In Friday’s lead New York Times story, White House correspondent Jackie Calmes again finds the Democrats with political momentum on the policy front, as she has, wrongly, on several occasions in the past, shown by the headline over her optimistic April 2 story, “Jobs Growth Could Stump Obama’s Critics.” (Nope.) This time, it’s Democrats allegedly putting the GOP in a “political bind” over cutting the payroll tax, due to the stubborn refusal by Republicans to raise taxes on "the rich."
Double standards on story placement in the New York Times? A “Political Victory” for the White House over trade deals that promise only “small” economic benefits was trumpeted in the headline to Thursday’s lead story, while a “major setback” for Obama and his jobs bill was buried on Wednesday’s inside pages.
New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes asked President Obama a softball at Thursday’s press conference about what he would like to say to win over the “Occupy Wall Street” protesters, and then followed up: Jackie Calmes follow up question was: "Do you think Occupy Wall Street has the potential to be a tea party movement in 2012?"
Oddly enough, Calmes didn’t use Obama’s answers in her front-page story, headlined “Obama Describes Economy as Dire: Citing Europe, He Urges Passage of Jobs Bill.” Calmes did line up economists to support Obama’s push for passage.Obama said Republican proposals “would not help the economy in the short term. Economists at private-sector forecasting firms agreed,” wrote Calmes.
New York Times White House reporters Jackie Calmes and Jennifer Steinhauer were with Obama on the money-raising trail in Texas and did their usual spin job for the partisan, combative president in Wednesday’s “Obama Pitches Jobs Bill And Appeals to Donors.”
President Obama on Tuesday combined fund-raising and campaigning for his jobs bill in the home state of the Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry and the Congressional district of a House Republican leader, and he did not shy away from telling donors that they and Texas’ oil companies should pay more taxes for the nation’s good.
Stupid white men for the G.O.P.? New York Times White House reporters Jackie Calmes and Mark Landler teamed up for Friday’s front-page campaign preview, “Obama Charts A New Route to Re-election.” In a change from the paper’s standard politically correct approach to race and class, the reporters crudely emphasized that “less-educated, low-income whites” tend to support Republicans. (What happened to "the party of the rich"?)
With his support among blue-collar white voters far weaker than among white-collar independents, President Obama is charting an alternative course to re-election should he be unable to win Ohio and other industrial states traditionally essential to Democratic presidential victories.
New York Times White House reporter Jackie Calmes seemed to like President Obama’s new combative pose over his new big-spending, tax-hiking “stimulus” proposal. Her lead story Tuesday, “Obama Confirms New Hard Stand With Debt Relief,” framed the political battle as a personal conflict as a disrespected president betrayed by House Speaker John Boehner once too often.
With a scrappy unveiling of his formula to rein in the nation’s mounting debt, President Obama confirmed Monday that he had entered a new, more combative phase of his presidency, one likely to last until next year’s election as he battles for a second term.
New York Times White House reporter Jackie Calmes and Binyamin Appelbaum reported Wednesday on Obama’s latest big-spending “stimulus” proposal, “Bigger Economic Role for Washington,” enthused that the chance of some of it coming law “could have a substantial effect on economic growth and unemployment....could add 100,000 to 150,000 jobs a month over the next year, according to estimates from several of the country’s best-known forecasting firms.”
Three liberal New York Times reporters teamed up Thursday morning to fact-check the Republican debate (and defend Obama) at the Reagan library.
John Broder, Nicholas Confessore, and Jackie Calmes cowrote “Attacking the Democrats, but Not Always Getting It Right,” which was not labeled or presented as "news analysis" (a label the Times is using less of lately) but as a factual news story. The text box read: “The candidates’ arguments run into factual hurdles.”
