A stunning announcement was made by the Treasury Department Wednesday. As reported by the Associated Press: “A flood of income tax payments pushed up government receipts to the second-highest level in history in April, giving the country a sizable surplus for the month.”
(Update: At the end of this piece, I predicted this announcement would not be widely reported. Well, though all three broadcast networks addressed the tax cuts agreed upon in the House on their evening programs Wednesday -- with the NBC "Nightly News" and the CBS "Evening News" both doing major segments on the ramifications of the House's decision -- not one of these evening news programs bothered to inform their viewers about April's near-record tax revenues.)
Of course, this quite flies in the face of the regular media carping and whining about the president’s 2001 and 2003 tax cuts negatively impacting federal revenues, doesn’t it?
Regardless, the article continued: “In its monthly accounting of the government's books, the Treasury Department said Wednesday that revenue for the month totaled $315.1 billion as Americans filed their tax returns by the April deadline. The gusher of tax revenue pushed total receipts up by 13.4 percent from April 2005.”
And which April in history is actually in first place? If you said April 2000, you’d be wrong:
In this AP article is an ironic twist of Sophoclean proportions. An Israeli company has cut off - get this - gasoline supplies to the Iranian-funded Palestinian territories for non-payment of bills:
An end to fuel supplies could cripple hospitals, halt food deliveries and keep people home from work - a devastating scenario for an economy already ravaged by Israeli and international sanctions.
Right. The "economy" has been "ravaged" by Israeli sanctions. It's nothing whatever to do with the fact that Arafat and his friends - and that includes the current President, the Holocaust-denying, walking Hamas assassination target, Mahmoud Abbas - have spent the last fifteen years shipping everything that's not nailed down (and if they can pry it loose, it's not nailed down) out of the country. Which, as of the last AP report, was the reason that Hamas got elected in the first place, not their hostility to Israel, if you remember.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice found herself knocked off message Sunday, forced to defend prewar planning and troop levels against an unlikely critic - Colin Powell, her predecessor at the State Department ... Powell sideswiped her by revisiting the question of whether the U.S. had a large enough force to oust Saddam Hussein and then secure the peace.
The truth is that the only one doing the sideswiping, knocking, and forcing were Sunday hosts Bob Schieffer (on CBS' Face the Nation (link)) and Wolf Blitzer (on CNN's Late Edition (transcript)), along with Quaid herself.
Gas price rage has blended with executive pay rage recently, since the media have been bashing ExxonMobil’s departing CEO, Lee Raymond, for his pay and pension package.
“Runaway pay,” said NBC’s Brian Williams on April 20, calling executive salaries and benefits “stratospheric” and “staggering.” CBS’s Bob Schieffer compared Raymond’s “golden” retirement to the “average American” on April 13. “How much is too much?” asked NBC’s Matt Lauer on April 11. And ABC’s “Good Morning America” said, “You Must Be Kidding!” referring to Raymond’s package as “stunning” on April 14.
Criticizing highly-paid executives has been in vogue at the news networks lately, but there’s something the anchors aren’t telling you: their colleagues’ top wages could soon be disclosed to the world, and Big Media are fighting it.
Large media companies have been doing everything within their power to hide the compensation plans of their own highest-paid employees from public disclosure. As reported by the Associated Press on April 11:
If you've ever wondered how it is that some ostensibly "independent" photographers and cameramen just happen to be at the right place before terrorists strike in Iraq and elsewhere, head over to Michelle Malkin's blog where she has a lengthy, very well-researched post tracking the story of Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein.
Hussein was one of several photogs who have a peculiar habit of being in the vicinity before terrorists launched attacks, causing manybloggerstowonder whether he and others were, in fact, colluding with terrorists.
That allegation may be more than just that, however. According to a Malkin source, Hussein was arrested in Iraq with a cache of weapons in conjunction with the anti-American insurgency. In an email to Malkin, the AP confirmed that it had heard reports of the photographer's detention.
Michelle Malkin has updated the story on how NBC is planning to parade obvious Muslims around NASCAR races to see if those hayseeds at the races will demonstrate American discrimination against the Muslim people.
