December 18, 2014

Fox’s Shepard Smith Hopes Cuba Relations Thaw Doesn’t ‘Ruin the Place’

Those who rail at Fox News for allegedly being a haven of unbridled, uninterrupted conservatism usually and conveniently fail to remember that Shepard Smith is there.

Smith’s take yesterday on the potential pitfalls of a thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations, particularly on the commercial front, was nothing short of astonishing. His primary fear, expressed in an interview with Gerri Willis of the Fox Business Network, is that the new arrangements might “ruin the place.” It would be “the last thing they need” to see “Taco Bell and Lowes” locations there. Smith also posed as a market analyst, wondering if the Dow was up 300 points because of President Obama’s related announcement. Video (HT Mediaite and PJ Media’s Ed Driscoll) and a transcript follow the jump:

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December 15, 2014

Politico Mag Writer Describes Center-Right Sites With More Traffic As ‘Fringier’

One of the more amusing aspects of observing today left-biased establishment media environment is seeing agenda-driven journalists directly or indirectly convey a clearly inflated sense of their outlets’ self-importance.

A recent example of this came Friday from Jacob Silverman at Politico Magazine. In his writeup on conservative firebrand Charles Johnson, Silverman employed the comparative version of a word – “fringy” – rarely used in the political realm. Silverman described Breitbart and The Blaze as “even fringier” than … well, let’s try to figure that one out.

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December 14, 2014

AP Reporter Thinks We’re Thrilled to Be ‘Finally Getting One Over’ on Gas Stations

Here’s a small window into a journalist’s mindset.

In a report on how lower gas prices are affecting the companies operating retail gas stations, Associated Press reporter John Fahey revealed his apparent believes that there are millions of us walking around, perhaps including him, obsessed with getting back at gas station owners for charging us so much at fill-up time for years:

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December 10, 2014

Year 10 Christmas/Holiday Layoff and Shopping Searches: Round 2

Background behind these annual searches is here and here.

Here are the results of this year’s first round of searches:

Here goes (for the past month; searches done at about 8 PM ET on December 10):

That is still the lowest “Christmas” component ever. The lowest-ever result for a full Christmas season (three searches) was 8.5% in 2012. The press seems determined to separate “shopping” from the reason for the season, and is apparently getting more successful at doing so.

Now on to the second set of searches (for the past month):

  • Christmas layoffs (not in quotes, also excluding the word “challenger” to ensure that about 30 items relating to the mass layoffs report issued by Challenger & Christmas were exluded) — 40,500 (27.6%)
  • Holiday layoffs (not in quotes) — 26,700 (18.2%)
  • Holidays layoffs (not in quotes) — 79,300 (54.2%)

As has been the case in previous years, the press is far more likely to use “Christmas” in connection with layoffs (4 times as likely in the most recent set — 27.6% vs. 6.7%), an obviously negative thing, than it is to use “Christmas” in connection with shopping and commerce, a generally positive or neutral thing.

The third search will take place in roughly two weeks.

December 8, 2014

Thin Gruel: AP Hypes How ‘Job Market Hits a Turning Point’

Friday’s Employment Situation Summary contained one strong element: In November, the economy added 321,000 seasonally adjusted payroll jobs. That’s not insignificant, but that news, especially in the report’s full context, certainly didn’t justify the level of elation seen in much of the press.

Predictably, the Associated Press found a specious reason to characterize the government’s report as signifying a “turning point.” Get a load of why: “For the first time since the Great Recession ended 5-1/2 years ago, America’s unemployed are now as likely to be hired as to stop looking for a job.” In other words, for the first time in 65 months, what people would expect to be a normal situation finally occurred.

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December 2, 2014

While Media Obsesses Over GOP Aide Criticizing Obama’s Children, Dems Openly Sell Hate, Authoritarianism

Yesterday, I received an email from the Democratic National Committee informing me that they had a “Cyber Monday surprise” just for me.

How nice. All I had to do was click on the link to store.democrats.org. After the jump, readers will see the store’s apparent “best sellers,” raising a quite obvious question: Does anyone think the press would ignore analogous items on sale in a GOP store?

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November 28, 2014

OUR Walmart Demands Chain Pay $15/Hr., While UFCW-Unionized Kroger Pays Far Less

In a Tuesday column originally appearing at RealClearMarkets.com (found in more readable form at Economics21.org), the Manhattan Institute’s Diana Furchtgott-Roth tore into the hypocrites at OUR Walmart, the union-backed effort to intimidate the nation’s largest retailer into paying all employees at least $15 per hour.

In the process, Furchtgott-Roth noted a particularly important fact which I have yet to see reported elsewhere in the organized labor-sympathetic establishment press about the United Food and Commerical Workers (UFCW), one of the primary backers of today’s OUR Walmart Black Friday protests. While UFCW demands $15 per hour for Walmart employees, many of its own members at other grocery chains often earn nowhere near that (bolds are mine):

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November 26, 2014

AP Report on Venezuela Touts How Chronic Shortages ‘Bury Mindless Consumerism’

It’s amazing how any reporter can cover the deepening economic crisis in Venezuela without saying a word about how the country got there.

But Associated Press reporter Hannah Dreier was up to the task. In a bizarre, sickening November 20 report on how its people are having to get “creative” in the face of chronic shortages of basic goods to get by, she acted as if those shortages — and the over five decades of worse problems in Cuba — somehow just happened.

