The Public vs. the Media on Unions, Deficits

Today the New York Times reports its new poll (3/1/11): As labor battles erupt in state capitals around the nation, a majority of Americans say they oppose efforts to weaken the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions and are also against cutting the pay or benefits of public workers to reduce state budget deficits, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. That’s big enough news, and once again cuts against the People-Don’t-Support-These-Overpaid-Union-Workerstrope. But there’s more.When the poll asked about fixing the deficit, peoplehad a message rarely heard in the media: Asked how they would choose to reduce […]


WaPo Profiles Most Awesome Guy in World

In journalistic parlance, a “beat sweetener” is a story that lavishes praise on a powerful figure the reporter is assigned to cover on a regular basis–a great way for that reporter to get in good with an important source. That may have been what was happening with Lori Montgomery‘s February 26 Washington Post piece touting the deficit-busting greatness of White House budget director Jacob Lew. Under the headline “Jacob Lew Returns to Work on Fixing Nation’s Finances, Again,” she begins: At 27, Jacob J. Lew helped save Social Security. At 41, he helped cut a deal to balance the federal […]


ABC’s Lopsided Debate on Deficits and Austerity

This is how ABC This Week host Christiane Amanpourintroduced the roundtable pundit line-up on Sunday’s show: With pitched battles going on right now here in Washington and in statehouses from Florida to Wisconsin to California, with me now, our roundtable: George Will, Congressman Steve Southerland, a Republican freshman from Florida– he was elected to public office for the very first time last November and sent here to Washington on a mission to cut spending. Also with us, ABC senior political correspondent Jonathan Karl and political strategist Donna Brazile, who calls herself a labor Democrat. So the right wing Will, a […]


WaPo on Obama Budget: ‘Countering’ Conservatives by Doing What They Want

On Sunday (2/13/11), the Washington Post had an odd piece about Obama’s budget proposal–starting with the odd headline, “Obama to Propose Spending Cuts in Budget Plan Aimed at Countering Conservatives.” Republicans have been stressing spending cuts, so Obama is “countering” that with… spending cuts? Huh. The piece tries to argue that these calls for austerity are merely the political system reacting to the will of the voters, particularly self-described independents: Obama is sending a similar message, but to a different constituency: the independent voters who abandoned Democrats in droves last year and who are crucial to the president’s 2012 reelection […]


Matt Bai, the NYT’s Tea Party Promoter

New York Times reporter Matt Bai has tried to argue that the public is really worried about the budget deficit. He’s tried to find polling evidence to show the public favors some form of budget-cutting austerity,which usually leads him to focus on numbers that support his argument while ignoring those that run counter to his political preference. He’s back at it today (11/5/10),in a piecewarningRepublicans to not confuse their midterm for some sort ofmandate.He tries to make a case that the voters were really with the Tea Party on some key issues: All of this implies that Republicans think the […]


Matt Bai: Even Liberals Know Liberalism Failed

New York Times reporter Matt Bai apparently really, really cares about the budget deficit– so much so that he’s done reporting suggesting that the rest of us care about it as much as he does. He’s also demonstrated his concern by writing an outrageously misleading article about Social Security and the deficit (the Times had to correct one of the article’s more misleading assertions; Bai falsely claimed that a Democratic congressmember called the Social Security trust fund “make-believe money”). Today (11/24/10) Bai is tackling the furor over TSA airport screening, which is apparently proof that Americans in the age of […]


NYT: Public Doesn’t Care About the Deficit After All

The New York Times (9/16/10) points out in a write-up of its new poll : The economy and jobs are increasingly and overwhelmingly cited by Americans as the most important problems facing the country, while the deficit barely registers as a topic of concern when survey respondents were asked to volunteer their worries. Huh. The New York Times has spent a lot of time telling readers that the public cared very deeply about this, as FAIR noted in a June 24Action Alert, which asked the paper to provide evidence for assertions like Times reporter Matt Bai’s suggestion (6/17/10) that “the […]