I spoke this afternoon with Ramsey Poston, managing director of corporate communications at NASCAR. He's on his way down to Texas for the NASCAR race this weekend, and he responded to NBC Dateline's undercover Muslim stings, which I first reported on yesterday morning. "This is outrageous for a news organization with the reputation of NBC to stoop to the level of attempting to create news instead of reporting it. Any legitimate journalist should be ashamed."
The Associated Press held their annual luncheon yesterday and invited media darling Senator Barack Obama to lay out the media's talking points for the next election. The only surprising thing about the event was that it opened with a prayer.
Apparently Democrats want the press to focus on global warming as the core issue in the next election cycle. No doubt focus groups have reaffirmed that it is the only topic democrats can successfully obfuscate. If I may, I'd like to respond to one paragraph of Obama's message, and perhaps he can respond back to me - should he happen to be a faithful reader of Newsbusters.
(14:49) "What we can be scientifically certain of is that our continued use of fossil fuels is pushing us to the point of no return. And unless we free ourselves from a dependence on these fossil fuels and chart a new course on energy in this country, we are condemning future generations to potential catastrophe. Since 1980 we've experienced 19 of the 20 hottest years on record."
That's interesting, because since 1980 we've also experienced 28 of the 29 most powerful solar flares ever recorded. This just 400 years after a lack of solar flares, which just happened to coincide with the "Maunder Minimum", otherwise known as the Little Ice Age. In science, that's known as a pattern.
Perhaps Barack can explain how fossil fuels caused NASA to detect a sharp increase in recent global warming - on Mars.
And for three Mars summers in a row, deposits of frozen carbon dioxide near Mars' south pole have shrunk from the previous year's size, suggesting a climate change in progress.
Perhaps it is all the SUVs used by Martian soccer moms.
Even if democrats actually had a plan to move away from fossil fuels, they have no authority to force the rest of the world to follow it. It would seem the best play for democrats is try to make political inroads by continuing to blame man for all the problems in the universe. All the better if the media goes along with them. Now what are the chances of that?
President Bush spoke at a Naturalization Ceremony Monday and renewed his call for immigration reform. The transcript of the speech is 5 pages long. The Associated Press and Reuters published less than 8 lines from the entire speech. To add insult to injury, both news organizations used the exact same quotes from the speech. The statements used were included at the end of the speech during the wrap up. They neglected to cite any statements from the speech where the President restated his stance on immigration and laid out his ideas on immigration reform.
“I believe every new citizen has an obligation to learn the customs and values that define our nation, including liberty and civic responsibility, equality under God, tolerance for others and the English language.”
“Immigration is also an emotional topic. And we need to maintain our perspective as we conduct this debate.”
More than 50,000 people gathered downtown Saturday as part of a national protest against a crackdown in immigration laws, including federal legislation aimed at criminalizing illegal immigrants and building more walls along the U.S.-Mexico border. (emphasis added -ed.)
In fact, the proposed legislation would make being here in the country a felony. It's already a crime, of course.
This is at least a two-part issue. We can have an open immigration policy, or a closed policy, or something in-between. But we can't have any policy at all without control of our borders. The fact is, and it is a fact, one can be for strong border control and support a large flow of immigrants, or even a guest-worker program. This kind of obfuscation lumps all immigrants together, makes it easier to accuse border-control advocates of racism, and is part of a larger set of talking points designed to politicize the issue along partisan lines. The ultimate goal, of course, is to preserve the Hispanic vote for Democrats:
The Associated Press Thursday evening reported that Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff feels the U.S. would have been safer had the Dubai Ports World deal gone through: “The U.S. missed an opportunity to make its shores safer when it drove away a Dubai-based company poised to operate cargo terminals at several American seaports, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Thursday. In a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, Chertoff said the international shipping firm DP World could have helped implement stronger security at many ports where the U.S. now has limited influence.”
This represents quite a flip-flop for the esteemed wire service that is felt to have started the whole controversy with its February 11 article which began: “A company in the United Arab Emirates is poised to take over significant operations at six American ports as part of a corporate sale, leaving a country with ties to the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers with influence over a maritime industry considered vulnerable to terrorism.”
