Liz Sidoti's offering this morning at the Associated Press, which is clearly a serious competitor for Worst AP Item Ever, carries the "column" label. As such, I suppose we're expected to accept the idea that the "analysis" offered is hers alone.
But you would think that the self-described "essential global news network" would have enough business judgment to review a reporter's work to make sure it doesn't talk down to the general public and indict its own reporting on the economy at the same time. You would be wrong, as will be seen after the jump.
Yeah, Herman Cain won the Florida straw poll, crushing Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. And OK, a CBS poll recently found him tied with Romney among likely Republican primary voters. Sure, he also scored a resounding victory in another straw poll this weekend. And Rasmussen just today released the finding that 56% of GOP voters like Cain's 9-9-9 plan.
So is that enough to make the Associated Press consider Cain a first-tier candidate? Nah. On MSNBC's Daily Rundown this morning, AP's political editor, Liz Sidoti, sniffed "we still consider him a second-tier candidate." Video after the jump.
The chefs in the kitchens at AP-GfK, a joint effort of the Associated Press and GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications, have been working overtime cooking up a scrumptious dish for fans of Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.
President Barack Obama's approval rating has hit its highest point in two years - 60 percent - and more than half of Americans now say he deserves to be re-elected, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll taken after U.S. forces killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.
In March, the same poll had the president's approval rating at 53%. The graphic which follows, obtained from the the poll's "topline" at AP-GfK's web site, reveal that the AP pair enjoy feasting on empty calories:
Apparently that's what the Associated Press's Liz Sidoti (pictured at the top right at this post's home page tease) wants us to believe, as she ended her borderline bitter take on the origins of Congressional Republicans' successful electoral comeback and takeover of the House of Representatives four days ago with this sentence:
Ten months later (after Scott Brown's U.S. Senate race victory in Massachusetts -- Ed.), victorious Republicans met to plan their transition to power in the House - just as it was announced that the economy created 151,000 jobs.
As if one good jobs-added number -- even with the unemployment rate stuck at 9.6% -- proves that the economic recovery is finally in high gear. Zheesh.
It seems reasonable from their coverage in anticipation of the Census Bureua's release of income and poverty statistics this week that Hope Yen and Liz Sidoti of the Associated Press have a roof over their heads and aren't particularly worried about where their next meal is coming from. If so, good for them; may those circumstances continue.
What's remarkable, though, is how a government report that the media, especially the AP, has traditionally treated as an indicator of society's alleged failure to take care of its neediest --with the blame often directly aimed at Republicans and conservatives -- is now primarily a political problem for the party in power. Yen and Sidoti engage in a presidential pity party, and in the process come off as indifferent about what the numbers, for all their imperfections (and they are substantial), might mean in human terms -- again, something the press normally obsesses over, especially when a Republican or conservative is president. This time, it seems that if Ms. Yen and Ms. Sidoti had their way, this unfortunate information would be held until at least November 3.
What follows are graphic capture's of the pair's first four paragraphs, followed by paragraphs 12-16:
Looks like the Huffington Post is buying into the “As Ohio goes, so goes the nation” meme this election cycle, based on a story out today.
The HuffPo item is by Liz Sidoti. But Sidoti is a national politics writer for the Associated Press, and what Holt really read was what AP would like us to believe is a supposedly "objective" analysis of the electoral situation in Ohio right off the wire. Word for word, the item at HuffPo is the same dispatch as found at the AP's main site. The only clue as to its origin, which Holt missed (and it's easy to see how), is the teeny-tiny AP logo where Sidoti's byline appears.
In other words, Sidoti's stridency and Democrat-sympathetic viewpoint are so obvious that she passes the HuffPo zealotry test.
Here are some examples of how Sidoti "successfully" came off as a budding HuffPo pundit:
As the House gears up for a final move on ObamaCare, the media are doing everything they can to pressure pro-lifers to accept federal funding for abortion while helping the Obama administration downplay what that means.
