusters noted how MSNBC's Rachel Maddow took a shot at GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain for supposedly "taking a month off the campaign trail -- taking a month off -- to go on a book tour."
The original source for this "claim" is a very poorly written and quite deceptively headlined October 3 item at the Christian Science Monitor by David Grant. The trouble is, Grant badly distorted an item at MSNBC's First Read blog which, while quite critical of Cain, said nothing about "suspending" or "taking a month off" from the campaign (internal links are in original; paragraph breaks added by me):
The Conference Board's September Consumer Confidence Survey came out this morning. Overall, it rose very slightly from a miserable 45.2 to a still-miserable 45.4. Consumers' assessment of near-term prospects slid from 34.3 to in August to 32.5, while their longer-term outlook improved from 52.4 to 54.0.
At the Associated Press (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes), Retail Writer Anne D'Innocenzio characterized the element of the report relating to jobs thusly:
Friday at the UN (text here), Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of engaging in "ethnic cleansing."
Earlier, in a speech to 200 supposed "senior representatives of the Palestinian community in the U.S." (would that include Gaza flotilla organizers and Barack Obama pals Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn? Just askin'), Abbas declared, as relayed by Ynetnews.com, that "They talk to us about the Jewish state, but I respond to them with a final answer: We shall not recognize a Jewish state."
Given that there would hardly be a point to covering Abbas's speech if readers knew of the just-cited statements, it's hardly surprising that the press is also in a non-recognition mode:
The paper of record for upstate New York is at it again, letting their readers know that Republicans and Tea Party members should essentially do as they say, not as they do.
The Albany Times Union has criticized Republicans for playing political games with a recently defeated bill that provides $3.65 billion for disaster assistance.The problem, it seems, is that the bill included offsets for such aid - $1.5 billion in cuts to the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program.
Sometimes, media bias is all about the headline . . . The New York Times has a decent piece this morning detailing the background that led to the approval by the Obama admin of more than a half-billion in loan guarantees to the soon-to-go-kaput Solyndra solar firm. The article paints a picture of an Obama admin that was eager to get the money out the door and was heavily lobbied by Solyndra and its major player who was a big Obama fund-raiser.
But check out the headline: "In Rush to Assist Solyndra, U.S. Missed Warning Signs." What do you mean, "U.S.", Gray Lady? That "U.S" suggests that perhaps the previous Bush admin also let itself get bamboozled by Solyndra. Except that the truth is just the opposite, as these paras from the article demonstrate [emphasis added]:
It will be interesting to see if a quote noted at the end of Jim Kuhnhenn's early Associated Press report about the President Obama's proposed tax increases (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) makes the cut in later revisions. I'll bet not, because it sends both the arrogance and ignorance meters well into the red.
This post will look at the first and third paragraphs of the 11:20 a.m. version of the AP dispatch, and then relay the quote (bolds are mine throughout):
The public learned on September 3 from William McQuillen at Bloomberg (possibly earlier elsewhere) that now-bankrupt Soyndra's private investors restructured the company's finances in January by lending the company "$75 million." As a condition of doing so, they convinced the government to give the new loan senior status over all other creditors. Now taxpayers face a likely loss of hundreds of millions in Department of Energy loans, perhaps over $500 million.
But if you haven't stayed with or are unfamiliar with the story and read the Associated Press report this evening by Matthew Daly and Jack Gillum, you would think that the wire service did all of the dirty work to learn these things (credit-hogging language in bold):
The Obama administration and the Obama campaign aren't the only ones who should be embarrassed by the AttackWatch.com snitch site Obama for America recently created. As demonstrated last night in a series of Associated Press searches (not in quotes) which resulted in nothing relevant and still don't (here on "attackwatch.com"; here on "Attack Watch"; here on "Obama campaign"; and here on "Obama for America"), the establishment press has mostly ignored Attack Watch and its authoritarian aroma.
When not ignoring it, the press has mischaracterized those who are ridiculing it. A particularly embarrassing case in point occurred yesterday at the Washington Post's "Blogpost" blog. After posting an item by Elizabeth Flock headlined "Attack Watch, new Obama campaign site to ‘fight smears,’ becomes laughing stock of the Internet," the Post replaced the headline's last two words with "conservatives" -- quite inaccurately, it turns out.
