January 31, 2015

AP, WSJ Reactions to Friday’s GDP Report Vary Sharply

Yesterday’s government report on the economy’s growth, which told us that the nation’s gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 2.6 percent sharply underachieved analysts’ expectations of an annualized 3.0 percent to 3.6 percent. The stock market clearly reacted negatively to the downside surprise. Bloomberg’s take at the end of the day: “U.S. stocks fell Friday, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to its biggest monthly decline in a year, as weaker-than-forecast economic growth overshadowed a rally in energy shares sparked by a surge in the price of crude.”

That didn’t stop Martin Crutsinger and Josh Boak at the Associated Press from celebrating the result in late-morning and overnight reports, respectively. Meanwhile, Josh Mitchell at the Wall Street Journal delivered a more sanguine take on the situation.

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January 30, 2015

AP Double Standard: Atlanta Chief’s Firing Over Religious Views Is National News, But His EEOC Challenge Isn’t

Former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, who alleges he was fired from his position solely because of his Christian beliefs, has filed a religious discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

That’s not news at the Associated Press’s national site, and it appears that the AP has not even carried a local story about Cochran’s EEOC complaint — omissions that reeks of a double standard.

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For Once, AP Skeptical of Dems’ Over-the-Top Claims About the Economy

Even Charles Babington at the Associated Press, for once not the completely beholden Administration’s Press, seemed to be having a hard time buying what Democrats at a meeting in Philadelphia were selling. Unfortunately, he decided to let Joe Biden’s direct contradiction of his party’s congressional delegation’s sunnyside-up stance on the economy go unreported.

In a video carried at the Weekly Standard, Biden said, “To state the obvious, the past six years have been really, really hard for this country, And they’ve been really tough for our party. Just ask [former DCCC chair] Steve [Israel]. They’ve been really tough for our party. And together we made some really, really tough decisions — decisions that weren’t at all popular, hard to explain.” Despite how “really, really hard” it has all been, the party is attempting an “in your face” at those who want to claim that it has been that way because of the Obama administration’s economic policies. Excerpts from Babington’s AP report follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

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January 28, 2015

Bloomberg Celebrates Dec. Spike in New-Home Sales, Despite Record of Downward Revisions

If someone fools you once, shame on them. If they fool you with the same trick a second time, shame on you. If they “fool” you a third time — well, you must be in on it.

That’s my take on Bloomberg News’s virtually euphoric reaction to yesterday’s new-home sales release from the Census Bureau. The wire service’s Shobhana Chandra celebrated how seasonally adjusted December sales were at “the highest level in more than six years.” The problem is that the bureau reported the same development two other times in 2014, only to see each improvement disappear in subsequent revisions. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):

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January 27, 2015

Al Gore, Felipe Calderon Want to Spend $90 Trillion to Save the Earth

Ever since the publication “Earth in the Balance” in 1992, we’ve seen the press minimize the public’s exposure to the more outrageous ideas and quotes emanating from former Vice President Al Gore.

Concerning that original book, Gore’s statement that “The internal combustion engine is the greatest enemy of mankind” and his contention that it could and be eliminated in 25 years are hardly known by anyone besides his fevered supporters and attentive opponents. Apparently wishing to rush his timetable for taking everyone out of their cars, Gore, in an idea barely noticed even in the business press, proposed spending $90 trillion — that’s right, trillion — for such an enterprise. After the jump, readers will see how he wants to do it.
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Virtually Unreported: Unionized Percentage of Workforce Is at an Over 100-Year Low

On Friday, Melissa Quinn at the Daily Signal, after the release of the government’s “Union Members — 2014″ report, uniquely observed that the unionized percentage of the public- and private sector nonagricultural wage and salary U.S. workforce had reached “its lowest rate in 100 years.” From what I can tell in web and news searches, despite the fact that virtually any 100-year record is ordinarily considered newsworthy, no major establishment press outlet has reported what Quinn found.

The report from Uncle Sam’s Bureau of Labor Statisics claims that 1983 is “the first year for which comparable union data are available.” Perhaps, but there is data available going back much further, and it has been used occasionally in previous media reports. That data also indicates that private-sector union membership is at its lowest point since the turn of the century — from the 19th to the 20th century, that is.

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Congratulations, Karl Rove: You Deserve This

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Ignorance,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:16 pm

Rove, on Election Night 2012, followed by Fox News’s Megyn Kelly going down to the networks’ “decision desk” folks to confirm their “Obama won Ohio” call:

Comedienne Kathleen Madigan, as she ridicules Don Lemon’s “Bizzardmobile” in blizzard-free New York City, with an apt comparison (tweet links here and here; HT Twitchy):

MadiganRoveSnowTweets012714

January 26, 2015

Not News: Only 1.1% of Americans Live in Unemployment Rate-Recovering Counties

This post follows up on Friday morning’s entry (at BizzyBlog; at NewsBusters) showing that “Fewer Than 0.5% of Americans Live in Fully Recovered Counties.” This is the kind of news which would be front and center with the nation’s establishment press if such a report came out during a Republican or conservative presidential administration. With Team Obama in place, NACo’s work has been virtually ignored.

