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AP's Matt Lee 'Jokes' in a Tweet That U.S. Strategy Is to 'P*ss Off Everyone' in Mideast (See Update)

Of all the Associated Press reporters out there, Matt Lee, whose beat is the State Department, appears to have the least patience with the pablum (and worse) he is expected to swallow from the Obama administration.

In September of last year, as the situation in Syria escalated, Obama administration Secretary of State John Kerry proposed a non-mandatory request for a Congressional vote on U.S. military involvement in Syria. After hearing State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki defend that proposal as "courageous," Lee, after getting a non-response to a question as why it was courageous, famously asked: "Was there some kind of, like, group spine-removal op procedure at the White House over the weekend?" Though he may not have exercised the best judgment this morning in posting the tweet which follows the jump, at least we can say that Lee hasn't taken up permanent residence in the wire service's otherwise very crowded water-carrier wing:

AP Plays Defense For Obama Admin 'Fuming' Over Israeli Anger at Kerry

The Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, wants Americans to know that the Obama adminisration is really, really upset — but not at Hamas for committing terrorist acts, using women and children as human shields, and digging tunnels for the purpose of mass-murdering civilians on Rosh Hashanah.

No-no-no. Team Obama is "fuming" (i.e., their poor little feeeeewings are hurt) because Israeli officials and the Israeli media — even its liberal wing — are furiously criticizing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for apparently doing all he can to sell out the Jewish state's positions in attempting to negotiate a ceasefire with Hamas.

At CNN, Poll Results on Impeachment Released Friday Morning, But Romney Whipping Obama Held Until Sunday

CNN/Opinion Research conducted a poll of "1,012 adult Americans conducted by telephone" from July 18-20. The poll contained over 40 questions. But instead of publishing all of the poll's results in one document, the network is parsing them out.

Several questions relating to support for impeaching President Barack Obama and suing him in court over his unilateral executive actions were released Friday morning at 6 a.m. Related coverage by Paul Steinhauser, which includes a video, was headlined "Majority say no to impeachment and lawsuit." But another set of questions, including one showing that Mitt Romney would beat Obama by nine points today in a head-to-head race, did not go public until Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m., conveniently a time of much less immediate public attention — and Steinhauser's related article did not include a video.

NYT Headlines Decline in Median Net Worth Since 2003, Downplays Much Steeper Drop Since '07

Which is the more important statistic: A 36 percent decline in U.S. median household net worth since 2003, or a 43 percent decline in that same statistic since 2007?

The average person would certainly be more concerned about the latter, which represents an annual drop of about 7 percent compared to the less than 4 percent per year seen in the past decade. But apparently if you're a reporter or editor at the New York Times, the former statistic is of far more interest, while the latter doesn't merit a specific numerical mention.

Federal Court Strikes Down ‘Nation’s Last Explicit’ Gun Ban; Press Mostly Ignores

On Saturday, District of Columbia Circuit Judge Frederick Scullin Jr. finally ruled that the city of Washington's ban on residents carrying firearms outside their homes is unconstitutional.

Emily Miller at Fox News calls it a decision which "leaves no gray area in gun-carrying rights." But a Google News search on "Washington DC gun case" (not in quotes, sorted by date), returned only 16 items, only one of which — a terse five-paragraph Reuters dispatch carried at the New York Times and appearing in Sunday's paper on Page A16 — is from a U.S. establishment press outlet.

Megyn Kelly Chronicles IRS Lies and Flip-Flops the Press Refuses to Cover, Let Alone Feature

On Thursday, with PJ Media's J. Christian Adams as her guest, Fox News's Megyn Kelly recited a list of assertions (under oath, she reminded us) made by Internal Revenue Service officials which have later been shown to be lies or cause for agency flip-flops after "new" facts have been revealed.

It's a significant list. By implication, it's an indictment of the vast majority of the establishment press, which has refused to give the IRS scandal the attention it deserves. Video and a transcript follow the jump.

Wasserman Schultz Says Nevada Governor Didn't Implement an Obamacare Exchange; But He Did

It seems that Democratic National Committee chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz has herself programmed to automatically criticize any Republican governor in the U.S. for refusing to implement a state Obamacare exchange.

Wasserman Schultz made that contention on Tuesday about Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval. She did so on Nevada's "Ralston Reports," a TV program hosted by Jon Ralston, whose bio indicates that he is "a contributing editor at Politico Magazine" and that he has appeared "on national television, including programs on MSNBC, FOX and PBS." There's only one problem: Nevada tried to set up an Obamacare exchange, but decided to "scrap its crippled Obamacare exchange and join the federal HealthCare.gov for at least a year." Video and a transcript follow the jump.

