"Inexcusable Internet Lameness"
I haven't weighed in on this yet (in part because it pains me to see the kids fighting), but Ed Morrissey not only puts up a good synopsis of the O'Reilly vs. Hot Air kerfuffle, but also details an unseemly end (?) to the brouhaha wherein Bill's internet goons blackball a paying member for daring to probe the depths of BO'R's hypocrisy on the subject of policing site commenters.
Perhaps until O'Reilly reconciles his equation of websites with their commenters and BillOReilly.com's own commenting policy, he ought to nix the "Policing the Net" segment.
It's Less Cute When You're Not a Fabulous A-Lister
It's been a rough few days for the paparazzi-unfriendly New York State Senate majority whip Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn). After being arrested on Friday, he was stripped today of his $22,000 leadership stipend by majority leader Malcolm Smith.
Parker, of Brooklyn, is accused of chasing down and confronting a New York Post photographer to prevent him from taking his picture Friday night. He's charged with felony and misdemeanor criminal mischief, assault and menacing. If convicted of a felony, he could lose his seat.
"I expect to be here every week," Parker said from Albany. "I think that the (court) system will work. It's worked for me in the past."
Indeed it has.
The encounter was the latest in a string of reported assaults involving Parker, who has held office since 2002.
In 2005, he was arrested on charges he punched a traffic agent who was writing him a ticket. The charges were dropped after Parker agreed to take an anger management class.
That year, Parker's security pass for state buildings was temporarily suspended for repeated violations of security regulations. A former aide complained that Parker had once assaulted her, then threatened her for talking about the incident.
Last summer, another aide filed a report with police saying Parker had shoved her and smashed her glasses during an argument. At the time, Parker claimed that the woman hit him first.
Smith said he's also awaiting a report on a recent confrontation he was told was "heated discussion" involving Parker and state police in an Albany parking garage.
If you ask me, Smith's giving off mixed signals. Earlier this year, he agreed to seat alleged lady-face-slasher (and habitual, self-dealing diverter of taxpayer funds) Hiram Monserrate into his new Senate majority.
To what can we credit the majority leader's suddenly limited tolerance for violent recidivism among his caucus members?
Previously: Clutzy Hiram Monserrate Sworn Into NYS Senate
Strategy Room 3:00-4:00
After a few week hiatus, I'll be returning to Fox News' Strategy Room today at 3 pm.
My apologies for having left everyone so addled and directionless for want of my insight during this absence.
Lie To Me*
I'm jazzed about this for a variety of reasons, not least of which is the fact that I really enjoy Lie To Me* (any vehicle for Pumpkin/Ringo/Mr.Orange is a worthy vehicle) and wouldn't want to see a new episode preempted.
Yes, the irony is an added bonus (compounded by the fact that the show frequently showcases images of notorious fibbing politicians wearing fib-betraying microexpressions at the commercial cutaways).
But what I'm most eager to see are the Nielsen ratings for the 8 o'clock hour Wednesday night.
While Fox won't be donating its $10 million hour of prime time sweeps airtime to the 4th consecutive monthly polinfomercial, Fox News and Fox Business will (as will CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNBC, and MSNBC).
Pulpit Bully, Revisited
It's starting to look like the next in the series of cost-free, hour-long, prime-time infomercials might be scrubbed.
[P]rogrammers are starting to act peeved at Obama's primetime interruptions -- one a month since January -- because every speech and press conference results in a loss of ad revenue and scheduling problems.
Assuming a 30-second primetime spot runs an average of $150,000, media buyers estimate it costs the broadcast networks a combined $10 million per hour. ... "It's really cutting into them, especially with what's going on with the advertising market," said Brad Adgate, head of research for Horizon Media, a media-buying firm. "I don't think their revenue models anticipated these monthly State of the Unions."
The networks got Obama's request on Thursday. Both Fox and NBC said no decision had been made as of yesterday evening. Both networks also have the option of shifting it to their respective cable-news outlets, Fox News and MSNBC.
CBS and ABC news didn't respond to requests for comment by presstime.
Just throw it on YouTube. Anyone who cares to see it will go find it.
