Friday, March 21, 2003

Tax breaks, journalism, and chocolate pudding

Paul Krugman get's his digs in with his fellow commentators:
The latest official projections acknowledge (if you read them carefully) that the long-term finances of the U.S. government are in much worse shape than the administration admitted a year ago. But many commentators are reluctant to blame George W. Bush for that grim outlook, preferring instead to say something like this: "Sure, you can criticize those tax cuts, but the real problem is the long-run deficits of Social Security and Medicare, and the unwillingness of either party to reform those programs." Why is this line appealing? It seems more reasonable to blame longstanding problems for our fiscal troubles than to attribute them to just two years of bad policy decisions. Also, many pundits like to sound "balanced," pronouncing a plague on both parties' houses. To accuse the current administration of wrecking the federal budget sounds, well, shrill — and we don't want to sound shrill, do we?
Krugman puts his finger on one of the fundamental problems with the establishment media: they are so afraid of being accused of bias that they go out of their way to make arguments from both sides sound equal, even when they quite obviously are not. And, since Republicans are much more likely to squawk then Democrats, the media swings the reporting to the right in a commensurate fashion. I don't know who came up with this analogy, but if a Republican were to claim that a bowl of chocolate pudding was actually vanilla then the news would, at best, respond to this by saying, "some Democrats claim it is brown". It's fucking chocolate okay!

1 Comments:

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6:28 PM  

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