Aug
16
2012

ABC's Unrealistic Paul Ryan Reality Check

Campaign rhetoric, we're led to believe, can be hard to sort out. If Paul Ryan says his budget plan protects Medicare and the Democrats say it "ends" it, what should we believe? Those are the kinds of questions journalism is supposed to answer. Which is why ABC World News' August 14 "Reality Check" on Medicare was such a failure. Actually, the fact that it wasn't very good wasn't a total shocker. That was to be expected as soon as you heard Diane Sawyer said this: So we asked ABC's Jon Karl for a reality check on the plan and what […]

Aug
15
2012

ABC News: Tough Choice on Paul Ryan

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Heading over to the ABC News website, I found this on the homepage: Tough call: Do you read the story about Paul Ryan's impressive physique first, or his awesome bowhunting skills?

Aug
14
2012

Romney Whistleblower Comes Forward (Not Really)

Washington Post columnist Dan Balz has a big scoop from an anonymous source in today's paper (8/14/12): The choice, like most vice presidential selections, also was a way for Romney to say something bigger about the kind of campaign he hopes to run. In that sense, advisers say, Ryan was "Mitt's pick, completely." "Stories talk about it being a bold choice," said one senior Romney adviser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk about the decision. "To me, it was a confident choice. He was very confident in himself, in Paul Ryan, in the campaign and in the […]

May
15
2012

WaPo Surprised Voters Getting Chance to Weigh In on Ryan Budget

The Washington Post (5/13/12) ran a piece by Ed O'Keefe under this headline: Ryan Budget Still an Issue in Congressional Races Still? You mean candidates keep talking about Rep. Paul Ryan's proposal to replace Medicare with an entirely inadequate privatized health insurance program–even though the upcoming elections are the first chance voters will have to say what they think of the idea? Yep: "More than a year after the proposal's initial release, Republican candidates continue to find themselves on the defensive about what the plan will actually do, and Democrats continue to make claims about the dire consequences if it […]

Apr
24
2012

Who Thinks Paul Ryan Is Mr. Serious?

Sometimes it's the little moments that tell you something–like this from a Meet the Press panel discussion (4/22/12) about potential running mates for Mitt Romney: DAVID GREGORY: E.J., the point though also about Paul Ryan is that if you want to send a message you're serious about the budget you could do that with Paul Ryan. DIONNE: Well, I don't think his budget is serious, so I disagree with the premise of the question. It's worth remembering that in the Beltway media, "Paul Ryan is Mr. Serious Budget" is the neutral, middle-of-the-road position, and someone who thinks otherwise–based on, you […]

Mar
27
2012

Progressive Budget vs. Paul Ryan, Round 2

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 […]

Dec
15
2011

Time Paints Paul Ryan as Deficit-Slashing Superhero

The fact that Time magazine named "The Protester" its Person of the Year was maybe a little surprising. Totally unsurprising, though, was the choice of a runners-up: Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, a hero to many in the corporate media for his bold calls to slash government spending on the poor. It's hard to know where to start with reporter David Von Drehle's tribute. But let's try here: Through a combination of hard work, good timing and possibly suicidal guts, the Wisconsin Republican managed to harness his party to a dramatic plan for dealing with America's rapidly rising public debt. Dealing […]

Jun
10
2011

Sunday Morning Shocker!

Guess who's booked to appear on the CBS Sunday morning chat show Face the Nation this weekend? None other than Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan. It has, after all, been an eternity since Sunday TV viewers had a chance to listen to Ryan talk about his Medicare-slashing budget plan. May 22 on Meet the Press, to be exact. FAIR's new petition to the television networks asks why Ryan's far-right plan has been getting so much more coverage than the People's Budget of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Add your voice today!

Jun
01
2011

ABC's Karl: There's No Dem Plan for Medicare (Except for the New Law)

The roundtable panel on ABC's This Week (5/29/11) spent some time talking about the politics of Medicare, specifically the idea that the recent Democratic victory in a special Congressional election in New York could mean that Paul Ryan's Medicare plan might be a tremendous liability for the GOP. One of the most prevalent talking points from the Republican side is to complain that while Ryan's plan might have its flaws, at least they have something–unlike the Democrats. It was a point that ABC reporter Jonathan Karl passed along as fact: [Bill Clinton] said that I hope Democrats don't use this […]

May
06
2011

Disability Rights Activists Are Even Invisible Getting Arrested on Capitol Hill

Elite media's selective disdain for public activism is well known. Still, you'd think some things would garner a word or two. Like 300 disability rights activists, a couple hundred in wheelchairs, occupying the rotunda of the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C. The May 2 demonstration was organized by the rights group ADAPT to protest Republican budget plans for Medicaid. Ninety-one people were arrested and carted off by Capitol police. Yet days after the rotunda protest, and another action the next day in which 300 demonstrators gathered outside the Longworth House Office Building, many getting inside to Rep. Paul […]

Apr
26
2011

Someone at the LAT Really Likes Paul Ryan

At his Beat the Press blog (4/23/11), Dean Baker caught this in the L.A. Times (4/23/11): Congress is on its first recess since Republican leaders unveiled a plan to end the federal deficit by dramatically changing Medicare, cutting other government programs and reducing taxes. As Baker points out, what the paper is referring to–the Paul Ryan budget proposal–does not "end the federal deficit." As he put it: This is like saying they had a plan to fly to moon because they said they would build a rocket. The whole point is the specifics. How would they build a rocket? How […]

Apr
22
2011

'Courageous,' 'Bold,' 'Serious' Paul Ryan–Booed?

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan (R.-Wisc.) is used to being celebrated by pundits for his "courageous," "bold," "serious" budget proposals (even though his numbers don't add up). Indeed, Ryan has become a genuine media darling. So it must have been a little surprising to find himself being booed earlier this week, at a town hall meeting he hosted in his congressional district. It happened after one attendee at the event, a constituent describing himself as a "life-long conservative" challenged GOP views on income disparity, taxes on the wealthy, and raising the income cap on Social Security taxes: The middle class is […]

Apr
08
2011

Paul Ryan, Serious Numbers Geek (Aside From His Fuzzy Numbers)

The uncritical coverage of Paul Ryan's budget plan continues.In the new issue of Time magazine,Michael Crowley and Jay Newton-Smalltell us that Ryan is "the new face of federal frugality": Just 41 years old, with jet black hair and a touch of Eagle Scout to him, the House Budget Committee chairman unveiled an ambitious package of huge budget cuts designed to dig the country out of its crippling debt crisis. For Ryan, reining in spending is nothing less than an act of patriotic valor. Valor. Eagle Scout. Great hair! Ryan'scritics have notedthat his plan actually does very little about the "crippling […]