It’s typical of MSNBC weekend anchor Alex Witt to invite guests on her show who only reinforce her opinions, and that is exactly what happened on Sunday’s Weekends with Alex Witt. For a discussion of Democratic efforts to increase the minimum wage, Witt brought on frequent contributor Jared Bernstein, Vice President Joe Biden’s former chief economist.
But that’s not all he is. Witt added these modifications to Bernstein’s introduction: [Video embedded below the break.]
MSNBC host Alex Wagner appeared to tie Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev to ObamaCare opposition and libertarianism on Wednesday’s Now, with liberal guests Jared Bernstein and Mark Potok taking part in the anti-conservative argument. Wagner suggested that ObamaCare “extremism would seem to be of a piece with this radicalized rhetoric” that influenced the terrorist Tsarnaev.
Bernstein, a former economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, argued that one “could draw a line” connecting the terrorist attacks in Boston to “vehement opposition” to the president’s health care law. And Mark Potok, of the Southern Poverty Law Center, added:
An August 6 opinion column at the Politico labeled co-authors Jared Bernstein and Paul Van de Water as "senior fellows at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities." CBPP, that oxymoron known as a "leftist think tank," went unlabeled. The Politico also must have thought that Bernstein's background as the Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joseph Biden from 2009 to 2011 was irrelevant.
That's okay. Any reader could tell from the piece's headline and content that it was a shameless, reality-avoiding propaganda piece (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Earlier this afternoon, my NewsBusters colleague Kyle Drennen highlighted the Today show’s effort to hype the recent feud between Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). Unsurprisingly, the folks at MSNBC were even more eager to blow the dispute out of proportion – and to predict a nasty fight between Republicans in 2016.
Now host Alex Wagner kicked off a gleeful Wednesday segment on the feud, claiming the “2016 Republican clown car has already started revving its engines.” Wagner also suggested the “spat” would expose “deep divisions within the GOP,” echoing similar remarks made by NBC’s Peter Alexander on Wednesday’s Today.
MSNBC contributor Joy Reid continued her daily assault on Republicans Tuesday on Martin Bashir, comparing Republicans to chain smokers and blasting the GOP for its resistance to President Obama’s economic agenda. Reid argued that offering Republicans tax cuts is “like offering a chain smoker a cigarette,” pushing the same anti-GOP rhetoric she’s known for on the Lean Forward network. [Video after the jump.]
Host Martin Bashir offered his own analogy to complement Reid’s, likening President Obama’s revenue-neutral corporate tax reform to giving “a drunk a glass of bourbon.” Reid seemed content with Bashir’s insulting and sophomoric joke, sneering:
Alex Wagner appeared positively giddy over the House of Representative’s failure to pass the farm bill Thursday, using the bill’s defeat as an opportunity to rail against John Boehner and the House Republican caucus on Friday’s Now.
Wagner’s all-liberal panel joined in on the host’s routine GOP-bashing, with Michelle Goldberg berating the party’s “kamikaze ideology” and Eugene Robinson claiming “a huge chunk of [Boehner’s] caucus doesn’t want to pass anything.” All four guest panelists on the program got the chance to scold Republicans, in what was a vicious indictment of the party over the first ten minutes of the show.
In what looks like a commentary on the front page, Washington Post reporter Zachary Goldfarb's story was a liberal lament: "Signing cuts, Obama lets priorities slip." The little sequester is somehow a major failure for Obama's liberal vision.
"With his signature this week, President Obama will lock into place deep spending cuts that threaten to undermine his second-term economic vision just four months after he won re-election," Goldfarb mourned. Liberal economist Lawrence Mishel has the wackiest quote in the piece:
The ignorance and blind sycophancy of Bill Maher knows no bounds.
On HBO's Real Time Friday, the man who proudly gave a million dollars to Barack Obama's Super PAC said on national television, "Who cares what somebody in his administration wrote down on a piece of paper and predicted?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Have the executives running MSNBC informed their employees that it's completely acceptable to lie on the air if it helps President Obama win reelection this November?
On Thursday, Martin Bashir flat out lied to make the case to his audience that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is going to hell for supposedly lying when he says the current White House resident promised unemployment would not rise above eight percent if his stimulus package was enacted (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MSNBC's Martin Bashir tag-teamed with liberal pundit Jared Bernstein to slam Herman Cain and Rick Perry's tax plans today, insisting that both are a sop to the "rich" and an act of "class warfare" against the middle class. An onscreen bio graphic noted that Bernstein used to work for Vice President Biden, but that fact would go unnoted for any listeners to the program via MSNBC's SiriusXM satellite radio channel.
Also unaddressed by Bashir was that while Cain, Perry and the other GOP candidates are running against the Obama economic record, Bernstein had a hand in fashioning the 2009 stimulus package.
In a January 2009 memo co-authored with then-Obama economic advisor Christina Romer, the pair argued that a stimulus bill would stop the upward march of unemployment at 8 percent in the third quarter of 2009, with unemployment falling throughout 2011 and reaching around 5.5 percent by Election Day 2012 (see graph from that report below the page break).
There's a reason why Rush Limbaugh talks about "state-run media." On National Public Radio, Friday night's story on the embarrassing zero-jobs story included three experts for soundbites: current Obama economic spinner Gene Sperling, former Obama economic spinner Jared Bernstein, and the current Democrat Mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter, who blamed "senseless" congressional (read Republican) spending restraint.
It's not like NPR couldn't find a Republican anywhere to interview. Their view only came up when reporter Scott Horsley was discussing how reasonable Obama was being: "The administration's move to scrap smog regulations today could also be seen as an olive branch to Republicans and the business community." He didn't even say "proposed new smog regulations that would shut coal plants and cost more jobs." He just implied Republicans are pro-smog.
