"Militantly non-partisan" Major Garrett sounded more like an Obama administration flack on Thursday's CBS This Morning as he spotlighted the President's latest P.R. stunt. Garrett noted Obama's plan to visit a northern Virginia middle-class family and claimed that the Democrat was underlining the "self-evident point that if the there is a deal and their taxes aren't raised by about $2,000, they'll be happier and spend more money."
The correspondent also uncritically pointed out how Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner signaled that the White House was willing to go over the fiscal cliff if their demand for higher taxes isn't satisfied.
Since Mitt Romney is supposedly responsible for the death from cancer of a woman who died in 2006, seven years after the presumptive GOP nominee left Bain Capital, it seems more than fair to talk about what has resulted from the Obama administration's blatant favoritism towards UAW members while shafting former Delphi salaried workers.
Tonight, the Associated Press's Adwatch entry by Stephen Braun actually calls out the Obama super-PAC Priorities USA, specifically saying that the assertion by Joe Soptic, the woman's widower, "that Romney bears some blame in his wife's death is not backed up factually in the ad." Fair enough, but, especially because it was in the news today, let's look at the Delphi situation.
No matter how inane or damning his comments and answers to inquiries, it appears that Obama Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner can continue to count on favorable coverage from the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, aka the Administration's Protection.
The AP's Marcy Gordon, with the help of her story's headline writer, made Geither's appearance before the House Committee on Financial Services all about partisanship until near the very end. Incredibly, she also relayed a very important question committee members asked about Geithner's use of an interest rate he knew was being lowballed by British banks as the basis for determining the interest rate on Treasury bailout loans while he was still head of the New York branch of the Federal Reserve Bank -- but didn't tell readers what his answer was. Excerpts follow (bolds are mine):
Charlie Rose omitted mentioning the continuing high unemployment rate as he interviewed Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on Tuesday's CBS This Morning. Rose also forwarded a criticism Geithner from the left, that the Cabinet official was "too friendly to the banks, because he knew them from his years at the New York Fed."
The anchor also didn't challenge the Obama administration official's assertion that keeping all of the current tax rates would be a "deeply irresponsible thing to do fiscally and economically now. If you do it, it costs a trillion dollars over ten years - a trillion dollars over ten years, which we don't have and we're not going to go out and borrow from other countries to support in that context."
Here's how a "Business Highlights" item at the Associated Press summarized the situation between Timothy Geithner and London banks whose officials had admitted to rigging the London Interbank Offered Rate ("Libor") on Friday evening: "The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released documents Friday that show it learned five years ago of big banks understating their borrowing costs to manipulate a key interest rate. The documents also show Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who was then president of the New York Fed, urged the Bank of England to make the rate-setting process more transparent."
Today, Charles Gasparino at the New York Post called total BS such pathetic media spin (bolds are mine):
Not only is the Associated Press aptly currently described as the Administration's Press -- as least as long as the White House's current occupant remains there -- it also seems to be serving as the Administration's Protection.
In a story about the "Lie-bor" scandal, wherein British banks have admitted to colluding to set the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) -- arguably the world’s most important benchmark for interest rates -- artificially low, AP reporter Martin Crutsinger "somehow" forgot that current Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner was President of the New York Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank during much of the time period in which Congressional investigators are interested. Clearly, they want to know what Geithner knew, and when he knew it. The first three paragraphs of Crutsinger's writeup, followed by his sole context-free mention of Geithner, follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
A Los Angeles Times editorial on May 23, naturally accompanied by a dour photo of House Speaker John Boehner, stated as if it's an indisputable fact that the August 2011 debt deal raised the ceiling by "enough to last until the end of 2012 or early 2013." A Saturday AP report by Ken Thomas and Jim Kuhnhenn so filled with distortions that it's virtually unreadable asserted, again as if it's a no-doubt fact, that hitting the limit is "more than eight months away," putting the ceiling-busting date at about January 31, 2013. Just a few of many other examples with late-December or later assumptions baked in are here (to be fair, this one frames it as a Geithner estimation), here, and here.
The real numbers, combined with the experience of the past two years, indicate that there is a good chance not only that we're not going to be that lucky, but that the government could even hit the ceiling before Election Day.
In June, the Treasury Department announced that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner was considering resigning once the debt crisis was averted. With the debt limit deal passed yesterday, the speculation of his departure date is once again making the airwaves.
