Latest from Candance Moore
Each month we at NewsBusters wonder how the recession will be spun anew, and each month news outlets act with increasing hilarity.
First up for April was an earnest little piece by USA Today writer Matt Krantz published Thursday. Krantz insisted on reporting "optimism" and "confidence" in the economy thanks to a phantom supply of "new jobs."
Just one little problem, though: Thursday happened to be the same day the Department of Labor announced a surge in unemployment claims that hampered the stock market.
But no matter to Krantz. You see, Krantz wasn't talking about new jobs that actually existed - he was celebrating an announcement from two companies that they would be strong enough to hire a few people sometime in the future.
Krantz began with the headline "New Jobs Fan Rising Economic Optimism" and then waited five paragraphs to explain where those jobs were (emphasis mine, h/t NB reader Kara Kittle):
The national media are outraged this week by an announcement from Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell to observe April as Confederate History Month.
Several news outlets have jumped on the story, but the most energetic complaints came from the Washington Post, which published more than half a dozen pieces in the same day.
At this point it's safe to say the Post suffers from McDonnell Derangement Syndrome.
During last year's campaign, the Post enthusiastically endorsed his Democrat challenger, went into overdrive to push a faux-scandal that backfired rather epically, and then, upon McDonnell winning, immediately set to work undermining him with demands for higher taxes.
Some six months later, the animosity lives on as McDonnell tries to shore up Virginia's economy by emphasizing its historical significance. Observe this entry Wednesday at the paper's official Post Partisan blog by one Jonathan Capehart, with the not-so-subtle headline "Gov. McDonnell (R-Va.): Slave to the Confederacy":
The next time someone in the mainstream media attempts to sell the Southern Poverty Law Center as a nonpartisan research group covering violence on all sides, this NBer will start asking exactly how many times the SPLC has covered left-wing violence.
Monday's announcement of FBI charges against a Christian militia rightfully drew attention from the national press. But some in the media couldn't help using it as a chance to promote partisan accusations. Within 48 hours of the charges brought public, both CNN and the Washington Post turned to the SPLC, with the former shamefully allowing the militia to be labeled a "patriot" group.
Too bad the SPLC wasn't around when House GOP Whip Eric Cantor received a death threat, or when a Republican office in Virginia was vandalized - both events covered by the Washington Post, but this time without any input from the SPLC.
First, let us read CNN's unquestioning coverage of the SPLC explaining that the Christian militia was a patriot group:
As the House gears up for a final move on ObamaCare, the media are doing everything they can to pressure pro-lifers to accept federal funding for abortion while helping the Obama administration downplay what that means.
Instead of respecting the conscience of a pro-life politician, news outlets have launched an all-out campaign to blame House Democrat Bart Stupak for thwarting ObamaCare. Of course he's not pro-life, he's "anti-abortion," and he's willing to let millions of helpless Americans go without healthcare to satisfy some personal agenda.
The AP's Liz Sidoti set the tone on Saturday with a snarky, pouty article about Democrats who don't go along with what Obama wants. Gone were the days of patriotic dissent as Sidoti blamed obstructionists for trying to kill ObamaCare (h/t LiveAction):
Aside from the friendly tone and complete lack of criticism, the most astounding part was when writer Stephanie Condon remarked that many issues discussed at a Coffee Party could just as well have come from a TEA party.
Condon's article began with the oh-so-innocent headline "Is The "Coffee Party" The Next Big Thing?" The opening paragraph ran like something right from a brochure:
Back in 2009, the Netroots Nation Convention took place in Pittsburgh just before the G20 summit. Even though it hosted a number of far-left agendas, the media stuck to popular, mainstream subjects in their coverage.
The archive section of the official site of Netroots Nation revealed shocking material largely ignored by the national media. Below is a list of some of the ridiculous discussions that took place:
On Thursday, Newsweek's politics blog The Gaggle shamefully linked Austin kamikaze pilot Joseph Stack to a laundry list of right-wing stereotypes, and then, just for good measure, threw in a warning about death threats against President Obama.