John in California noted yesterday that Associated Press reporter Jennifer Loven has found news in the idea that "Bush Uses Straw-Man Arguments In Speeches." (Or as she's known on Power Line, "Jennifer Loven, Democratic Operative." Tom Blumer has pointed out her husband has worked on environmental issues for Bill Clinton and John Kerry.) Loven argues -- not reports, but argues:
When the president starts a sentence with "some say" or offers up what "some in Washington" believe, as he is doing more often these days, a rhetorical retort almost assuredly follows.
The national media was full of broken hearts last week when Dana Reeve died at 44, after nearly a decade of caring for disabled “Superman” star Christopher Reeve. It was obvious from the coverage that this woman had won hearts and made friendships in the media elite. But something strange happened in all the laudatory waves of coverage. Someone shrunk her activism.
It’s common for reporting on embryo-destroying stem cell research to leave out the embryo-destroying part. But the tear-stained accounts of Reeve’s sudden end often left out the words “stem cell” as well. This week’s Newsweek has a two-page article, largely about lung cancer, headlined "A Legacy of Love and Hope: Dana Reeve dedicated her life to finding a cure for spinal-cord injuries, only to fall victim to lung cancer."
Mark Levin's radio show began with a cannon blast at Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who claimed in a recent speech that threats against her life from the "irrational fringe" are encouraged by congressional Republican and conservative criticism of the court. (See all the rhetorical highlights on Levin's NRO blog.) AP reporter Gina Holland wrote up Justice Ginsburg's speech with energetic emphasis on Ginsburg's thesis that conservative criticism apparently/inevitably leads to violence:
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she and former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor have been the targets of death threats from the "irrational fringe" of society, people apparently spurred by Republican criticism of the high court.
On Saturday the Associated Press ran a story on the 2006 National Black Peoples Unity Convention held in Gary, Indiana. It begins: "Entertainer Harry Belafonte renewed his criticism of President Bush and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan urged education reform during the second day of the 2006 National Black Peoples Unity Convention."
Portraying Belafonte, who had his last big hit record half a century ago, as an entertainer is stretching it. He would much more accurately be described as a propagandizing dupe.
Here's a man who has raised money for the Rosenberg Fund, named after atomic bomb spies Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. Who hailed Fidel Castro as "an example of keeping the principles the Rosenbergs fought and died for alive." Who participated in pro-Communist "peace rallies" in Europe.
In the weekly Friday afternoon roundtable with Cam Edwards at NRANews.com, he brought up three stories he had seen that he doubted had received much national media attention:
1. AP reported a sports-and-politics story from Puerto Rico: "While Cuba played the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic, a spectator in the stands raised a sign saying: "Down With Fidel," sparking an international incident that escalated Friday with fastball velocity." A Castro stooge was upset with a man with an anti-Castro sign. He was lectured on free speech by the local police.
2. Frank Greve of Knight-Ridder had an unusual story: chronicling something that didn't happen: a teen crime wave predicted by "conservative criminologist John DiIulio." Greve also notes he wrote a book on it with Bill Bennett. Neither man had comment. But there's still a good-news-for-Bush angle in it: "Americans are experiencing the sharpest decline in teen crime in modern history. Schools today are as safe as they were in the 1960s, according to Justice Department figures."
AP hyped up the rest of the press last Wednesday about its "confidential" tape it wrongly suggested was evidence Bush lied about no one discussing the breaching of New Orleans levees before Hurricane Katrina. On Friday, AP backed down with a "clarification," admitting "The story should have made clear that Bush was warned about floodwaters overrunning the levees, rather than the levees breaking."
None of this is mentioned in Newsweek, which wraps up its issue on Sunday. Most egregiously ignoring the new AP line was Jonathan Alter's "Conventional Wisdom Watch," which continued its Keith Olbermannesque streak of shameless Bush bashing. Bush received his traditional down arrow with the snarky line: "Falsely claimed no one could have predicted New Orleans levee breach. Let's go to the videotape!"
The Associated Press reached a new level of incompetence, and the "news" industry they serve doesn’t seem to care. If you want political opinion, you’ll find it in Associated Press dispatches. If you want news, you might have to read conservative opinion columns.