Some commenters at the Friday post raised a potentially valid objection to the criteria used by the National Association of Counties to determine “full recovery.” NACo’s four bases were returns to pre-recession bests in number of jobs, the unemployment rate, GDP, and home prices. Objectors wanted to completely discount the group’s work based on its inclusion of home prices, arguing that pre-bubble home prices were artificially high, and that a failure to return to those levels was not a valid indicator of economic malaise. If all three other metrics were impressive, they would have had a point. But they weren’t. This post will look at the unemployment rate metric, because that will be the only one needed to show that they still don’t have a point.

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Politico Mag Uses Undisclosed Dem Donor to ‘Hit’ Obama For Middle-Class Suffering

It would seem that the conversation at Politico went something like this: “Hey, we need to hit the Obama administration for the havoc its policies have wreaked on the middle class. But we can’t go after them too hard, because that might burn some bridges, and we’ll lose our stenographer — er, journalistic — access. So we need to use someone sympathetic to Democrats who will know how not to go over the line.”

They chose contributing editor Zachary Karabell, who during most of his writeup did a presentable job of being not too critical while posing as an objective observer — that is, until his final four paragraphs.

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January 25, 2015

Recovery Watch: Homeless Problem in LA Growing

As President Barack Obama and Governor Jerry Brown continue to extol the wonders of the alleged economic recovery of nation and the Golden State, respectively, stories of significant growth in homelessness continue to rain on their parades. The latest example comes on the heels of reports on Seattle’s burgeoning problem and the city’s apparent willingness to allow officially sanctioned outdoor encampments to serve as a “temporary” (yeah, sure) solution.

In a Saturday item in the Los Angeles Times about the expansion of “homeless camps” outside of what had been known as the LA’s “skid row,” Times reporter Gale Holland apparently learned not to repeat a revealing disclosure she made in a December Times report covering the situation in San Jose. Her coverage was remarkably vague, failing to provide specifics I believe she could have relayed with little effort, especially given that homelessness and poverty is her assigned beat. Excerpts follow the jump.

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January 23, 2015

Re: ‘Deflategate’

Filed under: General,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance — Tom @ 11:46 pm

Given the team involved and their history, I certainly understand the suspicions.

But the following quote made me entertain another possibility I have heard no one bring up:

“I did not believe what (New England Patriots quarterback) Tom (Brady) had to say. Those balls were deflated. Somebody had to do it, and I don’t believe there’s an equipment manager in the NFL who, on his own initiative, would deflate a ball without his starting quarterback’s approval,” (former NFL quarterback Mark) Brunell said.

Well, what would cause an equipment manager to do such a thing — something he knows is against the rules but would benefit his team’s quarterback — “on his own initiative”?

Hint: It’s green, and it would come from people who would financially benefit from the Patriots beating the Colts by more than the point spread.

This could hurt the NFL the way the Black Sox Scandal hurt baseball 95 years ago.

Maybe the reason no one is mentioning what I believe is a pretty clear possibility is that they’ve been told not to.

Pass the Smelling Salts: AP Uses the Term ‘Radical Left’

In a report on the upcoming Greek elections, an unbylined Friday afternoon Associated Press report dusted off words seldom seen in their dispatches, using the term “radical left” twice and the word “radical” separately once for good measure.

The almost never seen terms — virtually invisible in decades of descriptions of longtime radical leftists like Fidel Castro, the late Hugo Chavez or lefty legends like the late Che Guevera — appeared in describing the party and policies of Greece’s Syriza party and its leader, Alexis Tsipras. Syriza and Tsipras appear to have winning momentum going into Sunday’s balloting. Excerpts follow the jump:

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DOL, AP Spin Today’s Glum (For Organized Labor) Union Membership Report

Someone looking at the annual “Union Members” report released this morning by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics would logically conclude that 2014 was a year organized labor would rather forget.

While average nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased by over 2.32 million from 2013 to 2014, union membership only went up by 48,000, or about 2 percent of the nationwide increase. Additionally, the private sector’s 41,000-person pickup in union membership was only 1.6 percent of its total 2.55 million increase. Yes, that means that public-sector union membership increased a bit while public-sector employment declined by 226,000. Of course, no such decidedly negative nuggets made their way into Labor Secretary Tom Perez’s press release or Tom Raum’s Associated Press report, excerpts of which follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

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January 22, 2015

As National Press Mostly Snoozes, Add Seattle to the List of Cities Where Homelessness Is Rising

A week ago, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, a Democrat, called homelessness in his city and the rest of King County a “full-blown crisis.”

Based on the numbers presented in coverage of the area’s situation, we can certainly add the Emerald City to the list of areas where homelessness has been on the rise. Odds are that many readers here didn’t know that, because the national press hardly ever pays attention to homelessness when a Democrat occupies the White House. Now imagine the firestorm which would erupt if a Republican or conservative proposed the “solution,” however allegedly temporary, Murray is advancing (bolds are mine):

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More on the ‘Myth’ of ‘No-Go Zones,’ Which Were Recognized Even Before the 2005 European Riots

Earlier today (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I posted on the establishment press’s apparent determination to punish anyone who dares to mention the existence — in their view, the “myth” — of “no-go zones” in France and other European countries.

The tactic seems to be working. The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple, who criticized CNN for allowing guests to use the term and failing to challenge them after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, is now praising the network, particularly Anderson Cooper, for backing away, even though one of those guests was a “former CIA official” who, it would seem, would have been asserting his position about their existence based on job experience and other acquired knowledge. Before the term completely disappears down the memory hole, readers should be reminded that it was being used even before the 2005 riots in Europe.

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