Writer David Graham made one passing mention about liberal elements found in Stack's manifesto before launching into a full-blown effort to blame it all on conservatives anyway.
Graham got right to the point with his headlined blog post "Joseph Stack and Right-Wing Terror: Isolated Incidents or Worrying Trend?" What followed was a disgusting effort to mention as many conservative bogeymen as possible (emphasis mine throughout):
Last Thursday, Roland Martin went nuclear on former Governor Sarah Palin in a rant clearly inspired by the "retard" dustup that devolved into a general screed against everything the CNN contributor could think of.
Among the lowlights of the piece, Martin: mocked those in "real America" for being Palin fans; accused her of giving speeches "full of falsehoods," and; claimed she was an empty-headed celebrity who wanted nothing more than money.
Perhaps this was what Martin had in mind when he encouraged President Obama to go gangsta on Republicans standing in the way. For someone supposedly concerned about partisan bickering, it was rich of Martin to suddenly drop all pretense of being a nonpartisan commentator.
"Palin Should Cut the Hypocrisy" jumped right in with the first paragraph to set a hostile tone:
Syndicated columnist Jonathan Kay wrote an exclusive piece for newsweek.com about the TEA party convention in Nashville - not to report on the speeches or the goals of the movement, but to smear attendants as kooky, paranoid fringers who believe 9/11 truther theories.
Conveneniently, Kay just happens to have a book scheduled for release next year that chronicles the spread of trutherism in America. How fortunate he found so many believers.
Kay began his piece with the all-too-cute headline "Black Helicopters Over Nashville." It was just the beginning of an endless rant about unhinged conservatives, culminating in an explicit effort to place trutherism at the TEA party convention:
During a web-only interview with CBS's Katie Couric to promote her new role on "American Idol," comedienne Ellen DeGeneres went on a rant about our sexist culture that demands women look more attractive than men.
There's just one problem: DeGeneres is the face of Proctor and Gamble's famous makeup line CoverGirl. In fact, she even appeared in a well known commercial saying, "Inner beauty is important -- but not nearly as important as outer beauty."
Too bad a serious journalist like Couric didn't think to ask if DeGeneres's fans might get confused. Then again, The Perky One would have had to confront her own complicity in flouting short skirts on network news programs and giving condescending interviews to women like Sarah Palin.
Without regard to the obvious hypocrisy, Couric teed up the subject by asking if DeGeneres was concerned for women who "are so obsessed and worried and spend so much time thinking about their bodies." DeGeneres used the question to accuse American culture of a sexist double standard (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
So said a Democratic consultant in North Carolina reacting to the latest casualty in the ongoing investigation of former governor Mike Easley.
The scandal has brought down Easley's wife, bankrupted his coffers, disgraced a state university, and now, most recently, set federal charges of extortion against Easley's own closest assistant - with more and more signs pointing back to Easley's doorstep.
How did the national media react to the latest turn? By burying the details and then complaining about citizens who might vote Republican as a result of the scandal.
To see the full scope of corruption afoot, behold this disturbing account from CBS's Raleigh affiliate last Friday:
Instead of admitting Ellie Light's submission should never have gotten published, editors have recently tried to save face by using remarkable spin: opinion pages are a "privilege" that people should be thankful for, even if they are full of partisan talking points.
On Tuesday, talk radio host Michael Smerconish expressed legitimate concern about astroturf showing up in hometown papers under false pretenses - a personal concern of his since he also writes columns for the Philadelphia Daily News.
The next morning, the News lashed out with some venom:
Joe Gulig, the paper's resident watchdog, claimed to have started the process by asking for information, but never followed through to see if the phone number was real. The paper admitted that the fiasco "affects credibility" and apologized to their readers for being sloppy.
