Posts Tagged ‘media spin’

By John Ruberry

Outside of sheer incompetence, a theme has emerged from the Joe Biden administration. When they need help, the White House calls on people they deem to be experts. 

Here’s a dirty secret of politics, or if your prefer, of advancing a preferred narrative. Anyone can find an “expert,” more on them in a bit, to support any opinion. It works in journalism too, the media wing of the Democrat Party.

When the discovery of the Hunter Biden laptop was revealed by the New York Post nearly two years ago–the mainstream media, social media, and of course the Biden campaign immediately moved to denounce it. The casus belli for journalists, Facebook, Twitter, and the like–Biden brought this up in a presidential debate–was that its emergence three weeks before Election Day in 2020 had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation,” according to 51 former national security experts, led by James Clapper, a director of National Intelligence under Barack Obama. Every one of these “experts” either lied, signed on to something they knew little about, or just simply wanted to do whatever it took to prevent the reelection of Donald J. Trump. 

Eighteen months later, the New York Times admitted Hunter’s laptop, which provided voluminous evidence of his influence peddling centered on his being the son of a powerful politician, was authentic. The 51 experts can expect subpoenas from the House Judiciary Committee next year, assuming the Republicans take control of the House. Every one of these “experts” should have their security clearances permanently revoked.

Biden of course won the election. As a result of his policies, such as cancelling the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, blocking new permits for drilling on federal land, gasoline prices soared and remain high. Although the economy was well into recovery mode two years ago, Biden signed into law the unfunded American Rescue Plan. Many experts at the time claimed it would not fuel inflation. They were wrong. Just as those national security “experts” were wrong on Hunter’s laptop. 

When inflation began its ascent, the White House cited 15 Nobel laureates in economics who said that Biden’s Build Back Better bill, enacted in late 2021, would not fuel inflation. They were wrong too. Inflation is now at levels not seen since the early 1980s. Last year Biden and other “experts” were saying inflation was “transitory.” Liberals reading this post will blame inflation on the War in Ukraine, you know, “Putin’s price hike.” Sure, the war likely has an effect on inflation, but the scourge was with us before Russia’s invasion Ukraine. 

Build Back Better was originally part of a much larger bill, the green energy stuff was split off and later discarded after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said he wouldn’t support it. Well, Build Back Better Part Two is back, laughably renamed the Inflation Reduction Act. And to bolster its support, the Biden White House has–are you ready?–called on experts, this time, four former Democratic Treasury secretaries and one Republican, who claim, among other things, that the Inflation Reduction Act will “fight inflation” One of those ex-Treasury secretaries is Larry Summers, who warned last year the Biden White House, “We’re taking very substantial risks on the inflation side.” 

A good journalist would track down Summers and ask him specifics on why this bill really will fight inflation.

Earlier I mentioned that journalists have a role in advancing political narratives. For example, at Forbes, Rhett Buttle offers a slobbering French kiss of propaganda, which is accompanied by this headline, “Experts Agree: The Inflation Reduction Act Accomplishes A Lot For Small Business And Working Families.” While late in the piece Buttle manages to write about the bill, “some who represent select corporate interests in Washington don’t completely agree” with the hype. But if Buttle was truly a journalist, he would have tracked down opponents of the Inflation Reduction Act and presented a balanced article.

Then again, real journalism is dead. Twenty years ago such a piece as the one written by Buttle would contain the sub-headline, “news analysis,” assuming a magazine like Forbes would even publish it. I took some journalism classes at the University of Illinois. If I turned in such an article for an assignment, a professor would have deservedly given me an “F,” enhanced by this underlined comment written in red ink, “This garbage reads like a press release.”

But Biden’s new batch of experts have spoken: The Inflation Reduction Act, which the Senate will vote on Sunday afternoon, will “fight inflation.”

Watch your wallet. Watch the cash in it lose its value.

Disclosure: This blog post should be classified as “news analysis.”

UPDATE 5:15pm EDT: The Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act passed the Senate.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

…they are playing the role of Wellington.

Was it only 48 hours ago that liberals buoyed by polls and news reports were convinced that Scott Walker and the republicans were about to back down?