Previously: Pulpit Bully
The permanent campaign is a lot more affordable when you can conjure up free, hour-long prime-time infomercials across the dial.
Here’s your feelgood story of the day: President Obama is saying “thanks for all your support” to the media behemoths who carried his water during the campaign by swiping a valuable hour of time during May Sweeps:
White House officials have requested up to an hour of airtime for Wednesday, April 29, according to TV Week. The press conference, which falls on the 100th day of Obama’s presidency, will probably air in the 8 o’clock hour and address questions of the president’s performance.
Broadcast networks have not yet announced their response, but a source said that they will most likely agree to the administration’s request.
I don't know if I'll be able to catch the jubilee's premiere, but hopefully it'll become available in a collector's edition leather-bound DVD set or as a podcast or at least commemorated with a "100 Days of Hopenchange" logo.
Rupert Murdoch: Cop Killer By Proxy
Worse still, Murdoch's Manchurian "may not be alone" in this "crazy, they're-coming-to-get-us mindset," per noted socio-criminologist Rick Sanchez.
Update: Please excuse my coarse rebuke of gentle Sanchez. A Hot Air commenter points out Rick's Twitter page, which makes it quite clear the courageous man-child is afflicted with some devastating variety of mental debilitation.
You keep on keepin' on, sport.
Sign Of the Times
Or, in this case, the Post.
THE FAMILY THAT OWNS THE Washington Post newspaper has been selling shares in the parent company in earnest in recent months. Donald Graham, the chairman and chief executive officer of Washington Post Co. (ticker: WPO), has sold tens of millions of dollars worth of stock in the past year through a series of trusts he oversees for his relatives.
In the process he has decreased his control of the company's publicly traded class B shares to 3.2 million shares, or 33.8%, from 3.4 million shares, or 35.2%, last February.
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Be Careful What You Wish For, Lefty Bloggers
King o' Netroots Daily Kos may have mixed emotions about its candidate winning the Presidency. In the months since Election Day, the site's traffic has dropped precipitously.
This effect is (predictably) observable to some extent among all political blogs, but it's notably more pronounced among the leftosphere, as its edgy, ankle-biting angst is suddenly less edgy and less relevant, now that their favored pols have their hands on all the levers (and yet, hoperiffic panacea still eludes us).
Compare, if you will, the same Alexa reach chart for Daily Kos and everyone's favorite righty megablog, Hot Air.
While DKos has typically boasted 2-4x Hot Air's traffic, they've drawn roughly even in recent months, with HA outpacing its leftward counterpart every day over the last week.
Admittedly, this observation is facile and possibly self-evident. There's a reason that Rush Limbaugh first achieved national prominence in 1993, and that Fox News found an immediate and plentiful audience when it launched in 1996. Among angst-ridden media, no one has much use for the majority opinion.
That said, I'm sure Markos will continue to do just fine. The folks I'm really concerned for are the Olbermanns, Maddows, and Mahers of the world, the outermost-orbiting satellites of the far-left who are just barely hanging onto cultural relevance as is.
How about we pity-elect a few cursory Republicans at the midterms, just to sustain some measure of raison d'etre for these hard-working purveyors of hard left media dogma?
The View + Rush Limbaugh + Wayne's World + MST3K
= Strategy Room, apparently.
That sounds about right. To quote KT, "It's 'The View' for smart people."
Fox is a latecomer to producing live news programming for the Web. CNN and ABC News have had video channels streaming online for a few years. Those webcasts mimic the format of traditional cable news channels, with a mix of anchored newscasts and specialized programs.
“The Strategy Room,” by contrast, resembles ABC’s “The View” mixed with a dash of Rush Limbaugh and a generous helping of “Wayne’s World.” The program began as a series of special webcasts on the evenings of some of the major presidential primaries and then during the political conventions. Then Fox turned it into a five-day-a-week, 9-to-5 session in September, produced on a budget hardly more than pocket change.
It tries to make its rough edges a virtue, defining it as a news channel for the YouTube world. Hosts, Fox correspondents and guests of all sorts wander on and off camera, drinking coffee and soda, tapping at their BlackBerrys and laptops, reading news and responding to comments from viewers.
