St. Petersburg Times
Liberal reporters cannot believe conservatives see Jeb Bush as a Republican establishment figure, a moderate squish. Mark Levin calls him a “very good moderate Democrat.” In Politico magazine, NPR’s S.V. Date couldn’t believe it; neither could Adam C. Smith of the Tampa Bay Times.
Both journalists thought conservatives were just misunderstanding reality.
This just in, by way of St. Petersburg Times fact-checking website Politifact: when considering irrelevant and misleading employment statistics, Texas has not, in fact, created more jobs in the past five years than the rest of the country combined.
Sure, when considering the relevant numbers - the ones that most honest observers would use - the claim, made by the Texas Public Policy Foundation in a recent ad, is perfectly factual. But through an exercise in pure semantics, Politifact was able to draw out a meaningless retort to TPPF's claims.
Politifact rated the statement "half-true" for using data on net job creation instead of gross job creation. In other words, taking into consideration that states can help and hinder job creation (and that doing the former isn't so useful if you're also doing the latter) was enough to penalize TPPF in Politifact's judgment. (Check below the break for further explanation on that score.)
Long past the time when it was debunked that Tucson shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner might have been motivated by talk radio or TV, NPR was still entertaining the "vitriol" attack line, as anchor Scott Simon interviewed liberal St. Petersburg Times TV critic Eric Deggans on Saturday morning's Weekend Edition. Simon even bizarrely claimed that this kind of violence didn't happen when "63 million people watched Walter Cronkite every night."
First, that exaggerates Cronkite's nightly audience (it's more likely the networks might have attracted 63 million between the three of them). But does Simon really believe that in the Sixties and Seventies, there was never a mass shooting with six deaths in America? Or say, a Jonestown mass suicide of Americans (preceded by a congressman being shot there)? Or the shootings of JFK, RFK, MLK, Malcolm X, George Wallace, or two attempts at Gerald Ford? Facts were being mangled:
SIMON: People have observed over the past few years, for example, that, you know, this just didn't happen when 63 million people watched Walter Cronkite every night. But I don't know, hasn't colorful and even intemperate speech been a part of politics and journalism?
Breitbart posted video of recently-fired USDA official Shirley Sherrod claiming she considered race in allocating federal agriculture funds. The apparent racism was debunked when the entire video surfaced, showing that Sherrod had actually discouraged such actions. "This is what happens" wrote Eric Deggans for the St. Petersburg "when ideologically-focused noise machines are treated like real news outlets."
Conspicuously absent in Deggans's screed is any mention of the recently-discovered attempt by liberal commentators to maliciously - and falsely, by their own admission - brand their ideological opponents as racists. Also absent: any mention of the litany of instances of dishonest and counter-factual reporting from the purportedly "objective" media.
Back in April, as ABC's Jake Tapper took over as interim host of This Week (pending the arrival of ex-CNNer Christiane Amanpour in August), the show asked the fact-checkers at PolitiFact to evaluate the truthfulness of statements made on the show.
After nearly three months, the results show far more Democrats and liberals earning a "False" rating, with most of the "True" ratings going to Republicans and conservatives. The discrepency remains even if you take into account that about two-thirds of the evaluated statements came from Democrats in the first place.
From April 11 through June 20, PolitiFact has handed out seven "False" statements -- six to Democrats/liberals, one to a Republican. During that same time, seven "True" labels were handed out -- four for Republicans/conservatives, just two for Democrats (one, ironically, going to former President Bill Clinton).
Retired General Colin Powell also picked up a "True" for a statement about the number of troops President Obama has deployed to Afghanistan, but it's hard to say which side Powell represents these days.
PolitiFact called it the Lie of the Year, and journalists left and right (but mostly left) dismissed the claim as hyperbole at best, and fear-mongering propaganda at worst.
But Sarah Palin's "death panel" comment may not be as off the mark as so many have claimed. Don't take her word for it. White House budget director Peter Orszag apparently agrees.
Well, Orszag didn't specifically address Palin's claim, but his description of Medicare's new Independent Payment Advisory Board tried to cast health care rationing in nice rosy terms.
Speaking at the Economic Club of Washington, Orszag stated (video below the fold):
Unfortunately for journalists, sports and religion - Christianity in particular - seem to be publicly mingling more often these days. Some star athletes are more outspoken in their faith, while many others regularly find themselves in need of spiritual, if not legal, redemption.
You might think media bias is a new thing, but a 40 year confession of a newspaper reporter gives us a peek behind the curtain as to how horribly biased newspapers have been for nearly a half century. Martin Dyckman, a former reporter for the leftist St. Petersburg Times, reminisces about the day he read over the wire that John F. Kennedy had been killed in Dallas.
Old Media business reporters have a definitionally-incorrect habit of labeling single industries or economic sectors as being "in recession," when the term, as defined here, can only describe national economies or the world economy. Two examples of this are New York Times reporter David Leonhardt's description of manufacturing as being in recession in February 2007 (laughably incorrect, in any event), and the Times's employment of the term "housing recession" 25 times since October 2006, as seen in this Times search (with the phrase in quotes).
But if I wanted to be consistent with this routine form of journalistic malpractice, I would characterize the newspaper business -- at least in terms of the top 25 in the industry's food chain -- not as being in recession, but instead as going through a deep, dark, painful, protracted depression.
Color me unsurprised.
The Associated Press, reporting the indictment of Puerto Rico Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila (pictured at right via AFP/Getty Images file photo) failed to note Vila is a Democrat, let alone that he is an Obama superdelegate.
But Vila's party affiliation is hardly a state secret. Indeed, ABC's Jake Tapper noted the Obama connection on his Political Punch blog this morning:
The March 26 edition of the Palm Beach Post -- a broadsheet notorious to conservatives for its unbalanced treatment of Rush Limbaugh -- featured not one but two articles which pushed government-run universal health care. In both of them, the Post asserted that Floridians are dying daily due to a lack of health care coverage.
The source for the Post’s assertion was a recent study by the liberal group Families USA. Not surprisingly, the Post described the organization as simply a “nonpartisan” group that advocates for “comprehensive health care” while conveniently leaving out the group’s liberal tendencies, its support of socialist-style universal healthcare and that its political allies include liberal Democratic politicians such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.)