President Obama’s reaction to the latest lousy employment figures was framed by New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes on Saturday’s front page as “New Urgency in the Battle for Stimulus.” Calmes has long insisted Obama’s first multi-billion dollar economic “stimulus” was a success and did so again:
Nonpartisan analysts and the Congressional Budget Office have credited the first stimulus package with helping to end the recession and keep unemployment from growing even higher than it did. They say the winding down of the federal government’s help this year has contributed to the economy’s stall.
New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes spent Labor Day with President Obama in Detroit, who spoke at a heavily union rally featuring speakers from organized labor. One of them, Teamster President Jimmy Hoffa, used just the sort of militant rhetoric against the Tea Party that would certainly have been condemned by the Times if coming from Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, or any other conservative politician or activist. Yet Hoffa was completely absent from Calmes’s Tuesday story, “For Obama, a Familiar Labor Day Theme.”
What Hoffa said: "President Obama this is your army!...Everybody here has got to vote. If we go back and keep the eye on the prize, let's take these son of a bitches out and give America back to America where we belong."
Today, the White House's Office of Management and Budget published its Mid-Session Review (large PDF), an economic forecast projecting, among other things, that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for calendar 2011 will be 1.7%. That doesn't sound like much (and it isn't), but to get there growth will have to almost triple its most recently reported level during the second half of the year. Second-half growth will also have to exceed the estimates of most economists.
Good luck finding any skepticism in the press over OMB's numbers. What follows is the numerical runthrough, followed by two media coverage examples.
"Speaker Says No, So Obama Delays Speech" is how The New York Times's September 1 front page headline spun the short squabble over the timing of President Obama's upcoming speech before Congress on his job creation plan. "Spat Over Which Day to Address Economy," added a subheadline.
For their part, Times writers Helene Cooper and Jackie Calmes ginned up the perpetual lament of partisan discord in Washington, before going on to portray President Obama as the bigger man for amending his initial wish to speak to Congress next Tuesday at 8 p.m. Eastern:
President Obama will deliver a major address soon after Labor Day seeking to pressure a special Congressional committee to propose new measures to promote job creation as well as larger long-term deficit cuts than mandated, aides said Wednesday.
Kaus wrote that the emphasis on nonexistent “defensiveness” “must be heartening to Times readers. It’s also the stuff of which delusions are made – the familiar process of cocooning, in which Times-addicted Democrats wake up election day expecting President Kerry to have been swept into office only to discover that the paper of record has mistaken the views of its editorial board for the views of voters.” Kaus concluded “The NYT gets more like MSNBC every day.”
House Republican leaders were forced on Tuesday night to delay a vote scheduled on their plan to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, as conservative lawmakers expressed skepticism and Congressional budget officials said the plan did not deliver the promised savings.
President Obama seized on the re-emergence of an ambitious bipartisan budget plan in the Senate on Tuesday to invigorate his push for a big debt-reduction deal, and he summoned Congressional leaders back to the bargaining table this week to “start talking turkey.”
Reporters have repeatedly portrayed Barack Obama as a deficit hawk committed to "slashing" spending, as MRC Research Director Rich Noyes documented in April ahead of the president's much-anticipated budget speech.
While the media touted Obama's budget blueprint, which contained puny cuts, as "deeply painful," CBO Director Doug Elmendorf told Congress the president's framework lacked sufficient detail to be scored as a credible plan.
Since then, Obama still hasn't revealed a serious plan to cut spending, yet correspondents continue to paint the president as a budget cutter.
Calmes’s reporting is often weighted toward Democrats, and she has expressed her sympathies for Obama in his dealings with Republicans the last few years, complaining the G.O.P. had not sufficiently “accomodated” the president by passing Obama-care and financial regulation. She wrote for Friday’s lead:
New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes’s latest front-page story on the budget battle displayed typical Times’s labeling bias, with “angry conservatives” but no liberals. Calmes also paid the Republican leadership a backhanded compliment for trying to stop their conservative base from provoking a financial crisis.
On Tuesday, Calmes claimed on the front page that Obama was “repositioning” himself as a centrist (after years of the Times insisting he already was one).