It would appear that there is a reason beyond alleged "journalistic integrity" why the New York Times hasn't pulled its error-riddled, only partially corrected mid-August story by Eric Lichtblau ("A Businessman in Congress Helps His District and Himself") about California Republican Congressman Darrell Issa.
Issa has identified 13 serious errors in the Times story, the cumulative effect of which, in the words of Powerline's John Hinderaker several weeks ago, show the story to be "nothing but lies and fabrications ... (which) never should have been published." The Times has corrected three. Though it appears to be dead wrong on the other ten, it hasn't given any further quarter and won't pull the story. Its Public Editor, as Clay Waters at NewsBusters noted, has found Issa's request for a retraction "troubling."
Having read E.J. Dionne's Wednesday column in the Washington Post (HT Jim Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web), I am sooooo comforted -- not. Dionne assures his readers that "Al-Qaeda is a dangerous enemy. But our country and the world were never threatened by the caliphate of its mad fantasies." Thus, the last 10 years of the "war on terrorism" (lowercase letters and quote marks are his) have apparently largely been a waste of time and treasure, which is why, on the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Dionne asserts that "we need to leave the day behind," and relegate it to "a simple day of remembrance."
Dionne is of course entitled to his opinions but not his facts. In addition to dangerously underestimating global jihad's devastating potential, Dionne overestimated what he must believe is a "lost decade" media meme, and completely misinterpreted the meaning of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. What follows are excerptes from Dionne's column (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Yesterday, at organized labor's traditional Labor Day picnic at Cincinnati's Coney Island amusement park, Vice President Joe Biden gave the keynote address. His key lines, as reported by Carl Weiser at the Cincinnati Enquirer's Politics Extra blog (video is here at MRC-TV): "... this is a different kind of fight. This is a fight for the heart and soul of the labor movement. This is a fight for the existence of organized labor. You are the only ones who can stop the barbarians at the gate! That’s why they want you so bad.”
Biden's statement is in an important aspect more problematic than the more widely (but not sufficiently widely) noted "son of a b*tches" comment made by Teamsters President James Hoffa Jr. in Detroit yesterday at a Labor Day event President Obama keynoted. While Hoffa was threatening and hateful, he was at least in theory speaking only for Big Labor (though Obama has essentially adopted it by not condemning it). In Cincinnati, Biden, who was elected to serve all citizens of the country, personally characterized a large plurality of those he is supposed to be serving with a word which means "savage, primitive, uncivilized persons." Biden's "barbarians"comment has received very light establishment press coverage, as did what appears to have been a singularly unimpressive number of people who actually heard his speech:
On Wednesday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), quoting Indiana Congressman Andre Carson's inexcusable, hateful comment at a Congressional Black Caucus event on August 22 (key sentence: "Some of them in Congress right now of this Tea Party would love to see you and me ... hanging on a tree"), I observed that "Carson was obviously accusing some of his congressional colleagues, whom he gutlessly would not name, of actually wanting (not metaphorically wishing) to see himself and his black colleagues lynched." I should also note that in an earlier segment of the quote originally cited by Matthew Balan at NewsBusters, Carson said, of Tea Party sympathizers wishes, "And this is beyond symbolic change." This is why I also wrote that "The meaning of the words Carson used is not arguable."
With a disregard for the truth and gutlessness similar to Carson's, Indianapolis Star columnist Erika D. Smith wrote today that the congressman "had the guts to stand up and say what we've all seen over the last three years," while also asserting that "I really don't care" if any congressmen actually want to lynch anyone. Here's more; brace yourself (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
It's no secret that the establishment press continues to serve as a virtual PR mouthpiece for Planned Parenthood. Among the canards employed in its defense is that the organization provides a wondrous array of reproductive health services. Abby Johnson, a former Texas facility director for the organization and others have shown that abortion constitutes 98% of such "services," and that taxpayer funds which aren't supposed to pay for abortions are routinely "combined into one pot, not set aside for specific services."
