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View Full Version : CNN??? Reality Check - the dims are in trouble now.



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09-09-2012, 08:46 PM
4.5 Million Jobs Created?

** Several speakers credited Barack Obama with an improved jobs picture
** The 4.5 million figure is based on private-sector jobs added since 2010
** But the U.S. economy is still down 400,000 jobs over Obama's tenure

Anyone watching the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night heard the number 4.5 million several times. "Despite incredible odds and united Republican opposition, our president took action, and now we've seen 4.5 million new jobs," San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, the party's keynote speaker, said.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who served as President Barack Obama's chief of staff, and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who followed Obama's November rival Mitt Romney as governor of Massachusetts, both cited the same number. It's a big-sounding number, given the still-sputtering job market. So we're giving it a close eyeballing.

The facts: The number Castro cites is an accurate description of the growth of private-sector jobs since January 2010, when the long, steep slide in employment finally hit bottom. But while a total of 4.5 million jobs sounds great, it's not the whole picture. Nonfarm private payrolls hit a post-recession low of 106.8 million that month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The figure currently stands at 111.3 million as of July.

While that is indeed a gain of 4.5 million, it's only a net gain of 300,000 over the course of the Obama administration to date. The private jobs figure stood at 111 million in January 2009, the month Obama took office. And total nonfarm payrolls, including government workers, are down from 133.6 million workers at the beginning of 2009 to 133.2 million in July 2012. There's been a net loss of nearly 1 million public-sector jobs since Obama took office, despite a surge in temporary hiring for the 2010 census.

Meanwhile, the jobs that have come back aren't the same ones that were lost. According to a study released last week by the liberal-leaning National Employment Law Project, low-wage fields such as retail sales and food service are adding jobs nearly three times as fast as higher-paid occupations.

Conclusion: The figure of 4.5 million jobs is accurate if you look at the most favorable period and category for the administration. But overall, there are still fewer people working now than when Obama took office at the height of the recession.

CNN Politics
September 5, 2012

LukeEDay
09-09-2012, 11:18 PM
I think CNN is starting to get sick of obama. Too bad MSNBC won't do the same.

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09-09-2012, 11:35 PM
Parker: A news channel decides to take sides in politics (http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/Parker-A-news-channel-decides-to-take-sides-in-3848780.php)
Friday, September 7, 2012 | Updated: Friday, September 7, 2012 9:22pm


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - They came, they were adored, they conquered.

No, not the president, his family or the numerous actors and political heirs who spoke glowingly of Barack Obama during the Democratic National Convention.

I'm talking about the media - and especially MSNBC, whose presence and influence in Charlotte were nearly as grand as the president's. No one pretends anymore that MSNBC is an objective observer to the news. Obviously, the decision was made to be aggressively progressive. With the exception of "Morning Joe," where Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski co-host a roundtable of commentators who dispense praise and criticism equally to Democrats and Republicans, the cable network's other political shows are unapologetically pro-Democratic.

Thus, the powers that be correctly imagined themselves as co-players at the Democratic convention. A section of downtown Charlotte was reinvented as MSNBC Plaza, which included an open-air studio, a cafe, a lounge and the "MSNBC Experience," for which fans stood in long lines to enter, cheering as their favorite stars appeared.

I happened to be in the MSNBC Plaza during a daytime concert when the lead singer announced, "Chris Matthews is in the hall, Chris Matthews!" All I could think was, good thing Obama didn't show up at the same time. He might have been ignored. Matthews gamely pushed through the admiring throng, smiling and trying his best to reach the door and refuge of his workspace.

Brzezinski told The New York Times she was accosted by a fan in the restroom who insisted on a photo and spoke to her even when she was no longer in the common area.

In fairness to the anchors, most are reluctant participants in this strange pas de deux. With fame comes a certain responsibility to engage fans, though this is an uncomfortable role for those who first consider themselves journalists. Exceptions to this rule would include people such as Al Sharpton, who were never journalists but now get to play one on TV while advancing their personal political agendas.

That television personalities are also celebrities is, alas, unavoidable. We naturally feel a bond with people who are in our living rooms every day. Producers count on this connection. What is not counted on by casual consumers is the merging of a television personality's politics and the viewer's understanding of the world.

The blending of news and opinion isn't new, but activism posing as journalism is a cancer on the body politic. While some viewers may be savvy enough to understand the difference and choose their medicine accordingly, many are not.

Perhaps the answer is a more honest approach and greater transparency. Surrendering pretentions to objectivity, news organizations (including Fox) can declare their political objectives and make the best case. In a sense, this is what Rachel Maddow does with her nightly monologues. She builds a case for her point of view. As such, she is essentially a televised opinion columnist.

Just to be clear, opinion columnists are supposed to be opinionated. It's what they're paid to do. But this arrangement is understood between writer and reader. Thus, transparency is the critical ingredient, sometimes missing in our "Hollywood Squares" approach to discourse, in which all participants are presented as equal players. Rarely is this the case.

What was clear in Charlotte is that Democrats attending their convention consider MSNBC to be their ally and mouthpiece. The network's presence wasn't nearly so prominent or ubiquitous in Tampa during the Republican convention. As one Charlotte fan quoted in the Times put it, "I feel they are part of this convention. They are in tune with the people here."

You could say that.

The opinion-as-news contagion is not yet complete. Some television news organizations still make an attempt to be balanced. But the larger observation remains: TV journalists risk becoming the event themselves rather than the events they cover. And news consumers are increasingly less likely to get the impartial information they need to make smart decisions.



Parker's email address is kathleenparker@washpost.com.