In a January 16 editorial reacting to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's recent endorsement of a proposal to increase the state's minimum wage, the New York Post claimed that such a wage increase would "kill jobs," as it would amount to a "massive tax hike."
In fact, nonpartisan analyses have shown that increases in the minimum wage do not affect the employment rate.
As many faith leaders have recognized, climate change presents a massive ethical challenge since those least responsible for global warming are among the most vulnerable to its consequences, including water scarcity, climate-sensitive diseases, and sea level rise. Yet in response to the recent international climate talks, conservative media outlets are mocking developing countries for seeking adaptation assistance, saying they just want to "cash in" on "climate gold."
Right-wing media have recently attacked President Obama for celebrating Hanukkah too early and for displaying too many Christmas trees at the White House. Right-wing media have long attacked Obama for how he observes holidays, including Thanksgiving, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Easter, Ramadan, and even Halloween.
In his November 30 New York Post column, Fox News contributor Michael Goodwin claimed that President Obama thinks "[g]overning is beneath him" and "wants to change everything about" America. From The New York Post:
The questions are rhetorical in that we know what the president has been doing and why. He plays golf and campaigns. Governing is beneath him.
He doesn't talk much to members of Congress or his own Cabinet. They're beneath him.
His connection to the public consists of speeches before large crowds, and he ducks behind the curtain and into the security bubble as soon as he finishes. The people are beneath him.
Warped by a sense of entitlement and self-aggrandizement, Obama refuses to take responsibility for finding practical solutions to problems. He prefers the glory of transformation rather than the roll-the-sleeves-up work of reform.
When he can't get his way, he appoints a czar and ignores Congress. Democracy is beneath him.
He could have brokered a deficit deal, but doing so would have demolished his campaign slogan that Republicans are to blame for everything. Any deal would give him ownership of the results, and end the fiction that politics are beneath him.
The campaign of 2008 looked brilliant because campaigns showcase Obama's one real talent -- blaming someone else for blocking the way to Utopia.
On that basis, he got the job. But now we know the terrible truth: Actually being president is beneath him, too.
Right-wing media have responded to the latest allegation of sexual harassment against GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain by insulting, mocking, and dismissing the accuser, with Fox News' Dick Morris stating, "I look forward to her spread in Playboy." Since initial reports of sexual harassment allegations against Cain surfaced, right-wing media figures have responded by dismissing sexual harassment as "meaningless."
New York Post columnist Andrea Peyser may have won the dubious honor for the most unhinged, and misogynistic, response to yesterday's news conference where a woman came forward and accused Republican Herman Cain of sexual misconduct.
While some conservative commentators found the accuser's presentation believable, as well as damaging to the Cain campaign, Rupert Murdoch's columnist viciously attacked the woman, mocked her looks, and assigned motivation to her decision to coming forward and tell her story.
From Peyser's "Jobless & Shameless Gal Going For Gold" column [emphasis added]
Sharon Bialek is 50, out of work and, according to one who knows her, she's a smooth operator living way above her means. From the look of her heavily painted face, she's also soon to be in acute need of a new tub of eyeliner.
Peyser claimed Cain's accuser "pranced" into her press conference "with a broad grin" on her face and reveled in the attention, "bleached-blond hair set in waves for the occasion." Peyser described the accuser's allegation of sexual misconduct as a "romantic farce," and claimed Bialek had "flirted like a tart" with Cain.
Peyser then quoted a vague, nameless source (i.e. "someone who knows Bialek"), who promptly trashed the woman as a freeloader:
According to someone who knows Bialek: "She has a very infectious personality. It's easy to see how she won [Cain] over. But the reality of her situation is -- she's a complete gold digger. It's all about the money."
The friend said she comes from a lower-middle-income family, but lives in a posh apartment running from bill collectors. "Most of her jobs ended in termination. It's always the employer's fault, not hers.
Incredibly, Peyser even zeroed on Bialek's young son, writing that his mother had forced the boy to live with "shame."
Last week many conservative commentators wondered why women who had previously accused Cain of sexual harassment were reluctant to come forward.
Peyser's rancid column provides some clues.
Led by Fox News, right-wing media have claimed that ACORN is playing a "behind [the] scenes role" in Occupy Wall Street, alleging that the group New York Communities for Change (NYCC) -- which is led by a former ACORN official -- is paying people to join protests and collecting money to fund OWS activities. But NYCC has flatly denied these claims, and ACORN -- which has been a right-wing media bogeyman for years -- disbanded in November 2010.
A study published in the prestigious journal American Economic Review estimates that the costs imposed on society by air pollution from coal-fired power plants are greater than the value added to the economy by the industry. The study concluded that coal may be "underregulated" since the price we pay for coal-fired power doesn't account for its costs.
According to a Nexis search, not a single major newspaper or television network has covered the study. By contrast, an industry-funded report on the cost of EPA regulations of these air pollutants has received considerable media attention.