When there is a news event, like a speech or press conference, viewers see the backs of the heads of the guests watching it on a big screen, throwing out wisecracks about the goings-on. [Executive producer Mike] Straka compares the format with the cult comedy series “Mystery Science Theater 3000.”
I'll be wandering in with my soda and Blackberry on Thursday at 3 pm.
The Pertinence of Transparency
Welcome to the black list, ABC News.
You think Tapper made it out of that room without a leathery tongue lashing from Helen Thomas?
(HT: Hot Air)
Dr. Kenneth and Mr. Ken
Is The Wall Street Journal pixeltorializing?
Columbia Journalism Review notes a stunning evolution in Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis' stipple portrait.
Overnight, he went from neatly coiffed, even-tempered gent...
What happened between those two consecutive issues going to print?
Bank of America Corp. reported a fourth-quarter loss of $1.79 billion Friday and went on the offensive to answer critics and shore up support for the giant Charlotte, N.C., lender during a time of crisis.
Get Ready Not To Know How To Feel About Things
Join me in a weep for the professional art and culture opinionistas, won't you?
Sheila Farr chooses her words carefully when she describes the day her job disappeared. She makes a practice of being careful with language, and this is a story she wants to get right. "Here is how it was put to me," she says, scrupulously recreating her conversation with Seattle Times higher-ups. "They were eliminating my position as art critic. The position would be gone." A fine-boned woman with a meticulous manner, fifty-seven-year-old Farr was the paper's staff art critic for eight years, and a dominant voice in the city's visual arts scene for over twenty. She is a very good art critic and she knows it. So the news she'd likely be the last staff art critic in the Times's 112-year history was a surprise.
As the meltdown continues, certain values become clear: the most basic of these is that breaking news is more important than anything else. This breaking-news panic is a product of Blogosphere Fear - terror that the blogs will get the story before the newspaper gets it. And since most newsrooms operate under the unexamined, cultlike belief that sports coverage must be preserved, arts coverage is what's targeted for elimination.
Yeah, the free market's a drag.
Farr may know herself to be a fine (and fine-boned) culture appreciator, but she suffers from an ironic lack of inward perspective. Which is more likely - that her contributions add more value for readers than those of her boorish colleagues on the breaking news and sports desks (a prospect that conveniently reinforces her belief that she's not wasting her life) and that the knuckle-dragging, cult mentality muckety mucks in the corner office simply haven't bothered to "examine" the dynamics of their business sufficiently to realize this beautiful truth? Or that the content judged by readers and advertisers to be less valuable is the same content that the cold, calculating cultists tasked with saving the dying business have appropriately (if monstrously, from her own rigid perspective) concluded must be weeded out?
No matter. Genghis at AoSHQ has a solution.
So the next time you pass by a former columnist on a street corner, holding a sign saying “will critique for food,” be sure to drop an abstract allegrorical invisible coin into their cup. They’ll appreciate the whimsical Bauhaus-inspired Dadaist/Postmodern/Deconstructionist ironic construct of the gesture, with its attendant underlying, subtle, anti-bourgeois-nationalist yet proto-nativist meaning.
Thank you for reading this post and loading this ad-supported page. In so doing, you've rendered me a professional cultural critic of cultural critics. I must be boorish and fine-boned.
Joy Behar Nearly Becomes Self-Aware
You have to watch carefully, but toward the end, there's a fleeting glint of introspection in her eye, just before she swallows her cognitive dissonance and reassures herself that the world truly is precisely as she perceives it.
Tavis Smiley Has a Greater Responsibility Than We Can Possibly Fathom
On Friday's "Morning Joe" on MSNBC, Tavis Smiley of PBS proudly acknowledged his solemn duty as a journalist "to help make Obama a great president."
Reacting to Harry Reid's claim last week that he doesn't work for Barack Obama, Smiley said Reid should "put down the crack pipe." Smiley added "we're all working for Barack Obama." It soon became clear that was no passing quip, but a literal description of how he sees his role.
