Category Archives: spin

Bullies on the Left

Do you remember a bully in your life? Do you also remember the first time you confronted him/her? Boy, I sure do…and I’m betting you do, too.

American culture has always celebrated the ‘little guy’ standing up to the bully. It’s been a common theme in stories, books, and movies ranging from A Christmas Story, to The Magnificent Seven, to The Ten Commandments. Such a fascination with rooting for the underdog isn’t difficult to trace: it’s part of our country’s fabric. The Revolutionary War itself was the ultimate story of standing up to the biggest bully around.

So I find it a little troubling that, more and more, bullying tactics by the Left are excused, embraced or flat-out ignored. We’ve seen it with the voter intimidation in Philadelphia back in 2008; we’ve seen it with the Occupy Movement; we saw it with the Wisconsin recall aftermath.

And now we’re seeing it with the incident up in Michigan the other night.


Just in case you think this is all a grand coincidence, please allow Mark Steyn to set you straight (via The Daily Caller):

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The Media’s latest scam: “Fact” Checkers

Recently we’ve witnessed the appearance of the very latest in hucksterism: “fact-checkers”.

Much like the old Snake-Oil salesmen of a prior era, they are selling one thing by promising something wholly different. You almost have to admire the naked hubris of the term: “fact check”. It’s the ultimate misnomer, since too often these self-appointed keepers-of-truth spin differences of opinion as varying degrees of “fact”. And the majority of the time, the alleged media “Watchmen” are doing this from the far Left/Statist position, which I’m sure should surprise exactly no one.

There have been two excellent debunkings of these journalistic P.T. Barnum wannabees, both appearing in the Wall Street Journal. The first one was about a week back, by James Taranto. It’s fairly long, so I’ll only include a portion here:

Sometimes the “fact checkers” are ignorant even of facts that, in contrast with the welfare material above, require no special expertise to know. This is from a “fact check”:

“In a new policy paper, his Republican rival for the White House, Mitt Romney, says, “President Obama has intentionally sought to shut down oil, gas, and coal production in pursuit of his own alternative energy agenda.” . . .

Obama has, for sure, angered some oil and coal producers by steering federal money to alternative energy sources. But there is no evidence that he is trying to “shut down” traditional energy industries.”

No evidence? How about Obama’s own words? “So, if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them, because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”

Sometimes the “fact checkers” simply pronounce trivial truths. From the AP on Mitt Romney’s convention speech:

ROMNEY: “I have a plan to create 12 million new jobs. It has five steps.”

THE FACTS: No one says he can’t, but economic forecasters are divided on his ability to deliver. He’d have to nearly double the anemic pace of job growth lately.

This is like “fact checking” somebody’s wedding vows by asserting that while marriage can be wonderful, it’s hard work and ends in divorce half the time.


The other WSJ article just came out last night, and it’s even better. Written by L. Gordon Crovitz, it tears apart their varnish of objectivity with ridiculous ease:

Reporting as “fact checking” might have started as a check on outright falsehoods, but it has morphed into a technique for supposedly nonpartisan journalists to present opinion as “facts.” The credibility of reporting has enough problems without claiming objectivity while practicing subjectivity. Not when anyone with an Internet connection can discover the difference.

It’s important to distinguish between true untruths and pretend untruths. For example, both the Obama and Romney campaigns deserved to be called out for the untruths of running advertisements clearly quoting each other out of context.

But cheerleaders for a more aggressive definition of “fact checking” have a different agenda. Justifying journalism that takes sides, New York University professor Jay Rosen claimed in his PressThink blog that Republicans are pursuing a “post-truth strategy in electioneering.” Rem Rieder, editor of the American Journalism Review, posted an article last week praising the media’s “aggressive” fact checking of the Paul Ryan acceptance speech as a “watershed moment.” The Week magazine captured the braying of the media pack in a headline: “The Media Coverage of Paul Ryan’s Speech: 15 Euphemisms for ‘Lying.'”

Since the Republican convention, there’s been bipartisan fact checking of the fact checkers. Mickey Kaus, a Democrat who ran for Senate in California in 2010, posted an item on his blog last week on “why the Fact-Checkosphere is failing,” in which he cited “the ease—rather, the constant temptation—of presenting debatable policy issues as right/wrong fact issues.” He wrote that when journalists claim that a candidate has lied, it “opens up a giant sluice for the introduction of concealed bias, especially when the ‘facts’ are fed to the fact-checkers by the competing campaign.”

Mr. Kaus added: “Fact checkers often don’t know what they’re talking about.” He pointed to the drumbeat of accusation that the Romney-Ryan campaign was wrong to say the Obama administration had relaxed work requirements for welfare. Mr. Kaus argued to the contrary that administration claims were “bureaucratic fakery.” A Brookings Institution analyst likewise told the Fiscal Times that the new policy would enable the administration to “undermine the work requirement” if this was the intent.

In short, this is a POLICY debate, not a question of fact.


The hopelessly partisan media is simply using these new Fact Squads to label their Opinion as Facts. I could insert the requisite George Orwell comparison here, but really, what’s the point? It’s as obvious as the nose on their fact-measuring Pinocchios that the more desperate these publications are to prove their relevance, the more irrelevant they become.

We’ll all have to suffer these pompous arbiters-of-truth for at least the next two months. The better job we do in immediately pointing out the complete absence of “facts” from their slanted, ill-informed pronunciations, the quicker we’ll be rid of them.

All is Well??

Remember this, from Animal House?

Well, you’re gonna hear the Liberal/Democrat version of that for the next 5 months.

Gird your loins:

NEW YORK (Associated Press) — Here we go again.

Americans’ confidence in the economy suffered the biggest drop in eight months as worries about the weak jobs, housing and stock markets rattled them again. The decline comes after a few months of optimism amid some positive economic news.

The Conference Board, a private research group, said on Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 64.9, down from a revised 68.7 in April. With gas prices falling, Americans were expected to push the measure to 70, according to analysts polled by FactSet.

But the May figure, which represents the biggest drop since October 2011 when the measure fell about 6 points, shows that consumers need more encouraging economic signs before their concerns start to dissipate.

Sort of like a kid learning to eat their peas, the American consumer just needs the right ‘encouragement’ and then their irrational economic fears will be all better.

Nice spin, AP!

Compare that headline with this headline from the NY Times:

“Consumer Sentiment Rises to Highest Level in Four Years”

Doing the Associated Press one better, the Times ignores the report AP used and quotes from a different report which totally contradicts the AP’s, and says that Consumer Sentiment (sentiment…?) “rose to its highest level in more than four years in May as Americans stayed positive about the job market”.

Curiously, when you review the same report that the Times uses for its headline you find THIS fact, which actually appears prior to their data point:

“Confidence in the government’s economic policies remained relatively low, with 41% holding negative views.”


But remember: “All is Well“.

President Profligate

I remembered him saying it, but I just wanted to hear it again:

Yeah, those were good times.

Now, of course, our debt is soaring towards the heavens, and to heck with those flowery speeches of yesteryear. That doesn’t seem to faze President Profligate, who just had his third budget voted down unanimously, this time by a tally of 99-0.

For the record, his previous budgets lost in the Senate 97-0 (May, 2011), & in the House 414-0 (March of this year).

Hold on; let me count here. That makes the final total tally for all three Obama budgets about…..hold on….that would …be…

…..610? To NOTHING? No one? Not even a single Democrat vote? Heck, if you’ve proposed something so crazy that even Hank “Tipper” Johnson or Max “Last Call” Baucus wouldn’t vote for it, you’ve really flown the coop.

Of course, some folks complained about the vote itself. Guess who?

Democrats disputed that it was actually the president’s plan, arguing that the slim amendment didn’t actually match Mr. Obama’s budget document, which ran thousands of pages. But Republicans said they used all of the president’s numbers in the proposal, so it faithfully represented his plan.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican, even challenged Democrats to point out any errors in the numbers and he would correct them — a challenge no Democrat took up.

Senator Mitch McConnell then summed it up well:

“The President wants to be able to take his budget around the country to talk about the parts of it he thinks people will like. And Democrats in Congress want to be able to avoid a vote on it because it’s so damaging for job creation, seniors, and the economy.
“Well, if anybody wants to know what a failure of leadership looks like, this is it.”

I guess the fact that absolutely no one, not a single person, from either party, voted for it won’t matter to the folks at NBC, PBS, or the Boston Globes of the world. The media will either:

  • (a) ignore the story completely (“budget vote? WHAT budget vote?”), or
  • (b) spin this complete & utter failure by Obama as: Republican Intransigence!

Anyone doubt me?


Sponsored by: The Obama Campaign 2012

Thinning the Herd


We don’t need no stinkin’ jobs!! 


Another dismal jobs report; another whirlwind of spin.

Courtesy of Yahoo News:

“The unemployment rate ticked down again,” (President Obama) said in a speech to a raucous and friendly crowd of students at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Va. “So after the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, our businesses have now created more than 4.2 million new jobs over the last 26 months—more than 1 million jobs in the last six months alone. So that’s the good news.”

Except…that’s a farcical interpretation of the facts.

