Nia-Malika Henderson

Tags ››› Nia-Malika Henderson
  • This Is What Happens When You Hire A Trump Adviser To Give Economic Analysis

    Great Job With That Stephen Moore Hire, CNN

    Blog ››› ››› CRAIG HARRINGTON

    Discredited right-wing economic pundit Stephen Moore used his first appearance on CNN since joining the network as its “senior economics analyst” to put a negative spin on the Obama-era economic recovery while squirming out of questions about lies that President Donald Trump, whom he advised during the campaign, turned into routine campaign talking points.

    During the February 3 edition of CNN’s Wolf, host Wolf Blitzer invited Moore to offer his perspective on Trump’s sudden acceptance of job creation and unemployment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which Trump had labeled “one of the biggest hoaxes in modern politics” just six months ago. Blitzer argued that the jobs data released in the morning show Trump “inheriting a strong and healthy U.S. economy,” and he aired a clip of Trump saying the January numbers were something to be “very happy about” that will likely “continue, big league.”

    Blitzer noted that the president has adopted “a very different tone” since taking office with regard to BLS data -- which he regularly blasted as “phony” during the campaign. When Blitzer pushed Moore, who served as Trump’s senior economic adviser, to answer for Trump’s sudden change of perspective, Moore pivoted to recycled complaints about the supposedly lackluster state of the economy under Obama. When Blitzer listed indicators that speak to the overall health of the economy, Moore reverted to his misleading claim that America is suffering through “the weakest recovery since the Great Depression.” Moore also set a seemingly impossible standard of success for job creation, claiming that the economy “should be getting 300-, 400-, or even 500,000 jobs a month to make up for the jobs lost from the recession.” See the full segment from Wolf here:

    In five minutes of back-and-forth, Blitzer never got Moore to own up to Trump’s sudden about-face on the monthly jobs report, but CNN viewers were exposed to the same tired criticism of President Obama that you expect to see at Fox News. This fruitless segment is sure to be a sign of things to come now that Moore -- arguably the world’s worst economist -- is serving as CNN’s “chief economics analyst.”

    CNN was as culpable as any other network in promoting Trump’s rise, but its economic team usually stood up to the Republican candidate’s falsehoods. Last year, global economic analyst Rana Foroohar left a mark on the campaign by blasting Trump’s trade policy agenda as “either a bad idea or impossible,” and ridiculing his proposal to pay off the national debt as “absolute fabulism.” Over the summer, correspondent Cristina Alesci and then-analyst Ali Velshi torched Trump’s economic fairness agenda, agreeing it seemed to be “designed for higher-income, more affluent families” rather than, as Trump had promised, middle-income Americans.

    On the jobs front, just this morning chief business correspondent Christine Romans -- who makes her living calling out Trump’s lies about the economy -- mocked Trump for accepting the jobs data, saying, “There’s no conspiracy in the numbers when they belong to him.” In fact, less than an hour before Moore took Blitzer to the spin room, CNN viewers were treated to White House correspondent Jim Acosta calling out the Trump administration for “embracing” data that it “repeatedly raised doubts about” during the campaign. Contributor Nia-Malika Henderson added that Trump should “send President Obama some flowers” to thank him for leaving behind such a healthy economy.

    Moore doesn't do anything to bolster CNN’s economic reporting; in fact, his “troubled relationship with the facts” diminishes the network. All he brings to CNN is his deft capacity to recycle right-wing media talking points that portray Obama in the harshest possible light.

  • Politico reporter forgets Politico's role in pushing Michelle-Obama-as-liability storyline

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Politico's Jeanne Cummings on MSNBC about half an hour ago, discussing Michelle Obama's popularity:

    She's doing much better than what people thought. There was a time during the campaign in 2008 when lots of Republicans thought that Michelle Obama could become some sort of liability.

    Hmmmm. I don't remember that sentiment being limited to Republicans; I remember a lot of reporters expressing it as well. Reporters like ... Jeanne Cummings Politico colleagues. Let's fire up The Nexis, shall we?

    Jim VandeHei & John Harris, Politico, 3/17/08:

    The GOP has proven skilled at questioning the patriotism of Democratic candidates. Just ask John F. Kerry, defeated presidential candidate, and Max Cleland, defeated senator, if such attacks work in the post-Sept. 11 political environment.

    They will blend together Wright's fulminations with quotes of Michelle Obama saying her husband's candidacy has made her finally proud of America with pictures of Obama himself sans the American flag on his lapel (the latter a point that has thrived in conservative precincts of the Web and talk radio).

    In isolation, any of these might be innocuous. But in the totality of a campaign ad or brochure, the attacks could be brutal, replete with an unmistakable racial subtext.

    Glenn Thrush, Politico, 8/25/08:

    Plastic bags stuffed with big M-I-C-H-E-L-L-E signs are being loaded into the Pepsi Center for a prime-time speech by would-be first lady Michelle Obama. Her tasks are twofold: to introduce herself to the convention as a strong-willed, nonthreatening surrogate who has always been proud of her country - while portraying her Barack as a messy, absent-minded, regular dad who likes playing with his daughters when he's not out inspiring the millions. How she is received could determine how much she is used on the road this fall.

    Mike Allen, Politico, 8/25/08:

    Michelle Obama set out to reassure voters Monday that she would leave the governing to her husband and would not be a domineering White House presence.

    Nia-Malika Henderson, Politico, 3/28/09:

    Traditional? Hardly. In fact, Obama's approach so far is decidedly different from the usual model of the modern first lady - pick a platform of two or three issues and stick to it, by and large, for four years.

    ...

    Yet in the midst of all those themes, it isn't yet clear whether her self-described core messages - about military families, volunteerism, and helping working women balance work and family life - are truly breaking through. Some wonder if she's spreading herself too thin to emerge in the public mind as a leading voice on those topics.

    ...

    [F]or some, Obama's multi-tasking approach to the job raises the specter of Rosalynn Carter, who was dogged early on by questions of whether she was taking on too much and trying to be all things to all people. Ironically, some are raising the same "too much, too fast?" question about Michelle that they're raising about her husband, the president.

    ...

    As for her more official three-issue platform, branding expert Hodgkinson said that for Obama, "the broader mission is to install herself in the psyche of the country and then after that take a look at what does she then wants to advance and can reasonably advance. "

    Military family issues might not be the right fit, she said.

    "When you think about military families it's not a connection you first make with the first lady," she said. "Without that natural pull, it's going to be a harder campaign especially if people's ears are turned elsewhere."

    But now that Mrs. Obama has proven to be quite popular, Politico's Jeanne Cummings wants you to think it was just the Republicans who thought she'd be a liability -- just forget all about what Politico wrote about her.

  • Memo to Politico: Provision does not "call[] for end of life counseling"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From the August 16 Politico article titled, "President Obama blasts insurers, again" (emphasis added):

    Obama, facing declining poll numbers and a week when congressman have been shouted down by constituents at raucous health care meetings, used the radio and internet address to explain and tout his plan and to take on his critics, insisting that opposition to reform amounts to embracing "a health care system that works better for the insurance industry than it does for the American people."

    He said that the talk of "death panels" was one of the "scarier-sounding and more ridiculous rumors out there" -- the provision in drafts of the bill calls for end of life counseling and has been taken out of the Senate version of the health care bill.

    Previously:

    Provision Palin spokeswoman Stapleton reportedly pointed to requires Medicare to cover voluntary end-of-life counseling sessions