Leaving now would allow Geithner to leave on a much better note than he could have, but could also create a vacancy in an important cabinet position in an already weak economy. Do you think now is the best time for Geithner to resign? Let us know what you think in the comments.
Apparently, cutting a $3.7 trillion budget by $21 billion will hurt the economy. Talking to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on Tuesday, Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos worried about the just-agreed to debt deal: "But, don't you think that any deficit reduction now will hurt the attempts of the economy to recover?"
The former Clinton White House official turned journalist highlighted "economists who say cuts like this will make our weak economy weaker and cost Americans jobs." In total, Stephanopoulos raised the question three times, wondering, "So, this won't cost us jobs?"
If there's a reason why Dayton Daily News staff writer Drew Simon wrote his Tuesday morning story ("Seniors fear losing Social Security checks") other than to scare the elderly, I don't know what it is.
Nowhere in his report did Simon say who was the first person to invalidly raise the specter of Social Security checks not going out on August 2 (it was President Barack Obama, in case you missed it). Nowhere did he mention that the likelihood is extremely remote, and that if it happens it would only be because the Obama Treasury Department decided to let it happen. Messy items like that distract from the main purpose. Oh, but Simon did get an apparatchik from AARP who also should and probably does know better to chime in on his behalf.
Perhaps you hadn't noticed, but in late August 2010 Ben Bernanke took on complete responsibility for everything -- especially everything mediocre or bad -- that occurs in the economy.
I know this because on August 27 and 28 (covered here and here), the Associated Press issued three reports essentially telling readers that it was up to Ben to save us. There wasn't anything Barack Obama, Tim Geithner, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, or then-present Larry Summers could possibly say or do to improve the economic situation, described at the time as "appears to be stalling" in one of those AP items.
Out of this came what has come to be known as "QE2" (the second round of "quantitative easing"), otherwise known as "electronically printing money to buy U.S. debt because possibly no one else will."
When a Democrat or leftist makes an ill-advised remark, it seems that there's a three-stage process at the Associated Press, and perhaps in most other establishment press outlets, for handling it. It goes roughly like this:
Stage 1 - Ignore it as long as you can. If there isn't much outcry, keep ignoring it.
Stage 2 - If there ends up being enough of an outcry from conservatives or Republicans to warrant coverage, make sure that the story is about the criticism at least as much as the remark.
Stage 3 - In the ensuing coverage, leave out what was originally said.
The Associated Press is currently and grudgingly at Stage 2 with Harry Reid's remark that "but for me, we'd be in a worldwide depression," as seen below (reproduced in full for fair use and discussion purposes):
After nearly two years in office, the "first rate" economic team that President Obama assembled to turn things around - Peter Orszag, Christina Romer, Larry Summers and Timothy Giethner - has itself nearly turned over.
His E-team of "brainy" economists, as ABC's Claire Shipman called one of them, went to work even before Obama took office, ultimately crafting a massive stimulus plan that they said would create millions of jobs. The media regarded them highly, giving them plenty of live interview time and constantly pushing their economic ideas.
ABC's Diane Sawyer called them "economic gladiators" in late 2008, as Obama was assembling his team. The networks also gave Obama's picks, especially Geithner's appointment, credit for a huge stock market rally.
"Stocks staged a monster rally last week after President-elect Obama unveiled his new economic team. But the euphoria evaporated today," CBS's Anthony Mason declared Dec. 1, 2008, on "Evening News."
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's first full day as the only person in the whole wide world with any kind of influence over what happens in the economy didn't go too badly.
That's the impression one might get from consuming two Friday Associated dispatches and a related AP Video.
Bernanke apparently took full charge of anything and everything having to do with the economy on Thursday evening. As noted early Friday morning (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), two Thursday afternoon dispatches from the wire service in advance of the government's Friday morning GDP report widely predicted to contain news of a significant downward revision to second-quarter economic growth placed surreal importance on the content of a speech he was to give Friday morning shortly after that report's release. The names of President Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Tim Geithner, and Larry Summers were totally absent from both reports.
Friday, in the wake of the downward revision of second-quarter GDP from an annualized 2.4% to 1.6%, AP's primary economic report about Bernanke's apparent first day as Emperor-in-Chief again failed to name the five folks just mentioned, as did a one-minute video from Mark Hamrick found here (after a 30-second commercial).
