You've got hand it to some (probably most) of the reporters at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press. Their story is that the economy is all right, and by gosh, they're sticking to it.
Tom Raum's dispatch yesterday is a case in point. Along the way, he pulled out several of the tired spin-driven claims which have long since been taken down but which haven't yet penetrated the skulls of low-information voters. Raum and AP seem puzzled that the supposedly okey-dokey economy doesn't seem to be helping President Obama or Democrats' 2014 congressional and senatorial election prospects (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
On Friday, the government reported that the economy grew by an annualized 2.5 percent during the first quarter. Earlier today, in Part 1 of this series, (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) I showed that while most news organizations, including CNN, Bloomberg and Reuters, characterized that news as a disappointment, especially comparred to expectations of 3.0 percent or more following an awful fourth quarter of 0.4%, Martin Crutsinger and Chris Rugaber remained irrationally exuberant, not only about the "quickened" pace of growth but about prospects for higher growth in the second half of this year.
In Part 2 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), we saw how even others at the self-described Essential Global News Network disagreed with Crutsinger's and Rugaber's joint assessment. A "News Summary" item was headlined "STOCKS STALL AS GROWTH DISAPPOINTS." A report by AP Markets Writer Steve Rothwell was headlined "STOCKS STALL ON TEPID US ECONOMIC GROWTH," and forecasted slower growth during the rest of the year. There is one other key paragraph written by the pair of AP economics writers which deserves separate vetting. It follows the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
On Friday, the government reported that the economy grew by an annualized 2.5 percent during the first quarter. As I noted in Part 1 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), three establishment press outlets (CNN, Bloomberg, and Reuters) pronounced the result "disappointing" -- but not Martin Crutsinger and Christopher Rugaber at the Associated Press, whose headline read "AFTER NEAR-STALL IN LATE 2012, US ECONOMY PICKS UP," and whose content described the economy as having "quickened its pace" as "the strongest consumer spending in two years fueled a 2.5 percent annual growth rate in the January-March quarter."
It turns out that the AP pair's enthusiasm was not only not shared at other news organizations. It wasn't even shared within AP, as will be seen after the jump.
On Friday, the government reported that the economy grew by an annualized 2.5 percent during the first quarter. The awful 0.4 percent result seen in the fourth quarter was largely sloughed off as caused by a number of one-time factors. Analysts convinced themselves that reported first-quarter growth would come in at 3.0 percent or slightly higher in Friday's release. Instead, we saw what Zero Hedge noted was the biggest such expectations miss since September 2011.
As a result, at least three establishment press organizations pronounced the result disappointing -- except for two business reporters at the Associated Press whose names are virtual fixtures here.
On April 4, the Associated Press' Christopher Rugaber wrote: "Gone are the fears that the economy could fall into another recession."
Having in effect announced the repeal of the business cycle for the foreseeable future, despite the fact that the economy's post-recession job recovery performance has been the worst since World War II by miles, it seems that Rugaber is now doing his best to prop up his assertion with shaky claims about the meaning of government economic reports. That would include the second sentence of his opening paragraph of his dispatch on Thursday's report on jobless claims from the government's Department of Labor (bolds are mine):
When the State Department held a hearing on the Keystone XL pipeline in Grand Island, Nebraska, the Associated Press displayed an obvious preference for one side: the pipeline-haters. They couldn't quote one Nebraska resident who might favor the job-creating project.
Grant Schulte’s report was 18 paragraphs long, and most of them obsessed over what the eco-protesters wanted. The only pipeline proponent quoted arrived in paragraph 12....after some newspapers might cut the article for space. Schulte began with a thrill over possible civil disobedience against Team Obama:
The brief AP report's third paragraph then has Menino saying, again in AP's words, that "another person was taken into custody" after "a pipe bomb was found in another location." This apparent inconsistency seems to be an attempt by the mayor to minimize the degree of homegrown "sleeper cell" concerns, especially in light of reports containing a cascade of contradicting details which follow the jump.
To be clear, this criticism is not of President Obama. It is directed at the Associated Press's Jim Kuhnhenn, who seems to think that the impact of any and all events in the nation and the world on the status of Obama's "presidency" is more important than any other consideration.
Those who might have given the Associated Press's Jimmy Golen the benefit of the doubt early this morning for writing that the Boston Marathon bombings "raised alarms that terrorists might have struck again in the U.S." are going to have a tougher time doing so with his 8:15 a.m. report, in which he wrote that "the blasts among the throngs of spectators raised fears of a terrorist attack." In context, readers can insert "that it was" to replace "of." (If he meant to write "that there will be another terorrist attack," he would have. He didn't.)
The first several paragraphs of Golen's report (since revised; the referenced report is saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) follow they jump:
On Monday, Matt Vespa at NewsBusters noted the reluctance of the Associated Press to characterize what it would only call an "extremist attack" in Mogadishu, Somalia as "terrorism."
In his early morning dispatch in the wake of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, the AP's Jimmy Golen at least used the word. But, incredibly, despite law enforcement authorities and others describing the bombings as an act of terrorism, Golen was still strangely tentative:
On Sunday, the Supreme Court of Somalia was attacked in an assault that last two hours and cost 35 lives. The Somalian terrorist group Al-Shabab -- which is sympathetic with and has ties to al-Qaeda -- claims responsibility. Yet even as the AP tagged this the “most serious extremist attack on Mogadishu in years,” it failed to use the T-word to describe the attack as a terrorist strike, even though AP reporters Abdi Guled and Jason Straziuso quoted a British Foreign Office travel warning from Friday that forecast that "terrorists [were] in the final stages of planning attacks in Mogadishu."
When the grand jury report in the Kermit Gosnell trial was released yesterday, one would think that the media would have as the primary takeaway the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's documentation of the numerous atrocities committed in this house of horrors. Yet, for the Associated Press, the real victims seemed to be Gosnell's employees, those poor folks who had no job prospects than infanticide.
Of the eight co-workers charged in the aftermath of Gosnell’s arrest, three have pleaded guilty to third-degree murder. Nonetheless, they all say that they were just doing what they were instructed to do, simply following orders. Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted yesterday about MaryClaire Dale of AP, and her April 12 story that lamented how these workers had “few options” for employment:
In the paper's only story relating to the trial of late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell on March 19 on Page A17, Jon Hurdle at the New York Times opened (HT Twitchy.com) by telling readers that "In opening statements in court on Monday, prosecutors charged that a doctor who operated a women’s health clinic here killed seven viable fetuses ..." -- not already-born infants.
On April 12, while attempting to defend the establishment press's general failure to cover the Gosnell trial ("Why Are the Media Apologizing About Kermit Gosnell Coverage?"), Josh Dzieza at the Daily Beast wrote that "Gosnell is accused of providing late-term abortions by inducing labor and then severing the fetus’ spinal cord with scissors." Uh, Josh, at that point anyone should concede that we're talking about a b-b-b-b ... baby. Gosh, even the obviously proabort Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, concedes that.
One of the more bizarre memes propagated by the proabort left about the trial of Kermit Gosnell, who "faces 43 criminal counts, including eight counts of murder in the death of one patient, Karnamaya Monger, and seven newborn infants," is that Fox News has been almost as negligent in covering the story and the trial as the Big Three broadcast networks, and that conservative media in general have also mostly ignored the story.
Through Monday evening, April 8, the Media Research Center's Matt Philbin noted that Gosnell's trial "has received exactly zero seconds of airtime on the broadcast networks." In a pathetic attempt at a response on Friday, Salon's Alex Seitz-Wald and several others are trying to claim that "conservative" outlets have also virtually ignored the trial. Seitz-Wald's own text shows that his argument is weak, as seen in excerpts following the jump.
Following up on two previous posts (here and here at NewsBusters; here and here at BizzyBlog) -- The Associated Press has, as of early this evening, failed to use its "abortion" tag in all but one of its 23 "Big Story" items (14 articles and 9 photos) relating to Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia late term abortionist who "faces 43 criminal counts, including eight counts of murder in the death of one patient, Karnamaya Monger, and seven newborn infants."
