A Friday article in Politico described a "GOP on the Rise" while citing the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, noting that "Republicans are now leading Democrats on handling several key issues..." By contrast, on Friday's NBC Today, political director Chuck Todd minimized that development, claiming that Republicans "only fare a little bit better" in the poll than Democrats. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The Today segment began with news reader Natalie Morales declaring: "...many remain disappointed with high unemployment, a sluggish recovery, and limited job growth. 45% now approve of the President's handling of the economy in our new poll. 52% disapprove." She then turned to Todd and wondered: "...we've got a gridlocked Congress, so does the President have much of a shot of turning this around? Do Republicans fair much better?"
Apparently we can't grasp the full brilliance and nuance of Barack Obama's speeches without having someone from the establishment press telling us what he really meant to say when he said what he really said.
That's the impression one gets from reading "What President Obama said, what he meant" early Wedesday at the Politico. In it, along with an accompanying video dedicated to the same idea, we see Carrie Budoff Brown's exercise in explaining Obama's 15-minute speech on Syria to the ignormamuses of the world. Her weakest translation concerns the extent to which Obama apparently assumed he'd automatically have support from the vast majority of Republicans, apparently because, as the web site's equally surprised Alex Isenstadt and Reid Epstein also believed two days ago ("'Party of Hawks,' Has Gone 'Dovish'"), they just love to go to war for any reason, no matter how incoherent or unplanned. That passage follows the jump:
Summer is almost over, but Politico is still ready to throw lean, finely-textured beef back on the fire to cook some more, following ABC’s 2012 roasting of the product and the company that makes it.
The Sept. 9 Politico story referred to the beef as “controversial” twice, “scraps” twice, and “the product” six times. It even referred to it as “remnant scraps of cattle carcasses.”
The description that Politico gave for lean finely-textured beef was repulsive – and completely misleading. “[L]ean finely textured beef is made from the remnant scraps of cattle carcasses that were once deemed too fatty to go into human food. The scraps are heated and centrifuged to reclaim bits of muscle and then the product is treated with ammonium hydroxide to kill bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli before being mixed into ground beef.”
No website outdoes the Politico when it comes to looking at the world through Beltway-stereotyping glasses. A post this morning on Republican congressmen and senators' views towards attacking Syria exemplifies that outlook.
Apparently, in the fevered minds of Alex Isenstadt and James Hohmann, a GOP lawmaker learning about any idea to intervene militarily automatically salivates at the prospect and shuts down all critical thinking processes. The Politico pair are puzzled at how so many of them can possibly be opposed to President Obama's proposed Syria intervention. It's really not that hard, guys, if you abandon your stereotypes and do some thinking yourselves for a change. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Poor Barack Obama can't catch a break. If the world would just stop and pay attention to him for a while, things would be so much better for and so much easier on Dear Leader.
That's the takeaway from a pathetic piece ("President Obama’s toughest Syria hurdle: The calendar") by Reid Epstein at Politico. It's as if no other president has had to compete with Monday night football, primetime TV lineups and the like. Please. "The calendar" isn't nearly as big a hurdle as, say, proving that it was the Syrian government and not Syrian rebels who actually used chemical weapons, the fact that Great Britain has pointedly refused any military involvement, and the administration's fabricated accounts and subsequent bungling related to last year's Benghazi terrorist attack. Excerpts from Epstein's execrable effort follow the jump.
Monday morning, 22-term Democratic Congressman Charlie Rangel of New York, as reported by Tal Kopan at the Politico, said that President Barack Obama's drawing of a "red line" on Syria is "embarrassing," and that he is against "putting our kids in harm’s way to solve an international problem."
Rangel is the third most-senior House member of either party. If a senior Republican congressperson similarly criticized opposed a Republican or conservative president in a matter such as this, there would be widespread establishment press coverage. In this case, there's very little. This is not unusual for stories detrimental to Democratic Party interests, as the rest of the establishment press all too often seems content to say, "Oh, that was already in the Politico, so we don't have to cover it."
