The AP is constructing bad news for the President (Katrina Adds to Public Doubts About Bush). Again. And to do it, they're using a skewed sample poll, and then misrepresenting what it says. The latest AP-Ipsos poll is what they're reporting on. Once again, they've got a sample of adults, and it is signficantly skewed, with 49 percent Democrats and 41 percent Republicans. And they use that skewed sample as a hammer to hit the President, even if it isn't justified by the actual results.
  • An AP-Ipsos poll shows a sharp increase since the storm in the percentage of people who are most worried about the economy.
    Of course it does. Let's stop, for just a moment, and consider what was happening in the media in this country before Katrina hit. Every day, in every outlet, it was all Iraq, all the time. As soon as the storm went through, and the refineries and supply lines went down, the story changed to Katrina and the rising gas prices, and the devastating economic impact. The fact that there's been a sharp increase in people being most concerned about the economy says nothing about George W. Bush.

As reported here yesterday, the Associated Press thoroughly misrepresented and understated better than expected inflation data that was released by the Labor Department. Today, Reuters botched a report released by the Commerce Department concerning retail sales:

“U.S. retail sales dropped by a larger-than-expected 2.1 percent in August, the sharpest drop in almost four years, after car purchases collapsed from July's near-record level, government data showed on Wednesday.”

Unfortunately, Reuters chose not to inform its readers that the drop in car sales was expected for a number of reasons. First, July was a blowout month for automakers due to huge incentives. Second, August is historically a bad month for the car industry as it prepares to rollout the new model year in September.

Here’s how Bloomberg reported the same data:

Some good economic news was released by the Labor Department today.  However, if you rely on the AP as your source for such things, you’d never know it:

“Surging costs for gasoline and other energy products fueled inflation at the wholesale level in August, pressure that is expected to become even more intense once the full impact of Hurricane Katrina is felt.

“The Labor Department said its Producer Price Index, which measures inflation before it reaches the consumer, jumped a sharp 0.6 percent in August following an even bigger 1 percent increase in July.”

Curiously, this AP reporter felt that it was unnecessary to inform the reader that this inflation figure was less than expected, and signaled to Wall Street that prior to the advent of Katrina, rising fuel prices have not dramatically impacted our economy.  Here’s how Bloomberg reported the same data:

The big article in the Washington Post Style section today puffs far-left author Barbara Ehrenreich, but reporter Bob Thompson doesn't exactly focus on her place on the political spectrum. (Hint: the former Time essayist likes the Communist Manifesto for its "timeless" message and its resemblance to the teachings of Jesus.

To people who heard Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan speak in Jackson Hole, Wyo., at the end of last week, the housing boom will “simmer down.” But to those viewers at home watching “CBS Evening News,” housing is in a bubble and bubbles typically burst.

Alan Greenspan “might well be the best central banker who ever lived.” That statement, from the August 26 New York Times, reflects the attitude of even most Greenspan critics – except for the Times.

Fresh from his performance on ABC’s This Week this past Sunday, the New York Times economic writer, Paul Krugman, has a new op-ed today filled with more delicious economic distortions: 

But although many people say "four million jobs in the last two years" reverently, as if it were an amazing achievement, it's actually a rise of about 3 percent, not much faster than the growth of the working-age population over the same period.

Nice factoid, but not altogether relevant.  After all, not everybody that is of working age is actually looking for a job, correct?  Some of these folks may have retired early, or are housewives/househusbands or students.  As such, the more appropriate measure of employment is how many jobs are being created compared to the growth in the labor force. 

Call him a protectionist or just call him “the Dan Rather of financial journalism,” as one conservative critic referred to CNN’s Lou Dobbs. No matter what you call him, the truth is he’s one of the biggest opponents of free trade anywhere. Dobbs, who anchors “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” is a veteran business reporter who spends his time these days giving industry the business. The worst part of it is that viewers are missing the real story.

One wonders how The New York Times can fairly cover and opine on eminent domain issues when their new headquarters is being built on land legally stolen from one private party and bequeathed to The Times.

The Free Market Project, a division of the Media Research Center that studies the media's coverage of the economy, concluded that despite the continued expansion of the economy, the "Big Three" networks chose to report negatively on the economy 62 percent of the time. Additionally, whenever there was a positive story, it would usually be treated as a brief. Amy Menefee, author of the report, noticed three key points:

The economy is doing well -- the federal deficit is shrinking, unemployment has fallen to 5.0%, and America has enjoyed more than two straight years of job growth and 3.5 million new jobs. That hasn't stopped the media from describing the economy as “dicey,” “volatile” and “slow.” The Media Research Center's Free Market Project analyzed all of the broadcast network's economic stories since the start of President Bush's second term, and we found that a big majority (62%) cast the economy in negative terms.

The Congressional Budget Office reported yesterday that it is once again reducing its estimate for the fiscal 2005 federal budget deficit due to a surprise windfall of tax revenues, especially from corporations. However, our press seems to be doing whatever it can to once again make up look like down, good look like bad, and an improving condition look like the onset of cancer.