Now not even one day after they were proved spectacularly wrong the left has decided on a new meme to replace the old one that didn’t seem to work. Apparently now this vote is a case of political suicide for Republicans. E. D. Kain is convinced this will be their doom:

And now conservatives have chosen public-sector workers and teachers as their hill to die on. They have followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and elected Scott Walker, Rick Scott, and various other Tea Party candidates. Heavily funded by big campaign donors like the Koch brothers and other corporate interests, the Republican party has made a concerted effort across the country to take on unions, public pensions, and social services for the poor.

It is to laugh. Apparently E. D. hasn’t figured out that the “interest” that public unions fight against is…”the public” that is the taxpayer.

Richard Trukma is also playing the lemons into lemonade game as Jennifer Epstein reports:

While blasting Walker and Wisconsin’s Republican legislators for their “absolute corruption of democracy” in passing an anti-labor bill, the leader of the nation’s largest union group thanked the governor for getting activists fired up. “We probbably should have invited him here today to receive the Mobilizer of the Year Award,” Trumka said Thursday morning while speaking to the National Press Club in Washington D.C. “Wisconsin is the beginning — it’s pushing the start button” for pro-labor activism.

Right, he mobilized people so well that unions had to bus in supporters and were unable to match anything near tea party numbers in national rallies across the country.

Let’s cut to the chase here. The unions went all in here because they understand what is at stake, not bargaining, but the political clout that the union monies bring the leadership and the democrats who reward them with those monies. This is was what the unions were defending. That’s why they were willing to give up so much to avoid this vote.

Think about what it has cost the Democrats/unions:

1. War Chests: The three weeks of protesting had to have been a drain on both union and democratic funds. The monies they claim to have raised are not insignificant but they have not reported the expenses of their national campaigns. I would not be surprised if the funds raised are not sufficient to cover what they’ve already spent. In fact they will need the extra money to fight in all the other states that, seeing the union defeat in Wisconsin, will find themselves willing to take them on.

2. The schedule: Unfortunately for democrats this took place at the beginning of the term of Governor Walker. This means that this plan will have time to make the difference in the state economy meaning the voters will be able to see actual results by the time he is facing re-election. The unions are making a lot of fuss about recall efforts forgetting that recall efforts are also being placed against democratic lawmakers who actually fled the state as well. Those efforts will not reverse the bill nor did they manage to intimidate the lawmakers in question.

3. Voting with their dues: Even worse for the unions is the reality that the state is no longer obliged to collect union dues for them. The compulsion is gone. Legal Insurrection has it nailed:

The vote will be taken with the feet of tens of thousands of Wisconsin public employee union members, who will have the choice for the first time in memory of deciding whether to join the union and pay the union dues, which have been estimated in the $700-1000 per year range.

The public employees will have to make a choice, take a pay increase or pay the union.

I think we know how that vote will turn out, and whether the employees — once given a choice — will buy what the unions are selling.

I think the unions knew how this vote will come out too. That’s why they decided to die on this hill. They understand that where union membership is not compulsory it has dropped like a rock. They understand that this vote will be before any election and will signal nationwide how weak and narrow their actual support is within their own ranks.

4. Public Opinion:
That’s the other card that the unions and the media tried to play. I’m going to make the wild assumption that the office holders of Wisconsin are no more brave that other office holders across the nation. If they actually believed that they were going to suffer the public harm that the unions and the media insist they are going to get, don’t you think that they would have backed down? I think they didn’t back down not because they were any more courageous than other polls, I think they knew how to count and saw the protests for what they were and acted accordingly. As I’ve said, if the unions were convinced it would have resulted in a huge turnaround (particularly in an election year with Obama on the top of the ticket) they would have acted differently.

5. The visuals: This is the big one. The visuals of this protest favored the tea parties and the governor from the start and continue to do so. People don’t like to see their capital occupied, or doors handcuffed shut or people threatened with death, or their legislators running away. There is supposedly a big protest with Michael Moore this weekend. Yup Michael Moore and Jessie Jackson are really going to be able to sell this nationally. As I said in my examiner piece yesterday:

There has been an awful lot of video shot of the Wisconsin protests, there has been even more taken of both tea party protests and tea party meetings. The question becomes: which set of images are more likely to elicit the support of the majority of the American Populace? We will find out in 2012.

