Thursday, October 11, 2007

How local newspapers slant the 'news' you get

If you get your news from a local newspaper, chances are you are getting the Associated Press version of the days events. Unfortunately, this ‘news’ is tainted and very likely not very objective. There are many examples in my local newspaper; I’m sure your paper is no different.

A front page AP article says derisively Medicaid spending is rising; "the biggest increase since 2001", and "states will feel the pinch". However, one has to read to the sixth paragraph to learn that the increase is due to efforts by many states to cover the "uninsured" and states rely heavily upon the federal government paying the costs through Medicaid and children’s health programs. Why should it be surprising that costs increase if states extend coverage to uninsured who are likely to be illegal immigrants?

The AP continues to paint our soldiers in Iraq and those helping them in a bad light. On the same page two AP articles first proclaim "Knowing enemy can be tough in former insurgent areas of Iraq" because it is difficult to distinguish insurgents from regular Iraqis. But in an effort to destroy public opinion about assistance from a private contractor, Blackwater USA, another article tells the story about an Iraqi probe urging prosecution of Blackwater personnel for killing two Iraqi women who refused to stop at a check point when requested. Are the troops supposed to put themselves at risk from possible suicide bombers to avoid criticism?

The United States spent $126 billion to repair and reconstruct New Orleans and help its residents after hurricane Katrina, not to mention the billions of dollars provided by private donations. The Marshall plan after WW II cost Americans $106 billion in aid to sixteen countries in today’s dollars. Yet the AP laments in another article that "Almost 40% of the people displaced from New Orleans by hurricane Katrina are still below the poverty line" and are in "dire straits". It seems to me the government could have given New Orleans residents a million dollars each and it would still be criticized by the press (and it probably would have been cheaper too).

The one that gets my goat is the AP article that says according to a poll, "Economy increasingly seen as worrisome". The article goes on to say that "A growing number of people say the economy is the nation’s top problem … according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll Tuesday". How in the world could anyone able to read not realize that the stock market is at a record high level, unemployment remains at about 4.6%, inflation is low, mortgage and other interest rates remain low, and our 401 K investments are booming along; yet the AP would have us believe the economy is "worrisome". Perhaps the AP can’t remember how things were under Jimmy Carter, or that the Democrats want to cancel the Bush tax cuts that are responsible for the good economic times today.

It is amazing to me that as the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan drags on and killings continue daily, for some reason the Afghanistan war is free of criticism in the press unlike the Iraq war. A recent AP article said that after six years in Afghanistan, "America is planning for a long stay", and without any of the snide remarks the liberal press uses when describing the war in Iraq. Staying in Afghanistan seems to be politically correct but we must get out of Iraq yesterday. Can it be because the Afghanistan war does not have the political significance of the Iraq war? The Democrat Party and their willing accomplices at the Associated Press evidently think so. By the way, ‘saving’ Afghanistan didn’t help the folks there much, they still practice Sharia law; so much for ‘democracy’. Of course this would be something the press should shout about but Democrats wouldn’t get much mileage from that so the press ignores it.

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