Mar
02
2011

Teach for America Is Great Because It's Great

Richard Cohen recently (FAIR Blog, 2/15/11) took to the Washington Post to argue that Teach for America is wonderful because…. Well, it just is. He predicted that the "best teacher in America" is likely to be drawn from the ranks of the program, which draws recent graduates from elite universities into the teaching profession. His only evidence of the greatness of this scheme was that the program is very competitive. On Sunday, George Will joined Cohen in praising Teach for America–more evidence, if any was needed, that TFA enjoys a great ride in the corporate media. In Will's column, was […]

Jan
12
2011

A Whole Lot of Lone Nuts

Jared Loughner

Right-wing pundits have come out vociferously against the idea that they, their colleagues and the political movement they identify with have anything to answer for in the wake of the Tucson massacre. David Brooks (New York Times, 1/11/11) asserted that "the evidence before us suggests that [shooting suspect Jared] Loughner was locked in a world far removed from politics as we normally understand it," rejecting as "vicious charges" the notion that the gunman "unleashed his rampage because he was incited by the violent rhetoric of the Tea Party, the anti-immigrant movement and Sarah Palin." George Will (Washington Post, 1/11/11) bitterly […]

Oct
11
2010

George Will's Bogus Tax Math

Comparing Democratic and Republican tax plans

In his Washington Post column yesterday (10/10/10), George Will offered the kind of analysis one has come to expect from George Will: Today, Barack Obama, a chronic campaigner, is out and about trying to arouse the masses against the inequity of not raising taxes on "the rich." He opposes extending the Bush tax rates–they are due to expire December 31, when a higher rate is restored–for "millionaires and billionaires." And for quarter-millionaires. Expiration would mean an increase for households with incomes of at least $250,000. Obama's $750,000 fudge sweeps many people into the plutocracy. In Obama's Chicago, a high school […]

Sep
29
2010

Media Blitz Against the Paycheck Fairness Act

There's a push for the Senate to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act before Congress adjourns for the season, which has sparked some pushback from right-wingers given prominent platforms in the corporate media. The Act, which already passed the House, would help enforce and close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963; under the law, women would actually be able to find out how much their male colleagues make without either of them facing retaliation. A September 22 New York Times op-ed by Christina Hoff Sommers of AEI and an October 4 George Will Newsweek column both attack it as […]

Apr
28
2010

George Will Thinks You Don't Know Any Latinos, Either

George Will, defending Arizona's draconian new immigration law, concludes his column (Washington Post, 4/28/10) with this today: Arizonans should not be judged disdainfully and from a distance by people whose closest contacts with Hispanics are with fine men and women who trim their lawns and put plates in front of them at restaurants, not with illegal immigrants passing through their back yards at 3 a.m. There are 47 million Latinos in the United States. Will's assumption that the only ones known to the readers he's addressing are likely to be waiting tables or mowing lawns is quite bizarre–and a testament […]

Feb
25
2010

George Will's Perfectly Consistent Filibuster Position

In his Washington Post column today (2/25/10), George Will writes in defense of the filibuster, arguing that Democrats' talk of using budget reconciliation rules to pass ahealthcare bill demonstrates their contempt for the Constitution. He has been perfectly consistent on the question of minority rule–it depends on who the minority is.Back when Republicans filibustered a Clinton economic stimulus bill in 1993, hecheered them on in a column headlined "The Framers' Intent" (Washington Post, 4/25/93). Will defended "the right of a minority to use extended debate to obstruct Senate action" and praised "the generation that wrote and ratified the Constitution" for […]

Sep
01
2009

The Washington Post's Afghanistan Debate

The Washington Post had another "Topic A" feature onAugust 31, headlined "Is the War in Afghanistan Worth Fighting?" Acrucial debate, to be sure;the Post found one person (Andrew Bacevich) to argue that it is not, which is probably a position close to the majority view of the American public. That position is "balanced" by four contributors whoargue the war is worth fighting, in different ways or for different reasons. This imbalance echoes the Post'sprevious presentationof the Afghanistan debate, showing once again that the paper seems to believe that a public that increasingly sees the war as a lost cause needs […]

Apr
24
2009

George Will and D.C. Vouchers

The school voucher program in Washington, D.C., has been the subject of serious research, with opponents and supporters of vouchers using at as a test for whether the idea works in practice. Conservativestend toinsist that it's been a success, though the studies of the program don't seem to bear that out. Washington Post columnist George Will (4/23/09), though, sees a new Education Department study bolstering the case for vouchers, which means the White House'sdecision tocurtail the program is a horrible blow tochildren in the struggling D.C. schools: After Congress debated the program, the Education Department released–on a Friday afternoon, a […]

Apr
02
2009

More George Will Climate Nonsense

Is it possible for the Washington Post to be embarrassed by George Will? After a series of erroneous claims in a column about climate change, Will is at it again today (4/2/09), laughing off the use of compact fluorescent lightbulbs as a poor fix for a nonexistent problem: Reducing carbon emissions supposedly will reverse warming, which is allegedly occurring even though, according to statistics published by the World Meteorological Organization, there has not been a warmer year on record than 1998. Sigh. This has been explained before; Will cherry picks the hottest year among other relatively hot years as his […]

Mar
17
2009

George Will on the Infallibility of Business Journalism

"I think the best journalism in America is business journalism precisely because they deal with real metrics. You can actually–they know things." –George Will, ABC's This Week, 3/15/09 It's possible that Will actually believes this. Read Dean Starkman's piece in Mother Jones, "How Could 9,000 Business Reporters Blow It?," for another take. Or this piece from Extra!. Or recall that, not too long ago, Will was lecturing us on how the economy was doing just fine, in spite of the gloomy message the media was delivering: Conservative pundit George Will (ABC's This Week, 12/4/05) blamed media coverage for the public's […]

Feb
27
2009

NYT Slams Gore for Relying on NYT

Think Progress blogger Matthew Yglesias (2/25/09) hits the Washington Post for "standing behind the claim that up is down if George Will says that is"–and then spreads some of the blame around: Meanwhile, one of the Post's main competitors in the world of papers with potential to attract a national audience is the New York Times. So faced with a humiliating abrogation of basic responsibilities by its competitor, does the Times take the opportunity to pour some salt in the wounds? No! Instead, out comes Andrew Revkin with a false-equivalence article painting Will with the same brush as Al Gore. […]

Feb
25
2009

Challenging George Will's Reign of Climate Error

After eight years of George W. Bush's rule, popular disapproval of policies that had come to be regarded as grave mistakes–from the invasion of Iraq to the response to the economic crisis–drove the Republicans from power. Unfortunately, the media system has no such built-in check on powerful pundits, as the unchallenged reign of another George W. with a long record of mistakes can attest. The ongoing controversy over a recent error-plagued climate change column penned by George Will–a Washington Post syndicated columnist whose record of error spans decades–offers a good case study in the impunity of the punditocracy. As bloggers, […]

Feb
19
2009

George Will: Bringing You Climate Disinformation Since 1992

George Will's history of misquoting data to distort the climate change debate goes back nearly two decades–that we know of. As Extra! reported in 2003, in 1992Will trashed Al Gore (Washington Post, 9/3/92) for being "cavalier with the truth" in his "wastebasket worthy" book Earth in the Balance. More from Extra!: Will confronted Gore on the issue of global warming: "Gore knows, or should know before pontificating, that a recent Gallup Poll of scientists concerned with global climate research shows that 53 percent do not believe warming has occurred, and another 30 percent are uncertain." It was Will, however, who […]