The possible culprit according to Tuesday's editorial, "The letter was well-written and made sense" (emphasis added):
The goal appears to have been to infiltrate as many newspapers as possible to spread pro-Obama propaganda -- as if the press needed the help.
Light's plan was simple enough: write a compelling letter to the editor, pretend to be a concerned reader in the region, and persuade the paper to print her liberal blather.
For three weeks, editors of mainstream newspapers big and small allowed Light to spread Democrat talking points under the guise of small-town grassroots without anyone bothering to double check her story.
The content of her letter was also quite simple:
Whatever version of healthcare reform President Obama gets from Congress will look nothing like the promises he made while campaigning.
According to NPR, it has nothing to do with Obama belting empty campaign slogans. Rather, NPR fired off a litany of conservative bogeymen, from Republicans to moderate Democrats to Sarah Palin's "death panels" to explain why Obama's campaign message has failed to materialize.
In an article printed Thursday called "Why Public Support For Health Care Faltered," NPR, in cooperation with Kaiser Health News, began with the assumption that President Obama really meant his dream of healthcare for all that would magically be free:
After working days to deny that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said something patently racist, the media realized the story wouldn't die, and have now begun looking for fresh angles that can mitigate the damage.
On Wednesday, CNN.com fell back on a favorite strategy of claiming that even though it was a racist remark, it shouldn't be surprising because everybody does it. Writer Wayne Drash trotted out research from a race-obsessed professor to prove that most white people routinely make racist comments whenever minorities aren't around.
Drash kicked off his report with the headline "When Talk of Race Goes Behind Closed Doors." Having no time for pretense, he threw out a bomb in the first sentence and commenced with sharp accusations against white Americans:
CNN's efforts to spin the current economy have gotten to the point of being ridiculous.
For three days in a row, a series of reports all showed persistent layoffs above expectations, and in each case CNN.com inexplicably reported optimism.
First up was an ADP report released Wednesday which tracked the economy from the side of business owners and how many workers they laid off. Instead of showing the complete picture, CNN chose to present a decidedly upbeat angle.
CNN Money writers Jessica Dickler and Hibah Yousuf set the tone as they worked hard to spin unexpected layoffs as a positive sign in their rosy-headlined "Job Picture Gets a Little Bit Brighter":
Conveniently tucked away at the end of a column about liberal bloggers was an admission from Time magazine's Joe Klein that the Senate's healthcare bill would transfer wealth from upper class Americans to the working poor.
Apparently Klein didn't get the memo about denying the presence of socialism in the Democrats' plan.
In a piece published last Wednesday called "The Left's Idiocy on Health Reform," Klein expressed concern that the far left, angry at the bill for not being socialist enough, would stop supporting it. The goal of the column was to convince ardent liberals to embrace the Senate bill as a matter of loyalty to their party.
President Obama's radical ambitions cannot survive without money and organizing from the nutroots, which prompted Klein to launch a massive guilt bomb in an effort to win them back. He slipped into full-blown talking point mode as he made his case, sounding more like a Democrat strategist than a columnist:
Longtime liberal activists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett recently published a book that attempted to prove redistribution of wealth has a positive effect on nearly all of society's problems, from obesity to drug abuse to teen pregnancy.
The book, which debuted in England last March, was titled "The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better" (for those not mechanically inclined, a spirit level is the bubble device used by carpenters to assure a level surface). It earned a warm reception from the British, and now that it has arrived in the States, more gushing reviews have appeared.
Time Magazine got the ball rolling through an interview with the writers conducted by journalist Eben Harrell. The interview appeared on time.com on Tuesday under the friendly headline "The Importance of Economic Equality." Harrell failed to ask the writers a single challenging question and completely ignored the liberal agendas Wilkinson and Pickett have pursued for years.
Harrell opened the piece with an invitation to dream of a perfect utopia before suggesting that the authors had possibly found a way to achieve it: