Overheated and intellectually dishonest statements this weekend revolving around the impending government shutdown have not been limited to politicians in Washington, or even to pundits and commentators.
Saturday at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, Josh Lederman, in a "Spin Meter" story, falsely claimed that Obamacare opponents believe that the law will mandate the government's killing of patients. See how he does it after the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Joshua Freed's Friday afternoon report on the week's results in the stock market at the Associated Press spent nine paragraphs telling readers how the current budget battle in Washington and possible government shutdown are causing stocks to retreat.
Though he obviously didn't admit it, Freed's narrative fell apart in later paragraphs as he discussed "mixed economic signals" which aren't mixed at all. They range from "pretty bad" to "really bad." Excerpts, mostly about the "mixed signals," follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
I guess the Associated Press's business and economics reporters feel they've done their jobs if they mention the relative donominance of new workforce entries by temps and part-timers once, while still denigrating the obvious validity of the latter — and pretend it never has to be mentioned again.
That's how the AP's Christopher Rugaber can produce a writeup, as he did today, telling readers that "The job market is sending signs that it may be strengthening," which contains no reference to part-timers or temps, obviously because that would disrupt the "improvement" meme. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
The Census Bureau reported today that sales of new single-family homes in the U.S. reached an annualized level of 421,000 in August. That was up by almost 8 percent from July, but a whopping 15 percent below the 497,000 the bureau originally reported for June (two subsequent revisions have taken that number down to 454,000). Given the shock decline to below 400,000 in July, August's bounceback was clearly inadequate. Additionally, as Zero Hedge noted this morning, the median new-home sales price fell to its "lowest level since January 2013."
As Brent Bozell at NewsBusters noted earlier today, news of the forced retirement of the IRS's Lois Lerner, the agency's chief orchestrator of the campaign which targeted tea party and other conservative groups for extra scrutiny in their applications for not-for-profit status, "was censored by ABC, CBS, and NBC."
In what may surprise some, that lack of coverage didn't occur because of the Associated Press. Stephen Ohlemacher's story was mostly well-done, with two significant exceptions.
It's amusing to see how the left reacts when things don't work out as predicted. Earlier today (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted how USA Today's Kelly Kennedy described a major malfunction in Obamacare which will cause hundreds of thousands of children to go without health insurance next year as a "glitch."
On the "climate change" front, those darned "glitches" abound. In an item today about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Karl Ritter at the Associated Press attempted to report on how the IPCC plans to address the fact that there hasn't been any global warming, human-caused or otherwise, since the late 1990s. A hilarious headline spewed forth, followed by eruptions of ridiculous and hysterical words (HT James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web; bolds and numbered tags are mine throughout this post):
On Friday, Allan Brauer, the Sacramento County Democratic Party's communications director directed the following tweet (HT Twitchy) at Amanda Carpenter, a speechwriter for Texas Senator Ted Cruz: "May your children all die from debilitating, painful and incurable diseases."
Brauer's action got the attention of Leslie Larson at the New York Daily News and myriad national web sites across the ideological spectrum, including Mediaite, PJ Media, and The Blaze. But at the Associated Press, it's a California-only story worthy of only five paragraphs (reproduced in full for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes):
On Thursday, Ken Shepherd at NewsBusters noted that Kansas University journalism professor David Guth, in the wake of Monday's Navy Yard murders, tweeted, "The blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you." In an update which now also includes a defense of Guth by a former student, Ken noted that he has placed on administrative leave. Yesterday, I noted that the headline at the Associated Press's national site after Guth's suspension ("KU Professor Takes Heat Over Twitter Comment") avoided mentioning KU's discliplinary action against him. Perhaps in response to my post yesterday, the AP has changed the headline in stories with later time stamps to "KU Professor on Leave After Tweet Directed at NRA." But AP's updates still relay information about certain Kansas legislators' campaign contributions from gun rights groups — as if they're at all relevant.