For several years, Life Dynamics Incorporated has documented an even more sinister aspect of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry which its press defenders steadfastly refuse to call out, namely that it takes the lives of a disproportionate number of pre-born African-American and Hispanic babies. A new study by LDI ("Racial Targeting and Population Control") shows that this result is no accident, as, in LDI's words, "family planning" clinics "are disproportionately placed into minority neighborhoods" (full PDF report; HT Life News; bolds are mine throughout; internal link added by me):
Today, the White House's Office of Management and Budget published its Mid-Session Review (large PDF), an economic forecast projecting, among other things, that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for calendar 2011 will be 1.7%. That doesn't sound like much (and it isn't), but to get there growth will have to almost triple its most recently reported level during the second half of the year. Second-half growth will also have to exceed the estimates of most economists.
Good luck finding any skepticism in the press over OMB's numbers. What follows is the numerical runthrough, followed by two media coverage examples.
In his Friday column ("Failing Forward"), published in Saturday's print edition, the New York Times's Charles Blow really blew it in attempting to relay an abortion-related statistic from the abortion-supportive Alan Guttmacher Institute. Blow wrote (shown here) that "the unintended pregnancy rate has jumped 50 percent since 1994."
The Times has since corrected the column to reflect what the Guttmacher Institute reported, which is that (italics are mine) "the unintended pregnancy rate among poor women has jumped 50 percent since 1994." LiveAction.org's Lisa Graas and Jennie Stone both noted Blow's blunder earlier today. Each also strongly and eloquently criticized Blow for his profoundly antilife attitudes. Additionally, the Times columnist used a "from 2000 to 2009" statistic about child poverty to mask the fact that most of the rise in that statistic occurred during the final year of that time period, i.e., the first year of the presidency of you-know-who.
In an early version of Julie Pace's coverage of President Obama's selection of Alan Krueger to be the next head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, the following paragraph appeared (bolds are mine):
Earlier this evening, Vice President Joe Biden, through a spokesperson, backed away from his Sunday comment at a Chinese university about that nation's "one-child" policy, wherein the state allows couples, with relatively rare exceptions, to have only one child. This of course has led to a horrible abortion death toll. A Laura Ingraham email I received this evening, corroborated by a China's population minister cited by CNN in 2008, carries an estimate of 400 million deaths (CNN said it "prevented 400 million children from being born"). It has also led to what is probably an historically unprecedented male-female gender imbalance in the neighborhood of 43-60 million.
In the Associated Press's writeup ("Social Security disability on verge of insolvency") of the situation occasioned by a congressional report repeating the obvious, Stephen Ohlemacher surprisingly and correctly retold a bit of the history which readers should find quite interesting, as it largely explains how the program got out of control (bold is mine):
Even more appalling than the mindless screed "The Kids Are Not All Right" itself is the fact that the New York Times chose to feature it on its Op-Ed page today. Author Joel Bakan's simplistic, socialistic message: today's children are under assault from capitalism, or as Bakan frames it, "for-profit corporations." In Bakan's view, the ills afflicting today's kids--from fascination with social media, to obesity, prescription drug use and chemical exposure--are to be laid at the feet of those e-e-e-v-i-l for-profits.
Bakan yearns for the good old days of 1959, when children were supposedly protected by--ready?--the United Nations. Excerpts after the jump.
Well, the extent to which this one gets nationally noticed should be interesting.
Yesterday, at a high school gym in Inglewwood, California, at what was billed as a "Kitchen Table Summit," as seen in a video currently showing at both MRC-TV and Breitbart, Congresswoman Maxine Waters said, "As far as I'm concerned, the Tea Party can go straight to hell." The crowd, reportedly "more than 2,000 people," cheered her statement.
On August 15, the Boston Herald, the Boston Globe, and the Associated Press all reported that Massachusetts-based Evergreen Solar had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Oddly enough (no, not really), The New York Times, which published a 1,600-word report in January (HT to an NB emailer) on the company's competitive difficulties, did not take note of Evergreen's filing.