In the over 50 other instances where it has used the "abortion" tag, the topics involved were the 2012 presidential race between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, state and worldwide efforts to either restrict or expand the practice, and, in one stunning example, a positive story about how "A new clinic offering abortions and other women's medical services saw its first patient Thursday in the Wichita building where a slain Kansas abortion provider had practiced." The slain abortionist, George Tiller, was murdered by a disturbed man who had no involvement with the prolife movement. The AP does have two other abortion-related tags that it has inconsistently applied to Gosnell's "Big Story" articles. Those tags are "abortion controversy" and (I'm not kidding) "reproductive rights."
On Wednesday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog, I noted that the Associated Press had, up to that point, failed to apply its "abortion" tag to any of its 19 "Big Story" items (11 reports and 8 photo captions) on Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia late-term abortionist who, as Life News usefully reminded us yesterday, is current being tried and "faces 43 criminal counts, including eight counts of murder in the death of one patient, Karnamaya Monger, and seven newborn infants."
Well, it may just be a weird coincidence, but on Thursday, in a story ("RECEPTIONIST: UNLICENSED DOC FLED PA. CLINIC RAID") by Maryclaire Daly, who on March 25 infamously described Gosnell as "an elegant man who ... smiled softly" in court, the self-described Essential Global News Network finally used its "abortion" tag in connection with Gosnell. As a public service, since it seems unlikely that AP will go back and apply the tag to the previous stories with its "kermit gosnell" tag, yours truly is listing them after the jump, in the hope that future searchers for information on "abortion" and "crime" will have a better chance of finding what the AP, up until Thursday, has preferred to keep relatively hidden:
In a USA Today column Thursday evening, liberal Fox News political analyst Kirsten Powers took the establishment press to task for its failure to give more than cursory attention to the trial of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell. Life News reminded its readers today that Gosnell "faces 43 criminal counts, including eight counts of murder in the death of one patient, Karnamaya Monger, and seven newborn infants." It excerpted an Associated Press story earlier today which may be a harbinger of a long overdue change in the amount and scope of trial coverage. We'll see.
If there's a change, it may partially be because of sharp criticisms leveled by Powers (links are in original; bolds are mine):
Living in Chicago, I've observed press coverage up close on three of the most notorious mass murderers ever apprehended: Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, and Richard Speck.
Speck tortured, raped, and murdered eight student nurses in Chicago in 1966. Dahmer murdered 17 boys and men in the Milwaukee/Chicago area between 1978-1991, keeping and eating some of their body parts. Gacy raped and murdered at least 33 boys and men between 1972-1978, burying many in the crawl space of his Chicago suburban home.
In each case the press tripped over themselves to recount every morbid detail, anxious to feed the public's fascination with the macabre (click to enlarge)...
In online journalism, blogs and related endeavors, a "tag" is a " keyword or term" which "helps describe an item and allows it to be found again by browsing or searching." At the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, it appears that "tag" has been redefined as "a keyword or term selectively used to ensure that only certain items will come in in future searches."
Let's take a look at the "Big Story" report posted at the AP's national site on March 19 relating to the trial of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell. In that story by Maryclaire Dale, who is still on the story even after proving on March 25 that she has no business being there as an objective observer when she described Gosnell as "an elegant man" who "smiled softly" in court, the wire service applied the following tags:
Coverage of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's death and life was relegated to below the fold at USA Today this morning (pictured here; the paper stopped posting front-page pics two years ago).
Three items above the fold (excluding left-side teases to coverage of other stories) were considered more important that the Iron Lady's passing: "Remembering Annette Funicello"; a "Duplicate programs waste billions" item about wasteful government spending (useful, but it's not as if we didn't know this already); and to top it off, a 6x6 photo from the first half of the NCAA men's basketball finals, the result of which the paper was unable to report because the game ended after its publication deadline.
In a roundup of editorial commentary published on Wednesday, the Associated Press excerpted an editorial at the Los Angeles Times condemning the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal, which has thus far led to 35 arrests, including that the of the district's former superintendent. "Somehow," the excerpt omitted the specifics of the excuse-making on the part of the American Federation of Teachers and it President Randi Weingarten in the organization's press release.
What AP excerpted, followed by the key passage it chose not to, follow the jump.