In the wake of his placement on leave, Guth told AP, in the wire service's words, that "gun rights advocates had orchestrated a social media campaign against him," while asserting in his own words that "my plan is to be the calm in the center of the storm." Part of that "calm" apparently involves keeping others from digging into his Twitter history, because it's gone:
On Friday, Nicole Winfield of the Associated Press shamelessly construed Pope Francis' denunciation of abortion and euthanasia as an "olive branch of sorts to the doctrine-minded, conservative wing of the Catholic Church". Winfield ballyhooed how the pontiff "issued a strong anti-abortion message and cited Vatican teaching on the need to defend the unborn".
The Bishop of Rome advised a group of Italian gynecologists to "recognize, in the fragile human being, the face of the Lord...Each child that is unborn, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ....And each old person, even if infirm or at the end of his days, bears the face of Christ. They cannot be discarded, as the 'culture of waste' proposes!"
The Associated Press, in story carried at Channel 6 in Lawrence, reported (HT Twitchy) that a Kansas University professor has been "placed on administrative leave" after he issued the following tweet concerning Monday's Navy Yard murders: "The blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you." A NewsBusters post by Ken Shepherd yesterday, since updated to note his placement on leave, noted that Guth is an avid gun-grabbing advocate and that his Twitter account links to KU.
The AP apparently wants those who peruse its national site to skip their story on Guth. The item's headline belongs in the "this is boring, don't waste your time" wing of the Journalism Hall of Shame:
Floyd Lee Corkins, the "man who planned a mass shooting at a conservative Christian lobbying group’s Washington headquarters in 2012 has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for the failed plot," the Associated Press reported shortly before noon Eastern Thursday. Yet nowhere in their four-paragraph story -- accessed here at WashingtonPost.com -- did the news wire note that Corkins admitted he was inspired by the website for the Southern Poverty Law Center.
With the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, it's always a good idea to verify whether a claimed correction has truly taken effect.
In the case of the wire service's claim, relayed by Paige Lavender at the Huffington Post, that Aaron Alexis used an AR-15 in the Navy Yard murders yesterday, it hasn't really happened. Lavender's relay claiming AP's correction and containing some of its alleged text (HT Twitchy.com) was suspicious on its face:
As usual, the AP and Kuhnhenn didn't look back at how U.S. Senator Barack Obama's debt-ceiling posture in 2006 sharply differed. Today, Mark Knoller at CBS New, after setting up Obama's plans for the day, which included speaking to Business Roundtable CEOs, did so in a series of tweets (HT Twitchy; bolds are mine):
The Obama Labor Department announced yesterday a new regulation that mandates that home health care workers be subject to the federal minimum wage and federal time-and-a-half overtime requirements. Reporting the story for the Reuters news wire, correspondent Amanda Becker hailed the move, noting that newly sworn-in Labor Secretary Thomas Perez was "setting an assertive tone" with the regulation. "Today we are taking an important step toward guaranteeing that these professionals receive the wage protections they deserve while protecting the right of individuals to live at home," Becker quoted Perez as exulting.
Nowhere in her 18-paragraph story -- which I found published on page A20 of the September 18 Washington Post -- did Becker turn to critics of the new regulation, which is not slated to go into effect until January 1, 2015, after the crucial 2014 midterm elections. By contrast, Wall Street Journal reporters Melanie Trottman and Kris Maher gave their readers both sides of the story in their September 18 front-pager, "Regulators Boost Wages, Overtime for Health Aides." Indeed, Trottman and Maher wasted no time noting there are two sides to the policy argument, mentioning objections by "some business officials" in their lead paragraph (emphases mine):
At the New York Times on Tuesday, Michael S. Schmidt claimed that "The suspect in the killing of 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday test-fired an AR-15 assault rifle at a Virginia gun store last week but was stopped from buying one because state law there prohibits the sale of such weapons to out-of-state buyers, according to two senior law enforcement officials."
