Today's Washington Post features an article about the October employment numbers, which are planted firmly between humdrum and "house afire". The economy seems to have absorbed the hurricanes of the past two months, and high energy prices and posted 56,000 new jobs in October.

The Post, though, seems a bit confused about whether that's good news or bad.

Even in a free market democracy, policy makers are to blame for all of society’s ills./>

For those of you who haven’t seen this morning’s “Meet the Press,” I highly recommend that you do so that you can see William Safire at his best, as well as some great incites from David Brooks. What follows are key statements from the two of them concerning Plamegate, and the events of the week.

     With the nomination of a new Federal Reserve chairman, “inflation” is the buzzword of the week. But the media have been warning about rising inflation since Hurricane Katrina hit – some even likening today’s situation to the Jimmy Carter 1970s, a notorious time for both high oil prices and inflation.

     The way to the media’s heart is to take jabs at Wal-Mart – JibJabs, that is., the maker of several popular political videos, unleashed an assault on the nation’s biggest retailer that one CNN journalist called “priceless” and another called “hilarious.”

While the House of Representatives was getting serious about legal reform, CNN was calling it “silly” and other TV news outlets ignored it.

The House passed the “cheeseburger bill” October 19 – a bill that makes people, not the food industry, responsible for consequences of their eating habits. The bill passed 307 to 119 and will go to the Senate.

     One of the few pieces of major legislation that has recently passed with overwhelming support from both parties was the bankruptcy reform bill, signed into law by President George Bush in April. While a bipartisan majority in both houses of Congress endorsed the bill, the media have lamented the new law’s reforms.

CBS’s Hannah Storm introduced a new problem to America this morning on “The Early Show.” It’s called “presenteeism,” and it stands for employees who show up to work sick. Syler and her guest, Dr. Emily Senay, suggested that this is almost as big a problem as absenteeism, which, of course, is people NOT showing up for work.

Senay presented some statistics to support her case. She mentioned that 48 percent of employers surveyed see presenteeism as being a problem. However, isn’t that a minority? Moreover, 36 percent of employers discourage their employees from coming into work when they’re sick. Conversely, this suggests that 64 percent don’t.

It would have been interesting to see some methodology concerning these surveys. For instance, what kind of employers were questioned? Were they business owners, or managers and supervisors of large corporations?

What follows is a full transcript of this report, along with a video link.

Unfortunately, journalists haven’t accurately reported the data involved.

Catastrophic events in America’s cities have a tendency to generate discussions about race, class, and poverty. The Watts riots in 1965, as well as the Rodney King riots in 1992 are fine examples. Hurricane Katrina has sparked another such debate. Unfortunately, America’s media are relying on consistently questionable or out-of-date statistics to not only exaggerate the problem, but to blame President Bush.

NBC's Tim Russert proclaimed, "It's a year away but the Democrats are feeling almost giddy this morning," as he ran down the negative news from NBC's own poll. Matt Lauer opened this morning's Today show with a teaser for the Russert political analysis segment: 

The results of the most recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll were released last night, and pressrooms around the nation appeared to be pleased. “NBC Nightly News” reported it this way (video link to follow):

Tim Russert: Brian, not good news for George W. Bush's second term thus far. Only 39% of Americans approve his job. 54% disapproval. That 39% approval is the lowest in the five years of his presidency. And Brian, listen to this: Only 2%, 2% of African Americans in the United States approve of George Bush's handling of the presidency. The lowest we've ever seen in that particular measurement.

     Even when journalists try, they just don’t understand Middle America. CBS proved the point with a story on the multi-billion dollar business of NASCAR. Even in a story made possible by the enormous success of the sport, CBS’s “60 Minutes” depicted racing promotions as “hucksterism” and advertisers as “not wholesome” while the product itself was portrayed as an “good ol’ boy Southern Confederate flag sport” hostile to minorities.