Press Ignores General Amos's Criticism of U.S.'s Poor 'Leadership' and Inadequate 'Courage'

It has been eight days since Marine Corps Commandant and Joint Chiefs of Staff member General James Amos spoke out against the current lack-of-leadership climate in Washington.

Specifically, in a question-and-answer session at the Brookings Institution on July 15 (PDF transcript here), Amos noted how badly the situation in Iraq has deteriorated since U.S. troops' departure in 2010, and questioned whether it would have happened if there had been "the right leadership, the right mentoring, the right government and courage" in place. This was a de facto callout of the Obama administration for failing to consolidate and secure the victory achieved in 2008. If this kind of criticism occurred during a Republican or conservative administration, it would be front-page news. Instead, a Google News search on "Amos Iraq" (not in quotes) returns roughly 10 relevant items, and the Associated Press has nothing relevant. The video and a transcript of Megyn Kelly's related interview of Oliver North Monday evening follow the jump.

Aww: Politico’s Glenn Thrush Doesn’t Like ‘Abortion Barbie’ Nickname For Wendy Davis

Politico reporters are badly burning themselves on Twitter these days.

Last night (as yours truly noted this afternoon), the web site's Roger Simon, apparently upset that Rick Perry is doing his job, tweeted that the Texas governor is "sending 1,000 National Guard troops to border to shoot small children." Yet 12 hours later, Glenn Thrush, another longtime Politico veteran, tweeted a plea for civility, begging people not to use a popular opponents' nickname for Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis (HT RedState):

Politico's Simon: Perry Sending National Guard ‘to Shoot Small Children’ at Border

Roger Simon "joined Politico as its first chief political columnist" in 2006. A couple of items on his resume include being "the only person to win twice the American Society of Newspaper Editors Distinguished Writing Award for commentary," and a 2013 National Press Club humor-related award. Judges for that award said that "Simon's writing is witty, specific and based on sharp observations of politics and the media."

Perhaps, but at least one of his recent tweets is bitter, loony-tunes leftist rubbish. Proving once again that it only takes a slight scratch beneath the surface of a supposedly mainstream liberal journalist to find a hardened, vitriolic radical who hates (yes, that's the correct word) those who dare to disagree with him or her just screaming to come out, Simon tweeted the following in response to news that Texas Governor Rick Perry is calling up 1,000 National Guardsman to serve at his state's border with Mexico (HT RedState):

Here We Go: WaPo's Chris Cillizza Says 'It's Virtually Impossible' For a U.S. President to Succeed

It never fails. When the regime of center-right political leader with executive authority begins to implode, the focus is on how and why that person is failing — as it should be. When it becomes clear that a leftist mayor, governor, or president is entering the failure zone, it's because the job is impossible, or the city, state, or nation has become "ungovernable."

We're entering the excuses phase with President Obama (with an important qualifier to be explained later). At the Washington Post's "The Fix" blog yesterday, Chris Cillizza, in a post titled "It’s virtually impossible to be a successful modern president," had a trio of cop-outs at the ready:

Politico's Coverage of Obama's 'LGBT Executive Order' Ignores Left's Withdrawal of Support for ENDA

President Obama signed an executive order on Monday which will force many religious organizations and their members to sever their service and business ties with the federal government if they wish to stay true to their beliefs.

The EO adds "sexual orientation and gender identity" to the bases upon which contractors cannot discriminate if they wish to continue doing business with Uncle Sam. Jennifer Epstein's coverage at the Politico blithely assumed that everybody knows what "LGBT" means. The acronym is in her headline and content, while none of the four words comprising its meaning — lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender — appear anywhere in her writeup. Epstein also erroneously contended that "LGBT" advocates are still shooting for passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), when the fact is that, in the wake of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision, they now oppose it. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):

NYT, Apparently Other Press Orgs Complying With Hamas Coverage Restrictions

Sunday evening, Noah Pollak at the Weekly Standard noted that "Something important is missing from the New York Times's coverage of the war in Gaza: photographs of terrorist attacks on Israel, and pictures of Hamas fighters, tunnels, weaponry, and use of human shields."