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November 25, 2014

AP’s Kurtenbach Stunned That Japan Is in Recession Again Despite ‘Unprecedented Stimulus’

After reading Elaine Kurtenbach’s coverage of how Japan’s latest dive into yet another recession is affecting young people there, I can only say, “The Keynesian koolaid is strong in this one.”

The AP reporter’s headline says that the recession was “unexpected,” and her first sentence calls it “a surprise.” Anyone watching economic events in the country, and I think that’s supposed to include her, should have known it was imminent. Kurtenbach, and apparently every other Keynesian koolaid drinker is shocked — shocked, I tell you! — that the recession occurred despite “unprecedented stimulus,” and believes that young Japanese really, really want yet another tax increase (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

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Year 10 Christmas/Holiday Layoff and Shopping Searches: Round 1

Background behind these annual searches is here and here.

Here are the results of this year’s first round of searches:

Here goes (for the past month):

That is the lowest “Christmas” component ever. The lowest-ever result for a full Christmas season (three searches) was 8.5% in 2012. The press seems determined to separate “shopping” from the reason for the season.

Now on to the second set of searches (for the past month):

  • Christmas layoffs (not in quotes, also excluding the word “challenger” to ensure that about 30 items relating to the mass layoffs report issued by Challenger & Christmas were exluded) — 14,500 (27.5%)
  • Holiday layoffs (not in quotes) — 22,400 (42.5%)
  • Holidays layoffs (not in quotes) — 15,800 (30.0%)

As has been the case in previous years, the press is far more likely to use “Christmas” in connection with layoffs (4 times as likely in the most recent set — 27.5% vs. 7%), an obviously negative thing, than it is to use “Christmas” in connection with shopping and commerce, a generally positive or neutral thing.

Additional searches will take place in roughly two and four weeks.

November 24, 2014

On Cosby … It Seems Like They Knew

… someone I knew contended last week that the nearly instant distancing from Bill Cosby by outfits like NBC, TVLand, and others was a red flag that industry players knew about what he had been up to all along but had kept silent to keep the gravy train running on schedule.

To me, this item arguably confirms that take as quite prescient (HT Ed Driscoll):

EXCLUSIVE: Ex-NBC employee Frank Scotti claims Bill Cosby paid off women, invited young models to dressing room as he stood guard

Veteran NBC employee Frank Scotti says he helped Bill Cosby deliver thousands of dollars to eight different women in 1989-90 – including Shawn Thompson, whose daughter Autumn Jackson claimed the actor was her dad. The ex-aide also tells the Daily News he stood guard whenever Cosby invited young models to his dressing room, which eventually led him to quitting after years on the job.

Driscoll notes previous instances of horrid behavior by NBC stars, e.g., John Belushi, Garrett Morris, Alec Baldwin — again, ignored as long as they were delivering audiences and dollars.

As Ed writes: “Anything as long as the show goes on.”

So why do we let the news divisions at NBC and other networks oh so selectively lecture us on the moral uprightness of center-right politicians and public figures while ignoring far more horrid behavior on the left and far-left?

The response: Don’t watch.

_____________________________________

UPDATE: Instapundit
— “When it was Arkansas State Troopers, nobody believed this kind of story.”

November 20, 2014

Ohio Press Buys Fed’s Hokey Claim That Extended Jobless Benefits Didn’t Hurt Economy

Boy, it’s a good thing that the unemployment benefits Congress continued to extend during most of the first five-plus years of Barack Obama’s presidency didn’t hurt the economy much.

A study commissioned by the Cleveland branch of the Federal Reserve concluded that extended benefits “only account for a fraction of the actual increase in the unemployment rate.” The allegedly minimal impact of that “fraction” follows the jump.

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November 18, 2014

Another Keynesian Fail: Japan ‘Unexpectedly’ Falls Into Another Recession

There were several more of those infamous “U-word” (“unexpectedly”) sightings yesterday in the business press, as Japan — to the surprise of no one who has successfully avoided the Keynesian koolaid — reported that its economy shrank for the second quarter in a row, officially falling yet another recession.

The U-word hit the trifecta, appearing in reports at the Associated Press, Bloomberg and Reuters.

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NYT Editorial Calls Gruber’s Obamacare Role ‘Limited’; Past Times Articles Disagree

The New York Times wants America to ignore Jonathan Gruber. Pay no attention to that architect behind the curtain!

Scott Whitlock at NewsBusters noted earlier today that a Times editorial on Jonathan “stupid voters” Gruber claims that the MIT economist was not an important player in the law’s creation. The Times now insists that “In truth, his role was limited.” The trouble is, Times reporters and columnists have paid quite a bit of attention to Gruber and the importance of his role in the creation, passage and defense of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, during the past five years.

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November 13, 2014

AP Coverage of Tobacco Ban Town Hearing Makes It Look Like Crowd Shut It Down

Amy Crawford of the Associated Press, who wrote the wire service’s original Sunday story about a proposed first-in-the-nation ban on the sale of all tobacco products in the town of Westminster, Massachusetts, covered the town’s Wednesday night public hearing.

While it’s nice that Crawford followed up on her original story, her opening paragraph, based on the facts as I understand them and coverage I have seen elsewhere, was very misleading:

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