Tags: Couric | Rips | Obama

Turning Point: Couric Rips Obama

By    |   Sunday, 29 November 2009 10:36 PM

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Turning Point: Couric Rips Obama
2. Rove Chronicles Obama’s Friday News Dumps
3. ‘Credit Crisis’ at the Republican National Committee
4. Newspaper Circulation Worse Than It Appears


1. Turning Point: Couric Rips Obama

Katie Couric may be best known for her unflattering interview with Sarah Palin. But her nightly news broadcast this past Monday night may be an indicator that the big liberal media are now turning their guns on Obama.

Couric said on “CBS Evening News” that Americans are growing “disenchanted” with Obama and are openly questioning his credibility.

“Is the honeymoon over?” anchor Couric said at the beginning of her correspondent’s report.

“Although President Obama has been in office less than a year, many Americans are growing disenchanted with his handling of the enormous problems he and the country are facing, from healthcare to unemployment to Afghanistan.

“His poll numbers are sliding, and at least one poll shows his job approval rating has fallen, for the first time, below 50 percent.”

Correspondent Chris Reid chimed in: “The president is getting battered on everything from the economy to foreign policy. Some polls show Americans are increasingly questioning his credibility.”

The report asserted that while Obama talks about dealing with unemployment, which is over 10 percent and expected to rise, he has developed “no new ideas” for dealing with the problem.

CBS also cited a poll showing that only 14 percent of Americans believe Obama’s claim that healthcare reform won’t add to the budget deficit, and only 7 percent believe that the stimulus has created any jobs at all.

The report also criticized the president for being “indecisive” on Afghanistan, and for returning from his recent Asian trip “with little to show for it.”

An expert was quoted as describing his trip as the “amateur hour,” as he did not line up agreements with foreign countries before venturing abroad.

Editor's Note:

2. Rove Chronicles Obama’s Friday News Dumps

It's no coincidence that Attorney General Eric Holder chose a Friday to announce that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other terrorist suspects would be tried in civilian court in New York City rather than before a military tribunal.

The Obama administration has shown a pattern of seeking to mute reaction to policy announcements by issuing them late on Friday.

"Every modern White House has put out news on contentious issues late on Friday in the hope that doing so will bury it or reduce the amount of critical scrutiny it would otherwise receive," former Bush White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove wrote in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece.

"What is unusual is the degree to which this White House has relied on this tactic."

Rove cited these examples of Obama's "Friday dumps" in his Journal article:

  • On Jan. 30, Obama revoked the ban on providing taxpayer dollars to international groups that promote or perform abortions in other countries.
  • On Feb. 27, the president announced that U.S. combat activities in Iraq would end in 18 months, a longer period than his antiwar base desired.
  • On May 15, another Friday, Obama said he would retain George W. Bush's military tribunals to try terrorist detainees, a move opposed by civil libertarians.
  • On Oct. 30, the White House announced that it had "created or saved" at least a million jobs since February. A week later, the unemployment rate hit 10.2 percent.

"Friday night network television news and Saturday newspapers and cable coverage are traditionally less seen or read," Rove observed. "By Sunday morning, a Friday announcement is often considered old news."

However, he added that "not even Friday afternoons can offer sanctuary from dangerous or ill-considered policy choices."

Editor's Note:

3. ‘Credit Crisis’ at the Republican National Committee

Trevor Francis was pushed out of his job as communications director of the Republican National Committee because Michael Steele felt that as committee chairman he wasn’t getting enough credit for the GOP’s successes in early November elections, sources told Politico.

RNC spokeswoman Gail Gitcho said only that Francis — a former official at the public relations firm Burson-Marsteller who assumed the post in March — was “pursuing other opportunities,” and Francis said he was “returning to my career in the private sector.”

But the sources — two Republican strategists — said that after the GOP won gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey, Steele was frustrated that he wasn’t being lauded for his role in the party’s success.

“So the reaction was: Get rid of the communications director,” one of the strategists grumbled.

Curt Anderson, a Steele adviser, said the claim that Francis was shown the door is “not true. It was a mutual thing.”

But Politico insists that the dispute over Francis “reflects a larger battle within the top ranks of the Republican Party. Anderson and Steele believe the chairman deserves a share of credit for the party’s resurgence this year, while other activists and officials are frustrated at what they see as the chairman’s penchant for self-promotion and his insular palace guard.”

Steele became chairman of the RNC in January.

Shortly after Francis’ departure, the RNC said Republican media consultant Alex Castellanos was joining the committee as a senior communications adviser.

Editor's Note:

4. Newspaper Circulation Worse Than It Appears

The plunge in circulation afflicting U.S. newspapers is even worse than officially reported — because new auditing rules make it easier for papers to count a reader as a paying customer.

Average weekly circulation at 379 newspapers fell 10.6 percent from April to the end of September. That is the steepest drop ever recorded by the Audit Bureau of Circulations, which verifies the number of people paying to read publications.

But under the new auditing standards implemented in April, if a newspaper sells a "bundled" subscription to both its print and electronic editions, the paper is allowed to count that subscriber twice.

If not for the new standards, circulation figures would be even worse, according to The Associated Press, which conducted a review of circulation figures.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal provides an example of how overall circulation figures can be misleading. The paper saw its average weekday circulation rise by nearly 11,000 subscribers, to 175,841, over the past year. But its circulation figure now includes 23,000 more electronic subscribers than last year — so its print edition actually fell by 12,000 copies.

A newspaper copy previously had to sell for at least 25 percent of the basic price to qualify as paid circulation. Under the new standards, a paper can count as a paying customer anyone who spends at least a penny for a copy.

The new rules have made the reported circulation number less credible, agrees Allison Howald, U.S. director of print investment at PHD Media, a big buyer of newspaper ads:

"You really have to do your homework now and ask newspapers about how much double counting is going on."

Editor's Note:

Editor's Notes:

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Turning Point: Couric Rips Obama2. Rove Chronicles Obama s Friday News Dumps3. Credit Crisis at the Republican National Committee4. Newspaper Circulation Worse Than It Appears 1. Turning Point: Couric Rips ObamaKatie Couric...
Sunday, 29 November 2009 10:36 PM
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