The portion of that statement about being "stopped from buying" an AR-15 isn't true, writes Emily Miller at the Washington Times, not only because "state law" wouldn't have prevented such an attempt, but also because Aaron Alexis didn't even try to buy one. Miller asserts that the New York Times "should issue a correction immediately." She also decries the establishment media's "obsession" with tying the AR-15 to the Navy Yard shooting (bolds are mine throughout this post):
A 6 p.m. Google News search on "Occupy Movement" (not in quotes, sorted by date) returned 69 items dated September 16 and 17.
The same search adding the word "capitalism" returned only two items. This is odd, because, as one of the two items returned noted, "capitalism" — as in ending it — is the core platform of the few who remain involved with the two year-old movement.
If President Barack Obama is losing Al Hunt, there is definitely trouble in Lefty-land.
But let's not go too far. In the midst of leveling criticisms at Obama as "bordering on incompetence," the former host of CNN's Capital Gang and executive editor at Bloomberg News, who is now a Bloomberg View columnist and host of a Bloomberg TV's Political Capital Sunday news show, cited three examples of supposedly indisputable George W. Bush administration incompetence, none of which fits the description.
One thing which is almost as reliable as the sun rising in the east is the Associated Press, aka the Adminstration's Press, putting a better face on the federal government's fiscal situation than it deserves when a Democrat is in the White House. Almost as reliable is the arrival in a related report of some kind of statement about spending cuts which describes them as "deep," "steep," or some other awful adjective.
It's almost amusing to watch writers like Christopher Rugaber at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, pretend not to understand why the economy isn't growing as much as one would "expect" based on the number of jobs being added each month and falling weekly unemployment claims.
In a Thursday story which was mostly worthless because the incompletely collected government data on weekly unemployment claims made it so, Rugaber and the "expert" he quoted pretended not to understand — well, I hope they were pretending because otherwise I'd have to conclude that they're dumber than a box of rocks — how all of this can be (bolds are mine):
I guess we should acknowledge a tiny improvement when an ordinarily in-the-tank apparatchik like Jim Kuhnhenn at the Associated Press expresses even the slightest bit of skepticism about a White House claim.
But let's not take it too far. Kuhnhenn is reporting in a brief "Big Story" item this morning that President Obama "is laying claim to an economic turnaround and warning Republicans not to risk a backslide by threatening a government shutdown or a debt default." Kuhnhenn's skeptical points are that "The economic scorecard is mixed. ... Growth has been tepid and unemployment remains high." His five-paragraph report, reproduced in full for fair use and discussion purposes, follows the jump.
A 10:30 p.m. ET search on "Kenosha" at the national web site of the Associated Press returned one result. An unbylined story supposedly deserving of national coverage out of Kenosha, Wisconsin tells us that "Twin water spouts put on a spectacular show over Lake Michigan, near the Wisconsin shore." They were apparently unique because "two water spouts merged into one large one, then split." But a quoted meteorologist says that water spouts "generally occur between August and October," i.e., though they are surely a cool sight to behold, they aren't all that unusual.
Something else very unique happened came out of Kenosha today, but the AP treated it as just a local story. The Kenosha school system's teachers' union, apparently joining the majority of other such unions in the state in the wake of Governor Scott Walker's 2011 reforms, was decertified (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Two Colorado senators have been recalled, and either already are not serving their former constituents or won't be shortly. Yet according to today's Democratic Party talking points, their recalls, the first-ever in state history spurred by the ousted senators' support of gun-control measures passed earlier this year, are only "symbolic" — despite all the money that poured in from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's gun-control group to save them.
I have found no visible press pushback against this nonsensical claim. How many press members would remain silent if, say, a conservative or Republican special election loser in a congressional race said that his or her loss was "symbolic" because it didn't change who controls the House? (Answer: Zero.) Three reports containing the Dem meme follow the jump.
For well over two weeks, the Obama administration has been urging military action against the Assad regime in Syria for its use of chemical weapons.
At the Associated Press, in a "Fact Check" item at its "Big Story" site, Calvin Woodward told readers that "President Barack Obama voiced his conviction Tuesday night that Syrian President Bashar Assad was to blame for deadly chemical attacks against civilians, but again he offered no proof." Again? The AP reporter also questioned the number of civilian deaths involved. Excerpts follow the jump:
Maybe my processing of the English language isn't what it used to be, but I'm having a hard time making sense of the headline at David Espo's and Julie Pace's report (saved here at host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, on President Obama's Syria speech tonight.