The authors of the American Economic Review paper -- Nicholas Muller of Middlebury College and Yale's William Nordhaus and Robert Mendelsohn -- are considered centrists. Mendelsohn opposed the Kyoto climate treaty and spoke this year at the right-wing Heartland Institute's conference on climate change.
Economist Paul Krugman wrote that the study should "be a major factor in how we discuss economic ideology," adding "It won't, of course." From Krugman's post:
It's important to be clear about what this means. It does not necessarily say that we should end the use of coal-generated electricity. What it says, instead, is that consumers are paying much too low a price for coal-generated electricity, because the price they pay does not take account of the very large external costs associated with generation. If consumers did have to pay the full cost, they would use much less electricity from coal -- maybe none, but that would depend on the alternatives.
At one level, this is all textbook economics. Externalities like pollution are one of the classic forms of market failure, and Econ 101 says that this failure should be remedied through pollution taxes or tradable emissions permits that get the price right. What Muller et al are doing is putting numbers to this basic proposition -- and the numbers turn out to be big. So if you really believed in the logic of free markets, you'd be all in favor of pollution taxes, right?
In the annals of mindless partisan sniping, this may place at the top.
This morning, Fox & Friends joined the New York Post in attacking President Obama for using a paper clip. Read that again: They attacked Obama for using a paper clip.
The Post's story today on Obama's jobs bill is headlined "O gives jobs 'clip' service; $447B 'tax hike' plan bound by chintzy fastener," and its first two paragraphs attack Obama for his choice of document fasteners:
President Obama's plan to reverse the nation's staggering jobless rate is held together with a paper clip!
"Here it is," Obama said, waving a copy of his jobs plan during a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden yesterday, an enormous paper clip binding the pages together.
Witness the madness:
The accompanying photo's caption reads, "President Obama, joined by VP Joe Biden, yesterday wields a copy of his jobs plan - with a giant paper clip."
Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy repeated this attack at the top of the show today -- right down to using the word "chintzy" -- while the on-screen graphic read "Obama's 'Clip' Service":
It was always a matter of time before the News International phone hacking scandal washed ashore on the American side of the Atlantic. News Corporation is legally chartered here and listed on the NASDAQ, is physically headquartered in Manhattan, and controls several influential U.S. properties across a range of media. A News Corp. scandal like the phone hacking charges that engulfed its British print subsidiary is by definition an American scandal.
Long maintaining a pride of place amongst News Corp.'s U.S. holdings is The New York Post, which Rupert Murdoch purchased in 1976 for $30 million -- or roughly half of what the paper is estimated to bleed in annual losses.
Rupert Murdoch has bought other New York print properties over the years, including New York magazine and the Village Voice, but the Post has always been dearest to him. Murdoch is a tabloid creature at heart -- known for his love for short and punchy articles -- and over the course of nearly 40 years, the Post is the only American publication he's ever bought twice. After selling the paper in 1988 in an act of forced compliance with now-defunct media ownership laws, the American-naturalized mogul reacquired the paper in 1993 with a crucial assist from New York's then-governor Mario Cuomo.
It is during this most recent 18-year ownership stint that the Post has established an unrivaled reputation as the bottom-feeder of American print journalism. The paper's near-comical reputation for inaccuracy is so widespread that even Gretchen Carlson -- an anchor at Fox News, the Post's corporate cousin -- recently criticized its lack of credibility.
This is not surprising, considering that The Post was for years Murdoch's only U.S. print property staffed with his clan's inner-circle of favored British and Australian tabloid veterans. The paper lost this distinction when Murdoch purchased The Wall Street Journal in 2007 and installed lifetime loyalist and News International chairman Les Hinton as publisher. Hinton resigned this past July in the wake of growing controversy over his leadership role at News International between 1995 and 2007, when phone hacking is known to have occurred at the papers under his control.
Years before Murdoch installed Hinton at the Journal, he imported another Fleet Street product to New York in the form of Colin Myler. At the time of his arrival in 2001, Myler was all but unemployable in Britain. In April of that year, he had resigned after publishing an article in the Sunday Mirror that led to the collapse of an active and very expensive trial. Myler faced the possibility of criminal charges and even jail time, but in the end his paper was merely fined for contempt of court. Murdoch apparently intended to keep Myler in New York until the British public forgot about the incident, and he worked as a top editor at the Post for nearly six years. In 2007, Murdoch brought Myler back into the News International fold to edit the now defunct News of the World. The man who had left the UK under a cloud of his own scandal returned to deal with another editor's mess: Myler replaced editor Andy Coulson, who had just resigned in the wake of revelations that News of the World reporters had hacked into royal voicemails.
Myler probably wishes he had stayed in New York. Soon after his return to London, he took over the internal investigation that concluded hacking at the tabloid was restricted to one "rogue reporter." The next year, Myler personally advised James Murdoch to authorize a large out-of-court payment to a hacking victim. The disgraced editor has most recently emerged on the other side of the Murdoch divide. He now disputes the idea that James Murdoch was not exposed to the possibility that multiple reporters were involved in hacking. Myler's reversal, in which he is joined by News of the World's former head of legal affairs, Tom Crone, may result in James Murdoch being summoned for a second time before British Members of Parliament.