As forced idolatry for one's leaders is the highest form of patriotism, Smiley recognizes the terrible burden that falls on his journalistic shoulders.
At Hot Air, Ed Morrissey's first reaction was one of incredulity:
"Oh, come on — Tavis Smiley’s just making a harmless joke." Unfortunately, as Smiley continues explaining that it’s up to the media to make Obama a "great President," it starts sounding a lot less like a joke than a rationalization for four years of hackery on the horizon.
NewsBusters posted an unedited clip of the interview. I ran the footage through a couple of rhetorical filters and came up with the following...
Barack To the Future
"I've decided to appoint Sanjay Gupta as my Surgeon General."
"Sanjay Gupta! The TV doctor?!"
"And who's Vice President? Jerry Lewis?"
"And I suppose Judge Judy is Chief Justice!"
"And Jack Benny is Secretary of the Treasury!"
"And Leon Panetta is Director of the CIA!"
"Doc, you've gotta listen to me."
"I've had enough practical jokes for one evening. Good night, Future Boy!"
Have you voted yet today?
Fauxtography is so 2008.
For the Associated Press, 2009 is the year of deceptive camera angling.
So here we are again - another conflict between Israel and murdering, Islamic terrorist organizations, and another attempt to augment Palestinian "suffering" through media manipulation.
Accompanying this article are three photographs of a bombed out location. Instead of noting in the captions that these photos were all of the same house, the intent is obviously to make you instead think that these are three different locations. They're not ...They are, in fact, three photos of the same house from different angles by AP photographer Eyad Baba.
Ten bucks that the[y] change the article captions without notice if somebody starts making noise about this.
"I'm Not Going To Be IGNORED,
(HT: Hot Air)
"The New Republic" Suddenly Super Sleuthy About Fabulism
If Bernie Madoff were to form a financial fraud investigation firm, would you hire him?
The irony of the famously hoodwinkable and thrice-disgraced New Republic patting themselves on the back for digging up this literary hoax is no less palpable.
Previously: The New Republic box set
Today, We Are All Stan Smith
It's Obama's Nation Of Hope. We Just Live In It.
Time and God's Most Precious Creation need to get a room. They're beginning to make the rest of us uncomfortable.
If the magazine's Person of the Year article isn't cloyingly adulating enough to make you feel like the third wheel at a media-Messiah make-out party, peruse the accompanying slideshow "Obama's Nation of Hope". That ought to do the trick.
Flip's In the Strategy Room at FoxNews.com: Tuesday 11-1
Tune in here.
Different Bat Time, Same Bat-Strategy Room
After three tours with Eric Bolling in the "A.D.D. Hour", I'll be recuperating in the Strategy Room's 11-12 hour today at FoxNews.com.
I <3 Strategy Room
I'll be heading back to the Strategy Room at FoxNews.com today at 3 pm, where I'm determined to score one of those stylish new "I <3 Strategy Room" t-shirts.
Flip On Fox News' Strategy Room: Tuesday 3-5 pm
Eric Bolling and Harris Faulkner will likely be hosting.
You can catch the live stream here.
Red S.E. Cupp
You should go pay her a visit.
Neither Protest Nor Petition Nor Bribe Nor Barrage Of Email Stays These Journalists From the Swift Suppression of Newsworthy Material
That seems to be the L.A. Times' new creed.
Michelle Malkin offers a digest of the latest citizen-led initiatives to coerce or shame the newspaper into doing its job.
Bounty On Obama/Khalidi Tape Up to $200,000 (Or Maybe $230,000)
Harry adds the $25,000 in pledges Ace has collected to his $175,000 already announced. He's got another $30,000 pledged, but those benefactors are squeamish in light of the possibility of receiving the Joe the Plumber treatment (i.e. Obama's political allies abusing their positions of power to investigate you if you question His magnificence).
Can't say I blame them.
