It seems “banks are doing nearly twice as many modifications under their own foreclosure prevention initiatives than under the Obama administration's signature Home Affordable Modification Program, known as HAMP,” Luhbi wrote in her Aug. 30 article. Banks made 644,000 “proprietary permanent modifications” in the first half of 2010, almost twice the 332,000 under HAMP.
Loan modifications are an alternative to foreclosures, in which the debtors usually receive “interest rate and principal reductions.” The HAMP program, according to Luhby, “lowers monthly payments to 31% of pre-tax income.”
CNN on Friday disgustingly advocated for a watered-down, more politically correct version of Christianity.
Highlighted at its website was research from a Princeton theology professor on the state of Christianity among teenagers. The study found that American churches have fallen for PC feel-good morality that's afraid of confrontation - and the result is a generation unable to distinguish Christianity from simple theism.
The author of the study, Kenda Creasy Dean, said the process was "depressing" as she interviewed one Christian after another describing God as a "therapist" who exists to validate their "self-esteem." Worse yet, many of them could not give a coherent explanation of the Gospel, content with a general belief that God wants them to "feel good and do good."
And in MSM newsrooms across the fruited plain, there was much rejoicing. Incessant pressure to water down Christianity has finally paid off.
CNN reporter John Blake wrote a piece on the sad phenomenon with no introspection as to who might be causing it:
When the media outlet disaffectionately called the "Clinton News Network" starts ridiculing you to such an extent that you are depicted as a worse communicator than George W. Bush, you know your popularity as a Democrat President is in trouble.
Yet that's what happened Tuesday when CNN published a piece prominently displayed on the front page of its website with the surprising headline:
Critics Say Obama's Message Becoming 'Incoherent'
For the remaining fans of our 44th President, the article that followed wasn't any better:
CNN continued its promotion of homosexual "marriage" with an online article on Thursday highlighting a new magazine for same-sex couples planning their ceremonies. Writer Shaunte Dunston used glowing language to describe the experiences of "Equally Wed's" founders, as well as that of vendors who cater to the homosexual community.
Kirsten Ott walked down the aisle in a white strapless gown with an embroidered bodice and cascading ruffles. Maria Palladino, dressed in a white suit, waited for her at the end of the aisle with a minister. Surrounded by their family and close friends, the women committed to each other for the rest of their lives.
Initial requests for jobless benefits rose last week to their highest level since April, a sign that hiring remains weak and some companies are still cutting workers.
The Labor Department said Thursday that new claims for unemployment insurance rose by 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 479,000. Analysts had expected a small drop. Claims have risen twice in the past three weeks.
The Daily Beast's John Avlon tried to sever the Tea Party movement from the conservative legacy of Ronald Reagan in a Tuesday column on CNN.com. Avlon, a Tea Party hater, opined that a "key difference between Reagan's rhetoric and [the tea party] is the comparative civility," and suggested that "Reagan...would have a hard time getting the GOP nomination today" for apparently not being conservative enough.
Avlon began his column, "2010 Tea Party echoes 1964 Reagan," by tying the Tea Party movement to the former president's famous speech at the 1964 Republican convention, "A Time For Choosing." After giving three excerpts from the speech, the writer labeled it a "classic -- smart, funny and still so resonant that the rhetoric Reagan used more than 50 years ago echoes in Tea Party protests today." Actually, Avlon erred in his math, as 1964 was only 46 years ago.
If a congressional Democrat blocks economic relief efforts, and no one bothers to report it, does it really happen? The editors at CNNMoney.com are apparently on a quest to find the answer.
After weeks of pounding Republicans for stalling unemployment benefits in the Senate, the site is suddenly disinterested in doing the same to Democrats.
The political battle du jour? Republicans and moderate Democrats want to continue tax cuts set to expire across the board. Liberals want to preserve the cuts for lower-income families while revoking those for the wealthy.
This time Republicans are the ones with bipartisan support while infighting among Democrats is causing delay. Yet while reporting on the breakdown, CNN Money managed to write 500 words without saying the word Democrat once. Prepare yourself for the vaguest explanation one could possibly write:
Travel writer and public television personality Rick Steves lauded Europeans's "more relaxed" attitude about nudity in public and on television while labeling Americans "overly prudish" by comparison in a Tuesday column on CNN.com: "I like a continent where the human body is considered a divine work of art worth admiring openly."
