October 7, 2015

Update: ESPN’s Ratings Down 9 Percent in Prime Time in Third Quarter

In a September 23 post (“Impending Layoffs at ESPN Aren’t Only About the ‘Media Landscape’”), I argued that ESPN’s impending decision to lay off hundreds of employees is at least partially due to its determination to stuff political correctness down viewers’ throats.

I noted that the network’s ratings suffered a nearly 30 percent decline from August 2014 to August 2015 — a sea change which begged for an explanation beyond cable industry turmoil. A commenter observed that the network’s ratings were up during a recent week in September, so I said I would look at ratings for entire third quarter when they became available. ESPN’s primetime audience loss spread over the entire quarter was over 9 percent — a result nowhere near as awful as August alone, but certainly nothing to crow about:


September 29, 2015

Shaky: Cecile Richards’ Claim That ‘Less Than 1%’ of PP Clinics Dispose of Fetal Tissue for Compensation

In Congressional testimony Monday and Tuesday, Planned Parenthood head Cecile Richards twisted the truth in several instances.

One of them had to to with how many of its facilities are involved in the provision of fetal tissue for compensation. She may be technically telling the truth about how many are involved at this moment, but it’s clear that far more have been — at least until recently.


September 23, 2015

NPR Story: Hillary Timed Keystone Announcement to Pope’s Visit

It would appear that Hillary Clinton’s act is wearing thin even among the people at that liberal bastion known as NPR.

Tuesday afternoon, the headline at an NPR story about Mrs. Clinton’s sudden decision to publicly announce her opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline project indicated that her announcement was deliberately timed to coincide with Pope Francis’s visit to the United States (HT Stephen Kruiser at PJ Media):


Impending Layoffs at ESPN Aren’t Only About the ‘Media Landscape’

Word on the street is that ESPN is planning to lay off “200 to 300″ employees in the coming months.

The go-to euphemism surrounding the impending layoffs, according to Variety’s Brian Steinberg, is “the changing media landscape,” primarily the “cord-cutting” phenomenon. In July, the Big Lead blog, in discussing Keith Olbermann’s expected departure from ESPN, explained that “millennials are eschewing expensive cable TV bills and streaming everything online.” While that might explain flat viewership or even a modest decline, cord-cutting is only a minor part of the problem. Someone needs to explain why ESPN’s ratings have fallen by a stunning 30 percent in the past 12 months.


September 22, 2015

AP: CMP Videos Merely Describe PP ‘Sending Fetal Tissue to Researchers’

The Associated Press, serving as the left’s de facto Praetorian guard, came through for its abortion-supporting masters once again today.

The wire service’s Alan Fram, in a sentence describing the Center for Medical Progress’s Planned Parenthood videos, told readers that they show “how they sometimes send fetal tissue to medical researchers” without noting that doing so routinely generates money for the organization.


September 20, 2015

NY Times Cohosts ‘Oil and Money’ Conference; Iranian Oil Minister to Attend

A year ago, Tim Graham at NewsBusters noted that the New York Times was “offering 13-day tours of Iran guided by Times journalist Elaine Sciolino” at the bargain rate of $6,995 per person. Among other things, it promised “excellent insights into … (the) life and accomplishments” of Ayatollah Khomeini, the ruthless Islamist leader who posed as a liberator, but then imposed a fundamentalist Islamic state after taking control of that country in the late 1970s. Those tours are still active, and popular.

Given that background, I suppose we really shouldn’t all that surprised that Ira Stoller at SmarterTimes.com reported a related development this morning. With the imminent lifting of Western sanctions against Iran, the ever-opportunistic International division of the Times is cohosting an October 6-7 “Oil and Money” conference in London (I promise, I’m not making this up). There, among other things, industry decisionmakers can schmooze with “H.E. Seyed Mehdi Hosseini, chairman of the Oil Contract Restructuring Committee at the Iranian Ministry of Petroleum.”


September 5, 2015

AP Tech Writer Gives Colluding Companies an Unearned Free Pass

Here’s a little parlor exercise readers can conduct with their friends who think that high-tech CEOs are the innovative saints of the universe.

The game would be to take the first three paragraphs of Michael Liedtke’s Associated Press report on the collusion settlement to which that industry’s major players just acquiesced, and revise it to reflect a different industry far less favored by the press. Then accurately point out the following: “There is no way this industry would gotten as much sympathy from the press as the AP gave these high-tech titans.” After the jump, readers will see how I revised the AP’s original first three paragraphs as if the settlement occurred in the oil industry, followed by what the AP’s Liedtke actually wrote Thursday afternoon:


August 26, 2015

AP Drags Bush 43 Into Coverage of IG’s Report on Solyndra

Almost four years ago, solar energy manufacturer Solyndra filed for bankruptcy, leaving the federal government with a loan guarantee-related loss of up to $535 million.