Soon after the News of the World scandal exploded this summer, questions emerged over whether similar illegal activity may have occurred at the Post. As a Fleet Street veteran, Myler provided connective tissue between News International and a News Corp. U.S. print operation. But Myler isn't the only Post figure to draw scrutiny. There is also the Post editor-in-chief to whom Myler reported in New York, the Australian Col Allan. The veteran editor is equally notorious for his taste and tolerance for sleaze, vengeance, and venom as he is for an ability to alienate and disgust his staff. Not for nothing is his Post nickname "Col Pot."
In an editorial blasting President Obama's green jobs initiatives, the New York Post falsely claimed that despite significant investments in clean energy, California's "environmental sector has actually lost jobs, not gained them":
[T]he Obama administration's entire green-jobs initiative has been a massive boondoggle.
As The New York Times reported last month, Obama's grand plan to create 5 million green jobs over 10 years has turned into an enormous "pipe dream."
In California, for example, the environmental sector has actually lost jobs, not gained them.
Which raises serious questions about this administration's ability to come up with any kind of plan that will productively address America's unemployment crisis.
In fact, those job losses refer only to the San Jose metro area, not to the state of California as a whole, which has gained almost 80,000 green jobs since 2003 - a 4.2% annual increase - and leads the nation in the number of clean economy jobs.
Those numbers come from a recent Brookings Institution report assessing green jobs nationally and regionally, which was the subject of the New York Times/Bay Citizen article cited by the New York Post editorial. The Times article has been criticized for cherry-picking information from the Brookings report to paint a misleadingly negative picture of green job growth.
Michael Ashley of the University of New South Wales is blasting The Australian, a News Corp. paper, for "engaging in a campaign to misrepresent and distort climate science."
Earlier this year, Media Matters noted that while News Corporation appeals to advertisers by acknowledging that climate change "poses clear, catastrophic threats" and implementing an initiative to reduce its carbon footprint, its cable channel Fox News regularly distorts the facts to obscure the problem.
Ashley writes that one tactic of The Australian's "anti-science campaign" is to inflate "the credentials of their fake experts."
Ashley provides several examples of Australian contributors who have "repeatedly misinterpreted scientific papers." Fox also routinely misrepresents scientific findings to cast doubt on man-made global warming.
Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly reported the claim that "a fifth of America's electricity generating capacity is about to be taken offline" due to Environmental Protection Agency limits on pollution from coal plants. In fact, this statement vastly overstates even the worst-case scenarios pushed by industry groups, which are themselves based on assumptions that the Congressional Research Service has called into question.
Reports by industry groups have warned of dire consequences from pending EPA limits on pollution from coal-fired power plants. In recent weeks, conservative media have promoted and in some cases even overstated these predictions of a "regulatory train wreck." But according to a detailed analysis by the Congressional Research Service, many of these claims rely on unrealistic assumptions.
CRS assessed reports by the Edison Electric Institute, which concluded that new EPA regulations "would cause the unplanned retirement of" up to 18.8 percent of coal fired electric capacity by 2015, and by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, which "concluded that the implementation of four EPA rules could result in a loss of up to 19% of fossil-fuel-fired steam capacity" by 2018. CRS concluded (emphasis added):
The EEI and other analyses discussed here generally predate EPA's actual proposals and reflect assumptions about stringency and timing (especially for implementation) that differ significantly from what EPA actually may propose or has promulgated. Some of the rules are expected to be expensive; costs of others are likely to be moderate or limited, or they are unknown at this point because a rule has not yet been proposed. Rules when actually proposed or issued may well differ enough that a plant operator's decision about investing in pollution controls or facility retirement will look entirely different from what these analyses project.
The primary impacts of many of the rules will largely be on coal-fired plants more than 40 years old that have not, until now, installed state-of-the-art pollution controls. Many of these plants are inefficient and are being replaced by more efficient combined cycle natural gas plants, a development likely to be encouraged in the price of competing fuel--natural gas--continues to be low, almost regardless of EPA rules.
In an August 22 New York Post op-ed dedicated to stripping President Obama of credit for the recent events in Libya, historian and author Arthur Herman inserted the following line:
In short, our president largely sat on the sidelines as Britain and France used our jets to get what they wanted -- and now, European opinion, starting with the Financial Times, is urging Obama to put American boots on the ground as part of any NATO peace-keeping force.
How ironic: An American president who prides himself on his anti-colonialism -- even returning a bust of Winston Churchill to Britain because of how Churchill treated Kenya 60 years ago -- has facilitated the biggest neo-colonialist power grab in decades.
Of course, Obama did no such thing. Although stated as fact by Herman, the idea that Obama returned Churchill's bust as revenge for Britain's involvement in the Kenyan Mau Mau revolution of the 1950s is actually the product of a bizarre year-old conspiracy theory spun by former Fox News host Glenn Beck. As a February 14, 2009, article in the U.K. newspaper The Telegraph made clear, the bust was on loan to the White House and was scheduled to be returned: