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.”
Those who are expecting Americans to start lining up in droves to buy houses with all the money they’re earning from all of the supposedly “robust job growth” and “solid hiring” going on are going to be disappointed with this news:
Compensation costs for civilian workers was little changed at 0.2 percent, seasonally adjusted, for the 3-month period ending June 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Wages and salaries (which make up about 70 percent of compensation costs) was also little changed at 0.2 percent, and benefits (which make up the remaining 30 percent of compensation) was little changed at 0.1 percent.
Our friendly Bureau of Labor Statistics “somehow” forgot to tell us that this was “the weakest US wage growth since records begain in 1982 and half as slow as the weakest of 57 economist estimates.”
Bloomberg News wrote that the news was “dashing projections that an improving labor market would boost pay.” Uh, maybe that’s because the labor market isn’t genuinely “improving.”
Ohio’s newspapers have reported that two state legislators, one Democrat and one Republican, are cosponsoring a bill to defund Planned Parenthood in the Buckeye State. But they have mostly failed to note the key points made by Cleveland Democrat Bill Patmon in his inspiring, passionate speech at an Ohio Right to Life rally announcing his cosponsorship.
You see, Mr. Patmon is black, and he has had it up to here with the hypocrisy of the “Black Lives Matter” movement, especially in their failure to denounce the disproportionate slaughter in the U.S. of black babies through abortion.
The bar-lowering in the business press continues.
In the wake of today’s disappointing news from the government on U.S. economic growth, an email from CNNMoney.com failed to properly describe reported second-quarter growth, and falsely characterized today’s results as “solid”:
On his Tuesday night show, with the help of Kelly Riddell of the Washington Times, Bill O’Reilly of Fox News described how the “Black Lives Matter” movement sustains itself. The rest of the press wants readers, listeners and viewers to presume that it is a self-sustaining, grass-roots movement. It isn’t.
O’Reilly also noted that megastars Jay-Z and Beyoncé, numbers 28 and 29, respectively, on the Forbes list of top-paid celebrities, are supporting the movement, which describes itself as “grass-roots” but is really the ultimate in Astroturf. Also at the end of this post, following up on one I did on ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith last week, I have posted Smith’s original six-minute radio-show rant on how selective and tyrannical the movement is.
The news out of Venezuela has apparently become so grim that the arguably Chavista-sympathetic press barely bothers to report it in any kind of sutstantive fashion. Inflation has gone wild, the level of violent crime has become frightening, and the government has taken to jailing citizens who dare to tweet their dissatisfaction with the regime of Nicolas Makuro (note that the linked report was prepared by a freelance journalist and not one of the worldwide wires; where have they been while this has been going on?).
One telling Associated Press dispatch from Venezuela last week concerned what’s left of the nation’s food distribution system. The item revealed that the press refuses to get over its classist obsessions, even as an entire country falls apart. A video seen after the jump will show that the government’s “solution” has no realistic chance of fixing the problem.
Yet another important economic statistic confidently predicted to rise has fallen — hard.
This time it was June’s pending sales of existing homes. Just in time for summer, they were predicted to increase by a seasonally adjusted 1.0 percent to 1.5 percent. Instead they fell by 1.8 percent, the steepest drop since December 2013. Additionally, May’s original 0.9 percent increase was revised down to 0.6 percent. This brought out yet another appearance of the dreaded “U-Word” (“unexpectedly”) — accompanied, as usual, by excuses at Bloomberg News (bolds are mine):
In some areas of the country, Planned Parenthood has gone on the offensive against local and regional news outlets in an attempt to minimize the exposure of damning undercover videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress. They are telling these outlets that the videos “should not be aired.” This is an attempt at corporate censorship which the establishment press would treat as important news if almost any other corporation — for-profit or not-for-profit — made such an attempt.
Following on the heels of two videos released during the past two weeks, today’s third video, titled “Human Capital – Episode 1,” which clearly indicates that there’s more to come, as Breitbart News describes it, “shows doctors discussing how to maximize revenue from (the) sale of fetal tissue.” A North Dakota TV station (HT Jammie Wearing Fool via Truth Revolt and Life News) reports that it has obtained what it described as “a letter (sent) to TV stations in Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota.” Here is the full letter (bolds are mine), complete with reckless, desperate and unsubstantiated charges:
The Conference Board’s July Consumer Confidence report released earlier today threw a heavy dose of cold water on the idea that the economy might finally achieve a broad-based, genuine recovery this year.