On February 22nd, Walter Williams, a Townhall.com columnist, scooped the mainstream media. Williams reported that high school teacher Jay Bennish lectured his geography class stating:
Talk about Orwellian double-speak: the AP on Monday called the effort by some law professors to ban military recruitment on their campuses a "free-speech challenge" -- even though it was the law professors who wanted to ban the speech. (Hat tip to NR's The Corner.)
"The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that colleges that accept federal money must allow military recruiters on campus, despite university objections to the Pentagon's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy on gays."
"Justices rejected a free-speech challenge from law schools and their professors who claimed they should not be forced to associate with military recruiters or promote their campus appearances."
The editor of the liberal American Prospect magazine used an AP story on Bush allegedly being warned about levees being breached in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina touched down as a jumping off point to seethe with wrath against Bush, calling him stupid and a liar and his conservative supporters “sociopaths.”
The next day, the AP story was “clarified” in a way that completely undermined both its and editor Michael Tomasky’s point.
(Update: A reprint of Tomasky's piece tops CBS's Opinion page today, which is even less excusable, given that the underlying AP story was knocked down two days ago.)
Despite the Sixth Amendment's guarantee of public trials, nearly all records are being kept secret for more than 5,000 defendants who completed their journey through the federal courts over the last three years.
And right on cue, they blame Bush.
The data show a sharp increase in secret case files over time as the Bush administration's well-documented reliance on secrecy in the executive branch has crept into the federal courts through the war on drugs, anti-terrorism efforts and other criminal matters."This follows the pattern of this administration," said John Wesley Hall, an Arkansas defense attorney and second vice president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
The second most popular anti-Bush meme, behind the "Bush lied" screed, is the "secret government" line. So this story sounds like a big deal, right? The evil Bush administration is secretly locking people up and the Sixth Amendment is getting shredded all to hell.
Of course not. In fact, the story itself shows that this isn't newsworthy information. Here are these two highly relevant items from the article:
An Associated Press investigation found, and court observers agree, that most of these defendants are cooperating government witnesses
But the AP investigation found, and court observers agree, that the overwhelming number of these cases sealed for a limited time involve a use of secrecy that draws no criticism.
On top of that, look at the statistics they used to build this case of a "widespread pattern of secrecy in the Bush administration":
The Associated Press Friday evening published a clarification of its March 1 story regarding a controversial video of a White House briefing before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. At this point, I can find no actual link to this article. However, both the Drudge Report and Power Line have reported similar findings. The following comes directly from NexisLexis:
“In a March 1 story, The Associated Press reported that federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees in New Orleans, citing confidential video footage of an Aug. 28 briefing among U.S. officials.
“The Army Corps of Engineers considers a breach a hole developing in a levee rather than an overrun. The story should have made clear that Bush was warned about floodwaters overrunning the levees, rather than the levees breaking.
“The day before the storm hit, Bush was told there were grave concerns that the levees could be overrun. It wasn't until the next morning, as the storm was hitting, that Michael Brown, then head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said Bush had inquired about reports of breaches. Bush did not participate in that briefing.”
In the past couple of days, there has been a media frenzy over a video released by the Associated Press showing President Bush being informed that the levees in New Orleans could be “topped” as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Just hours ago, the AP reported that it has another video taken after the hurricane hit wherein Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco is heard telling Administration representatives that the levees had not been breached.
The article began: “In the hectic, confused hours after Hurricane Katrina lashed the Gulf Coast, Louisiana's governor hesitantly but mistakenly assured the Bush administration that New Orleans' protective levees were intact, according to a new video obtained by The Associated Press showing briefings that day with federal officials.”
The Associated Press is running a piece of video on which they're claiming exclusivity, of some of the FEMA preparation meetings prior to the landfall of Hurrican Katrina. They've also got video of the President speaking to FEMA, and then, later, speaking to ABC in the aftermath. They've chosen to portray the President as oblivious to what happened in New Orleans.
The media has demonstrated that it is one sided in its reporting. This has been obvious since President Bush took office in 2001. There have been reports and more reports that prove the biased reporting of television and print media. The public has had enough and a new campaign against bias in the media has started.