Each of the three reports cited gave readers the impression that Bay State agencies were the only ones which had provided the company any form of financial assistance during the past several years during which, according to its latest 10-K annual report (large HTML file), it was losing hundreds of millions of dollars annually (about $950 million in the past three calendar years):
The New York Times's Eric Lichtblau published a front-page hit piece on the House oversight committee chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, on Monday, titled "Helping His District, and Himself." The piece opened with an attempt to paint a corporate image of the entrepreneurial congressman, saying, "Here on the third floor of a gleaming office building overlooking a golf course in the rugged foothills north of San Diego, Darrell Issa, the entrepreneur, oversees the hub of a growing financial empire worth hundreds of millions of dollars," going on to attempt to forge a connection between Issa's public service and private business. The errors began in the lede, as Issa's office is not located in a ritzy building near a golf course, and continued for the rest of the article.
Issa's office has called for a "front-page retraction of the story due to the inaccuracies that fully undermine the premise of the article," describing the piece as an "error-ridden front page story." Issa's director of communications, Frederick Hill, explained that the three central examples the Times used to justify their claims are "wildly inaccurate," citing 13 inaccuracies in the article that reflect incorrect information or baseless assertions. With only one exception, the Times has yet to correct or retract any of the errors in the article.
The Christian Science Monitor appears to have a problem monitoring its bloggers. Even though it asserts that its "diverse group of the best economy-related bloggers out there ... (have) responsibility for the content of their blogs," the largely respected CSM should understand that Jared Bernstein has just embarrassed it bigtime.
To its credit, CSM describes Bernstein, currently a senior fellow at the very liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (Director emeritus: Marian Wright Edelman), as a Biden/Democrat hack: "Jared was chief economist to Vice President Joseph Biden and executive director of the White House Task Force on the Middle Class." But unless CSM wants to be seen as a place like the Huffington Post, where it seems that anyone can throw up anything regardless of its truthfulness (I'm talking to you, Sam Stein), it needs to at least fact-check info with an obvious surface stench -- and I could smell the acrid aroma from Bernstein's item here in Ohio. His woeful Wednesday post goes beyond predictable cherry-picking into the realm of flat-out errors.
Sunday, Alexa Olesen at the Associated Press wrote an item headlined "One-child policy a surprising boon for China girls." My immediate comeback: "43-60 million Chinese girls aborted because they were of the 'wrong' gender or would have violated the one-child policy were not available for comment."
While nowhere near as odious as Nick Kristof's "Mao Tse-tung wasn't all that bad; look what he did for Chinese women" conclusion at the end of a book review on Mao's murderous legacy almost six years ago, Olesen gets into the neighborhood.
Tonight in Iowa, Republican presidential candidates will debate before a national audience. But, at least on page 14 of today's Chicago Tribune, a much bigger story concerns a little known homosexual activist, not in this evening's debate, who also seeks the GOP nomination. He admits to a childhood crush on Chuck Connors of TV's "The Rifleman," and stands about as much a chance of winning the GOP nod as the late Mr. Connors does.
The story, "Debate is gay candidate's primary aim," runs 25 paragraphs and approximately 1,200 words. Excerpted from an even longer article on the Chicago Tribune's Web site, it centers on an understandably less than optimistic candidate:
NOTE: This post replicates one which originally appeared on August 10 but was inadvertently deleted due to system complications two days later.
For some reason, Associated Press reporters Eric Tucker and Thomas Watkins, in a story about the wave of flash mob crime in the U.S. this summer, felt compelled to find an "expert" who would express some sympathy for its participants.
Well, they supposedly found one. His name is Jonathan Taplin. Here's what he told the AP:
We've just spent the past month or so having politicians and the press tell us that if there was no debt-ceiling deal by August 2, the government might default on its debts (of course, Tim Geithner and Barack Obama could indeed have strategically defaulted if they had wished, but work with me here).
But Sunday on Meet the Press, in a remark I expect will not be relayed much if at all by the rest of the establishment press, Alan Greenspan said that default is impossible -- which puts him directly at odds with the rest of Washington's elites and Ben Bernanke, his successor as Federal Reserve chairman. On July 14, Bernanke said: "A default on ... (U.S. Treasury) securities would throw the financial system ... potentially into chaos."
Wait until you see the reason why Greenspan says default is impossible, as carried at CNBC's web site in an item by Patrick Allen: