Oct
18
2011

Tea Party Makes News–Even With Nonsense

Today the New York Times (1/18/11) reports a big scoop. A "Tea Party commission" convened by Freedom Works is set to announce its crowd-sourced $6 trillion debt reduction plan–"A copy of the preliminary findings was provided to the New York Times," Kate Zernike reports. The story's second paragraph critiques the plan from the right for not doing enough about Social Security and Medicare, which Zernike asserts "are two of the biggest contributors to the nation's deficit." This is not true, especially when it comes to Social Security–but corporate media prefer to have discussions of the deficit that bash Social Security. […]

Jul
15
2011

Media Malpractice on the Debt Debate

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 […]

Jun
27
2011

To NYT, Tea Party's Talk Is More Newsworthy Than an Actual Progressive Budget

"Tea Party Plans Its Own Debt Panel" reads a headline in today's New York Times (6/27/11), where reporter Kate Zernike described efforts by the well-financed right-wing lobbying group FreedomWorks to organize a debt commission that will come up with yet another right-wing fiscal blueprint. They don't have a plan yet–they're merely talking about having meetings that would produce a plan: "It aims to have proposals ready by January, when the presidential campaign will draw even more attention to economic proposals." Well, they're off to a good start in the Drawing Attention department. Remember, the People's Budget of the Congressional Progressive […]

May
16
2011

NYT's Sorkin Hasn't Heard of the People's Budget

New York Times business reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote a piece on Sunday (5/15/11) that tried to advance the argument that $250,000 actually isn't that much money to make in a year. The complaint is that politicians who advocate raising tax rates on income above $250,000 have chosen an arbitrary dividing line–above it you're rich, and you'll be taxed accordingly. Articles like this are annoying for obvious reasons–we're being asked to listen to wealthy people complain that they're not that wealthy, once you factor in the private school tuition and a hefty mortgage. But they often mislead in other areas–especially […]

May
11
2011

Single-Payer Silenced, Again

I saw a press release yesterday announcing that Rep. Jim McDermott (D.-Wash) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I.-Vt.) were introducing a single-payer healthcare bill in both houses of Congress. Unless there was a drastic change in the corporate media, this news wasn't going to be, well, news. And it hasn't been so far. There were mentions in independent outlets like Democracy Now!, GritTV and the Nation. But in the corporate media, next to nothing– except for one brief mention on CNN, thanks to Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel: VANDEN HEUVEL: The progressive caucus, which put out a people's budget which is […]