Jon Scott, host of Fox News' weekly media analysis program, Fox News Watch, claimed that Vice President Joe Biden's appearance at the AFL-CIO executive council meeting was "closed to the press," adding, "We don't have any idea what he said there." In fact, the White House released a transcript of Biden's AFL-CIO speech, and "a pool of print reporters" reportedly covered the speech at the request of the White House.
In an AP "analysis," Tom Raum suggested that President Obama is to blame for job losses since he took office -- an argument rejected even by conservative CNBC host and National Review Online economics editor Larry Kudlow.
Not a word Wednesday night from ABC, CBS or NBC about the Journal's big A1 story yesterday:
As bad as 2008 was for Merrill Lynch & Co., it was very good for Andrea Orcel, the firm's top investment banker. Although Merrill's net loss ballooned to $27.6 billion last year, Mr. Orcel, 45 years old, was paid $33.8 million in cash and stock, just shy of his pay in 2007.
The networks have all recently reported on the pay of middle class autoworkers while the Big Three looked for a government bailout. But the nets didn't care about the fact that Merrill Lynch, which has benefited from taxpayer support (indirectly via TARP funds), lost $27 billion last year yet nearly 150 employees were paid more than $3 million. Or that:
Thomas Montag, the head of global sales and trading at Merrill, made $39.4 million in 2008, even though his first day on the job was in August.
Nope, nothing to see here, folks.
Joe Scarborough stated that "the average unemployment rate for 1984" was the "same that the unemployment rate is right now" and then added: "[A]nd ... 1975, it was nine [percent]; 1982, it was about 11 percent, and we didn't nationalize everything then and ... we didn't say we're going to put a stimulus bill out there to get people back to work right now and spend money we didn't have." But during a Morning Joe appearance with Scarborough less than a month earlier, Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman explained why "we can't do the things we did in the '80s" to fix the economy.
Amid reports that MSNBC's Larry Kudlow is considering a run against Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd, Media Matters for America decided to check out what Kudlow has said about Dodd in the past. We came across this column from 2007, which is interesting for a couple of reasons: Describing a hearing in which Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke testified about the then-strong economy, Kudlow accuses Dodd of "harping about income inequality and wage stagnation, trying to change the subject from the excellent economic news and pave the way for a tax hike on the top, most successful American earners."
So, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, testifying before Congress, officially threw in with Goldilocks - moderate growth, declining inflation.
The stock market loved it, up 100 points. Stocks soared in all sectors and around the world.
Strong business, rising exports to the rest of the world, healthy consumers, low unemployment, wages on their best run in years - these were Bernanke's key bullet points.
Senate Democrats like Christopher Dodd and Chuck Schumer kept harping about income inequality and wage stagnation, trying to change the subject from the excellent economic news and pave the way for a tax hike on the top, most successful American earners. But wages are booming. And the rest of the inequality story is so much statistical illusion and faux arithmetic. (Just ask Washington economics scholar Alan Reynolds).
Right-wing bloggers claimed Biden simply made up his claim that Louisiana was losing 400 jobs a day. Biden was poking Gov. Jindal who suggests he might not take the stimulus money for his state of Louisiana.
Blogger Dan Kennedy looks at the Bureau of Labor Statistics Data and says Biden got it right. And Think Progress confirms that Louisiana had 430 new unemployed people every day during the month of December.
On his radio and television shows, Bill O'Reilly advanced the falsehood that "the average autoworker now makes 70 bucks an hour." In fact, a recent Barclays Capital analysis reportedly found that the average U.S. autoworker is paid "an average of $55 an hour in wages and benefits."
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Glenn Beck falsely claimed that "the average UAW [United Auto Workers] worker" earns "[a] hundred and fifty-four dollars an hour if you look at -- you know, if you add in all of the benefits." In fact, a recent Barclays Capital analysis reportedly found that U.S. automakers "pay an average of $55 an hour in wages and benefits to hourly workers."
On NBC's Nightly News, Lisa Myers stated of the final version of the economic recovery bill: "If the package creates or saves three and a half million jobs as predicted, it will cost a quarter of a million dollars per job." Her report echoed a claim in a January 15 press release issued by Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee. In fact, economists note that the figure is based on false assumptions.
Fox News' Glenn Beck aired an on-screen graphic with the headline, "THEN ... WAGNER ACT," which falsely asserted that if 30 percent of employees want a union, "it gets established." In fact, the Wagner Act, which was passed in the 1930s, required that for union representation to be established, a majority of employees in a bargaining unit within a company had to "designate or select" a union to represent them. The National Labor Relations Act as it stands today also contains a majority requirement.
WSJ headline today: "Merrill Gave $1 Million Each to 700 of Its Staff"
According to the newspaper:
Merrill Lynch & Co. "secretly" moved up the date it awarded bonuses for 2008 and richly rewarded its executives despite billions of dollars in losses, giving bonuses of $1 million or more apiece to nearly 700 employees, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said.
Sorta makes you wonder about that media microscope that was used late last year to scrutinize the pay of middle class autoworkers, doesn't it?
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