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Several outlets frown on 243,000 new jobs, but others show improvement in coverage of monthly jobs report.

As good a month as February was for Americans looking for work, some media continued to do a sub-par job of informing the public about the condition of the nation’s labor market – even as almost a quarter of a million new positions were created. Although the overall coverage was better than last month and throughout 2005, some of America’s leading media outlets downplayed the fabulous news released by the Labor Department on March 10, while “The Most Trusted Name in News” largely ignored it.

While Wall Street cheered the great news – the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied by 104 points after the announcement – ABC and The New York Times weren’t content to allow people to celebrate for very long. Instead, The Times began downplaying the good news in the first sentence of its March 11 article, stating the report was “igniting concerns” on Wall Street “that higher wages could fuel inflation.”

And, though ABC’s “World News Tonight” led with this story on the evening of March 10, it finished its report discussing those still having a hard time finding work, suggesting that this “may account for why 57 percent of Americans in our ABC polling say this economy is bad.”



Tom Fox Protests the Israeli Barrier in PalestineJames Taranto of the Wall Street Journal's online opinion section, Opinionjournal.com, made this interesting observation in his "Best of The Web Today" column:



This is something I thought I’d never say, but bravo to CNN’s Soledad O’Brien who did a far better job of questioning Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) concerning his call for a censure of President Bush than ABC’s George Stephanopoulos did on Sunday’s “This Week.”



CBS News chose the day President Bush launched a series of speeches, intended to boost support for the Iraq war, to highlight a poll which found most Americans are much more pessimistic than is the President. In laying out on Monday's CBS Evening News a series of poll findings, including how 66 percent feel Bush has been describing the “things in Iraq” as “better than they are,” both Bob Schieffer and Jim Axelrod skipped the finding that, while the media fare better than Bush, nearly a third (31 percent) say the media “make things sound worse in Iraq than they really are,” compared to 24 percent who perceive the media are describing things “better than they are” and 35 percent who think journalism on Iraq “accurately” reflects the situation.

Schieffer rattled off how the percent who believe the "war is going badly” is up while the percent who see future success is down since January, before Jim Axelrod followed Bush's warning, that the terrorists want to start a civil war, with a survey finding which matched the media's mantra: "Seven of ten Americans say Iraq is already in a civil war. Another 13 percent say it will be." Pouring on the dour numbers, Axelrod asserted: "The President wants to rally Americans, but public opinion is fading fast. Only 43 percent now believe Iraq will become a stable democracy. A 15 point drop in just two months." Axelrod concluded: “With suicide bombs now going off nearly every day in Iraq, it will take some real progress on the ground and not just speeches to revive American's optimism.” You certainly can't count on the media for any optimism. Lara Logan soon checked in from Baghdad with how “there is grave concern amongst leaders here that civil war is exactly where this country is heading.”(Transcript follows.)



Here's a little more from Brian Lamb's interview with Keith Olbermann on C-SPAN, in particular, more of his denying a liberal bias, lamely vowing he "goes after power," Republican or Democrat, and his explanations for why he has a regular "museum" of VHS tapes of his shows to preserve himself for posterity.



Fresh from winning an Oscar for his movie "Crash," director Paul Haggis is looking to produce and direct a movie based on the memoirs of Richard Clarke, the disgruntled former anti-terrorism official who accuses the Bush Administration of botching the war on terrorism.


It's not exactly news to the GOP base that John McCain is not one of them. But it was perhaps noteworthy to hear Chris Matthews, ostensibly a McCain man [at least when it comes to his preference among Republican presidential hopefuls], acknowledge that fact on this evening's Hardball. He might also have raised eyebrows on the other side of the aisle by ripping Democrats for their weakness on illegal immigration.



On C-SPAN’s Sunday night Brian Lamb interview show "Q & A," MSNBC "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann lit into Fox News Channel in an extended rant, suggesting that its demise was the "best hope of mankind." He could not believe their "fear"-based marketing strategy about being an oasis of balance in a liberal media world, was just agog at "the idea that there are vast [media] structures designed to foment liberal



CBS’s "The Early Show" continued with its practice of bringing in left leaning analysts to explain why things are going so horrendously for President Bush and his Administration. This morning’s guest was Craig Crawford from "Congressional Quarterly."



On CNN’s American Morning, U.S. News & World Report Editor-At-Large David Gergen fretted that Republican Senator John McCain may be transforming into a "hard-core conservative" after McCain expressed his support for President Bush at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Memphis, Tennessee on March 10.



It should come as no surprise to anyone who follows "60 Minutes" on a regular basis that the reporters have a problem with presenting facts, or at least truth in disclosure concerning the “experts” they bring on to give us the facts.



     Just in time for spring break, ABCs 20/20 bellied up to the bar with two stories on women and binge drinking. The March 10 edition was enough to frighten already worried parents about their college kids on holiday. But rather than emphasize personal responsibility or showing both sides of an academic debate on young women and heavy drinking, 20/20 showcased two advocates of advertising bans, leaving out a sociologist who frequently disputes the claims of




The New York Times Sunday magazine examines Democratic aspirations to take back the House and Senate this year in liberal contributing writer James Traub’s “Party Like It’s 1994.” But 12 years after the fact, the Times and Traub still see the 1994 watershed through the conventional liberal wisdom of the time, as an anti-incumbent blast of anger that didn’t augur a nationwide shift to conservatism.



Eric Newton, director of journalism initiatives at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in Miami and a volunteer judge for the National Journalism Awards, lists all the accomplishments of journalists in the past year:

Since you won't learn what everyday journalists do from watching talk shows, let's run down a list of what they have actually done this past year, drawn from the entries to the National Journalism Awards:

• Died in war zones so we can know what was really happening.