October 10, 2015

NY Times Backs Away From Doubting Jewish Temples’ Existence

In an October 8 item at the New York Times (“Historical Certainty Proves Elusive at Jerusalem’s Holiest Place”), reporter Rick Gladstone pretended that it’s an open question as to “whether” the two Jewish temples — one destroyed over 2,500 years ago and the second razed in roughly 60 A.D., ever existed on the 37-acre site known as the Temple Mount. In doing so, Gladstone gave credibility to Palestinians baselessly promoting “doubt that the temples ever existed — at least in that location.”

There is no meaningful “doubt” on the subject at all. After what must have been a furious and completely justified backlash, the Times issued a correction on Friday (bold is mine):


October 9, 2015

GQ Columnist: F*ck Ben Carson

Drew Magary is a regular columnist at GQ.com.

Apparently Magary, his editors and the publication’s management have forgotten or don’t care about what the “G” in GQ is supposed to stand for. Both the headline and the content of the writer’s latest column flunk the “gentlemen’s” test.


October 8, 2015

Will Press Cover State Dept. Envoy Declaring Putin’s Involvement Shows Obama’s Syria Policy Is a Success?

It seems more than fair to say that establishment press coverage of the deteriorating situation in Syria has been much lighter than what we’d see if a Republican or conservatives was in the Oval Office. Additionally, what has been reported in the admittedly complicated situation has been confusing at best and misleading at worst.

There was a moment of disconcerting clarity today which, if reported, should disturb even those Americans who only have a vague understanding of what’s going on in that country. As reported by Tim Mak and Nancy A. Youssef at The Daily Beast:


Cass Sunstein’s ‘Just Embarrassing’ Revisionist Second Amendment History

Did you know that the “The Gun Lobby Rewrote the Second Amendment”?

No, really. Even though not a single word contained in that amendment has changed in over 220 years, you should believe it because former Obama administration official Cass Sunstein said so at Bloomberg View on Wednesday.


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:


AP Taylor Touts ‘Improved’ Fiscal 2015 Deficit, Ignores Record Taxes, Spending

Over at the Associated Press, Andrew Taylor, contrary to the wire service’s usual practice, referenced a pre-official Congressional Budget Office report to tout the federal government’s “improved” budget deficit. The CBO estimates that the deficit, which won’t become official until the Treasury Department releases its final Monthly Treasury Statement of the fiscal year in the next week or two, will come in at $435 billion.

Predictably, Taylor didn’t disclose three facts he could easily have relayed in his brief report’s available space, instead choosing to create artificial drama over deadlines which are three weeks and two months away, respectively:


Press Ignoring Unsettling News For Global Warming’s True Believers

On Saturday, conservative Australian columnist Miranda Devine revealed that an Australian engineer claims to have “fixed two errors” in “the basic climate model which underpins all climate science.”

The person making this claim was a “climate modeller for the Government’s Australian Greenhouse Office,” and has “six degrees in applied mathematics.” What he found is that “the new corrected model finds the climate’s sensitivity to carbon dioxide (CO2) is much lower than was thought.” While some U.S. blogs have begun to relay the news (examples here, here and here), the nation’s establishment press is ignoring it.


October 6, 2015

AP’s Borenstein Uses Tortured ‘Analysis’ to Estimate ‘Likely’ Deaths From VW’s Emissions Cheat

A story by Seth Borenstein at the Associated Press (“AP ANALYSIS: VW EVASION LIKELY LED TO DOZENS OF DEATHS”), originally published on Saturday but currently carrying a Monday morning time stamp, claims that “Volkswagen’s pollution-control chicanery” has been responsible for “killing between five and 20 people in the United States annually in recent years.” Those results, based on an AP “statistical and computer analysis,” “cleverly” recast the effort’s raw results of “somewhere between 16 and 94 deaths over seven years.”

Given how poorly supposedly sacrosanct computer models have done in predicting “global warming” trends, and how gullible journalists, especially Borenstein, have been all these years about them, it seemed quite wise to treat his VW “analysis” with caution. In an op-ed at Investor’s Business Daily yesterday, Michael Fumento has demonstrated that such skepticism was warranted, and that the outrage over VW’s ruse, though wholly justified, is wildly out of proportion to the damage it has done.


October 5, 2015

Not News: Obama’s Planned Visit to Roseburg, Ore. ‘Not Welcome’ There

Items found at the Associated Press, the New York Times and the Washington Post, in reporting that President Obama plans to visit Roseburg, Oregon later this week, have all failed to report that community leaders have said that his visit is not welcome.

The 4:10 p.m. PT (7:10 PM ET) entry at a running timeline at AP announced that “Barack Obama will travel to Oregon this week to visit privately with families of the victims of last week’s shooting at a community college.” None of the four previous items in the timeline as of 9:00 PM ET tonight (saved here for future reference) mentions that town leaders, who believe they are appropriately expressing the community’s sentiments, would prefer that he stay away.


October 4, 2015

They Do Have Editors, Right? NY Times Issues Six Corrections to Melania Trump Story

One of the more tiresome criticisms the establishment press still levels at New Media from time to time is that they, unlike those awful bloggers, make sure their facts are right before they go to print or post a story online.

A story published at the New York Times on Wednesday about Donald Trump’s wife Melania shows what obvious rubbish that claim often is. The Old Gray Lady had to issue six corrections over two days to (one would hope) finally get it right. One of the errors was so pathetically obvious that it’s hard to imagine that Guy Trebay’s story was subjected at all to the scrutiny of an editor.


Press Yawns As U.S. PR Firm Flaks for Venezuela’s Oppressive Government

Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro presides over a country which is falling apart thanks to the socialist policies of his government and that of his predecessor Hugo Chavez. The Economist describes the period since Chavez took over in 1998 as that of “authoritarian misrule” characterized by “by shortages of everything from poultry to pharmaceuticals, by inflation approaching 200% and by rampant corruption and crime.”

It also cites the country’s “dwindling cash reserves.” Given the situation, the fact that a U.S.-based PR firm has recently and eagerly taken on the task of trying to make Maduro look good should be seen as appalling. But that hasn’t been the case. The apparent silence of some of this PR firm’s leftist clients arguably demonstrates their tacit support for obvious oppression as long as the one engaging in it is a socialist. What little press coverage there has been of this firm’s association with Maduro has been neutral to laudatory.


October 3, 2015

Raw Jobs Numbers the Press Won’t Disclose Paint an Even Uglier Picture Than Currently Reported

In their coverage of government and other economic reports, the business press routinely tells readers that the figures they are relaying are “seasonally adjusted.” That is, raw results are smoothed out to supposedly “remove normal, recurring variations” in data.

There’s one notable exception: The government’s monthly employment report. As has been their habit for as long as I have been following these things, various Associated Press reports in the past several days (examples here, here and here) and at yesterday’s New York Times failed to tag yesterday’s reported gain in payroll jobs of 142,000 as “seasonally adjusted.” There appears to be no reason for this other than to discourage curiosity among those who might otherwise be inclined to dig deeper. Doing so sometimes reveals that the seasonally adjusted figures understate the job market’s strength. Other times, they appear to overstate it. As seen after the jump, especially in the private sector, the poor seasonally adjusted results of the past two months are nowhere near as bad as the underlying raw data:


AP, NY Times Fail to Report Absence of Power, Kerry From Netanyahu UN Speech

On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the United Nations. As described by George Jahn at the Associated Press, it was “an impassioned speech interspersed with bouts of dramatic silence.”

Jahn failed to report the absence of U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power and Secretary of State John Kerry. So did Rick Gladstone and Judi Rudoren at the New York Times. An unbylined Reuters report drily noted that U.S. representation at Netanyahu’s speech consisted of “Ambassador Samantha Power’s deputy, David Pressman, and U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro.” Breitbart also noted the presence of “Richard Erdman, Alternate Representative to the UN General Assembly.” Reuters uniquely explained why Power and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who was in town, did not attend (bolds are mine throughout this post):


October 2, 2015

Not News at AP: 10 Straight Months of Declines in Factory Orders and Shipments

Although it was very disappointing, the September Employment Situation Summary, which told us that the economy added only 142,000 seasonally adjusted jobs as hundreds of thousands of Americans withdrew from the labor force, was not the worst economy-related news of the day.

That dubious honor belongs to the Census Bureau’s Factory Orders report. At least the employment report showed more people holding payroll jobs and overall August payroll employment 2 percent greater than a year ago. By contrast the Census report continued a nearly year-long pattern of declining year-over-year orders and shipments accompanied by still-bloated inventories. As anyone could have predicted, Martin Crutsinger at the Associated Press completely ignored these alarming trends.


September 30, 2015

Press Ignoring Blatant Conflicts of Interest Exposed in CBS Benghazi Coverage

Apparently, the establishment press is waiting for its marching orders on how to handle what an Investor’s Business Daily editorial has already called a “scandal.”

This one’s a joint effort involving Hillary Clinton, Sidney Blumenthal, a recently deceased former CIA operative named Tyler Drumheller who worked with Blumenthal — and CBS News. As Mark Hemingway at the Weekly Standard reported Tuesday afternoon (i.e., now approaching two overnight news cycles ago), “Drumheller, the former chief of the CIA’s clandestine service in Europe who was working directly with Blumenthal as a member of Clinton’s spy network, was concurrently working as a consultant to CBS News and its venerable news program 60 Minutes. IBD’s question, reacting to Hemingway’s report: “Who is more corrupt, Clinton or the mainstream media?”