For the last three years we’ve been told by the Times and the rest of the media Obama was in fact a “pragmatic” centrist, unlike the conservative George W. Bush. Why would Obama have to "reposition" himself to ground he already occupied?
President Obama made no apparent headway on Monday in his attempt to forge a crisis-averting budget deal, but he put on full display his effort to position himself as a pragmatic centrist willing to confront both parties and address intractable problems.
New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes was with the president in El Paso, Texas, inspiring Latino voters for his 2012 reelection by pushing Congress to hack a "path to citizenship for illegal immigrants." It’s a long shot in a Republican-controlled Congress, on an issue Obama did not press when the Democrats had big majorities in the House and Senate, but those points were buried in her 1,100-word story Wednesday, "In Border City Talk, Obama Urges G.O.P. to Help Overhaul Immigration Law."
President Obama came to this border city on Tuesday to argue that he is doing his part to crack down on illegal immigration, and that Republicans must now join him in overhauling the nation’s immigration laws for the millions of workers already here illegally.
Stop Spending Cuts or People Will “Starve to Death”
“I stopped eating on Monday and joined around 4,000 other people in a fast to call attention to congressional budget proposals that would make huge cuts in programs for the poor and hungry....These supposedly deficit-reducing cuts -- they’d barely make a dent -- will quite literally cause more people to starve to death, go to bed hungry or live more miserably than are doing so now.” – Food writer Mark Bittman in a March 30 op-ed, “Why We’re Fasting.”
“What causes the lack? Imprisonment, torture, being stranded on a desert island, anorexia, crop failure....and both a lack of aid and bad distribution of nutrients. Some (or much) of both of these last two stem from unregulated capitalism and greed.” – Bittman on his blog at nytimes.com, March 31.
Once again, the Times falsely described a “nasty” anti-Cleland campaign ad by Chambliss, this time claiming it was “picturing Mr. Cleland with Osama bin Laden.” Has anyone at the Times ever actually watched the ad?
Days after President Obama called for forming a bipartisan group in Congress to begin negotiating a $4 trillion debt-reduction package, the parties have not even agreed to its membership. Yet six senators -- three Democrats, three Republicans -- say they are nearing consensus on just such a plan.
The group’s oldest members -- Senator Richard J. Durbin, 66, a progressive from Illinois who counts the Senate’s only socialist as a friend and ally, and Senator Saxby Chambliss, 67, a genial Georgia conservative whose nasty first campaign left lingering bad feelings among Democrats, and who is a confidant of Speaker John A. Boehner -- illustrate that even with the mounting federal debt intensifying the partisan divide over spending and taxes, the severity of the fiscal threat is forging unlikely alliances.
The ambitious, cost-trimming House Republican budget proposal put forward by Rep. Paul Ryan “is not going to become law anytime soon, if ever,” New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes assured us in her Wednesday “news analysis,” “A Conservative Vision, With Bipartisan Risks.” Yet it still “poses huge political risks for Republican candidates for Congress and for the White House in 2012.” A front-page, above-the-fold front-page photo teased the article, with the caption helpfully mentioning that Ryan’s budget “poses huge political risks for Republicans.”
Calmes, whose coverage is quite sympathetic to Obama’s fiscal priorities, especially his expensive “stimulus” package, immediately assured readers the conservative proposal didn’t have a snowball’s chance of becoming law:
The audacious long-term budget path that House Republicans outlined on Tuesday is not going to become law anytime soon, if ever. Senate Democrats and President Obama will see to that.
Even so, the plan rolled out by the Republican majority in the House figures to shake up this year’s already contentious budget debate as well as next year’s presidential politics. By its mix of deep cuts in taxes and domestic spending, and its shrinkage of the American safety net, the plan sets the conservative parameter of the debate over the nation’s budget priorities further to the right than at any time since the modern federal government began taking shape nearly eight decades ago.