Steves's ode to European nudity began six paragraphs into the column, "European nudes and American prudes," after he gave a detailed sketch of his 1978 experience at a Turkish bath: "Any traveler to Europe who's visited a bath, perused a newsstand, hung out at a beach or park on a sunny day, or channel-surfed broadcast TV late at night has noticed that Europeans are more relaxed than Americans about nudity."
The writer, who, back in 2003, feared that the American flag was being "hijacked" as a "logo" for support of the war in Iraq, then spent several paragraphs describing how widespread this practice is on the European continent and how apparently great it is (including his "overly prudish" label about Americans):
Both CNN and CNN.com have punted on the firing of Octavia Nasr, the network's senior editor of Middle East affairs, after she mourned the death of Islamist cleric Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, "one of Hezbollah's giants," to use her own phrase, on Twitter. None of CNN's on-air programming nor the website has mentioned her "leaving the company" since the news broke on Wednesday afternoon.
On Tuesday's Newsroom, CNN's Brooke Baldwin brought on another teenaged homosexual activist for a sympathetic interview to help promote their upcoming one-sided documentary, "Gary and Tony Have a Baby." Baldwin prompted Constance McMillen to give advice to "other teens who are suffering in silence." The anchor also didn't press McMillen on how she might have inconvenienced her classmates.
Baldwin, who was substituting for Kyra Phillips, brought on McMillen just after bottom of the 10 am Eastern hour. The CNN anchor trumpeted how the Mississippi teen was meeting with President Obama later in the day and how she was going to be grand martial for New York's annual homosexual prade, and first asked, "Would you trade that all in if you could have gone to the regular prom with the rest of your classmates?"
It didn't take Velma, Shaggy or Scooby to uncover this mystery.
In a June 21 study published in the medical journal Pediatrics, researchers from Yale University "discovered" that food products with characters on them affect children's taste preferences, which may explain why food companies have been advertising with cartoons since at least the 1960's.
CNN.com and USA Today used the study to promote advertising restrictions and victimize consumers:
"Characters from TV and movies have appeared on food products for years, but until now little research has been done to examine how they influence children's food choices," Sarah Klein wrote on CNN.com.
CNN has announced that it will cease using all content from the Associated Press effective June 30, and from all appearances will take a run at becoming a credible wire service competitor.
Although it would be easy to dismiss this as the blind leaving the blind, this development seems like it has the potential to alter the news landscape and temper some of the worst excesses of press bias and ignorance.
Here are a few paragraphs from CNN's internal announcement, as carried at Media Bistro:
To: CNN Staff From: Jim Walton
We are taking an important next step in the content-ownership process we began in 2007 to more fully leverage CNN's global newsgathering investments. Starting today, CNN newsgathering will be the primary source of all content for all of our platforms and services. We will no longer use AP materials or services. The content we offer will be distinctive, compelling and, I am proud to say, our own.
You know why President Obama's Gulf Coast oil spill address from the Oval Office failed so miserably on Tuesday?
It went over too many heads.
At least that's what the folks at CNN.com believe.
Maybe that's why the so-called geniuses at MSNBC didn't like it - it went over Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, and Howard Fineman's heads!
Even more absurd in this piece by the CNN Wire Staff is that it completely ignored how Obama's speech patterns when he addresses the nation are at a lower grade level than those of George W. Bush (h/t Lachlan Markay):
Democrat strategist James Carville Thursday had strong words for Fareed Zakaria who in an interview recently published at CNN.com defended President Obama's handling of the Gulf Coast oil spill.
"When I read that I wanted to hit him with a football bat," Carville told CNN's John King on the program bearing his name.
For those not getting the joke, Carville was mocking Zakaria's reference to "offensive linebacker" during the interview; only the defense has such a position in football.
Carville continued, "This guy, there's some kind of a breakdown here, because this is a very smart man, and I don't think that he understands exactly what is going on down here."
The outspoken Democrat later quipped, "[I]f that thing was in Long Island Sound, I guarantee you Fareed Zakaria and all his friends would be going nuts out there" (video follows with transcript and commentary, h/t HotAirPundit):
UPDATE - 6/9, 5:45 PM | Lachlan Markay: One of CNN's primary sources for this piece has endorsed the notion that "Rev. Wright's anger about the domestic and foreign policies of the USA are well rooted – and documented – in the current reality of the USA." Details below the jump.
The excuses keep rolling in to explain why President Obama is seemingly detached from the oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico.
On Wednesday, CNN.com reached a new low by blatantly playing the race card: President Obama is afraid to look angry in public because white people historically haven't liked angry black men.
