Obama Watch

By Tom Blumer | May 24, 2014 | 12:51 AM EDT

The press continues its disinterested fiddling while the royal mess known as Obamacare burns through money and exhausts the patience of those attempting any kind of oversight.

One of the more obvious examples of this is how the Washington Post's May 17 story on errors in calculating Obamacare subsidies has gone absolutely nowhere. About one-third of the 20 results returned in a Google News search on "healthcare subsidies" (not in quotes) at 11 p.m. ET Friday evening were partial reprints or rewrites of the original story by WaPo reporters Amy Goldstein and Sandhya Somashekhar. Most of the remaining results were from center-right outlets, while a few came from medical sites. The results didn't change much when searching on "health care" instead of "healthcare." What the WaPo pair reported is a breathtaking cacophony of incompetence which, as Heritage noted last year, won't even "solve" itself when Obamacare enrollees file their 2014 tax returns. Goldstein and Somashekhar also missed an opportunity to make a fundamental point, which is that everyone who has enrolled has some exposure.

By Cal Thomas | May 22, 2014 | 6:28 PM EDT

PORTSTEWART, Northern Ireland -- President Obama Wednesday replayed a familiar scenario when dealing with scandal, in this case delays for treatment, deaths, alleged cover-ups and other acts of malfeasance reported at Veterans Administration hospitals in the United States: first express outrage, next announce an investigation and then say he won't comment on the scandal until the results of the investigation are in, promising people will be held "accountable," if they violated the law. Good luck with that.

By Ken Shepherd | May 22, 2014 | 5:05 PM EDT

The Washington Post's Jenna Johnson reported yet another black mark against Maryland's rollout of ObamaCare. It seems the "board that oversees Maryland's troubled health insurance marketplace repeatedly violated a state law that requires such groups to fully explain their reasons for meeting behind closed doors" according to a ruling issued Tuesday by the Maryland Open Meetings Compliance Board.

Although the Washington Post's endorsee for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, was tasked by Gov. Martin O'Malley as his personal point man for the ObamaCare rollout, Brown's name came up a grand total of, wait for it, ZERO times in Johnson's 21-paragraph story. What's more, Johnson's story, while given front-page space on page B1 of the May 22 edition, was slapped with a boring headline that all but discouraged readers to review the story, "Closed sessions broke Md. law." By contrast, on Sunday, staff writer John Wagner treated Brown to a puffy profile in a Metro section front-pager "The Value of Service."

By Tom Blumer | May 21, 2014 | 9:27 AM EDT

During the Obama administration, the Associated Press has annually gone through the motions of noting its lack of transparency in responding to Freedom of Information Act requests. In March, its coverage of 2013 FOIA results led with the following sentence: "The Obama administration more often than ever censored government files or outright denied access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, according to a new analysis of federal data." Then everyone went back to work defending the administration against the information seekers.

Part of that defense includes mischaracterizing the legal hurdles those who file FOIA requests must overcome to get the administration to do what it is legally required to do right off the bat. Three sentences from recent coverage of Judicial Watch's attempts to pry information out of the State Department will make my point.

By Ken Shepherd | May 14, 2014 | 4:37 PM EDT

"Faith first, government second for GOP candidate," blares a teaser headline on MSNBC.com. They say that like it's a bad thing.

Of course, to MSNBC it is, when religious freedom objections stand opposed to ObamaCare, so MSNBC.com writer Morgan Whitaker sought to explain to Lean Forward partisans all the ways that Ben Sasse is supposedly a danger to civil society, including a ludicrous suggestion that his views could allow for establishment of Sharia law (excerpt below; emphasis mine):

By Tom Blumer | May 14, 2014 | 10:39 AM EDT

The government is paying private contractor Serco $1.2 billion over five years — and likely more, as will be seen later — to process paper Obamacare applications. In turn, according to a report by television station KMOV, Serco has hired and continues to pay a reported 1,800 workers who have virtually no work to do.