Despite month after month of “all is well” reporting — and excuse-making when all hasn’t been well — from the U.S. business press, the American public has apparently finally figured out that all is far from well. July’s overall reading of 90.9 was 8.9 points lower than June’s 99.8, the biggest single-month drop in almost four years — something Reuters and Bloomberg News noted, but which, as would be expected, the Associated Press, the nation’s de facto news gatekeeper, failed to report.
The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank is obsessed with tearing Wisconsin Governor and 2016 GOP presidential candidate Scott Walker down, and is clearly not above distorting the facts to make his pathetic points.
Milbank’s latest tirade is about how Walker is allegedly “so dangerous” because he doesn’t like unions. That’s based on quite a bit of direct experience, which has included death threats against him and his family, frequent harassment of his parents, and attempts by labor to intimidate businesses which wouldn’t publicly express support for their cause.
I guess the slogan of labor has changed from “Look for the union label” to “Look for the union waiver.”
The Los Angeles Times published a long front-page story early this morning on an issue some people thought disappeared after its initial exposure two months ago. The issue is whether union workers should be exempt from minimum wage laws, especially the sky-high minimums being enacted in some U.S. cities. To those who have been unaware of the issue up until now and are thinking that all of this must be a joke — it’s not. It’s just that the press, which not coincidentally has a higher percentage of union members than the private sector as a whole, has barely noted it.
Based on how they handled it today, it’s pretty obvious that the Associated Press’s Ken Sweet and his wire service’s headline writers want the lowest possible number of users of their reporting — consumers and subscribing print and broadcast outlets — to know about the mainland Chinese stock market’s historically deep 8.5 percent Monday dive.
It took four paragraphs for Sweet to get to the specifics. What preceded it was clearly intended to create an “It’s No Big Deal, so you can move on to something else” impression.
2016 GOP presidential candidate and former Texas Governor Rick Perry is fighting a legal battle against an out-of-control Lone Star State county. That county’s prosecutor has sued Perry, claiming that a) he committed an illegal act of “coercion” by threatening to veto legislation funding a “public integrity” office headed by Travis County’s Rosemary Lehmberg, who was convicted of drunk driving in 2013 but refused to resign; and b) that he committed another illegal act by carrying out his veto promise. In effect, the county wants to criminalize Perry’s exercise of his then-gubernatorial duties.
A Texas Court threw out the “coercion” contention on Friday. The Associated Press’s Will Weissert, who has demonstrated consistent hostility towards Perry in recent years while somehow retaining employment as an allegedly objective journalist, was quite displeased. He whined about Team Perry’s lawyers doing all they can to defend him — twice — while making sure readers know that the politician he so despises is not catching on very well as a candidate for the GOP nomination.
Veteran journalist John Harwood, according to his Twitter home page, covers “Washington and national politics for CNBC and the New York Times.”
Saturday morning, despite all of his experience, Harwood tweeted a question (HT Twitchy) so naive that a freshman journalism student would have been embarrassed to ask it:
In a speech at a Republican Lincoln Day dinner in West Virginia earlier this week, Murray Energy Corp. founder and CEO Robert Murray decried the Obama administration’s determination to, as described at the financial news site SNL.com (to be clear, no relation to Saturday Night Live), “bypass the states and their utility commissions, the U.S. Congress and the Constitution in favor of putting the U.S. EPA in charge of the nation’s electric grid.”
In the establishment press, Murray’s speech was only covered in a single snarky paragraph by Darren Goode at the Politico titled “Don’t Hold Back Now” — obviously attempting to paint Murray as unreasonable and extreme — and a writeup at the Wheeling (WV) Intelligencer. After all, what does Murray know? He’s only the head of the largest company in an industry which is still responsible for fueling 39 percent of America’s electrical grid, and the majority of it in many states. Who would want to give him any visibility, as if he has anything valuable to say? Well, I do.