This conclusion was offered by four supposed experts (all of whom were sympathetic to Obama), with no one else mentioned to provide any ounce of skepticism.
Apparently CNN's logic goes something like this: Obama grew up being afraid of offending white people, so he developed a natural aversion to public displays of emotion, which means his cool response to the oil spill right now is the final product of white bigotry.
CNN tried to downplay poll results it released on Wednesday which indicated continuing opposition to ObamaCare, while emphasizing how the poll also found "growing support" for the President's call for increased federal regulation of the financial institutions. The network and its partners at Opinion Research also took two weeks to publish the results of only two questions from the poll.
As international outrage mounts, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancels Tuesday's scheduled meeting with President Obama, it is crucial that news outlets here offer an accurate, fair and balanced assessment of exactly what transpired in the Mediterranean Sea early Monday morning.
After all, according to Israel's Haaretz, this isn't the unprovoked massacre some in the media are depicting (h/t Hot Air's Ed Morrissey, photo courtesy AP):
CNN.com's opinion page has clearly sided with those supporting President Obama's proposed repeal of the U.S. military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy barring open homosexuals from the ranks. During the first five months of 2010, the website has published four columns pushing for the repeal and none from supporters of the policy. Two came from the executive director of a homosexual activist group.
The first of the editorials on CNN's website came on January 28, the day after the President's State of the Union address. Alexander Nicholson, the executive director and founder of Servicemembers United, a "national organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans and their allies," praised Mr. Obama for doing "exactly what he should have done...in this venue" in making the repeal of the policy "a priority for his administration in 2010." He also labeled this call during the speech a "watershed moment." Later in the column, Nicholson disclosed that in 2002, "just six months after the September 11 attacks, I was honorably but involuntarily discharged" due to don't ask, don't tell.
A protest noticed by the target's next-door neighbor who happened to be home at the time, namely journalist Nina Easton (who also took the photo at right), occurred in a Metro DC suburb in Maryland marked the next round of a national labor union's attempt at persuasion through intimidation.
IBD concisely describes what happens, and why it should cause so much concern:
Mob Rule From SEIU
On May 16, Washington, D.C., police escorted 14 busloads full of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) members at least part of the way to storm the Chevy Chase, Md., home of Bank of America's deputy legal counsel, Greg Baer.
The recent parade of praise for The Pill wasn't unanimous. Surprisingly, Raquel Welch, one of the hottest sex symbols of the 1970s, confessed in a commentary on CNN.com that she's been married four times, but she believes that too many women are too willing to "hook up" casually, since contraceptives make it "safe" to play the field:
One significant, and enduring, effect of The Pill on female sexual attitudes during the 60's, was: "Now we can have sex anytime we want, without the consequences. Hallelujah, let's party!"
It remains this way. These days, nobody seems able to "keep it in their pants" or honor a commitment! Raising the question: Is marriage still a viable option? I'm ashamed to admit that I myself have been married four times, and yet I still feel that it is the cornerstone of civilization, an essential institution that stabilizes society, provides a sanctuary for children and saves us from anarchy.
Jeanne Sahadi at CNNMoney.com has finally realized Social Security needs urgent reform - and by reform, she means going after the wealthy, of course.
On Monday, Sahadi reported on news from the Congressional Budget Office that Social Security is dipping into savings already this year and will not be able to meet its obligations by 2037. That's at least 15 years earlier than what the CBO had predicted during the last administration, and with 27 years to go it's entirely possible the deadline will move again, especially if the current recession persists.
But Sahadi wasn't worried. In fact, she began her piece by saying "it should be a snap" to rescue the program from bankruptcy.
After blissfully assuring readers that Social Security will be fine for another 27 years, Sahadi offered three easy-peasy steps that could be enacted over time to make the program solvent. Sadly, those three ideas were all too predictable:
While the story of the South Park death threats may not specifically constitute bias in the media per say, it does highlight an embarrassing pattern that has sent Big Media the way of the dinosaur, and a disturbing pattern that has people kowtowing to aggressive threats from radical Islamists.
We'll start with the MSM. Zachary Chesser, or Abu Talhah Al-Amrikee as he is known on the Revolutionmuslim.com Web site that hosted his death threat, recently garnered serious attention from major networks such as CNN and Fox. But the fact remains that these networks only came upon Chesser after an egregious threat was made, and after several blogs had already covered it. And they certainly hadn't done their homework as the blogs had, documenting the history of his disturbing radical statements.
