January 26, 2008

NY Times Mentions Yours Truly; Of Course, Gets It Wrong

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance — Tom @ 9:28 am

You wouldn’t expect the New York Times (Times links usually require free registration) to refer to work by yours truly without getting it wrong, would you? Why, of course not.

The portion of today’s “Taking the Bears to Task” brief by Times reporter Dan Mitchell that refers to my Wednesday Pajamas Media column (“Is the Downbeat Business Press Right about the Economy?”; also here at BizzyBlog) doesn’t disappoint.

Here is what Mitchell wrote (link is in original):

The mainstream media is also far too pessimistic, according to Tom Blumer, a blogger for Pajamas Media, a right-leaning Web site. On Tuesday, he quoted a routine dispassionate Reuters report about huge drops in stock index futures before the markets opened. The report, which indicated that the coming trading day might see big losses, amounted to “icing the champagne for the late afternoon,” he wrote — a typical case of the media’s seeking to “party hearty on bad news.”

That day, the Dow fell 465 points after the opening bell, then recovered somewhat as it digested the news of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate cut, closing down 128 points.

About that “routine dispassionate report,” which the Times conveniently didn’t link to — Since when does a “dispassionate” news report cover (celebrate?) how a trading day will fit into the record books even before the opening bell has rung?

It is also way too rich that the Times hangs the word “somewhat” on Tuesday’s intraday 337-point, 72% recovery.

The Times’s dictionary apparently defines “somewhat” a bit differently than you and I (Dictionary.com says “in some measure or degree; to some extent,” “to a small degree or extent”).

There’s a reason for that.

You see, NYT stock is also down, uh, “somewhat.” In fact, it’s down by, of all things, 72%, since its all-time high closing price of $52.79 on June 20, 2002:


The stock’s peak coincides roughly with the initial onset of the paper’s case of Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS). The disease first set in ahead of that year’s midterm elections, grew in the runup to the Iraq War vote, and has become ever more chronic since then.

The BDS at the Times is now so bad that on Friday, in its editorial endorsement of John McCain for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, it made these references to our current president:

  • He has been “governing from and on behalf of a small, angry fringe.” (projection, anyone?)
  • He “went AWOL” on September 11.
  • In Iraq, his “unsustainable escalation ….. (has) ….. not led to any change in Iraq’s murderous political calculus.”

As seen above, NYT closed at a once-unthinkable $14.66 on Friday. 5-1/2 years of “progressively” advancing BDS, accompanied by generous helpings of executive mismanagement, will do that. Battered NYT investors can be forgiven for worrying that the disease, rather than going into remission when George Bush leaves office, will instead refocus on another target.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.


UPDATE: Barry Ritholtz at The Big Picture isn’t happy (HT Ironman in Comment 1) with how the Times covered its work either.

For those who will note that Big Pic is bearish, you’re missing the point. Ritholtz’s job is to guess which direction things are going, and to advise and invest accordingly. It’s not Old Media’s job to be bearish, which it has been since, oh, about January 21, 2001.

Positivity: Boys save Mum’s life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:00 am

From New Zealand (video also at link):

Jan 5, 2008 6:49 PM

Two young boys are being hailed as heroes for helping bring their mother back from the dead.

The six and seven-year-olds rang 111 after their mother had a sudden cardiac arrest, then comforted her until help arrived.

There were kisses for mum from sons that saved her life.

Six-year-old Taine Eade and his seven-year-old brother Cullen were watching TV last Friday night when their mother Kendall had a sudden cardiac arrest.

“She stepped over a Toyworld bag and then just collapsed. So I rung up Grandad and he told me to ring 111,” says Cullen.

Cullen grabbed the phone as Kendall lay unconscious in the hallway.

“I just stayed with Mum and I saw her face going a bit purple,” says Taine.

With an ambulance on the way, the pair calmly followed the operator’s instructions.

“The lady that was speaking to me told me to roll her over. But I couldn’t so then she told me to tilt Mum’s head over a little bit and listen for if she was breathing. Well she wasn’t and then the ambulance people arrived,” says Cullen.

Kendall was clinically dead when help arrived. She had to be shocked five times with a defibrillator before her heart restarted.

Medics say the boys’ quick thinking undoubtedly saved her life.

Go here for the rest of the story.