Massive waste like this should develop into a national story and create a journalistic swarm. If it does, it will be unusual, because the press has been avoiding stories which make President Barack Obama's "signature accomplishment" of state-controlled health care look bad like the plague. We'll see if it's different this time. The KMOV report follows the jump (HT Gateway Pundit's Progressives Today blog):

By Ken Shepherd | May 5, 2014 | 2:42 PM EDT

"Democrats hoping improvements in the economy's course and the Affordable Care Act's implementation would level the playing field for the fall elections should brace themselves," USA Today's Susan Page and Kendall Breitman warned the president's party in their May 5 front-page story, "Poll shows biggest advantage for Republicans in 2 decades." So naturally the Big Three broadcast networks completely ignored the story this morning, preferring instead to fawn over President Obama, Joel McHale, and the White House Correspondents Association Dinner held on Saturday.

The USA Today-Pew Research Center poll conducted April 23-27, found strong frustration by respondents with President Obama and Democrats, with 65 percent of Americans "want[ing] the president elected in 2016 to pursue different policies and programs than the Obama administration." What's more, "registered voters are inclined to support the Republican candidate over the Democrat in their congressional district by 47%-43%. Yes, "[t]hat edge may seem small," Page and Breitman conceded, but (emphasis mine):

By NB Staff | May 3, 2014 | 12:10 AM EDT

"The Vatican canonized two new saints last week. And President Obama was disappointed to learn he wasn't one of them."

Other liberals who didn't have a prayer of avoiding Jodi Miller's acerbic wit this week include Jon Stewart, Bill Clinton, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). To watch the May 2 edition of NewsBusted, click play on the embed below the page break. To get NewsBusted delivered to your email inbox, click here. To subscribe to NewsBusted on YouTube visit here.

By Quin Hillyer | May 2, 2014 | 3:19 PM EDT

Typical media bias continued Friday on two fronts, on two networks, both doing backflips away from real news in order to portray things in the best possible light for Barack Obama.

First came CBS This Morning, which sometimes plays news a bit straighter than other morning shows and than its evening news broadcast. Not this morning.

By Ken Oliver-Méndez | May 2, 2014 | 10:45 AM EDT

Much like their English-language counterparts, the flagship evening news programs of the Univision and Telemundo television networks found plenty of time to cover the scandal over racism that rocked Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, but no time to devote to news developments which cast President Obama and his administration in a negative light.

Over the course of four days between April 28 and May 1, Noticiero Univision and Noticiero Telemundo dedicated 16 minutes and 33 seconds of airtime to Donald Sterling and the future of the Los Angeles basketball franchise, but evidently didn’t consider the President’s worse-ever popularity poll numbers, the sharp decline in U.S. economic growth, Secretary of State John Kerry’s ill-considered remarks against Israel or fresh, incriminating White House emails twisting the facts about the attack against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi to be worth even a single second of news coverage.

By Ken Shepherd | May 1, 2014 | 4:53 PM EDT

The May-June edition of Politico magazine is out, complete with what it boasts is "the most comprehensive survey yet of [the] unique group of journalists" who comprise the White House press corps. The picture painted by the honest answers therein are not altogether flattering. For instance, we see just how much a self-congratulatory, conventional wisdom-spewing echo-chamber the group is with these two questions (see screen captures below the fold):

 

By Ken Shepherd | May 1, 2014 | 11:03 AM EDT

The supposed newspaper of record for the nation's capital did not find fit to print a story this morning on the newly-released White House Benghazi emails and the White House's fevered attempt to dismiss the story.

There was nothing in the May 1 print edition of the Washington Post. By contrast, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal ran stories on page A8 and A4 of their respective Thursday print editions. A search of WashingtonPost.com did turn up an AP story published shortly after midnight Thursday -- "White House denies memo was about Benghazi attack" -- on the Benghazi emails (excerpted below; emphasis mine):