Instead of respecting the conscience of a pro-life politician, news outlets have launched an all-out campaign to blame House Democrat Bart Stupak for thwarting ObamaCare. Of course he's not pro-life, he's "anti-abortion," and he's willing to let millions of helpless Americans go without healthcare to satisfy some personal agenda.
The AP's Liz Sidoti set the tone on Saturday with a snarky, pouty article about Democrats who don't go along with what Obama wants. Gone were the days of patriotic dissent as Sidoti blamed obstructionists for trying to kill ObamaCare (h/t LiveAction):
It was a metaphysical certitude the liberal media would bash Sarah Palin's marvelous keynote speech to the National Tea Party convention in Nashville, Tennessee, Saturday, but what the Associated Press did is inexcusable.
First, it attached to its Sunday piece a tremendously unflattering photo of the former Alaska governor.
Then, it ripped her with the very first sentence (emphasis added, h/t NB reader Joe De Angelis):
"This is not a sea change. This is a tide that is slowly rising in favor of gay marriage," creating a favorable political situation for Democrats and ever-more difficulty for Republicans, said David McCuan, a political scientist at Sonoma State University in California.
Democrats have a broader base filled with more accepting younger voters, as well as flexibility on the issue. Hard-core liberals support gay marriage, while others, including President Barack Obama, take a more moderate position of civil unions and defer to states on gay marriage.
Here’s one sign of the "inevitable" bias: Sidoti quotes no social conservatives. The only "prominent Republican" in the piece is losing McCain strategist Steve Schmidt, with one of the less offensive snippets of his speech to the Log Cabin "Republicans."
I am not a doctor, but I play one on the Internet. So, take the following as a prescription for what ails you. Now, if for some unexplainable reason you have been feeling queasy since November of last year, if you have felt like you want to throw up but just can't seem to get that bile to overflow, well I have a little something here that will surely cause that gag reflex to result in a healthy expulsion of bubbling acids. The Associated Press would call it a "news story," but it serves a far better purpose as syrup of ipecac than anything else.
Anyway, if you need a ready emetic, try giving a read to our pal Liz Sidoti's doting portrayal of President Obama as a "no jitters" expert that is "extraordinarily at ease" sitting in the big chair. He's a fellow that has mastered the office even though he has "youth and inexperience," and he's confident "almost to a fault." Obama is the greatest story ever told as far as Liz is concerned... and after only four short months in office to boot.
But, wait. There's more puke-inspiring sycophancies yet to come...read on if you dare.
Liz Sidoti of the Associated Press seems to be setting the table for a certain amount of failure from Barack Obama by helping lower expectations among the people. Her latest AP report is as much as warning that, since he is facing "heady challenges," we shouldn't expect too much from him. In other words, before he has even really faced anything at all, Sidoti is making excuses for him almost in the mold of an affirmative action hire. It seems a perfect example of using the soft bigotry of low expectations to make preemptory excuses for Obama.
At the start, she seems to be downplaying any possibility that Obama will shine by noting how tough are the challenges he faces. Even the headline warns that "Obama faces heady challenges, and they're growing." But, the reality is few presidents in modern time faced a placid world upon taking office. Obama does not face any worse times than did Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Nixon, Reagan or any number of modern American presidents.
Associated Press lead reporter Liz Sidoti, other contributors (AP Director of Surveys Trevor Tompson, AP News Survey Specialist Dennis Junius and AP writer Alan Fram), and the wire service's supposedly vaunted editors apparently don't understand what a polling margin of error is.
In a Wednesday story I found in four different places (CBS News, AP-Google, Breitbart, Yahoo! News), Sidoti et al let a paragraph stand claiming that a 3.5% margin of error in the poll results they were reporting meant that the real results could vary by as many as 14 points.
Here are the key paragraphs found in each story (bold is mine):
Overall, the Tax Policy Center said people with very high incomes would benefit the most under McCain's proposal, while low- and middle-income taxpayers would see larger tax breaks under Obama's plan and wealthy taxpayers would see their taxes increase.