The Energy Department’s inspector general released a report on the debacle today. At the Associated Press, reporter Kevin Freking made sure readers knew that the loan guarantee program began under President George W. Bush, but somehow “forgot” to note, as the Weekly Standard did at the time, that the Energy Department under Bush made a “unanimous decision to shelve Solyndra’s application two weeks before Obama took office.”


August 25, 2015

Apple Gets Kid-Glove Treatment After CEO Emails CNBC’s Jim Cramer About Its China Business

It doesn’t seem likely that an oil company CEO would get the benefit of the doubt Apple CEO Tim Cook received from the press yesterday after he emailed well-known financial commentator and investment adviser Jim Cramer about his company’s performance in China.

In an email read over the air on CNBC, Cook reported that “we have continued to experience strong growth for our business in China through July and August.” The question is whether, by providing this private disclosure, Cook violated U.S. “fair disclosure” regulations requiring that “materal information” be disclosed to the public.


August 22, 2015

Defending Planned Parenthood, LA Times Relays ‘Abortion Is 3 Pct. of Its Services’ Myth

Earlier today, I noted that Los Angeles Times reporter Maria L. La Ganga compared the heroic undercover work done by investigators at the Center for Medical Progress to the 2004 efforts of the Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth. She meant it as a negative, claiming that the Swift Vets’ assertions about Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry’s service in Vietnam and his antiwar activities after he returned home are “considered by many one of the ugliest, most unfair attacks in recent political memory.” She even claimed — knowingly engaging in falsehood, in my opinion — that “the Swift boat claims were later discredited.” Sorry, ma’am. The Swift Vets’ truths stand tall to this today.

Though the Times Seattle bureau chief doesn’t reference it in her writeup, an Associated Press chart contained therein relays a falsehood Planned Parenthood routinely promotes. This one claims that “Abortion is 3 percent of Planned Parenthood Services”:


August 17, 2015

Japan’s Over-’Stimulated’ Economy Contracts Again, and the Supposed Solution Is More ‘Stimulus’

Japan, once a feared world economic powerhouse already at “two decades of little or no real economic growth,” just reported that its economy contracted during the second quarter at an annual rate of 1.6 percent.

The common thread throughout the two-decade slump has been the alleged need for ever-increasing levels of Keynesian “stimulus.” Apparently refusing to believe there are any other viable alternatives to what hasn’t worked for 20 years, the world’s press is expecting — and creating pressure for — even more “stimulus.”


August 11, 2015

AP and Reuters Ignore Likely Impact of Bloated Inventories on Future Growth

Two wire service dispatches covering the government’s June Wholesale Sales and Inventories release either glossed over or completely ignored what others are saying about the report’s impact on near-term economic growth.

The final sentence of an unbylined Reuters report vaguely referred to future impact by indicating that current inventory balances, which are bloated by historical standards, “would weigh on manufacturing and economic growth” (i.e., have a negative impact). Both Reuters and the AP’s Josh Boak completely ignored a leading GDP forecaster’s estimate that inventory buildups seen during the second quarter will cause a significant third-quarter pullback which will also knock down third-quarter economic growth considerably — and that was before today’s news that the June buildup was even greater than expected. Boak’s report also contained an utterly unsupportable “things are getting better” statement.


July 31, 2015

More Deadpan Humor at AP: Concern That We’re ‘Entering … Historically Slow Growth’

These economics reporters at the Associated Press have become experts at deadpan humor.

Earlier today, I noted how the wire service’s Christopher Rugaber told readers, in the wake of a government report showing the lowest wage and benefit increases on record, that “the job market is not yet back to full health.” No kidding, Chris. On top of that, the AP’s Martin Crutsinger reacted to yesterday’s tepid report on gross domestic product, which was accompanied by significant downward revisions to the past three years, by expressing “concerns that the U.S. economy has entered a period of historically slow growth.” Dude, we have been living through historically slow growth for six years, ever since the recession officially ended in the middle of 2009.


Delusional AP: ‘Job Market Is Not Yet Back to Full Health’

Christopher Rugaber at the Associated Press and the “expert” he quoted in his writeup on the government’s awful Employment Cost Index report seemed to be taking their cues from Steven Wright’s deadpan comedy act. The problem, of course, is that they were writing and saying isn’t funny at all.

Rugaber, with his “expert” help, assembled an impressive array of understatements and misstatements in the wake of the smallest reported quarterly increase in U.S. worker pay on record. His worst characterization: “[T]he job market is not yet back to full health.”


July 29, 2015

And Today’s Winner of the Internet Is …

Filed under: Business Moves,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:24 pm

“Chris Burke,” who, in response to a ghastly, truly sick tweet from former Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, had this to say: