AP Stuck in Social Security Crisis Groove

Media Matters (2/24/09) catches AP reporter Liz Sidoti garbling Barack Obama’s position on entitlements:

He called the long-term solvency of Social Security “the single most pressing fiscal challenge we face by far” and said reforming healthcare, including burgeoning entitlement programs, was a huge priority.

What Obama actually said was:

In the coming years, we’ll be forced to make more tough choices and do much more to address our long-term challenges, from the rising cost of healthcare that Peter [Orszag, Office of Management and Budget director] described, which is the single most pressing fiscal challenge we face by far, to the long-term solvency of Social Security.

In other words, healthcare is by far the single most pressing fiscal challenge–not Social Security.

What’s surprising is not that a reporter would misunderstand a speech–Obama’s phrasing could be a little bit confusing, I guess–but that anyone who follows politics for a living wouldn’t know that healthcare is a bigger problem than Social Security. Maybe they should pay less attention to corporate media.

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.