The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901   Message #1369116
Posted By: Amos
01-Jan-05 - 09:33 PM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
On Native Ground
by Randolph T. Holhut
American Reporter Correspondent
Dummerston, Vt.

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I look at how the Bush administration is trying to manufacture a Social Security "crisis," and it looks much like what was done to manufacture the rationale for invading Iraq.

Certainly the steps are the same. Invent a crisis where none currently exists. State only the information (real or not) that benefits your argument, and repeat it often. Ignore all information that might undermine your argument and attack anyone who might disagree. Then, after convincing everyone that there is a crisis and marginalizing your opponents, you come up with the solution to the crisis you manufactured.

Through constant repetition and taking full advantage of the limitations of journalism's objectivity fetish, the Bush administration can bend reality to fit its policy schemes.

As journalism is now practiced, to state the facts is considered an act of bias. In the case of the Iraq war, even though there was abundant evidence that the Bush administration was overstating its case at best and flat-out lying at worst, the cult of objectivity required giving the Bush administration's lies as much weight (and often times, more weight) as the opposing views. Pointing out discrepancies between the facts and the spin is sacrificed in the name of balance.

The Social Security debate has followed the same path. News reports dutifully repeat the claim that the program will go bankrupt in 2042. The reality is that, if nothing is done, Social Security will be taking in more revenue than it pays out until 2018. After 2018, current obligations can be met until 2042. After 2042, there would still be enough money to pay at least 73 percent of benefits. These figures aren't wishful thinking from a liberal think tank, they are the government's own calculations.

Excerpted from The American Reporter.