NPR's Scott Horsley apparently couldn't find any conservatives for his report on Thursday's All Things Considered, as he played nothing but sound bites from President Obama and former economic advisor Jared Bernstein. The two boosted a possible mini-stimulus, including "help for public works projects." Horsley played four clips from the President and two from Bernstein during the segment.
The Christian Science Monitor appears to have a problem monitoring its bloggers. Even though it asserts that its "diverse group of the best economy-related bloggers out there ... (have) responsibility for the content of their blogs," the largely respected CSM should understand that Jared Bernstein has just embarrassed it bigtime.
To its credit, CSM describes Bernstein, currently a senior fellow at the very liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (Director emeritus: Marian Wright Edelman), as a Biden/Democrat hack: "Jared was chief economist to Vice President Joseph Biden and executive director of the White House Task Force on the Middle Class." But unless CSM wants to be seen as a place like the Huffington Post, where it seems that anyone can throw up anything regardless of its truthfulness (I'm talking to you, Sam Stein), it needs to at least fact-check info with an obvious surface stench -- and I could smell the acrid aroma from Bernstein's item here in Ohio. His woeful Wednesday post goes beyond predictable cherry-picking into the realm of flat-out errors.
The second headline on washingtonpost.com Friday morning highlights "High marks for stimulus package." Oh, who gave it high marks? It explained underneath: "Massive program is coming in on time and under budget -- and with strikingly few claims of fraud or abuse -- according to a White House report."
On page A15 of the paper, the headline is "Positive review of stimulus package." Underneath that in smaller, capitalized type is "White House Report." Online, it's simply "Report gives stimulus package high marks." Lori Montgomery's story reads like a breathy Obama-Biden press release -- and it quotes no conservatives or Republicans.
Montgomery reported Team Obama had support in arguing their so-called stimulus "staunched the worst bleeding in employment and led the economy to rebound late last year. Many prominent economistsagree with that assessment." The Congressional Budget Office estimates it "may" be on track to "meet the administration's goal of preserving 3.5 million jobs by the end of the year."
Right after that, in the tenth paragraph, is where conservatives (and the vast majority of the public) are briefly acknowledged:
The more details emerge about the liberal media listserv JournoList, the more it resembles the cabal of leftist message-coordination many conservatives feared. Though perhaps not the "vast left-wing media conspiracy" Fred Barnes proclaims, evidence points to concerted efforts to coordinate talking points, and now, to direct links between the Obama White House and JournoList members.
Ironically, those are two elements of the listserv of which creator Ezra Klein explicity claimed JournoList was completely devoid. "Is it an ornate temple where liberals get together to work out "talking points?" Of course not," Klein stated last year. He added, "There are no government or campaign employees on the list."
Both of those assertions are provably false (whether or not they were at the time). The former has been contradicted by a number of instances of JournoList members doing just that: coordinating talking points. The second claim is upended by recent revelations that Jared Bernstein, Vice President Joe Biden's chief economic adviser, and unpaid "surrogate" adviser to the Obama campaign, was a member of JournoList while advising then-candidate Obama on economic issues.
Over at the most trusted name in news, they sure know how to party when it's called for. That was evident this afternoon on CNN Newsroom when anchor Ali Velshi gushed:
Happy birthday, dear stimulus. Our producer Ben Tinker (ph) baked this cake. It is a stimulus happy birthday -- first birthday cake, which is also a pie chart. It is the birthday of the stimulus. It is actually very --
In the same segment Velshi assured guest Jared Bernstein, chief economic adviser to Vice President Biden, that "I don't think we give much sway to people who say nothing (in terms of jobs) was created, it's just hard to actually respond and say something was created, cause jobs were lost."
Presumably not celebrating the stimulus's anniversary with a cake were the 94 percent of respondents to a recent CBS/New York Times poll who don't believe the stimulus has created a substantial number of new jobs. Of course, Ali doesn't give them much sway anyhow.
Those Americans don't matter. At CNN, it's time to celebrate Obama's great achievement and those hundreds - or is it millions? - of jobs he's created or saved. It's enough to send a thrill up your leg.
The Washington Post publicizing a report by the liberal Economic Policy Institute (EPI), written helpfully enough that the word "liberal" isn’t used, is usually a media-bias staple for economic gearheads. But Friday’s Post report by V. Dion Haynes might be seen by other Obama-helpers in the media as an unwelcome story. The headline: "U.S. unemployment rate for blacks projected to hit 25-year high."
Unemployment for African Americans is projected to reach a 25-year high this year, according to a study released Thursday by an economic think tank, with the national rate soaring to 17.2 percent and the rates in five states exceeding 20 percent...
According to the Economic Policy Institute report, the unemployment rate for blacks is projected to reach a not-seasonally adjusted rate of 17.2 percent in the third quarter of this year, up from 15.5 percent during the same period last year. And the rate for Hispanics is forecast to jump to 13.9 percent from 12.4 percent. The study is based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data and projections from Moody's Economy.com.
EPI was the long-time policy-research home of Jared Bernstein, who is now Vice President Biden’s chief economist and one of Team Obama’s economics explainers to the media.
This was not a front-page story. It topped the "Washington Business" section on page A-20.
In the latest of a series of White House - media head-on confrontations, Jared Bernstein, the chief economist and economic policy advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, took on the Wall Street Journal in a Dec. 1 post on the federal government's WhiteHouse.gov Web site.
"There's a new report out from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on the economic impact of the Recovery Act," Bernstein wrote. "I'll get to the findings in a second, but somebody over at the Wall St. Journal's editorial page has a whole lot of explaining to do."