It's been a decade since the U.S. and its coalition of nations invaded Iraq and sent Saddam Hussein scurrying to an underground bunker. As time passed and no weapons of mass destruction were found, the media accused President George W. Bush of relying on “bad intelligence” that led to a “disastrous fallout" in that violence-drenched nation.
Ten years later, Dylan Byers -- media reporter for the Politico website -- stated on Thursday: “For a moment, it looked like the media were going to follow quietly along as America bombed Syria.” However, the Iraq War “stretched its shadow over the span of 10 long years, and the press sprung into action” against U.S. president Barack Obama's strategy to punish Syrian president Bashar el-Assad for allegedly using chemical weapons on his own people.
It would appear that Politico would prefer to see a Democrat win the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Saxby Chambliss. Otherwise, why would its Elizabeth Titus, in her coverage of Michelle Nunn on Monday, reference a statement by that party's candidate, Michelle Nunn, which articulates a position on abortion that is at odds with EMILY's List, the entity which gave her the reason to do a story by announcing their endorsement of her?
Nunn's supposed position on abortion, according to a July Associated Press item, is that abortions should be "safe, legal and rare and that women should be ultimately able to make this very difficult personal decision in concert with their doctor and their family." Trouble is, that's not how EMILY's List sees it.
In the world of Jesse Jackson and the people over whom he has undue influence, if you oppose President Obama's agenda in any way, on any issue, you're a racist. No debate, no allowance for principled objection, discussion over. Apparently now, in Jackson's view, if you in any way oppose the frightening and financially reckless expansion of government we've seen during the past five years or the government's impending de facto takeover of healthcare — the two core issues which drove the grass-roots movement which became known as the Tea Party — you're not only a racist, you're automatically a secessionist.
In a starry-eyed, mostly incoherent item at the Politico ("Obama, race and class") which is so bad it could be the topic of three additional posts, Glenn Thrush completely misidentified Jackson's position in the civil-rights pantheon, while Jackson, once again, showed how utterly devoid of substantive arguments he is:
In advance of a month full of events oriented towards demonstrating displeasure with lawmakers who won't give carte blanche to President Obama's healthcare, gun control, "climate change," and immigration agendas, Organizing for Action Executive Director Jon Carson claimed that "We will own August." New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Mayors Against Illegal Guns also anticipated high levels of support during this months's "No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence" tour.
It hasn't happened in either case. If right-wing, tea party, or social conservative efforts fizzled as OFA's and MAIG's clearly are, those failures would be making headlines, and shown as proof that support for the related causes is weak. By contrast, the national establishment press is mostly ignoring and in some cases obscuring these left-wing implosions.
In the actual story, one expects at least a feeble attempt by writer Hadas Gold to come up with a tangible reason as to why Detroit doesn't deserve its status as an perfect-storm exemplar of the failures of liberalism, public-sector unions, a race-based political model the elites once praised, and corruption. Instead, the objections Gold cites are vague. Because of that, apparently contrary to the headline's apparent intent, we're left with a pretty strong compilation of valid criticisms relating to the Motor City's fall from riches to rags. Excerpted after the jump are primarily the pathetic attempts at leftist defense saved for the final story's three paragraphs (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
An August 6 opinion column at the Politico labeled co-authors Jared Bernstein and Paul Van de Water as "senior fellows at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities." CBPP, that oxymoron known as a "leftist think tank," went unlabeled. The Politico also must have thought that Bernstein's background as the Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joseph Biden from 2009 to 2011 was irrelevant.
That's okay. Any reader could tell from the piece's headline and content that it was a shameless, reality-avoiding propaganda piece (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Though many of us have known a fundamental truth about Obamacare for several years, the fact that Harry Reid admitted to the truth is important.
How important? So important that despite plenty of bloggers and other new media outlets taking note of it, the Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post (the latest stories here and here are from before Reid made his admission on Friday evening), and Politico haven't mentioned it at all. That's when you know that an inconvenient truth has been spoken. The truth is that Reid and others on the left see the current Obamacare regime as a mere pit stop towards a "single-payer" (i.e., totally government controlled) health care system which eliminates the insurance industry entirely. Reid, as as reported by the Las Vegas Sun, said so on Friday (bolds are mine):
What's a little Justice Department spying between friends? Or, more accurately, between a master and his lapdogs?
