Oct
03
2013

Shutdown: Media SHOULD Play the Blame Game

Lincoln Memorial shut down. (cc photo: Rich Renomeron)

Media like to dismiss the partisan "blame game," but in cases like this placing blame is something that journalism ought to do.

Aug
08
2012

Harry Reid, the New Joe McCarthy

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 […]

Aug
10
2011

WaPo Misleads on Dem's 'Super Committee' Picks

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has named his picks to the "super committee" charged with making deficit reduction recommendations. Reid named Washington Sen. Patty Murray and center-right Max Baucus, who the Post's Rosalind Helderman today (8/10/11) calls a "natural choice," given that he chairs the Finance Committee. The New York Times is a little more helpful, pointing out that Baucus broke with other Democrats and supported tax cuts enacted in 2001 under President George W. Bush. He also worked with Republicans in 2003 to pass legislation that added a prescription drug benefit to Medicare. This is important for anyone who […]

Aug
04
2011

Senate Dems Getting Wise to Media's 'Balance' Bias?

There's an interesting piece by Alexander Bolton in the Hill (8/3/11) that suggests Senate Democrats are frustrated by the Beltway media's tendency to cover political standoffs between the parties as situations where everyone's to blame. Bolton writes: This frustration boiled over during a Wednesday press conference on the partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration and what Democrats call the GOP's extortionist tactics. The FAA had to temporarily lay off 4,000 workers because Senate Democrats and Republicans cannot agree to a reauthorization of the agency. Democrats are angry that members of the media appear to be accepting the GOP argument […]

Dec
08
2009

GOP: Sauce for the Goose Is Terrible for the Gander

We've noted the corporate media's double standard on Nazi analogies: When conservatives are compared to the Third Reich, however obscurely, it's an outrageous slur, but when leaders of the right charge progressives with Hitler-like tendencies, it's unremarkable political rhetoric. Political Animal's Steve Benen (12/8/09) rounds up some similar examples of criticisms that are outrageous when applied by the left to the right, but no big deal when they go the other way–starting with the manufactured controversy over Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's likening Republican foot-dragging over healthcare reform to conservatives' lack of urgency over women's suffrage and ending slavery: If […]

Feb
13
2009

The 60-Vote Myth

You see it all the time: You need 60 votes to pass a bill in the Senate. Not exactly. Under Senate rules–which can be changed by a majority vote–you need the consent of 3/5ths of the Senate to close debate on an issue; that's 60 votes. To pass a bill, you need a majority of those present. Since Ted Kennedy is sick and Al Franken has not yet been seated, that's 49 votes. Is that an academic distinction? No, not really. Politically, voting against an emergency stimulus bill is very different from voting to block a vote on an emergency […]