Again from Yahoo News:

The economy created just 115,000 jobs last month, below expectations, and the slight ebb in the unemployment rate was chiefly due to people giving up on looking for work—and therefore no longer being counted in the figure.

That’s closer to the truth, but not quite there.

How about this headline instead, from the Washington Free beacon:

‘Obama won’t rest …until every American has given up looking for work’

Okay; THAT I believe.


In that same Beacon article, the first couple of paragraphs place the actual unemployment number into the proper context:

United States labor participation rate fell to 63.6 percent in April, the lowest recorded level since December 1981, according to the the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The April report fell short of analyst expectations – 115,000 jobs added compared to consensus expectations of about 160,000 – and is the smallest reported gain in six months.

This is backed up by a chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, which shows the dramatic drop-off in the Labor Force participation rate. Look at the past three years, as compared to the last ten:

Data extracted on: May 5, 2012 (11:27:43 AM)

Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey

Isn’t that a cheery graph? THAT is our country’s disastrous employment situation which Obama is attempting to spin as a positive. goes one better in putting the lie to the President’s rose-colored-goggles:

In April the number of people not in the labor force rose by a whopping 522,000 from 87,897,000 to 88,419,000. 

This is the highest on record.


Obama’s painting the lowering unemployment number as “Good News” (when that number is dropping because people are giving up and exiting the workforce), is akin to saying the survivors of the infamous Andes flight disaster had plenty to eat, without bothering to mention that cannibalism had just become their only dinner option.


Time to play a little game, shall we?

What if I told you that there was a major, non-profit news site which espoused in its charter that its intended razón para vivir was to combat a “liberal and/or Muslim-influenced ideology in news and commentary”?

Do you think that would make headlines? Generate boycotts? Gin up all sorts of outrageously outrageous outrage?

Yeah, …so do I.

So when I say that this actually exists, you may be wondering just why you haven’t read about it in the Boston Globe, USA Today, or the NY Times. And why you haven’t heard ANY of the talking heads on network TV overwrought that this must be the result of Rick Santorum or G. W. Bush (*shudder*), trying to turn our country into a theocracy.

You haven’t heard about it in any of those places because the company to which I’m referring is Media Matters, and what their IRS application for non-profit status actually said was:

“It is common for news and commentary by the press to present viewpoints that tend to overly promote…a conservative, Christian-influenced ideology“.

I must be watching all the wrong channels.

As far as I can see, each of the three big networks (plus PBS, CNN, MSNBC and most major newspapers) have a distinct bias, but it most certainly is not “to overly promote…a conservative, Christian-influenced ideology”.

So, I’m just gonna wonder aloud here: if this mythical bias really DID exist, and since this “news” has now come to light, wouldn’t we have heard something about it from all of those very same news and commentary outlets? Wouldn’t they be covering the story that they are basically being targeted by Media Matters? Wouldn’t that just make sense? Heck, even on just a couple? The Globe? CBS? Someone?

The very fact that we haven’t heard any such thing puts the lie to the very premise.

One other point: if Media Matters was REALLY so concerned about this “Christian” bias (…actually, that just makes me laugh…), wouldn’t it be nice to actually spell out their focus in their Public Mission Statement?

At least that way, we’d know what truly MATTERS to them.

Truly Remarkable

I never watch the Sunday talk shows unless they have something to do with hockey or football, so I missed this until last night. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, he of the unpaid taxes, was on and made the following statement:

This president’s policies were extremely successful. If you measure what we did relative to the record of the United States in past crises and the record of other countries, history will judge what he did as remarkably effective crisis management at a deeply dark time for the world economy.

There’s colorful rhetoric, there’s political ‘spin’, …and then there’s that.

Did he actually say “remarkably effective”? Wow. We are three years into this presidency and our true unemployment is in the teens, for Pete’s sake. From the Congressional Budget Office:

The official unemployment rate excludes those individuals who would like to work but have not searched for a job in the past four weeks as well as those who are working part-time but would prefer full-time work; if those people were counted among the unemployed, the unemployment rate in January 2012 would have been about 15 percent.

Well, maybe so, but with all of the stimulus spending (despite our runaway debt), at least the people who ARE working are doing better, …..right?

Ummm, not so much. US poverty levels have now reached all-time highs.  In the year after the stimulus passed, 2.6 million Americans fell into poverty.  Overall, 6.3 million more Americans are living in poverty today than when Obama took office.

Add in the inexplicable veto of the Keystone Pipeline, a busload of failed ‘investments’ in green energy, and the fact that our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) only grew 1.7% last year, or basically half of what it was in 2010….and you have something that is indeed remarkable.

Just not remarkably successful.