Here is some of what Christopher Rugaber, with assists from Jeannine Aversa and Alan Zibel, wrote about Ben's big day:
For the media, "Mission Accomplished" represents everything that was wrong with the George W. Bush administration and its war policy. The image of Bush declaring unequivocal victory mere weeks after the invasion of Iraq has been ballyhooed as a visual representation of Bush's arrogance, naivete, even dishonesty (the media contrived most of this meme - more on that below).
Will Barack Obama have a "Mission Accomplished" moment? That is, will the media seize on something he or his administration has said as evidence of the large gap between his rhetoric and the effects of his policies and tout it for years to come as indicative of his flawed style of governing?
The gap already exists. The White House's "Recovery Summer" initiative and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's statement, "welcome to the recovery" are completely divorced from economic reality. The only question is whether the media will seize on the catchy and baseless slogans (the two criteria of the "Mission Accomplished" media standard) coming from the White House to illustrate the sizable gap between this administration's rhetoric, and the facts on ground, so to speak.
Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos on Thursday challenged Timothy Geithner from the left, advocating that the administration really needs to "do something" tough with the financial reform bill. He complained, "I mean, you have got a situation now where the six biggest banks in the country have assets equal to more than 60 percent of GDP. Why shouldn't those big banks be broken up?"
Following up, Stephanopoulos complained to the Treasury Secretary: "But, why isn't it a good idea to do something about the size of these banks? Are they still too big to fail?" The former Democratic operative turned journalist managed to go the entire interview without mentioning Republican concerns about the legislation.
Yet, he worried, "I mean, Goldman Sachs, 27 percent profits. You can't find a business that you make profits at that level." On April 21, Apple announced profits of 49 percent for the first quarter. (Perhaps hyperbole isn't Stephanopoulos' strength.)
President Obama has extensive ties to Goldman Sachs. Yet even given record-breaking financial contributions and sketchy relationships between Goldman executives and Obama officials at the highest level, the mainstream media will not afford Obama the same scrutiny it gave to George W. Bush during the collapse of Enron.
Obama's inflation-adjusted $1,007,370.85 in contributions from Goldman employees is almost seven times as much as the $151,722.42 (also inflation-adjusted) that Bush received from Enron. Goldman was one of the chief beneficiaries of the TARP bailout package -- supported by then-Senator Obama -- and has been a force for -- not against -- Democratic financial "reform" proposals currently under Senate consideration.
Despite the extensive connections between President Obama and Goldman Sachs, the same media that vaguely alleged unseemly connections between the Bush administration and Enron after its 2001 collapse have barely noticed the Obama administration's prominent ties to Goldman (h/t J.P. Freire).
CBS’s Early Show on Friday completely ignored the grilling Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner received on Capitol Hill on Thursday and the calls for his resignation by members of Congress. ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today both covered the contentious exchanges.
ABC’s Good Morning America provided the most coverage. Correspondent Bianna Golodryga observed that "a handful of Republicans and one Democrat are calling for his resignation" based on the current economic situation. She then played video of Republican Michael Burgess deriding Geithner: "I don't think you should be fired. I thought you never should have been hired."
Another clip featured Republican Kevin Brady directly asking the Treasury Secretary: "For the sake of our jobs, will you step down from your post?" But, even though the Early Show found time for generous coverage of Oprah Winfrey and the announcement that she’s retiring in two years, the news program skipped reporting on the calls for Geithner’s resignation by these Republicans. (House Democrat Peter DeFazio and Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell both have previously made similar announcements.)
The August Congressional Budget Office budget forecast for the fiscal year that began last month says that Uncle Sam will take in $2.264 trillion from October 2009 through September 2010. That's an increase of 7.6% over fiscal 2009's intake of $2.105 trillion.
Though it won't be official until Tim Geithner's crew releases its Monthly Treasury Statement next week, it's virtually certain that the government's collections will open the year in a deep hole compared to last year, and probably well behind what CBO expects.
Take a look at this compilation of key items from October's final Daily Treasury Statement, compared to the actual results from October 2008 and 2007:
Good Morning America co-host Diane Sawyer on Tuesday conducted a surprisingly tough interview with Tim Geithner, grilling the Treasury Secretary on tax increases, spending and highlighting the 9/12 rally in Washington D.C. Speaking of the American people, she asserted, "They don't see a possible way out without tax raises."