The headline? "OBAMA DELAYS SYRIA VOTE, SAYS DIPLOMACY MAKE WORK." Huh? If the last three words are "Make Diplomacy Work," that's better, but not by all that much, because it looks like he's giving orders to others, when he and his administration are the ones who have to make it work. Several paragraphs from the AP pair's report follow the jump (boids are mine):
If there's one thing Chris Wallace at Fox News does well that most others in the press don't — at least when interviewing Democrats and liberals — it's his refusal to let a question go until his interviewee either answers it or makes it obvious to viewers that he or she won't answer.
Such an incident took place today with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough on Fox News Sunday (video is here). The question, which I strongly doubt was even broached on any of the left-leaning Sunday talk shows today, concerned why the Obama administration hasn't been able to apprehend the September 11, 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack ringleader (bolds are mine):
As is all too often the case, in certain matters affecting things here in the United States, if we didn't have news from Britain, we wouldn't have any real news at all.
Take "climate change" aka "global warming." At the Associated Press, Seth Borenstein on Thursday hyped the idea that man-made global warming increased the likelihood of about half," or six of 12, of "2012's wildest weather events." His "evidence"? Computer simulations. But on Friday, the UK Telegraph and Daily Mail took note of the cold, hard fact of growing Arctic ice cover, as well as its possible implications.
Following a voter-approved referendum in 2004, Oregon's constitution (Article XV, Section 5A) has stated that "... only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or legally recognized as a marriage."
For some reason, that doesn't seem to matter in the "Sweet Cakes" controversy over Aaron and Melissa Klein's refusal earlier this year to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple's (not legally recognized) "marriage." The turned-down couple has filed a civil-rights complaint with the Civil Rights Division of the Oregon Department of Labor and Industry. In the meantime, the Kleins, who have experienced ongoing harassment and threats against anyone and everyone who might refer business to them, have closed their storefront business and are operating it out of their home. Aaron has taken employment elsewhere. No press coverage that I have seen has raised the seemingly valid issue of how the Kleins can be forced to do something in support of a ceremony, i.e., same-sex "marriage," which is not legally sanctioned and could construed to be an illegal act.
In a Saturday afternoon dispatch, the Associated Press marred a mostly decent presentation of the August employment situation reported by the government yesterday in three ways.
The first is the story's misleading headline: "The Job Market Fed Faces: Healing But Still Ailing." Whether there's genuine healing going on is highly debatable, given that the labor force participation rate fell to 63.2 percent, its lowest level since 1978, and the clear trend towards part-time work. AP Economics Writer Paul Wiseman's treatment of that trend and another related one represent the report's other three weaknesses, as seen in the following three paragraphs (bolds are mine):
Associated Press reporter Matt Lee has been on the State Department beat for almost four years. At times, he has been one of a very few establishment press reporters who will challenge Obama administration officials when their assertions become too brazen to tolerate.
One of those times (HT Business Insider via Hot Air) occurred yesterday, when hapless State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki attempted to defend as "courageous" John Kerry's statement that the administration's non-mandatory request for a Congressional vote on U.S. military involvement in Syria:
Yesterday in Stockholm at the G20 summit, President Barack Obama said the following in regards to the use of chemical weapons in warfare: "I didn't set a red line. The world set a red line." For years, the press obsessed over the alleged untruthfulness of President George W. Bush's "16 words" ("The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa") in his 2003 State of the Union address. Today, the Associated Press won't even directly quote the first six of Obama's.
Regardless of whether one thinks that Obama's statement is an attempt to abdicate personal responsibility for his original "red line" (i.e., in the sand) statement a year ago or an assertion that his year-ago statement merely affirmed what the rest of the world believes, it's news, and should be presented to the nation's readers and viewers in quotes. But not at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, which is barely recognizing the existence of the "red line" at all.