One might not think an 8.8% unemployment rate would be cause for swagger and celebration, but you couldn't tell that from the Times's headline and lead.
The United States economy showed signs of kicking into gear in March, adding 216,000 jobs and prompting President Obama to proclaim a corner finally turned.
The president and his fellow Democrats pointed to the latest jobs report on Friday, and to an unemployment rate that fell a touch to 8.8 percent, as evidence that their policies, like stimulus spending and the payroll tax cut, were working. All of this, they made clear, could become ammunition in their showdown with House Republicans, who have spoken of cutting deeply into the federal budget and have threatened a government shutdown.
An emboldened Mr. Obama spoke of the political implications before several hundred workers at a United Parcel Service shipping center in Landover, Md.
From a visit to this city’s most infamous slum to a national address amid the gilded elegance of a celebrated theater, President Obama on Sunday sought to underscore the shared histories and futures of the United States and Brazil, reaching out to the people of one of the most racially diverse countries in the Americas.
But Mr. Obama, on the second day of a five-day tour of Latin America, once again seemed to sidestep mentioning his own racial background in appearances here, even as Brazilians who gathered at a plaza trying to catch a glimpse of him said that he had inspired millions in this country because of his African heritage.
Slow news Friday? In “With a Change in Top Aides, The West Wing Quiets Down,” New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes fawned over Obama’s top aides, chief of staff William Daley and advisor David Plouffe, as a welcome balm after the frenzied working atmosphere set by former chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel (though the paper hardly maintained a drumbeat of criticism during Rahm’s reign).
Blogging at the Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin says the Times piece “gives ‘fluff’ a bad name....maybe the Times should look inward and be asking how such suck-uppery gets passed off as news.”
When Rahm Emanuel was the White House chief of staff, decisions about what President Obama would say in the short address he delivers on the radio and Internet each Saturday changed so often that speechwriters would wait until Friday to write.
But since William M. Daley took over two months ago, and David Plouffe succeeded David Axelrod as communications chief, the decision is made early -- and it sticks.
New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes appeared on a panel discussion on “The Role of Minority Party in Congress” held at the Wilson International Center for Scholars on Monday, and outlined four liberal complaints against Republicans for not sufficiently accommodating Barack Obama early in his presidency (when they were distinctly the minority party and rather powerless) on his allegedly moderate measures like health reform and financial regulation.
Blaming Republicans for Obama’s woes ignores the fact that the Democrats had just won huge filibuster-proof majorities in 2008. The party controlled the Senate by a 60-40 margin and the House of Representatives by a health 257-178. And conservatives would argue that Obama’s claims of bipartisanship were severely overstated and amounted to trying to pick off individual Republicans to get on board with his sweeping liberal agenda on stimulus and health care “reform,” instead of reaching out to the Republican caucus as a whole with more moderate and modest proposals.
Talking on the panel Monday, aired by C-SPAN, about the need for political accommodation in Congress, Calmes took “the risk of sounding like I’m expressing an opinion" in her closing remarks, about an hour and ten minutes into the discussion:
It’s one thing for the Obama administration to refuse to admit that throwing more than $800 billion in so-called “stimulus” at the recession hasn’t worked. But on Friday night’s Washington Week roundtable on PBS, New York Times national correspondent Jackie Calmes accepted the idea that “it’s too early to say” how Team Obama should be graded while unemployment remains high. That’s called charitable procrastination:
NANCY YOUSSEF, McCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS: So how would you rank or rate the administration on its economic policy? Can you give it a rating this soon, or is it too early to say?
JACKIE CALMES, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, it's too early to say when unemployment remains stuck at 9.5 percent. Most people think that -- most economists who aren't partisan think we will avoid a double-dip recession, but, and that the stimulus did work, but it, you know -- maybe should have been more of it, or better designed.
A few seconds earlier, Calmes complained that after the "stimulus" bill passed, “things worked so slowly that people still to this day think it was a failure”: