November 12, 2010

Big 3 Nets’ Evening News Election and Pre-Election Week Audiences Down Nearly 20% From 2006

ENLogos_413Along with the cheerful news that Fox News trounced its cable news competitors on Election Night (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), those longing for more fairness and balance in television news coverage can take some comfort in the fact that the Big Three Networks’ evening news shows came in with audiences almost 20% lower during the week before and the week of the 2010 midterm elections compared to the same two weeks in 2006.

As seen below, NBC took the smallest hit of the three networks, losing an average of “only” 1.2 million viewers in the two comparative weeks involved. ABC got hit harder, while CBS lost nearly 3 in 10 viewers:

EveningNews2010vs2006midterms

Combine the above with the news of Fox’s 2006-2010 improvement, CNN’s serious decline, and MSNBC a stable but still-distant third, and it’s clear that viewers continue to move towards fair and balanced coverage.

Faster, please.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

NYT Print Edition G-20 Headline (‘Obama’s Economic View Is Rejected’) Watered Down Online

NYTobamaRejHline111210Rush mentioned this when he opened his show today, and it deserves a bit of graphic support.

The graphic at the top right is a picture of the top right corner of today’s New York Times print edition (it’s also here at the Times until tomorrow’s print edition comes out, and graphically captured here for future reference).

The headline, as you can see, is: “Obama’s Economic View Is Rejected on World Stage.” Ouch. But there’s also a story about the story, specifically concerning its stinging headline.

The headline’s harsh assessment was apparently too much for someone involved with the Times’s online operations to handle. After appearing for several hours with the original headline (we know this because the story containing the print edition headline was commented upon just before 10:00 p.m. last night at Lucianne.com, among many other blogs and web sites, before the print edition appeared), the online headline was changed to “Obama’s Trade Strategy Runs Into Stiff Resistance.” Zheesh.

Well, at least the story by Sewell Chan, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and David E. Sanger appears not to have changed — yet. The San Jose Mercury News picked up the first seven paragraphs online with the original headline, and the text matches what the Times currently has.

Here are the first five paragraphs of the story, including the critical fourth paragraph, which logically led to the use of the headline originally employed:

President Obama’s hopes of emerging from his Asia trip with the twin victories of a free trade agreement with South Korea and a unified approach to spurring economic growth around the world ran into resistance on all fronts on Thursday, putting Mr. Obama at odds with his key allies and largest trading partners.

The most concrete trophy expected to emerge from the trip eluded his grasp: a long-delayed free trade agreement with South Korea, first negotiated by the Bush administration and then reopened by Mr. Obama, to have greater protections for American workers.

And as officials frenetically tried to paper over differences among the Group of 20 members with a vaguely worded communiqué to be issued Friday, there was no way to avoid discussion of the fundamental differences of economic strategy. After five largely harmonious meetings in the past two years to deal with the most severe downturn since the Depression, major disputes broke out between Washington and China, Britain, Germany and Brazil.

Each rejected core elements of Mr. Obama’s strategy of stimulating growth before focusing on deficit reduction. Several major nations continued to accuse the Federal Reserve of deliberately devaluing the dollar last week in an effort to put the costs of America’s competitive troubles on trading partners, rather than taking politically tough measures to rein in spending at home.

The result was that Mr. Obama repeatedly found himself on the defensive. He and the South Korean president, Lee Myung-bak, had vowed to complete the trade pact by the time they met here; while Mr. Obama insisted that it would be resolved “in a matter of weeks,” without the pressure of a summit meeting it was unclear how the hurdles on nontariff barriers to American cars and beef would be resolved.

I have a feeling that someone at the Times might be in deep doo-doo with Pinch Sulzberger & Co. Chan, Stolberg, and Sanger might also be squirming a bit.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

AP Howler: BP Spill Handling a ‘Stain’ on Admin’s ‘Reputation for Relying on Science’

burning-oil-rig-explosion-fire-photo11Thursday evening, Ken Shepherd at NewsBusters accurately pointed out how little establishment press interest there has been in prominently carrying an Associated Press report about how the Obama administration has been, in the words of the wire service’s Dina Cappiello, “downplaying scientific findings, misrepresenting data and most recently misconstruing the opinions of experts it solicited.”

This is not to excuse those who have given her report short shrift, but the AP and Cappiello herself did their level best to try to minimize the significance of what was to come in their headline and first paragraph, respectively:

Govt’s handling of science on oil spill questioned

The oil spill that damaged the Gulf of Mexico’s reefs and wetlands is also threatening to stain the Obama administration’s reputation for relying on science to guide policy.

First, as to the “Please don’t read this, it’s really boring” headline:

  • This isn’t about some abstract entity known as the “Gov’t.” It’s about a presidential administration headed by Barack Obama and populated with environmental extremists like Carol Browner and Ken Salazar. The headlines during Hurricane Katrina were about “the government.” No, they were about George W. Bush’s alleged mishandling of the situation (which was in reality largely the fault of Louisiana’s governor and the mayor New Orleans.
  • “Handling of science of oil spill” — How about “misrepresenting facts of oil spill”?
  • “Questioned” — What a weasel word. How about “criticized,” “skewered,” “condemned,” or “faulted”?

As to the administration’s “reputation for relying on science,” since when?

To name just three examples:

  • The administration continues to push for radical controls over almost everything anyone does in the form of cap and trade legislation based on scientifically unsupported and largely discredited notions relating to supposedly human-caused global warming — er, climate change — oh, I meant climate disruption.
  • The administration continues to support life-destroying embryonic stem cell research when adult stem cell research is where virtually all meaningful medical progress has been achieved.
  • It deliberately modified the Bush administration’s successful PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) program for fighting AIDS in Africa to minimize and mostly exclude abstinence education, even though “No generalized HIV epidemic has ever been rolled back by a prevention strategy primarily based on condoms.”

Cappiello’s first paragraph attempts to tell readers that what follows in the rest of her report represents a rare exception. Sorry, ma’am, it’s more like the rule.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Lickety-Split Links (111210, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:43 am

Uncle Sam’s Monthly Treasury Statement for October, typically a very slow month for collections, shows that the government took in $146 billion during the month, up 8% from $135.2 billion in October 2009.

That’s nice, but to get to the Congressional Budget Office’s projected $2.648 trillion in receipts (go to Page 3 at link) by the time the fiscal year ends on September 30, 2011, collections will have to increase by 22.5% over fiscal 2009′s $2.162 trillion.

In other words, they’re already running way behind (by about $18 billion — no, make that almost $20 billion) where they need to be to keep the coming year’s deficit from being higher than the projected $1.066 trillion.

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You have to wonder if this is what rank and file UAW workers expected when their leadership ran to the loving arms of the Obama administration for $50 billion to bail out bankrupt General Motors last year:

General Motors Co is in the final stage of talks to sell equity to long-time Chinese partner SAIC Motor Corp in conjunction with its landmark initial public offering, two people familiar with the matter said.

The two government-funded automakers are currently finalizing how much of a stake SAIC would buy in the top U.S. automaker after discussions involving technology sharing and SAIC’s ambitions to move beyond the China market, the sources said.

You also have to wonder, given that both governments are involved, if there isn’t an implied Chinese threat to stop buying U.S. bonds lurking in the background of these discussions — or even a specifically stated up-front threat.

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At Pajamas Media, Zombie has the definitive pair of posts on gerrymandering:

The second post also has a number of runners-up.

They are must reads. They are not necessarily enjoyable. In fact, they are infuriating.

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From the “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” Dept.:

Obama panel probes stimulus waste — at Ritz Carlton

Members of a key panel created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the stimulus bill, have scheduled a meeting on November 22 to consider ways to prevent “fraud, waste, and abuse of Recovery Act funds.” The meeting will be held at the super-luxe Ritz Carlton Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona.

The group is the Recovery Independent Advisory Panel, a sub-committee of the larger Recovery Accountability and Transparency board (sometimes known as the RAT board). The stimulus bill set up the Recovery Independent Advisory Panel, or RIAP, to make recommendations to identify and prevent waste of the bill’s $814 billion in stimulus spending.

Okay, the choice of venue is obviously offensive.

But isn’t it far more offensive that they’re finally coming up with “recommendations to identify and prevent waste” 21 months after the stimulus bill became law? It’s a little late for the “prevent” part.

Positivity: Pro-Life Movement Made Big Gains in State Legislatures

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 7:00 am

From Life News in Washington:

11/11/10 2:29 PM

Of course it was huge news last week that the GOP made tremendous gains in Congress, but those election results seem to have drown out an even more impressive wave in state legislatures.

Republicans picked up 680 seats which is the largest ever for them. The only other turnover that comes close was the 1974 elections following the Watergate scandal in which Democrats picked up 628 seats in state legislatures.

This is of vital importance to pro-lifers because chances of passing pro-life legislation are dead in the water in legislatures controlled by pro-abortion Democrats. There are a total of 99 state-level chambers [houses and senates]. After the mid-term elections, the GOP has majorities in 58. For some states, this is the first time the GOP has had control of both chambers.

Thus it is immensely important to maintain focus and coordination to ensure that the pro-life movement capitalizes on these conditions to advance the cause. …

Go here for the rest of the story.