$150,000 $175,000 Bounty For Obama-Khalidi Tape
Dirty Harry's Place publishes a sizable bid by one Aston Grimaldi for a copy of the video of Barack Obama toasting anti-Israel "scholar" and former PLO adviser Rashid Khalidi at his Jew-bashing going away party in 2003. The L.A. Times is resisting a whole lot of pressure (and any semblance of integrity or objectivity) in refusing to release the tape, but perhaps this wad of cash will manage to pry it loose. Maybe a staff member who's beginning to suspect he won't have a job much longer anyway decides it's time to look out for himself. Or maybe the original source opts to cash in by duping another copy for Mr. Grimaldi.
Something tells me this is going to work. It's a shame that the media needs to be bribed into doing its job, but to be fair, they do really like this guy.
Update: Newt Gingrich also thinks this is the way to get it done.
Update: Dirty Harry reports the total bounty is now $175,000.
Gallup Shows Bulk Of Obama Lead Disappearing Overnight, Notices "Slight Narrowing"
Gallup's latest daily poll of traditional likely voters gives Barack Obama a 2-point lead over John McCain (49-47). The gap has shrunk from 5 yesterday and 7 on Friday. The headline of the poll: "Presidential Race Narrows Slightly."
Only the 3rd and final day of the latest polling window followed the discovery of Obama's 2001 tragedy of non-redistribution interview, so the actual swing over the last couple days may be larger than the rolling average currently lets on.
Fox News Rowdydow: Kelly vs. Burton
This was a good one.
At issue was the newly uncovered audio tape of Obama waxing redistributive and campaign spokesman Bill Burton's statement that,"This is a fake news controversy drummed up by the all too common alliance of Fox News, the Drudge Report and John McCain."
Burton was on Fox a couple hours earlier receiving a similar browbeating from Neil Cavuto (who'd done his homework on the Obama economic plan and shown that - even granting all of the campaign's dubious assumptions - their own math doesn't add up, unless they introduce additional taxes above and beyond what they've already copped to).
Maybe Burton figured he could vent some of his frustration following that round by talking over Megyn Kelly about how unfair Fox is. Cathartic? Maybe. Effective? Eh... not so much.
(HT: Hot Air)
O'Reilly Ambushes Bill Ayers
I generally don't have a whole lot of use for the Factor, but I'll be tuning in Friday night. Based on the promo, it looks like one of Bill O'Reilly's field correspondents simply follows Ayers around for a while and fruitlessly asks questions about his relationship with Obama and his lack of repentance for his terrorist ways.
Even so, if it's good enough for a man who dared to ask Obama an uncomfortable question when the candidate darkened his doorstep, then a bit of mild harassment is probably good enough for a proud Marxist bomber.
Revelation Of Obama's Socialist New Party Membership Goes (Sort of) Mainstream
Stanley Kurtz weighs in at NRO.
Ace wonders if this is sufficiently legitimizing for McCain to incorporate it into his stump narrative or campaign ads. One hopes. The spread-the-wealth flap arising from the Joe the Plumber encounter seemed to be enough to prompt Americans to stroke their collective chin and wonder whether Obama might indeed have socialist leanings that place him well left of the mainstream left. His active membership in a socialist party during his first run for political office just 12 years ago likely has some capacity to confirm the suspicion.
Storming Off the Set 101
Lesson 1: Remove the earpiece first.
Quote Of the Week (Runner-Up)
CHRIS MATTHEWS: "Can you give me a case where Barack Obama has reached across the aisle and cut a deal and gotten something done for the country? One example."
GOVERNOR PATERSON: "Well, Senator Obama has been there two years and I can’t cite an example right now..."
Who is this anchor and in whose basement is he keeping Chris Matthews?
(For the record, Obama's been there for nearly four years, not two.)
(HT: Riehl World View)
CNN (Yes, CNN) Confirms Obama Is Lying To You About Bill Ayers
Astounding. Even CNN has been suckered into the distraction of a Presidential candidate lying about the extent of his long, close relationship and political alliance with a proud domestic terrorist.
When are we going to get beyond all this and focus on things that matter?
(HT: Ed Morrissey)
Gotcha-Journalistic Karma Thwacks Katie Couric On 5th Avenue
So what magazines and newspapers do you read, Katie?
This is a totally unfair ambush, of course, but - well - you can't help but kind of enjoy it.
