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.
The New York Times' Jackie Calmes has a piece yesterday (9/26/12) on Obama's failure to rein in the budget deficit. The big problem is that Obama's explanation is apparently hard to follow: Four years ago, Barack Obama campaigned for president on a promise to cut annual federal budget deficits in half by the end of his term. Then came financial calamity, $1.4 trillion in stimulus measures and a maddeningly slow economic recovery. Now, despite small annual improvements, the deficit for the fiscal year that ends on Sunday will surpass $1 trillion for the fourth straight time. Against that headline-grabbing figure, […]
The convention in mainstream journalism is that the new stories give you the facts, and the columnists give you their opinions (hopefully backed by facts). But in the coverage over the debt ceiling and budget debates sometimes you're better off heading straight to the columns. Today offers a good example. In the Washington Post (7/15/11), Ezra Klein lays out the political dynamic that is rarely explained. As Klein writes, the White House has decided to offer Republicans a deal that is not only much farther to the right than anyone had predicted, but also much farther to the right than […]
Right here on November 12, we asked what the New York Times means when it talks about "centrism"– specifically when it comes to Beltway deficit reduction plans. The Times framed the proposal from deficit commission co-chairs Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson as offering the Obama White House an opening to move to the center. That piece, written by Jackie Calmes, was updated by the very same Jackie Calmes today (11/29/10), as she reported on two pending deficit reduction plans from the liberal/progressive side. As she wrote: Liberal organizations will unveil debt-reduction proposals of their own in the next two days, […]
In a story about the Senate Finance Committee voting down two amendments that would have added a public option to the committee's healthcare bill, New York Times reporters Robert Pear and Jackie Calmes (9/29/09) write, "The votes vindicated the middle-of-the-road approach taken by the committee chairman, Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana." The Times just had a poll that found 65 percent of respondents were in favor of a public option, with just 26 percent opposed. To call the approach favored by the rightmost one-quarter of public opinion "middle-of-the-road"–well, maybe someone ought to take away Pear and Calmes' car keys […]