The Jawa Report has been able to highlight several instances of odd behavior from Chesser, including a statement regarding the recent plane crash that killed the President of Poland and his wife, along with 96 others. The statement, as highlighted here, includes a celebration of the tragedy:
Just how bad have things gotten at the low rated CNN? So bad that the CNN co-founder, Reese Schonfeld has written in his Huffington Post blog that it is at risk of becoming a bad joke:
I think CNN is at risk of becoming a bad joke. Late night comics and cartoonists are already using them as a gag line. Newspapers are asking "experts" how to save them. It's time for a major change, before moving from "joke" to "tired joke". Writing this is getting tired, too. It's making me feel cruel, and, even if April is the cruelest month, I'd rather be writing about something else.
CNN and CNN.com highlighted opposition to Arizona's new anti-illegal immigration law on Monday and Wednesday by focusing on sob stories from a soldier of Latino decent whose family entered the U.S. illegally when he was two, and from Latino businesses apparently "already feeling the effects" of the law.
Correspondent Thelma Gutierrez's interview of Private First Class Jose Medina first aired during the 6 am Eastern hour of Monday's American Morning program. Anchor Kiran Chetry noted that "Thousands of people staged a peaceful protest outside the state capitol in Phoenix....An immigrant soldier [Medina] about to ship out to the war zone was among yesterday's [April 25] protesters." Gutierrez continued that the soldier "sat down with us to talk about his feelings and fears over this new immigration law in Arizona that could affect his family."
During the interview, PFC Medina recounted that when he first entered the military, people who ask him where he was from: "I was proud to say I'm from the great state of Arizona, because I was raised here, I grew up here. I don't know if I can say that so proudly. I don't know if I want to live here any more." The CNN correspondent highlighted how the passage of Arizona's SB1070 was "personal" for the soldier, and asked him slanted questions about the legislation.
“Part of the reason (for the media’s coverage) is the timeless truth in media that nothing succeeds like excess,” explained Martin and Smith. “But part of the reason is a convergence of incentives for journalists and activists on left and right alike to exaggerate both the influence and exotic traits of the tea-party movement.”
For years, pop culture hyped "hooking up" as fun, easy and largely without consequences. Teens and young adults bought into the hype, much to the chagrin of educators and parents, but some young women who experienced the consequences of these casual sexual encounters are now rejecting the "hook up" culture.
CNN took notice of the changing behavior among college women - and some pop stars like Lady Gaga - in an April 19 article and attributed the shift to "the emotional devastation of many college students, particularly girls whose hearts are broken by the hook up scene."
"Hooking up" refers to anything from kissing to sexual intercourse with a stranger, an acquaintance or a friend. No matter what the activities or with whom, a lack of commitment is the defining trademark of a hook up. Studies have shown that 75 percent of women have "hooked up" with another person while in college. As CNN noted, "the number is usually higher for men."
Whenever you are bored or in need of a good laugh, help yourself to some mainstream media coverage of the economy under President Obama.
Each month we at NewsBusters wonder how the recession will be spun anew, and each month news outlets act with increasing hilarity.
First up for April was an earnest little piece by USA Today writer Matt Krantz published Thursday. Krantz insisted on reporting "optimism" and "confidence" in the economy thanks to a phantom supply of "new jobs."
Just one little problem, though: Thursday happened to be the same day the Department of Labor announced a surge in unemployment claims that hampered the stock market.
But no matter to Krantz. You see, Krantz wasn't talking about new jobs that actually existed - he was celebrating an announcement from two companies that they would be strong enough to hire a few people sometime in the future.
The progression of Anwar al-Awlaki – if not the most influential force in terror operations, certainly one of the more popular faces – from simple cleric to proud member of the ‘kill or capture’ list, has sparked little interest in the MSM from a threat aspect. Instead, it has prompted yet another interview from CNN with his father, begging the United States to call off the military.
Imagine Osama bin Laden being treated with kid gloves shortly after serving as the influential and inspirational leader of the 9/11 attacks. In contrast, presenting bin Laden’s side of the story was an overwhelming goal of the liberal media shortly after 9/11, with CNN leading the charge – so much so that it prompted Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center to write a column concerning the network’s willingness to ogle the Al-Qaeda leader.
According to Bozell, CNN’s desire to interview bin Laden (through Al Jazeera) clearly demonstrated that “it does not matter to them if their offer ends up harming the American war effort on terrorism by giving this terrorist an international forum to promote his propaganda.”
Curiously, that exact scenario is being played out in the current media as well – in reverse...