Politico has discovered the perfect fix for the American economy–a set of policies that would create a jobs boom,if our political leaders would summon the courage to act. What's the plan? Cut Social Security and Medicare, lower corporate taxes, and encourage more fracking.
Niall Ferguson's Newsweek cover story "Hit the Road, Barack" has attracted lots of the wrong kind of attention. As Dean Baker put it: It's hard to believe that progressive bloggers didn't get together to pay Newsweek to run Niall Ferguson's piece on Obama. The thing is so shot full of easily identifiable errors no serious publication would ever allow it into print. But printed it was–a lengthy cover-story argument against re-electing Obama, based on an array of charts and economic facts that the Harvard professor believes bolster his case. The first–and arguably most important–error was flagged in a blog post […]
There's a lot of chatter–and presumably more to come–about this Politico story today (8/9/11): Obama Plan: Destroy Romney By Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin August 9, 2011 04:29 AM EDT Barack Obama's aides and advisers are preparing to center the president's reelection campaign on a ferocious personal assault on Mitt Romney's character and business background, a strategy grounded in the early-stage expectation that the former Massachusetts governor is the likely GOP nominee. It's a safe bet that the Obama campaign, being a political campaign, will engage in some pretty rough stuff. But this piece makes it sound like something terrible […]
"I mean, we are a profit-driven industry. And if you want the most eyeballs, you have to go with the thing that people are most talking about. But if you're trying to do a quality program, then maybe you have got to go with Iraq and Iran." –Politico's Julie Mason, explaining the amount of coverage of Anthony Weiner (CNN, 6/19/11) UPDATE: Jim Romenesko reports that Gannett will be laying off 700 employees: That's about 2 percent of the workforce, according to Gannett US Community Publishing division president Bob Dickey. 'The economic recovery is not happening as quickly or favorably as […]
Seriously, another one of these? Like last year, maybe some of the reporters involved find it valuable for the people they cover to get to know them on a more personal level, away from all the tough questions and dogged investigations.
Seymour Hersh reports in the New Yorker (6/6/11–subscription required) that there is s virtually no evidence Iran has a nuclear weapons program, despite huge efforts on the part of the U.S. to prove otherwise. Though Hersh's findings do not contradict the past two National Intelligence Estimates, they do fly in the face of long-held official and corporate media views. Corporate media routinely treat the alleged Iranian nuclear weapons program as a matter of fact. New York Times reporter Michael Gordon has done it at least twice (2/24/03, 10/19/04), in one case suggesting that a U.S.-friendly regime in Iraq might pressure […]
One of the supposed attractions of the news site Politico is that every so often they give you a peek behind the media curtain, trying to explain how Beltway journalism works. So they don't just obsessively cover Sarah Palin–they explain why they obsessively cover Sarah Palin: "For the media, Palin is great at the box office." John F. Harris and Jim VandeHei offer a similar piece (2/7/11) that takes aim at thesupposed turnabout in Barack Obama's political fortunes after the midterm election. Part of the answer is thatthe White House is doing things they know the media will cheeron asa […]
Politico has a story about how congressmembers and their staffs are avoiding the Colbert Report that contains this anecdote: "My experience with that show is like herpes. It never goes away, and it itches and sometimes flares up," said a former aide to Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, after his boss appeared on the show in 2006. The conservative Georgia Republican, co-sponsor of a bill requiring that the 10 Commandments be displayed in Congress, was skewered by Colbert in a segment of "Better Know a District" for appearing to be able to name only three of the commandments. The episode has "haunted" […]
Three weeks ago, under the headline "Activists Seize Control of Politics," Politico (5/19/10) was reporting that U.S. politics may have changed forever: The 2010 electorate has swallowed an emetic–disgorging in a series of retching convulsions officeholders in both parties who seem to embody conventional Washington politics. The anti-establishment, anti-incumbent fevers on display Tuesday are not new…. What's now clear, in a way that wasn't before, is that these results reflect a genuine national phenomenon, not simply isolated spasms in response to single issues or local circumstances…. This is a stark and potentially durable change in politics. The old structures that […]
Politico (10/14/09) published a list of top topics on Glenn Beck's Fox News show, based on a search of Nexis transcripts since the show's January 2009 debut. It's instructive to look at the placement of some individuals, groups and places in the news as an indication of Beck's sense of whom and what his audience should be informed about: ACORN: 1,224 Van Jones: 267 SEIU: 259 Afghanistan: 97 Iraq: 95 Valerie Jarrett: 52 Mark Lloyd: 50 Al-Qaeda: 50 Bill Ayers: 46 John Holdren: 43 Jeremiah Wright: 42 Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: 41 Osama Bin Laden: 40 Taliban: 38
The Drudge Report (9/16/09) is featuring this headline (in scary red type): Obama Admin: Cap And Trade Could Cost Families $1,761 A Year… The link goes to a CBSNews.com post, which declares: A previously unreleased analysis prepared by the U.S. Department of Treasury says the total in new taxes would be between $100 billion to $200 billion a year. At the upper end of the administration's estimate, the cost per American household would be an extra $1,761 a year. Well,there's one problem: $1,700 is the upper estimate. The second, far more importantproblem: This was an analysis based on a plan […]
Somehow the Drudge-friendly news site Politico managed to write an entire piece today about pressure on the White House from anti-war left ("W.H. Fears Liberal War Pressure") without actually quoting anyone who might apply that pressure. Reporter Mike Allen did gather thoughts from Matt Bennett of the Third Way think tank (a self-consciously centrist group incoherently labeled the "moderate voice of the progressive movement"), White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, Pentagon spokesperson Geoff Morrell and several anonymous White House officials. Bennett commented that Obama's supporters "are fighting a really serious political battle to keep the criticism under control." They probably […]
Following the growth of "a new right-wing scare tactic" that "has blossomed on conservative blogs and emails lists," Talking Points Memo Muckraker Zachary Roth (7/28/09) describes the healthcare meme as "the notion that the reform bill making its way through the House would lead to euthanasia by requiring senior citizens to submit to 'end-of-life consultations'"–and thinks that maybe it won't surprise you to learn this is a lie. But President Obama just got a question on it at a public event. And the idea has now made it into Politico, where a straight news story asks in its headline, all […]