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.

The larger problem is why this proposal is being covered at all. Even Zernike’s account suggests that it doesn’t really add up:

FreedomWorks says that repealing the healthcare legislation would cut $1.2 trillion, but the Congressional Budget Office has projected that repealing the legislation would actually increase the deficit by $210 billion over the next 10 years.

It’s useful to recall how the People’s Budget of the Congressional Progressive Caucus was treated by outlets like the New York Times. This was a serious plan put forward by legislators and endorsed by several high-profile economists. And it couldn’t get into the news section of the New York Times. But this thing can.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.