Friday, June 11

The Real "Lame-Stream" Media at USAToday, but you knew that.

This paragraph just plain pissed me off for its sheer journalistic bias:

Judith Palfrey, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, says family poverty increases many risks for children, including low birth weight, premature delivery, learning problems, asthma and other health problems. But the conservative Heritage Foundation's Robert Rector says the index offers little new information. He says the report doesn't mention that poor children's family incomes are supplemented by programs such as food stamps and housing assistance. "Most of the report is an advertising tool for more government programs and spending, which are pretty ineffective in increasing child well-being," he says.

So you have this article, written during the worst recession and unemployment since the 1930's, about how more and more children are falling into poverty and you have a quote from a leading pediatrician that this is a BAD thing.

But holy shit printing a story like that would not be BALANCED! Call up the Heritage Foundation and talk to the guy "dubbed the "intellectual godfather" of welfare reform by National Review Editor Rich Lowry" (really, and there are still some people who think I use "fuck" too much while blogging) for a quote about how these people aren't really poor and these children aren't really better off with food and housing assistance because ick those are government programs. A reminder that what Driftglass says in our podcast is true: moving to the "center" and "balance" ALWAYS means a move away from common sense truth towards right-wing ideology. Always.

Really, Liz Szabo, you should be hauled out onto the carpet for that paragraph alone. PS If Obama gets a second term I'm working on nothing but campaign finance and media reform.

Nothing. else. matters.


  1. I forget which study I read years ago – I'm sure there are many, in addition to the recent USDA one – but poverty is inherently harmful to children (or, to put it another way, many of the inevitable consequences of poverty are harmful to children, not to mention adults). I'm pretty sure that Robert Rector is the same asshole I heard months ago arguing the same line on my local NPR show, lessee... He is! I think they other guests could have pushed back on him more effectively, but hacks don't need to be debunked if you don't invite hacks on in the first place. If you can stand listening to Rector, he eventually slips up a bit and starts making his real pitch – essentially, that the poor are lazy and mooching off productive Randian (white, well-to-do) ubermensch, they're stealing your money, and this is an outrage we must stop.

    As a Brecht character quipped, "Grub first, then ethics." Or: If your ideology, say, leads you to oppose the Civil Right Act, or to let poor children starve, it's time to change your fucking ideology, asshole.

    (Oh, and if you've got campaign finance and media reform covered, I'll get funding for the Arts and ending torture. Although I think "Fighting the Bullshit" covers most everything...)

  2. Funny, they can't do a story on how bad child poverty is without the "balancing" quote from Ebeneezer Scrooge decrying the lack of prisons and workhouses, yet none of their dozen or so stories a day about America's glorious troops, wonderful wars or spending on marvelous new death machines ever seems to be balanced with a quote from Veterans for Peace, the Quakers or any other group opposed to the wholesale slaughter of other human beings that continues just so that America can "stand strong"

  3. If Obama gets a second term. If he actually tried to implement his campaign promises, there would be no if. And it would help to quell this he said, she said bullshit, because success--and I believe he would be successful if he implemented his promises like, say, public option--would help to drown out the naysayers who would be proved to be empty headed blowhards. If.

  4. BG, I'll help!


  5. Anonymous10:58 PM

    "some people who think I use "fuck" too much "

    Fuck them.


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