When the Congressional Budget Office released a new report about the Affordable Care Act, some in the media botched the story by portraying the news as a triumph for Republican spin.
Why do we need "serious spending cuts"? Milbank assumes the answer is so obvious that it need not be explained–everyone knows the more cuts, the better. All the serious people, anyway.
After establishing that Republican operative Karl Rove is a terrible political prognosticator, Dana Milbank (Washington Post, 11/2/12) does the false-balance thing and attacks polling blogger Nate Silver: Rove is an easy target because his motive–conveying a false sense of momentum for Republicans–is so transparent. But he has plenty of company among prognosticators who confidently predict that which they cannot possibly know. There's Nate Silver, a statistician-blogger at the New York Times, who predicts with scientific precision that President Obama will win 303 electoral votes and beat Romney by 2 percentage points in the popular vote. He gives Obama an 81 […]
Washington Post ombud Patrick Pexton (9/30/12) presents conservative opinion as a prima facie case for a left-wing slant in corporate news media: "Republicans think the news media are being too easy on Barack Obama…. Everyone sees more bias, and Republicans see it more than other groups." Offering this as evidence of a left media bias is, of course, highly dubious. Sixty-seven percent of Republicans say that humans aren't warming the planet. Sixty-three percent still maintain that Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction. Fifty-eight percent of Republicans "believe that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 […]
Senator Harry Reid started a whole lot of trouble on the campaign trail when he told some Huffington Post reporters that he'd heard that Mitt Romney paid no taxes. As in zero. For an entire decade. Now there are reasons to be skeptical of Reid's account. As Dana Milbank pointed out, Reid's record does not inspire confidence. He says he got this scoop in a phone call with a Bain Capital investor. There is no other documentation or information to substantiate the allegation. Of course, Romney could settle the issue by releasing his tax returns– which is presumably why Reid […]
The "Buffett rule"–as in Warren Buffett–suggests that super-rich should pay a tax rate comparable to middle-income earners. In Buffett's case, this grew out of his observation that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary. Seems straightforward enough–and the public thinks so. But the Washington Post seemed to feel otherwise on April 12. A news story by David Fahrenthold kicked off with this observation: The great moral debate of the 2012 campaign is turning out to be as inspiring as drunks arguing over a bar tab. Really? The "debate" he's talking about pits those who believe in raising tax […]
Last year Republican Rep. Paul Ryan presented a budget plan that was, according to one analysis, full of "dubious assertions, questionable assumptions and fishy figures." But Ryan's brand of budget austerity makes the media swoon–hence we saw coverage (FAIR Media Advisory, 4/12/11) of Ryan's "piercing blue eyes" that dubbed him "a PowerPoint fanatic with an almost unsettling fluency in the fine print of massive budget documents." Ryan's budget was never going to be adopted, but its release was widely covered across the corporate media. He was given credit for presenting a plan to reduce government deficits, even though his plan […]
New York Times reporter Dan Barry has an "outsider visiting the Capitol" piece (8/3/11) about the strange things one encounters in the legislative sausage factory. In some rooms you are required to wear a necktie; others have no such rules. The place is confusing in other ways, too: "To reach the third level from the first, walk down, not up." Barry watches the behavior of reporters, scrambling around to get a quote from this or that lawmaker. Not that they're interested in all lawmakers equally. After John Boehner spoke at one lectern, for instance: A few minutes later, representatives of […]
The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza's curious take on the Mark Halperin affair: The truth of the Halperin matter is that all reporters (or others) who go on television frequently are forever in a 'there but for the grace of God go I' situation…. We know of what we speak, having found ourselves tongue-tied or worse on any number of occasions while staring into a camera. And in an ill-fated 2009 video venture known as 'Mouthpiece Theater,' The Fix had to live down an inappropriate reference to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. For those who might be unaware, he's referring […]
The Washington Post's Dana Milbank deserves some credit for writing this about all of the awful things about the White House Correspondents' Dinner: The fun begins, appropriately enough, at the offices of the American Gas Association, where White House reporters are feted by the lobbyists of the Quinn Gillespie firm. More lobbyist-sponsored entertainment comes from the Motion Picture Association. Along the way, journalists wind up serving as pimps: We recruit Hollywood stars to entertain the politicians, and we recruit powerful political figures to entertain the stars. Corporate bosses bring in advertisers to gawk at the display, and journalists lucky enough […]
Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank seems to like to mock progressives almost as much as he likes to go after Glenn Beck. So it's no surprise that he turned out to "cover" the unveiling of a budget plan by the Congressional Progressive Caucus (4/13/11). Milbank seems to think that little explanation is needed–these crazy ideas are just obviously crazy: Among the highlights: a $4 trillion tax increase over 10 years. An increase in the top tax rate to 49 percent. A $2.3 trillion defense spending cut–and an increase in domestic spending. Oh, and they would revive the "public option" to […]
Washington Post Dana Milbank (3/19/11) skewers the Republicans for their "emergency meeting" to defund NPR: This particular emergency involved the lower end of the FM radio dial. Republicans, in an urgent budget-cutting maneuver, were voting to cut off funding for National Public Radio. All $5 million of it–or one ten-thousandth of 1 percent of the federal budget. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office ran the numbers and calculated the impact this emergency measure would have on government spending: "No effect." One of the rules of corporate media balanceisthat if you criticize Republicans, you have to findan example of similarbuffoonery on the […]