The only thing the Wisconsin democratic protesters and the tea party protesters have in common is both will likely be prominently featured in GOP ads in 2012. I’m sure the death threats against the Wisconsin legislators and those against Scott Walker (some actually signed on twitter) are going to go over real well come election day.

6. Bigger Events: Even if the unions want to keep the pressure on unfortunately for them bigger events are overtaking them, the rising costs of Gas, the war in Libya, and the national budget battles are going to trump any attempt to keep the furor up in anyone except for the truest of true believers.

E.D. Kain is trying to pull the Albert Sidney Johnston who with insufficient military to stop a union advance, used propaganda to keep the enemy thinking he was stronger than he was.

My advice to the Republicans? It hasn’t changed: Ride right through them, they’re demoralized as hell!

Update: Yup that should have said Albert Sidney Johnston, thanks to Edward for the Catch.

Update 2:
Unsurprisingly the NYT doesn’t get it but Obi Wan does.

…in my opinion they KNOW they are full of it but decided to play this game anyway. Listen to how they phrase things:

The bills are so loosely worded, abortion-rights advocates say

A Planned Parenthood official testified last week at a hearing on Nebraska’s LB 232 that such legislation “authorizes and protects vigilantes.

Oh of course. “Abortion rights advocates” and “planned parenthood” (one and the same) are saying this. Abortion is a sacrament to them. Anything that dehumanizes the unborn is sacred to them.

(BTW check out this new Planned parenthood ad arguing against their defending, funny how in their list of services they neglect to mention a particular one.

Now the only paragraph were they phrase it differently they say:

Critics of the bills, including law enforcement officials, warn that these measures could invite violence against abortion providers and possibly provide legal cover to the perpetrators of such crimes.

Do they name the law enforcement officials? Do they specify the affiliations of said folks, sorry no can do.

As Stacy McCain points out AUL has made no secret of any of these things:

My point is that there is nothing at all secretive about Americans United for Life’s role in promoting these laws. The model legislation for the “Pregnant Woman’s Protection Act” is featured on AUL’s Web site, and providing model legislation and legal advice is a specialty that AUL proudly proclaims on its Web site:

Let’s cut to the chase, AUL is not endorsing murder. Anyone who thinks that this would trump basic murder laws is selling you something. So why do you see this kind of panic article? Simple. The left is losing, and losing big, not only in terms of elections of republicans, but polls have been moving for years against abortion.

This is what comes of killing off millions of your potential voters over a 40 year period.

When Morning Joe went long with Rolling Stone great Military expose four days ago I said this:

WOW that’s absolutely positively…ordinary

Today at Hotair Bruce McQuain tells why Rolling Stone gathered no moss.

Hastings apparently took the word of LTC Michael Holmes as the premise and theme of his article. In fact he sets it up with a quote from Holmes:

“My job in psy-ops is to play with people’s heads, to get the enemy to behave the way we want them to behave,” says Lt. Colonel Michael Holmes, the leader of the IO unit, who received an official reprimand after bucking orders. “I’m prohibited from doing that to our own people. When you ask me to try to use these skills on senators and congressman, you’re crossing a line.”

Except LTC Holmes job wasn’t “in psy-ops” (Psychological Operations) nor is LTC Holmes trained in PsyOps. That is a very specific Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) that requires school training. The place in which PsyOps is taught is the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Ft. Bragg, NC. According to Special Operations Command, the Special Warfare School has never heard of LTC Michael Holmes.

His conclusion?

In short Hastings was gulled by Holmes. If anyone was a victim of “psy-ops” here, it was Michael Hastings. His lack of knowledge about the command plus an apparent desire to put another general officer notch in his journalistic belt left him open to a sob story from a disgruntled officer that may have sounded good to him, but appears to have little or no basis in fact. A story from an officer who had already been reprimanded for making a false official statement.

Go and read the whole thing. Joe Scarborough? Better luck next time, will be interested in how you will report on this stories crash and burn. As for Rolling Stone…I suggest you stick to Bieber manina.