But… it is not conservatives that are up in arms about the bias in reporting. Shockingly it is one of the most liberal organizations planning protests about the media. United for Peace and Justice, led by avowed Socialist Leslie Cagan has teamed up with Media Channel.org to focus on “media complicity in the Iraq war.” According to press releases and articles spanning the left side of the Internet, UFPJ “is broadening its anti-war protest to include targeting a US media system that has largely substituted jingoism for journalism and backed the war – often in the name of supporting the troops.” Imagine that – the liberals believe that the reporting of the Iraq war has been too positive.
Or, to be accurate, the “right-wing bias” that the Los Angeles Times apparently held before the “provincial” paper moved to the left and garnered “respect.”
NY Times Obituary writer Jonathan Kandell remembers Los Angeles Times Publisher Otis Chandler in Tuesday's edition.
“Otis Chandler, who inherited The Los Angeles Times from his parents and then, as its publisher, transformed it into one of the most respected, widely read and profitable newspapers in the United States, died yesterday at his home in Ojai, Calif. He was 78 years old.”
Kandell discovers political bias in the media, as Chandler guided the paper from "right-wing bias" to respectability.
On CNN’s “Reliable Sources” Sunday (hat tip to Expose the Left), Salon’s Washington bureau chief Walter Shapiro attributed the current media frenzy surrounding the transfer of management of a number of American ports to DP World of the United Arab Emirates to an Associated Press article first published on February 11. Speaking with host Howard Kurtz, Shapiro stated:
“Well, I think to some extent the entire parameters of the story were set by the initial AP story that Glenn Reynolds [of “Instapundit”] linked to on February 12. And what that was, was very simply an AP story that said the ports are being taken over by a Dubai company -- a Dubai-based company and that in the lead it said that two members of the -- two of the 9/11 hijackers had United Arab Emirates passports. And the same AP story had the attacks on the deal from Chuck Schumer.”
Kurtz then asked: “So you're saying that that was a loaded piece of journalism by The Associated Press?”
Shapiro answered: “Well, I admire The Associated Press. What I am saying is it certainly set the bumper sticker -- the print set the bumper sticker standards that television then emulated, as did the blogosphere.”
Looking back in hindsight at the AP article in question written by Ted Bridis, it is easy to see Shapiro’s point. Here’s the lead:
The Bush administration secretly required a company in the United Arab Emirates to cooperate with future U.S. investigations before approving its takeover of operations at six American ports, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. It chose not to impose other, routine restrictions.
Later in the story we read:
Outside legal experts said such obligations are routinely attached to U.S. approvals of foreign sales in other industries.
"They're not lax but they're not draconian," said James Lewis, a former U.S. official who worked on such agreements. If officials had predicted the firestorm of criticism over the deal, Lewis said, "they might have made them sound harder."
Just when you thought the media had closed the book on the Cheney hunting accident, the Associated Press fired one last salvo at the Vice President today. In their article, VP Accident Tale Filled with Discrepancies, Calvin Woodward and Nancy Benac rehash the same litany of talking points that flooded the media this week. Woodward and Benac revisit the shifting blame, belated acknowledgment of beer consumption, discrepancies in the shooting, the aftermath and how it was reported.
Scott McClellan was cited for promoting the "blame the victim" defense when he repeated Katherine Armstrong's comments on the accident. Cheney's first public comment on the accident amounted to an "about face" according to the AP.
The Associated Press issued a somewhat peculiar story this afternoon. The story? Rush Limbaugh made an error. Yup. Rush apparently mistook the fact that Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is a white man and not black, as he had announced on the air. According to the story, Limbaugh received e-mails from listeners correcting him. "Uh, Sherrod Brown's a white guy? Then I'm confusing him with somebody. OK, I'm sorry," Limbaugh is quoted as saying.
And ... this ... is ... news? I'm ... confused. That the Associated Press would find this episode newsworthy is almost weird.
Many posters at Free Republic are equally bewildered. "Must be a slow news day for the AP?" wondered one. My favorite: "The AP finds the speck in Rush's eye but ignores the log in theirs."