That's because Hamas has demanded that such photographs not be circulated. The Times is clearly complying, and without telling its readers that is coverage has been restricted. Pollak believes that the Times really doesn't mind the overt censorship (links are in original; bolds are mine throughout this post):

Priorities: As World Tensions Escalate, Schumer Pushes For Pet Meds Legislation

Let's see. A rebel group pushing for separation from Ukaine has shot down a passenger plane, killing almost 300 aboard. Israel has invaded Gaza. Illegal immigrants are flooding across the U.S.-Mexico border, in at least one instance following a hail of protective gunfire directed at Border Patrol agents.

Meanwhile, in news concerning truly important matters, New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer and fellow party member Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut are focusing on what's really important — prescription pet medication prices:

AP's Crutsinger Thinks Today's Econ News Was Good; Bloomberg's Glinski, Not So Much

There were two pieces of significant economy-related news today. The first was that the Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators increased for the fifth straight month, this time by 0.3 percent, while May's increase was revised up to 0.7 percent. The second was that the University of Michigan's preliminary June reading on consumer confidence came in at 81.3, a decline from May. Both results trailed expectations.

Predictably, the Associated Press's Martin Crutsinger put a smiley face on the news, believing it shows that "that economic growth should accelerate in the second half of this year," while Bloomberg News's Nina Glinski was more sanguine, interpreting the confidence report as an indication that "Americans’ outlook for the economy dimmed." Excerpts from both efforts follow the jump.

As World Tensions Mount, State Dept.'s Psaki Tweets on Being 'Smart, Savvy and Fashionable'

The Obama administration is probably wondering why so many people of all political stripes don't believe that they take foreign policy seriously, up to and including charges that the president and his minions are doing the equivalent of fiddling as some parts of the world burn, and others threaten to.

I don't see why would anyone think that (in case it's not obvious, that's sarcasm). After all, wasn't Bush 43 press secretary Ari Fleischer linking to a friend's column on men's suits after the Bali bombings in 2002? And didn't the London bombings in 2005 lead the otherwise hapless Scott McClellan to wax eloquent on the importance of tie-shirt coordination? The answer to both of those questions is, "Of course not." But yesterday, on a day when Israel invaded Gaza, pro-Russian forces shot down a passenger airliner with almost 300 aboard, and diseases this country hasn't seen in decades continued to be carried over the U.S. Mexican border by "Unaccompanied Alien Children" (that DHS's term), State Department spokesman Jen Psaki tweeted on the dreadfully important topic of how you can be "informed" and fashionable (HT The Blaze):

AP Quickly Buries Bad Housing News, While Reporter Crutsinger Blames It All on 'the South'

Late this afternoon, I went to the Top Business Headlines page at the Associated Press's national web site to get today's new home construction news. Because the AP didn't have a story there (saved here for future reference), I knew it had to be bad, especially because to ignore it, the wire service made room in its Top 10 stories for an item on Toyota experimenting with fuel cells and aircraft orders at an air show in England.

The Census Bureau reported that seasonally adjusted housing starts fell by 9.3 percent in June after declining 7.3 percent in May. Seasonally adjusted applications for new building permits declined by 4.2 percent after a 5.1 percent revised May drop. Reporter Martin Crutsinger, doing his utmost to earn the "Worst Economics Writer" tag the National Review's Kevin Williamson conferred on him last year, blamed the weather, blamed "the South" without telling readers how the Census Bureau defines it, and ignored how, even after a very bad month, that region is still outperforming other regions in new homebuilding. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

Megyn Kelly Eviscerates Jon Stewart, Leftist Ideologues on Abortifacient Birth Control Methods

Fox News's Megyn Kelly has clearly had it up to here with the disinformation, misinformation, distortions and outright lies coming from the left in the wake of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision. A recent dishonest rant by Comedy Central's Jon Stewart (noted at NewsBusters by Jeffrey Meyer early Tuesday morning) and attempts by certain doctors to deny scientific truth caused Kelly to correct the record on the air.

The topic is the science behind whether or not the contraceptive methods Hobby Lobby's owners would not cover in its employee health insurance plan on conscience grounds are or are not abortifacient in nature. In the video seen after the jump (HT Gateway Pundit), readers will see her identify certain perhaps unexpected entities which have admitted that they are:

Fever-Swamp Left Celebrates How CNBC's Steve Liesman 'Embarrassed' Rick Santelli; No He Didn't

Paul Krugman at the New York Times and other fever-swamp leftists who, incredibly, are operating under the assumption that the economy has experienced an acceptable if uneven "recovery" during the five years since the recession ended are celebrating what they believe was an epic live "embarrassment" of Rick Santelli at the hands of Steve Liesman at CNBC on Monday.