And to her credit, she was eventually able to identify a periodical.
(HT: The Corner)
Sarah Palin: The New Nightmare
A month ago, Slate's David Plotz detailed the horrific nightmares he and his colleagues had begun having about the "scolding ominous figure" that is Sarah Palin (inspiring this blog to post the artistic rendering at left).
After weeks of what we mistook for relative nocturnal peace, it appears that the liberal subconscious has once again succumbed to Palin's nightly torment.
Three weeks ago, I met with a therapist for the first time in my life. I'm a very happy guy -- great family, great job, great girlfriend, tons of Facebook friends -- no problems that a glass of scotch couldn't fix. But ever since the beginning of September, I've gone 100% bats*** crazy. Why? Because come next year, John McCain and Sarah Palin might be running this country. I can't concentrate at work. I can't hold a normal conversation about anything besides politics. At night, I'm afraid to go to sleep because I know that Sarah Palin is waiting for me in Dreamland, like Freddy Krueger but dumber and more evil.
Several commenters at Huffington Post commiserate with this wretched sufferer of "MPSD" (McCain/Palin Sleep Disorder).
The View From Inside the Tank
A READER AT A MAJOR NEWSROOM EMAILS: "Off the record, every suspicion you have about MSM being in the tank for O is true. We have a team of 4 people going thru dumpsters in Alaska and 4 in arizona. Not a single one looking into Acorn, Ayers or Freddiemae. Editor refuses to publish anything that would jeopardize election for O, and betting you dollars to donuts same is true at NYT, others. People cheer when CNN or NBC run another Palin-mocking but raising any reasonable inquiry into obama is derided or flat out ignored. The fix is in, and its working." I asked permission to reprint without attribution and it was granted.
The Interview ABC Didn't Want You To See
Mark Levin has posted an unedited transcript of Charlie Gibson's interview with Sarah Palin, which reads very differently from what was actually aired.
ABC yanked a bunch of Palin's answers (frequently her most substantive comments) as well as some of Gibson's questions.
Newsbusters annotates the edits, which include just about anything that made Palin sound knowledgeable, that detracted from the thesis that she's an empty-headed warmonger, or that revealed Gibson agreeing with or misquoting her.
If You Don't Have Anything Nice To Say...
[McCain's] top contenders are said to include Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Less traditional choices mentioned include former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, an abortion-rights supporter, and Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Democratic vice presidential prick in 2000 who now is an independent.
(HT: John Hinderaker)
Sean Hannity: Clear Channel's Other 9-Figure Man
To quote Ari Gold, boom.
As TVNewser reported last month, Sean Hannity struck a three-way partnership deal to stay with Citadel-ABC Radio stations, but to also appear on Clear Channel stations.
The reigning "Radio Personality of the Year" will now make, "in the region of $100 million over five years," according to The Wall Street Journal. His previous deal was rumored to be for approximately $5 million a year.
The deal is set to begin in December.
Clear Channel's been busy making new deals with its stars — Rush Limbaugh's eight-year, $400 million deal was reported earlier this month.
Meanwhile, Air America has announced tentative plans to offer unlimited free coffee creamers to several of its on-air personalities and, to one randomly selected host, a grab bag of Dukakis-Bentsen tchotchkes recently found in a producer's basement.
Dan Rather: Jesse Jackson Paved the Way For Bin Laden
Now that's a goof.
(What a racist.)
What Is the Sound Of One Brain Cell Firing?
Hint: It's the same sound Chris Matthews makes when he tries to screak loud enough to drown out his own cognitive dissonance.
You Know Damn Well I Like Brit Hume!
Brit Hume, a top anchor and executive with Fox News since the channel was launched 12 years ago, plans to step down at year's end. But he won't disappear entirely.
Sources familiar with the situation say that Hume, 65, will give up his job as Washington managing editor and anchor of "Special Report." They say he is near a deal to continue with Fox in a senior statesman role, not unlike that of Tom Brokaw at NBC, for roughly 100 days a year.