The disgraceful lengths to which writers in the establishment press will rewrite history to paper over the economy's awful performance during the past five years is perfectly illustrated in one paragraph found in an otherwise decent Associated Press "Big Story" report ("Dropouts: Discouraged Americans leave labor force") Saturday evening by Paul Wiseman and Jesse Washington, with help from Chris "No chance of recession" Rugaber and Scott Mayerowitz.
The statement: "The participation rate peaked at 67.3 percent in 2000, reflecting an influx of women into the work force. It's been falling steadily ever since." The "fall" has not been "steady," nor has been the decline in the employment-population ratio (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics data retrievable here):
After telling the world on Thursday that "Gone are the fears that the economy could fall into another recession," it seems that the Associated Press's Christopher Rugaber needed some help explaining away Friday's weak jobs report from the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The AP had four reporters on Friday evening's coverage, all seemingly in search of a viable excuse for another "unexpectedly" disappointing report: Rugaber, co-author Paul Wiseman, and contributors Jonathan Fahey and Joyce Rosenberg in New York. Several paragraphs from their report follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Well, we can stop worrying about the economy now. Write it down. Chris Rugaber at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, tells readers today that the business cycle has been repealed. That's right. As of now, "Gone are the fears that the economy could fall into another recession."
Even giving him the benefit of the doubt that he only meant to refer to the short- or intermediate-term, it takes a mountain of chutzpah to make such a declaration after a quarter during the which the economy grew at an annualized 0.4%, i.e., an actual 0.1%. It's doubly hard to take because the press, led by the Associated Press, feared that a recession was around the corner virtually every month or quarter from the time I began blogging in early 2005 until mid-2008, when the National Bureau of Economic Research defied the normal person's definition of recession (i.e., two consecutive quarters of contraction) and decided that a recession began in December 2007, seven months before it really did.
"It seems to me" that the Associated Press's newly announced plan to scrub "illegal immigrant" from its Stylebook is "an attempt to control the language... it's a form of political correctness," argued substitute host Stuart Varney on the April 3 Your World with Neil Cavuto. "You can subtly affect your coverage and your thinking about the issue" by "softening the language," noted Varney, who himself is a legal immigrant to the United States from the United Kingdom. [video follows page break; MP3 audio here]
Yes, agreed Varney's guest, NewsBusters senior editor Tim Graham as, "it's a form of political correctness over factual correctness." Graham noted that the Associated Press and New York Times had long held the line on keeping "illegal immigrant" over the nonsensical "undocumented immigrant" alternative, that lobbying by pro-amnesty groups, as well as liberal minority journalism groups pushed the AP to make a politically calculated decision:
The New York Times's politically correct evolution on immigration issues continues apace. Public editor Margaret Sullivan blogged Tuesday afternoon on the paper reconsidering the use of term "illegal immigrant," in the wake of the Associated Press's announcement that it would cease using it.
The Associated Press made a bold move on Tuesday in dropping the term “illegal immigrant” from its influential stylebook.
Here's a case of "name one party and not the other."
Though there is no question that arrests made this morning in connection with an alleged plot to rig the 2013 New York City mayor's include Republicans, and that they of course should be identified as such, there is also no question that the very first person named in the breaking Associated Press story which follows the jump is a Democrat, and should have been tagged as one:
I guess we had better start paying closer attention to how the establishment press labels -- and mislabels -- congressional districts.
The headline at the Associated Press at a lengthy column composed by Charles Babington bemoaning the lack of willingness of Ohio First District Congressman Steve Chabot to "compromise," i.e., sell out his principles, reads as follows: "PARTISAN DISCORD FINDS ROOTS IN TOSS-UP DISTRICTS." Uh, Chabot won the district in the 2012 elections by 20 points. Babington's attempt to justify the "toss-up" classification also falls flat:
At the Weekly Standard's blog today, Daniel Halper relayed a pool reporter's notes from the Easter service President Barack Obama and his family attended this morning. The highlights from the Rev. Dr. Luis Leon's sermon" included the following statement: "It drives me crazy when the captains of the religious right are always calling us back ... for blacks to be back in the back of the bus ... for women to be back in the kitchen ... for immigrants to be back on their side of the border."