A Google search shows that Mediaite ("CNBC Reporter Torches Rick Santelli"), New Republic ("CNBC's Rick Santelli Was Embarrassed on Live TV"), Talking Points Memo ("Watch CNBC's Tea Partier Get Told How Wrong He's Been"), Business Insider ("Steve Liesman Issued A Devastating Line To Rick Santelli"), and of course Vox ("Watch Steve Liesman demolish Rick Santelli's inflation fearmongering") are all piling on. Following the jump, I will show that Santelli only claimed to have been right about the direction of the economy for the past five years, after which Liesman changed the subject and hogged the microphone:

AP Posts 500-Word Story on School Lunch Foods Controversy, Fails to Mention Michelle Obama or the White House

Michelle Obama's name must really be mud in the school nutrition community these days.

I had to do a double-take when I read today's coverage of the School Nutrition Association's Annual Conference in Boston by Philip Marcelo at the Associated Press today. What Marcelo hid from the nation is that the SNA didn't want Michelle Obama or anyone else from the White House anywhere near their conference.

Obama Insider Raises Concern About His Isolation Behind Jarrett and Michelle; Expect the Press to Ignore

In the early 1970s, the press obsessed about President Nixon's alleged "isolation," especially as the Watergate scandal, which in an objective lookback has to be seen as relative child's play compared to what we're seeing now, unfolded. Proof that Nixon's "isolation" had been a constant media theme in previous months is found in an NBC Nightly News report on May 10, 1973, when a White House staff reorganization was characterized by reporter Richard Valeriani as "Nixon moving to end President('s) isolation."

On Fox News's "The Five" on Friday, Democrat Bob Beckel relayed what he said was an anonymous comment by a person in a position to know about how cut off from external advice President Barack Obama is. It seems arguably creepier than any degree of isolation Nixon may have ever had, for reasons which I will explain below. Let's see what Beckel had to say following co-host Andrea Tantaros's comment that Obama has a "Stepford staff just sort of nodding at whatever he says," and Greg Gutfeld's assertion that Obama "doesn't have anybody in his circle" with the nerve or access to intervene (bolds are mine):

NYT Pentagon Correspondent: Government-Media ‘Dysfunctional Marriage’ Is Necessary ‘For the Kids’

Well, this explains a lot.

A Justin Lynch column ("Wartime Press") originally posted at the Weekly Wonk and republished at Time.com with a more foreboding title ("Bloggers, Surveillance and Obama’s Orwellian State") really ends up being an attempted justification by those Lynch quoted for having a close alliance between the government and "journalists" with "professional standards." Thom Shanker, the Pentagon correspondent for the New York Times, gets the award for the most Orwellian quote in the litter, which will come after the jump. Its prelude is his belief that "The government really needs to get its message out to the American people, and it knows that the best way to do that is by using the American news media." Excerpts follow.

Salon Author: Let's Make Google, Amazon and Facebook 'Public Utilities'

Richard (RJ) Eskow, "a writer, consultant, and Senior Fellow at the Campaign for America's Future," is a certified "respectable" lefty. So as much as the idea which follows may seem laughable, it shouldn't be dismissed as the unhinged rant of someone with no influence engaging in some isolated "thought experiment" which isn't shared by others in leftyland.

Eskow, in a Tuesday column at Salon, advocated regulating Internet titans Google, Amazon and Facebook as "public utilities." His justification is that they "define our lives," they're "close to monopolies," and besides, employing a breezy myth still held by many in the press, "Big Tech was created with publicly developed technology." Read on (the headline overstates Eskow's position; bolds are mine):

AP's Taylor Swallows Administration's Absurd 2014 Full-Year Growth Estimate

At the Associated Press on Friday afternoon, Andrew Taylor, who it should be noted covers Congress and is not routinely on the economics or business beat, relayed an Obama administration prediction that economic growth in 2014 will come in at 2.6 percent.

Taylor noted that this estimate, lowered from 3.3 percent, came about because of "the unexpected 2.9 percent drop in gross domestic product in the first quarter of this year when unusually severe weather dinged the economy." Besides failing to note that the contraction was an annualized drop (the actual contraction was about 0.7 percent), he didn't tell readers how absurdly strong growth will have to be during the rest of the year to hit that 2.6 percent target; it works out to an annualized 4.5 percent during each of this year's remaining unreported quarters. Perhaps the AP reporter isn't economically astute enough to recognize how unlikely that is — or worse, he recognized it and let it pass unchallenged.