(HT: HA Headlines)
Jobless Claims Much Lower Than Expected, Associated Press Coverage Approximately As Objective As Expected
This morning, the Labor Department released its weekly unemployment report, showing initial jobless claims falling 58,000 (from 404,000 to 346,000). Math fans will be interested to note this was a one-week decline of more than 14%.
Economists were expecting a decline of less than 3%. The actual percentage decline was the largest one-week decrease in jobless claims in nearly 3 years (since September 2005).
If this sounds like good news, it is. Meaningful and unexpectedly good news. (Unless you're a media outlet that delights in reporting crummy news about the American economy, that is.)
The AP Economics Desk rushed out a story originally titled "B- b- b-, but, but but..."
Jobless claims dip but don't change bigger picture of labor market struggles
Fewer people signed up for unemployment benefits last week, but not enough to obscure continuing weakness in the country's labor market.
The Labor Department reported Thursday that new applications filed for unemployment insurance fell by a seasonally adjusted 58,000 to 346,000 for the week ending July 5. A year ago, the figure was lower, at 304,000, showing a deterioration in employment conditions.
A government analyst cautioned that last week's drop did not suggest a sudden improvement in the country's overall economic health. The decline was exaggerated because of adjustment problems related to temporary shutdowns at auto plants for retooling new assembly lines. The unadjusted, or actual raw figures, showed an increase of 30,000 claims for last week.
Ah, turns out its the not-seasonally-unadjusted (the "actual") numbers that count. I wonder why the DOL bothers with these seasonal adjustments in the first place. By the same token, I assume the AP was careful to make the same distinction for its readers back in late January, when the seasonally-adjusted numbers showed a 23% increase in jobless claims, but the unadjusted, actual numbers showed a double-digit reduction (great news, right?).
In another bad sign for the economy, the [seasonally adjusted, non-"actual" according to us] number of workers filing new claims for jobless aid jumped by a much larger-than-expected 69,000 last week to the highest in more than two years, but the numbers were likely skewed by the timing of a public holiday.
The Labor Department said that initial claims for state insurance benefit totaled 375,000 in the week ending Jan. 26, the highest reading since October 2005, when claims reached 376,000. It was also the largest weekly increase since September 2005, when claims had mounted by 95,000, the Labor Department said.
Lots of stats about the significance of the seasonally adjusted number - not a peep about the unadjusted number.
And of course that's the way it should be, since the unadjusted number is a lot less meaningful (I think that might even by why they adjust it). I just wonder why the AP only remembers this selectively.
Newsweek: Rick Astley Most Qualified To Be President
Sometimes it's hard to know when the media establishment is being sarcastic.
Political Perceptions: Obama Really Is Experienced
Alan Ehrenhalt, writing as a special guest columnist for Newsweek, argues that we shouldn’t dismiss or denigrate the most important piece of Sen. Barack Obama’s political resume, his considerable time in the Illinois state legislature. While not refuting that Sen. John McCain has more experience, Ehrenhalt writes: “But here’s something I bet you didn’t know: If Obama becomes president, he will have spent more time serving as a state legislator (eight years) than anyone who has occupied the White House since Abraham Lincoln.”
Does that really qualify as a superlative distinction? Surely, Newsweek recognizes the even more impressively seasoned Presidential resume of internet-born again British pop sensation Rick Astley. In the late 80s, Astley had some 13 hit singles. While that's not as many as some of his peers in the music business, it would almost certainly make him the most accomplished British-born singer-songwriter to be elected President since Thomas Jefferson.
Since Jefferson preceded Lincoln, one has to assume Ehrenhalt would've written the article about Astley if it weren't for the natural born citizen requirement.
Pop quiz: What's the most efficient way to kill the longest-running television show in history?
TIM Russert's body wasn't even cold in the ground before MSNBC anchors Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann started jockeying for his job, sources claim.
Matthews was heard loudly discussing what seemed to be his strategy for landing Russert's "Meet the Press" show at Wednesday's memorial reception for the NBC Washington bureau chief at the Kennedy Center in DC. After Brian Williams, Carl Bernstein, David Gergen, Barbara Walters and NBC brass eulogized their friend, Matthews huddled with an unidentified "agent type" and seemed to be plotting.
