Pundits were mad about the news that Barack Obama was backing away from "chained CPI" Social Security cuts. An announcement about troop cuts caused some reporters to panic. And Arizona's discriminatory SB 1062 is given the "some say" media treatment.
Media comments after the Obama administration backed off attempts to cut Social Security benefits exhibited a curious notion about where the "middle" is and what "majority support" means.
After reporting that "the government has trouble determining exactly which Americans are deceased," the Washington Post notes, almost as an afterthought, that the "vast majority" of deaths are recorded without incident.
60 Minutes was so excited to hear that its report made their audience eager to inform on their neighbors and family members, it sounded like the viewer's mailbag at the end of an East German TV news show.
CBS should have tried to settle whether there's any actual evidence that widespread cheating of the disability program is going on. CBS was either uninterested in that, or decided that its stacked panel of talking heads provided the answer they wanted to hear.
"Some Democrats Look to Push Party Away From Center," read the headline at the New York Times. But the "center" doesn't actually mean what one might think it means–especially in the context of the political views of the American public.
The "center" doesn't usually indicate where most of the public is, but rather where elites have determined an appropriate middle between opposing arguments.
Decrying "the ability of well-funded extremist groups to thwart the will of the overwhelming majority," Time's Joe Klein cites defenders of Social Security–who, of course, are trying to thwart the will of an overwhelming minority.
Covering the media's rush to misjudgment on the Boston Marathon attack, which acts of terrorism are called "terrorism," and PBS's "debate" over Social Security–in which both sides call Obama "brave" for trying to cut benefits.
On the PBS NewsHour (4/12/13), the left/right debating duo of Mark Shields and David Brooks took up the issue of Social Security and "chained CPI"–and found that they didn't have a lot to debate on the virtues of Barack Obama's benefits-cutting plan.
"Today there's an elephant in the room: a huge, yet ignored, issue that largely explains why Social Security is now on the chopping block…. That problem is U.S. militarism and perpetual war."
Media remember Margaret Thatcher for turning around Britain's economy. But do the numbers tell a different story? Also: Barack Obama's plan to cut Social Security and Medicare is inexplicably deemed a move to the "center," and pundits are monitoring the 2016 election by paying close attention to… Hillary Clinton's haircut?
The new White House budget proposal is getting a lot of attention because it explicitly connects the Obama administration to an agenda that includes cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits. Some pundits see this as a way to appeal to the "middle." But does anyone– in the middle or anywhere else–really want to cut the safety net?