Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fiction is More Popular than Fact

The mainstream media in the US doesn't see the job of journalism as reporting "facts". That is too déclassé for the post modernist reportage now favoured by US media. Why get down in the mud and squirm around in facts and analysis when you can shape reality by letting ideologues spout theory as fact?

Dean Baker with his Beat the Press blog provides an excellent example:
Umm, Representative Ryan's Plan Does Turn Medicare Into a Voucher Program

The Washington Post reported that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan won applause from the Republican freshman caucus when he criticized President Obama for saying that Ryan's Medicare plan would turn the program into a voucher system. The Post should have reminded readers that Ryan Medicare plan does turn the program into a voucher system.

Ryan's plan gives beneficiaries a fixed amount on money that they can use to buy insurance in the private market. This is what most people would consider a voucher system. The Congressional Budget Office's projections indicate that it would raise the cost of buying Medicare equivalent policies by $34 trillion, approximately 5 times the size of the projected Social Security shortfall.
Read the original post to get the embedded links.

It is astounding that a political party can publish as "plan", vote on it, and then claim that it isn't what the words on the paper say it is. But I guess that is simply "effective leadership" if you are the party of George Bush who could go to war in Iraq claiming that it wouldn't cost the taxpayers anything but has now rung up about $2 trillion in total costs. A war, by the way, built on the big lie that Saddam Hussein was supporting al Qaeda and that he has "weapons of mass destruction". Lies that let him stampede Americans into a completely wrong-headed, destructive, wasteful war that has left hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead and given a huge strategic advantage to Iran, sworn enemy of "the great Satan", i.e. the US.

With political "leadership" like this, what is to be surprised in having them announced that the Ryan voucher plan is "not a voucher" plan?

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