In May, Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder admitted to obtaining phone records involving 20 business, residential, and personal lines used by over 100 reporters and editors at the Associated Press during April and May 2012. After some lawyerly whining for appearances' sake, the wire service more appropriately known as the Administration's Press is back to its old tricks, and then some. On Wednesday, as will be seen after the jump, reporter Russ Bynum disgracefully covered up a geographic gaffe by President Obama during his Tuesday appearance on Jay Leno's show.
In shining examples of the phrase “better late than never,” Conor Friedersdorf -- a staff writer on politics and national affairs at The Atlantic -- and Dylan Byers -- a media critic for the Politico website -- hammered conservatives on Monday for charging that the mainstream media had mostly ignored or minimized the attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012.
Friedersdorf called the charge the “Whopper of the Year,” while Byers accused conservatives of taking a “guilty-until-proven-innocent approach” regarding the reaction by President Barack Obama and his administration to the incident, which 11 months ago led to the deaths of four people, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
If there was a daily prize for "Propaganda Tool of the Day," Politico would have won it both yesterday and today.
Yesterday, as Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters noted, the web site changed the title of an embarrassing report by Kyle Cheney on low attendance at an Organizing For America event from "Poor attendance at Obamacare event in Virginia" (number of volunteers who showed up: one) to "Obamacare message war goes local." Today, the web site's Reid J. Epstein, in a report on OFA's totally unsurprising initiation of efforts to assist Democratic candidates in specific contests, informed readers that two people he had interviewed for the story "asked to be removed" — and that he honored their requests. Does Politico still expect its readers and the public to believe it is practicing journalism? Excerpts, including the prize-clinching reason why the two people involved asked to be removed, are after the jump.
If ever a story had the earmarks of being agenda-driven from the get-go, Mackenzie Weinger's writeup at the Politico on Glenn Beck published Saturday morning fits the bill.
Weinger's premise is that Beck will never be as influential as he once was as long as he doesn't have a cable news program and continues to branch into entertainment-related ventures consistent with his beliefs. Excerpts, evidence which easily refutes Weinger's wishful thinking, and further commentary from yours truly follow the jump.
Today another New York state court upheld an earlier decision in March that invalidated outgoing Mayor Mike Bloomberg's much-maligned "soda ban" which restricts many establishments in the Big Apple from selling soda cups larger than 16 ounces in capacity. As the media report on the court ruling, watch for a) the media to paint the ruling as a "blow" to an "ambitious," well-meaning effort by Bloomberg to save the city from corpulence and b) the ruling as a victory for Big Soda, even though the litigants in the case happen to be the New York Statewide Coalition of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce.
For two examples of this media narrative, I submit for your consideration two wildly different publications, Politico and, sadly, the Wall Street Journal. First Politico. Here's how Kyle Cheney opened his July 30 post, "Appeals court cans N.Y.C. soda ban" (emphasis mine):
Organizing For Action claims that its mission is to "support President Obama in achieving enactment of the national agenda Americans voted for on Election Day 2012." Presumably, on a day-to-day and month-to-month basis, that means it's able to divine the President's priorities and follow them (you see, OFA is "independent," so there can't pooooossibly be any communication between its officials and the White House, cough, cough).
Well, if OFA really is following the President's priorities, one of those priorities is decidedly not the economy, despite Obama's promise in his weekly address on Saturday to "spend every minute of every day doing everything in my power to make this economy work for working Americans again." And yes, I would expect a vigilant establishment press, which we definitely don't have, to notice, and of course they haven't. Edward-Isaac Dovere at the Politico has a list of OFA's "Action August" key event days, which follows the jump:
Has Glenn Thrush at the Politico thrown up the white flag on Democrats regaining control of the House until 2022, the first election cycle after the next wave of congressional and statehouse redistricting? If so, he clearly underestimates Republicans' ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but I digress.