After Geithner tried to squirm out of responding, Sawyer, who will leave GMA in January to become the anchor of ABC’s World News, reiterated, "Are you still guaranteeing that no one in America will have their taxes raised unless they make more than $250,000 a year?" Geithner noted how this was a "commitment" for the President, prompting Sawyer to again attempt to nail down a firm answer: "That's your promise? It will not happen?"
On the Wednesday, June 10, Hannity show on FNC, host Sean Hannity showed a pre-recorded interview with actor Craig T. Nelson, who repeated his recent suggestion that taxpayers should refuse to pay as long as their money is being spent by the government irresponsibly, and this time tied in Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's failure to pay thousands of dollars in taxes. After recounting the government’s lack of "fiscal acuity," Nelson continued:
And I'm saying to myself, "Wait a minute. What if each of those withheld as much as Timothy Geithner withheld? You know what? We're not going to pay that." ... It would say to the government, you know, we're protesting the way you're doing it. I didn't know I was responsible for this bailout. I really didn't know. I wasn't asked about it. There were companies that went under. Aren't we a capitalistic system? Aren't we free to do that?
Below is a complete transcript of the interview from the Wednesday, June 10, Hannity show on FNC:
Business and Media Institute's Dan Gainor appeared on Fox Business News "Money for Breakfast" March 17 to discuss the Obama economic team's performance in the administration's first 50 days.
Gainor dubbed Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner "the worst" because "when he came out and talked about the housing plan that he didn't have, the markets tanked."
Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve Chairman, earned a "B-minus," partly because "he showed his strength on Sunday" during a "60 Minutes" interview. Director of the White House's National Economic Council Larry Summers received a "C grade" for being "not great, not horrible."
Perhaps signaling media impatience with the Obama administration's economic policy, Tuesday's "Good Morning America" featured a challenging look at the performance of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who the show had previously described as "wonky." Reporter Jake Tapper observed that "to some, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's stock has dropped."
Citing the various economic problems that have seemed only to grow in the last few months, Tapper highlighted how Geithner has been criticized for his "thin speech on how to fix the banking crisis and for not winning the confidence of the sinking markets."
In contrast, on November 25, the day after he was announced, GMA correspondent Claire Shipman filed a fawning report on both the new nominee and the man who picked him. She enthused that "insiders say the President-elect and his pick for the top economic spot could have been separated at birth." Citing the Economist, Shipman gushed that both Geithner and Obama "have a hipster, wonky cool about them."
"We got the market top in November 2007 at about 14,000 on the Dow," Navarro explained to co-host Mark Haines. "And we went down to 8,000 over the course of the year. We've been in this sideways pattern since until recently at 8,000. We put the fiscal stimulus in place. We put the bank bailout in place. The market says we don't like it. We break that critical support level."
As Barack Obama's tax-delinquent Treasury pick Tim Geithner appears to be sailing smoothly towards nomination, it seems Caroline Kennedy's once all-but-apparent ascension to the vacant Senate seat for New York seems to be dead in the water and sinking fast.
ALBANY - Problems involving taxes and a household employee surfaced during the vetting of Caroline Kennedy and derailed her candidacy for the Senate, a person close to Gov. David A. Paterson said on Thursday, in an account at odds with Ms. Kennedy’s own description of her reasons for withdrawing.
ABC correspondent Claire Shipman lauded President-Elect Barack Obama’s Treasury Secretary-Designate Tim Geithner on Tuesday’s Good Morning America: “It might not be immediately obvious, but insiders say the President-Elect and his pick for the top economic spot could have been separated at birth.” She later quoted The Economist’s line about the future top bureaucrat, that both Obama and Geithner “have a hipster, wonky cool about them,” and that both “like to relax by shooting hoops.” Shipman even played up the “hipster” label by stating how “[t]he new Treasury Secretary is also known to surf and skateboard.”
Shipman began her report by describing what Obama admired about Geithner, along with a personal anecdote about the federal bureaucrat: “Well, his smarts and his style -- that's what aides say appeal to Barack Obama, and here’s another clue about his character -- he’s an avid amateur photographer, and friends say that very much explains the way he likes to work. He likes to watch, observe, and then act.” She then gave her “separated at birth” line.
Later, the ABC correspondent played three clips of a close friend of Geithner, Professor Justin Rudelson of Dartmouth, who unsurprisingly spoke well of the Treasury Secretary-designate. Then, as Shipman gave some details about how Geithner “married his college sweetheart” and how “his father was his best man,” sweet piano music played in the background, as you might expect in a gushy biography.