In Covering June Budget Surplus, AP's Boak Conveniently Forgets Largest Tax Increase in the Past Two Decades

One of the reasons President Barack Obama and the left can continue to make their cherished "budget stalemate" arguments against conservatives and Republicans is that the establishment press has memory-holed tax increases, including "the largest tax increase in the past two decades," which have already taken place. It now acts as if taxes on "the wealthy," which are really taxes on "high-income earners," have never been increased during Dear Leader's administration.

Josh Boak's coverage of the June budget surplus yesterday at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, is a case in point. After regaling readers with the administration-manipulated recent history of budget deficits (without mentioning the manipulation, of course), Boak uncritically relayed the Democrats' version of the argument that the standoff between the White House and the House of Representatives is over "sharp cuts on needed government programs" versus "higher taxes on the wealthy." Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post; numbered tags are mine):

AP Acts As If Only Dems Have Problems With Bloomberg's Ridicule of Two Colorado Cities

In what appears to be an act of leftist self-defense, an unbylined story at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, describes certain Colorado Democratic politicians' crticisms of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg over recent "off-base remarks about two of its cities," but noted no reactions from Republicans — who are genuinely outraged, as opposed to arguably trying to cover their political tracks.

In a story which was apparently prematurely posted at Rolling Stone Magazine's web site (link is to a separately saved Google cache copy), Bloomberg told Simon Vozick-Levinson that in recent recall elections in the Centennial State, "The NRA went after two or three state Senators in a part of Colorado where I don't think there's roads. It's as far rural as you can get." Really.

False Reuters Headline at Yahoo News: 'President Obama Visits the Border'

I'm sure that many will pass off what Reuters and Yahoo News have just been caught doing as some kind of an innocent mistake, and perhaps it was. But isn't odd how often those "mistakes" so often end up giving President Obama and the left more credit than they deserve?

Yesterday, a Reuters story at Yahoo News was headlined "President Obama Visits the Border." That's a pretty remarkable headline, given Obama's quite widely known refusal — except perhaps by low-information Yahoo readers — to visit the Texas-Mexico border or to visit facilities where Unaccompanied Alien Children are being detained by the Border Patrol. The headline, before it was corrected to "President Obama Visits Austin," along with evidence that Google News was still carrying the original headline until just a short time ago, follow the jump.

Press Virtually Ignores Cuellar's Hits at Obama's 'Bizarre' Actions, White House Blowback

At the Politico Wednesday afternoon, Jonathan Topaz covered Texas Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar's sharp criticism of President Barack Obama's failure to visit the nation's southern border, or for that matter any of the detention centers set up for "Unaccompanied Alien Children" (the Department of Homeland Security's term).

The Politico is where many stories the rest of the establishment press would rather not cover go to die; they then appear to say, "Well, the Politico covered it, so we don't have to." During the Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43 presidencies, the press went with saturation coverage of Republicans who criticized a president from their party. The degree of coverage in Cuellar's situation is quite the opposite, even though, as we shall see, the White House has contacted him in an attempt to convince him to shut up.

NYT, MSNBC Uncritically Relay Reid's 'Five White Men' Rant Against Court's Hobby Lobby Majority

On Tuesday, Harry Reid told the press that "the one thing we're going to do, during this work period, sooner rather than later, is to ensure that women's lives are not determined by virtue of five white men. This Hobby Lobby decision is outrageous, and we're going to do something about it."

Obviously, Reid's statement assailing the Supreme Court majority in the Hobby Lobby decision is incorrect, as black African-American Clarence Thomas was among the five justices who defended the religious freedom of the Green family which owns and runs Hobby Lobby. Ordinarily, in an obvious gaffe involving a Democratic Party politican, coverage would be sparse. But in this case, there are at least two instances where an establishment press outlet actually reported Reid's statement without pointing out that it was wrong. One occurred at the New York Times.

As He Gets 10-Year Sentence, Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's Party Affiliation Disappears or Is Downplayed

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was sentenced to 10 years in prison today on fraud, bribery and related charges. In a January 2006 appearance on PBS's Tavis Smiley Show, Nagin, who in many several previous news reports had been described as a Republican who became a Democrat once he sought political office, told Smiley that he "never was a Republican" and he has been a "life-long Democrat."

As would be expected, several media outlets are failing to report Nagin's declared status as a "life-long Democrat." A particularly egregious example is at USA Today (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes, and in case USAT makes revisions; HT longtime NB commenter Gary Hall; bolds are mine):