But even more asinine than the prospect of installing Ol' Tingly Legs behind the vaunted desk is that of considering his profoundly deranged colleague for the job.
Meanwhile, Matthews' MSNBC cable cohort Olbermann, who was also at the memorial, is "threatening to quit if he isn't installed as Russert's replacement," another insider said. "I know, it sounds ludicrous, but, then, Keith Olbermann is ludicrous."
A rep for MSNBC said, "All of this is utterly untrue."
Russert himself wanted Chuck Todd, the NBC News political director he hired, to succeed him, said one source, who added that MSNBC hosts don't stand a chance of landing "Meet the Press." The insider said, "They're cable. They're far too partisan. They have no gravitas. If gravitas is eight letters, they're about seven letters short."
If the past is any indication, MTP would stop booking actual guests and Olbermann would spend the whole hour screaming with trademark spittle-flecked indignation about Chris Wallace.
Update: Heh. Via Ed Morrisey, here's Olby last night, preemptively branding Paula Froelich the "worst person in the world" for preparing to run the story about his and Matthews' unseemly jockeying for Russert's job.
Update: WWTDD has the quote of the day.
Olbermann is a f***in creep. I never missed a show when he and Dan Patrick did Sportscenter, but today he’s an insufferable jackass. And he looks like a pervert. Mark my words, one day you’ll wake up and there will be sketches of him on flyers and you’ll see the FBI confiscating his home computers.
He also claims she's lying, and claims it exuberantly, using impressively long sentences with lots of parallel construction. So, you know... point Olbermann, I guess.
He also laments Froelich's (and, by extension, NY Post parent company chairman and Olbermann's Great Tormentor Rupert Murdoch's) decision to trample Russert's memory by whacking a couple of petulant MSNBC employees for trampling Russert's memory in their frenzied bids to replace him.
Keith Olbermann is a truly extraordinary intellect. His ability to retain basic powers of speech under conditions of cognitive dissonance so profound as to lobotomize any normal brain removes any doubt that he is indeed qualified to pass daily judgment on the "worst persons in the world."
Tonight, he fell into a disjointed fugue about John McCain's proposal to lift the 27-year-old moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling. McCain's support for the ban during his 2000 Presidential run has earned him rightful rebuke, but his reversal on the issue is only part of Olbermann's beef.
(For the record, while McCain's original position on the issue was inexcusably foolish, this reversal doesn't quite warrant the pejorative "flip-flip" label. It's not inconsistent to favor more aggressive energy exploration with oil at $130 per barrel than when it was $27 per barrel.)
But as Olbermann teed up the segment, he explained a couple points of economics that nicely showcased his capacity for magical thinking. Despite the hue and cry over rising energy prices and reliance on foreign oil, Keith assures us that exploiting our own enormous and forbidden reserves will have dreadful results. By tapping these oil and gas sources, we will only serve to "increase our reliance on [them]!"
By the same logic, if large caches of delicious sandwiches are discovered in sub-Saharan Africa, starving children should steer clear, lest they succumb to an increased reliance on nourishment. And Cohaagen wasn't trying to kill the Martian rebels when he cut off their air, he was just trying to reduce their reliance on oxygen.
When demand outstrips supply (and when additional supply is available, but for governmental prevention), Olbernomics teaches us that the answer is not to increase supply, but rather to convince people to make do with less (or to substitute inferior or more expensive alternatives).
For the consumption of only his most advanced pupils, Olbermann goes on to explain that increasing the supply of oil and gas can only increase prices anyway. He substantiates this refutation of the most basic principle of economic theory with the central maxim of liberal energy policy: oil companies are evil.
RIP, Tim Russert
From NY Post:
Tim Russert, NBC journalist and political heavyweight host of "Meet the Press," has died after collapsing at NBC's Washington news bureau, a source said. He was 58 years old.
Tom Brokaw, the former anchor of NBC Nightly News, came on the air at 3:39 p.m. that Mr. Russert had collapsed and died early this afternoon while at work. He had just returned from Italy with his family.
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