It would appear that Thrush has thrust himself into the throes of despair, based on the bolded sentence seen after the jump from his Friday report on how 2010 losses of control of the U.S. House and especially control of so many statehouses and state legislatures "still haunt" Dear Leader Barack Obama:
Pretty much all you need to know about the current negligent media culture in Washington is summed up in two items involving the Politico's home page this morning -- one which is there, and one which isn't.
The featured story at top of the home page by Byron Tau is about infighting between "Big Marijuana" -- it seems like "Big Pot" would be a more succinct nickname -- and those who want to extend recent electoral victories in legalizing the drug. What isn't there on the home page, as confirmed in a word search, is any story with a headline or tease containing "IRS."
The TalkLeft blog noted last night that the American Civil Liberties Union, after encouraging U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to pursue civil rights charges against George Zimmerman the day after he was acquitted in the death of Trayvon Martin, reversed course just four days later.
Though it's no longer available at its national web site, the Associated Press ran the organization's press release. Various searches at the AP's national web site indicate that there has been no coverage of the organization's reversal. Several center-right blogs have noted the reversal, but no one in the establishment press besides Josh Gerstein at the Politico, where stories the rest of the establishment press would prefer to ignore tend to go and all too often die, has noted it. So did the organization have a change of heart? Or did it attempt to manipulate its media exposure with a politically correct initial press release followed by a legally and constitutionally correct reversal it hopes few will notice?
Imagine that FDR, in his first inaugural, instead of rallying Americans with the notion that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself," had stoked the nation's unease by harping on how bad the Depression was. If Mike Allen had been around in 1933, perhaps he would have defended FDR by writing "there was plenty of unease before the speech, so it's hard to blame the President."
For that is the same approach that the Politico's Allen took in his Playbook this morning in defending President Obama's divisive remarks of yesterday on Trayvon Martin and the Zimmerman trial. Wrote Allen [emphasis added]: "Many conservatives are complaining that the remarks will stoke division and dissension. But there was plenty of that before, so it's hard to blame POTUS." Some might accuse Allen of the soft bigotry of low expectations. More after the jump.
Imagine if you will a conservative Republican mayor used public employees' work time to advocate stricter state-level abortion regulations throughout the country? The Left would, and to an extent rightfully so, raise a fit, and the liberal media would, again, rightly so, beat the drums and make the abuse of power a major national story.
But when it's liberal independent Mayor Michael Bloomberg doing the same thing to push a gun control agenda, the media are not-so-strangely silent, given the media's push for ever-more-restrictive gun laws.
Today, as the wire service AFP reported in a story carried at Yahoo.com, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, in the question and answer exchange after his prepared testimony, told the House Financial Services Committee that "If we were to tighten (monetary) policy, the economy would tank."
That assessment of the economy's fragility qualifies as news, especially given the Obama administration's continued claim that the economy is "continuing to recover at a promising rate." Outlets besides AFP virtually ignored Bernanke's soundbite, which should be considered scary to anyone who realizes that Big Ben can't go on "stimulating" at his current rate forever.
On ABC's This Week yesterday, former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer -- who resigned in 2008 when caught dead to rights illegally purchasing the services of prostitutes but was never prosecuted because, as announced two days after Election Day in 2008, the Department of Justice decided that "the public interest would not be further advanced by filing criminal charges" -- called the verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial "a failure of justice."
Of course, Politico's Juana Summers provided none of the background yours truly just did while only referring to Spitzer as "the former Democratic governor of New York who's now a candidate for New York City comptroller." Another statement Spitzer made on the same program deserves further scrutiny, which will arrive after the jump:
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was predictably unhappy with Saturday's verdict in the George Zimmerman case. He used it as an opportunity to go after what he calls "shoot first" laws, which people in the real world refer to as "stand your ground" laws.
It was an irrelevant rant, as Politico's Maggie Haberman pointed out: "In the Zimmerman case, neither the defense nor the prosecution ultimately used “Stand Your Ground.” Zimmerman’s attorneys ... presented a conventional self-defense strategy." Problem is, Haberman waited until her final paragraph to note that, and gave readers every impression that the case was about "stand your ground" up until that point (presented in full for fair use and discussion purposes; bolds are mine):