Apr
22
2011

'Courageous,' 'Bold,' 'Serious' Paul Ryan–Booed?

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan (R.-Wisc.) is used to being celebrated by pundits for his "courageous," "bold," "serious" budget proposals (even though his numbers don't add up). Indeed, Ryan has become a genuine media darling. So it must have been a little surprising to find himself being booed earlier this week, at a town hall meeting he hosted in his congressional district. It happened after one attendee at the event, a constituent describing himself as a "life-long conservative" challenged GOP views on income disparity, taxes on the wealthy, and raising the income cap on Social Security taxes: The middle class is […]

Apr
08
2011

Paul Ryan, Serious Numbers Geek (Aside From His Fuzzy Numbers)

The uncritical coverage of Paul Ryan's budget plan continues.In the new issue of Time magazine,Michael Crowley and Jay Newton-Smalltell us that Ryan is "the new face of federal frugality": Just 41 years old, with jet black hair and a touch of Eagle Scout to him, the House Budget Committee chairman unveiled an ambitious package of huge budget cuts designed to dig the country out of its crippling debt crisis. For Ryan, reining in spending is nothing less than an act of patriotic valor. Valor. Eagle Scout. Great hair! Ryan'scritics have notedthat his plan actually does very little about the "crippling […]

Apr
06
2011

The Washington Post and Paul Ryan's Wonky Math

Dean Baker's Beat the Press is the best Early Warning Media Mythbuster. It's simple: You read it every morning before you read the papers (he is up before you are, trust me) and you're well prepared to deal with the economic nonsense you'll be subjected to. Today (4/6/11) he proposes this headline for stories about Rep. Paul Ryan's budget blueprint: Representative Ryan Proposes Medicare Plan Under Which Seniors Would Pay Most of Their Income for Healthcare Baker writes: "That is what headlines would look like if the United States had an independent press." He explains that the central idea in […]

Apr
04
2011

'Revamping' Medicare? The Word They're Looking for Is 'Slashing'

Few pieces better illustrate the uselessness of so much corporate media political journalism than Kathleen Hennessey's piece in the L.A. Times (4/4/11) on Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's deficit reduction plan. The piece is headlined "House Republican Budget Plan Would Revamp Medicare," and the lead explains that the GOP budget proposal outlined by Ryan "includes an overhaul of Medicare and Medicaid and would aim to chop at least $4 trillion from the federal deficit over the next decade.""Revamp," an "overhaul"–well, that sounds good, doesn't it? How does Ryan plan to do that, exactly? Despite reporting that Ryan's "broad overview" offered "the […]

Jan
26
2011

After Obama, CNN's Right-Wing Double Dip

It's normal for the opposition party to deliver a rebuttal address to the State of the Union. Last night Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin was given that responsibility. But further-to-the-right Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota delivered the "Tea Party" response to the State of the Union, which was initially scheduled to air on the Tea Party Express website. That is, until CNN decided it would air it on television. Which meant, as Washington Monthly's Steve Benenput it, CNN broadcast "the president's address, followed by a speech by a far-right Republican, and then followed by another speech by a different far-right […]

Aug
12
2010

NYT Proves Paul Krugman's Point About Ryan

In his New York Times column on Monday (8/9/10), headlined "The Flimflam Man," Paul Krugman took aim at Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, who has emerged as the GOP's big thinker on budgets: One depressing aspect of American politics is the susceptibility of the political and media establishment to charlatans. You might have thought, given past experience, that D.C. insiders would be on their guard against conservatives with grandiose plans. But no: As long as someone on the right claims to have bold new proposals, he's hailed as an innovative thinker. And nobody checks his arithmetic. Krugman explains that Ryan's plan–big […]