18 thoughts on ““Fair & Balanced” is Demonstrably Misleading

  1. Joe Loveland says:

    Fox News rebuttal reported by the New York Times is characteristically thoughtful, mature and substantive:

    Asked for comment on the study, Fox News seemingly dismissed the findings. In a statement, Michael Clemente, who is the senior vice president of news editorial for the network, said: “The latest Princeton Review ranked the University of Maryland among the top schools for having ‘Students Who Study The Least’ and being the ‘Best Party School’ – given these fine academic distinctions, we’ll regard the study with the same level of veracity it was ‘researched’ with.”

    Mr. Clemente oversees every hour of objective news programming on Fox News, which is by far the nation’s most popular cable news channel.

    For the record, the Princeton Review says the University of Maryland ranks among the “Best Northeastern Colleges.” It was No. 19 on the Review’s list of “Best Party Schools.”

    The study was backed by two parts of the University of Maryland, the Center on Policy Attitudes and the Center for International and Security Studies.”

  2. john sherman says:

    “. . .believing that it was proven that the US Chamber of Commerce was spending money raised from foreign sources to support Republican candidates.” Let’s review what’s one the record: USCC got money from the state banks of Bahrain and India; the USCC spent an enormous amount of money on Republican candidates. And money is fungible. It is true that no one has found an envelope full of cash with a return address of Bank of Bahrain and inscribed “Please spend on Sharon Angle to defeat Harry Reid,” but it is also true the USCC pointedly refused to open up its books.

    It’s worse than ironic that the home of Glenn Beck University would dismiss the academic credentials of the University of Maryland.

  3. Newt says:

    Fox reports aside, is Joe saying that the stimulus packages created jobs? And if so, why has unemployment increased?

    Or are you going to hide behind the immeasurable and unsupportable claim “job losses would have been worse without the stimulus”?

    And one last question that liberals never seem to be able to answer:

    If government spending is the solution to job creation, why aren’t we doing a lot more of it – all the time, everywhere, in limitless fashion? Why aren’t Greece and Ireland spending more?

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      Newt, the answer to the jobs part of your inquiry is below. CBO says the Obama stimulus package created up to 5.2 million jobs.

      Re: If government spending is the solution to job creation, why aren’t we doing it…in limiitless fashion?”

      My goodness but that is the reddest of red herrings. We all understand that there is a balance to strike between injecting enough federal spending to jolt the economy back to life, but not more than is necessary. When consumer and business spending is flat or down and state spending is constitutionally limited, the only way to get more money flowing in the economy is through federal spending. They are the the spenders of last resort.

      When have you spent too much? When consumer and business spending starts again and people are back to work. Then the spending should drop to pre-stimulus levels.

    2. john sherman says:

      One answer on job creation is the “bikini graph” which shows job loss beginning the last year of the Bush administration plunging to nearly 800,000 jobs lost in the last month of his presidency; then the economy slowly begins to get less bad for the next six months and actually begins to create jobs although very slowly.

      Economist Rob Shapiro looked at the last Bush year and the first Obama year and concluded “The tally, to date: Mr. Obama can be held accountable for the net loss of 41,000 [private sector] jobs. . .while the Republicans should be held responsible for the net losses of 7,796,000 jobs.” In short, Bush put us in very deep hole that we are just slowly climbing out of.

      There’s a two word answer to why Obama isn’t spending more on stimulus: Mitch McConnell.

  4. Joe Loveland says:

    The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) did an analysis that apparently didn’t get much play on Fox:

    CBO estimates that ARRA’s policies had the following effects in the third quarter of calendar year 2010:

    They raised real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product by between 1.4 percent and 4.1 percent,

    Lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.8 percentage points and 2.0 percentage points,

    Increased the number of people employed by between 1.4 million and 3.6 million, and

    Increased the number of full-time-equivalent (FTE) jobs by 2.0 million to 5.2 million compared with what would have occurred otherwise.

    (Increases in FTE jobs include shifts from part-time to full-time work or overtime and are thus generally larger than increases in the number of employed workers).

  5. Mike Kennedy says:

    Read the link to the Reason article on what model they used to determine that. It is not provable — not even close. Quite reasonable and rational people disagree.

  6. Joe Loveland says:

    I am not so arrogant to think that I know economics better than the nation’s best economic minds. I delegate economic analysis to folks with much more training and talent in that area than me.

    So the issue becomes, who should the nation trust for complex economic analysis like this?

    There is a very good reason why the CBO was created. Liberals will always be inclined to embrace the analysis of groups that were created to promote liberal values. Conservatives and libertarians will always be inclined to embrace the analysis of groups, like the Reason Foundation and Cato, that were created to promote conservative and libertarian values.

    Because of that, you need an organization that doesn’t have a mission of promoting an ideology to get the non-partisan information needed to govern. That’s CBO, and that’s why I trust it more than ideological think tanks like the Reason Foundation.

    1. john sherman says:

      If you’re really a glutton for punishment, you can go the Bureau of Labor Statistics website and get more statistics than anyone could ever use.

    2. Mike Kennedy says:

      My intent is to point out that the CBO is not infalllible. Indeed, some of its past forecasts have been wrong, as pointed out. Therefore, intelligent people don’t all agree.

      I prefer not to trust any one organization that provides forecasts, be they weather (talk about inexact), financial forecasts, budgets, economics, climate change or any other “forecasts.”

      Do they merit consideration? Sure. Due consideration is proper, along with the appropriate “what ifs.”

      But no informed person will be surprised if the forecasts turn out to be wrong. Look out for the next Black Swan that will throw everything completely off.

  7. Joe Loveland says:

    Of all the inventions of the Internet Age, methinks Customizable Reality is the most wonderful. With gazillions of channels of information available now, we can shop around to find the reality we prefer. We can ensure that the economists, scientists, bloggers and cable news ranters we invite into our ideological quarantines don’t contradict our preexisting bias. Mmm, so warm and comfy. Cognitive cocoa.

  8. Mike Kennedy says:

    Yeah, don’t question any thing that comes from “official” sources — they must be right.

    Hmmm. The reverse used to be true of journalism, philosophy and science in a more inquiring age.

    But I guess many are comfortable just eating what they are given, as long as it tastes good, regardless of the ingredients.

  9. Joe Loveland says:

    The reality of our inquiring age is that most liberals cuddle up with information generated by liberals and most conservatives cling to information generated by conservatives. You worry about just “eating what we are given.” I worry about just eating what tastes good to us.

    It’s not the officialness of CBO that causes me to give it the benefit of the doubt. It’s the fact that it isn’t organized for the express purposes of promoting an ideology.

  10. Mike Kennedy says:


    On another note, I just returned from getting coffee after clearing our driveway, and the other thing I worry about in addition to losing our ability to question and reason is when did we become such pussies?

    Events are now cancelled and emergencies issued for six or seven inches of snow. Really?

    That was considered a normal snow fall when I grew up. Now we cower, stay home and haul out a snowblower that could clear a parking lot — all for a few inches. When we do get in a car, it’s like we’ve forgotten how to drive in snow — like the inches of snow times 10 is the amount our driving IQ drops.

    We act like we live in the southwest or Florida (sorry, Bruce). Good Lord. Let’s get back to outdoor football (Bud Grant was classic last night), digging out with a shovel when it’s a few inches and going about our business.

    Sorry. I just had to get that off my chest.

    1. Mrs. Fay says:

      Now there is something that conservatives and progressives in cold weather climates can all agree on!
      Finally, real MN football! (during the game last night, they showed a sign that said “real MN football” and I read it real Man football) hmmm..

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