I disagree, passionately and even violently, with a lot of what I'm reading here, but I don't want to bring negativity to the conversation, so I'm giong to make a few (hopefully) calm remarks.
#1 - The "liberal media" is a myth. Any objective view of the current media exposes this. The national media is, one and all, owned by large corporate conglomerates and, as such, the owners and those in control of hiring and firing are very, very interested in staying in good with the corporation-friendly Republican party.
Take a look at the most well-known national media outlets.
The Wall Street Journal? Hardly a bastion of liberality. And their "OpinionJournal" is blatantly partisan. Not to mention their occasional outright lying, they make no bones about being 150% behind Bush. In fact one of their "columnists," a woman whose writing me the hives, Peggy Noonan, can practically be heard drooling with every column
she writes about Bush. (The one I've linked to makes the oddly uneven and unconvincing State of the Union speech sound like...well, let's just say I think she probably smoked a cigarette afterward, okay?) Here's an excerpt:
The theme held both halves of the speech together, and so they cohered and supported each other. The two halves were defined, too, by a change of tone or demeanor on the president's part that you couldn't quite put your finger on. In the first, domestic part of the speech he was serious and contained, but in the second part of the speech, on Iraq, there was a shift. His voice seemed lower and there seemed a kind of full head-heart engagement in his grave but optimistic message. For a moment I though of earnest Clark Kent moving, at the moment of maximum danger, to shed his suit, tear open his shirt and reveal the big "S" on his chest.
The entire column is full of reverent Bush-worship and lacks even a pretence of an "editorial opinion" on the content of the speech. Most of her columns are full of reverent Bush-worship, in fact. She's a bit obsessed. She wrote a little story once, where the UsofA liberated Iraq with one hand while bringing bin Laden to justice with the other and at the end Bush stood virtually illuminated by the halo of Christian Destiny. It was disgusting, and no less so because it was published as a "serious" Op-Ed column in a journal that unfortunately bears a respected name.
You will search in vain for a liberal, or even a moderate voice amongst the OpinionJournal's columnists. Noonan writes the purplest prose but every columnist on the staff is an ardent right-winger.
The Washington Times is, as we all know, owned by Rev. Moon (whose ties to the Bush family are reasonably well-known) and is unashamedly right-wing.
The Washington Post, once a fairly liberal publication, is now no better than middle of the road (even with the inestimable E. J. Dionne Jr. in the Op-Ed section).
Ditto for the NYTimes although they do employ Maureen Dowd, a notable and noted liberal. Paul Krugman, a highly respected columnist claims to be liberal and I don't hold it against him (really) that he likes nothing better than bashing liberals.
Although I'm willing to concede that on most matters both organs stand left of center, their wholehearted backing of a war we were lied and bullied into starting makes them, in my eyes, suspect, and in any case I don't consider "left of center" to be particularly biased when compared to something like the OpinionJournal.
The closest thing to a "columnist" that CNN has is the outrageously right-wing Wolf Blitzer.
Liberal media? If you take a detailed look at the coverage of the 2000 presidential campaign, a real
look, you'll find something odd. Allegation after allegation of dishonesty, lying, shiftiness, and deceit is thrown at Gore. In the end, each of these allegations turns out to be smoke and mirrors. They accuse him of changing his position when he doesn't. He's misquoted constantly. The press fixates on his wardrobe and mocks his color choices instead of covering issues. And, in the end, none of the accusations they throw at him is proven. Many simply disappear in journalistic embarassment, but most are supersceded by ever-more outrageous articles, few of which ever cover what he's actually saying to voters as he travels around the country. (In spite of this almost universal bias in coverage, I'm proud of the USofA that Gore got the most votes anyhow. Goes to show that not everyone takes the media at its own valuation. It also goes to show that "four more years" of Clinton's kind of economy and foreign policy were more acceptable to more voters than four years of whatever it was Bush seemed to be offering.)
You will find no, no
coverage of Bush of that nature. None of his shady business dealings before he became Governor of Texas. Nothing about his policies or actions while in office, or the disastrous results of the same. Nothing.
#2 - I am among those who considered (and still consider) Reagan's so-called economics to be "voodoo economics." The absurdity of pretending that giving more money to corporations and rich people enriches the lower classes gives me cognitive dissonance.
While gratefully accepting government handouts with one hand, corporations used the other to make calls to fire "expensive" USofA workers so that factories and jobs could be moved to underdeveloped nations and the same work could be completed for pennies a day. (NAFTA* really intensified this problem. I'm not a big fan of NAFTA*, and yes, I know who signed the treaty.)
Remaining workers in USofA offices are doing the work of two or three people and being assured that they're just wonderful for accepting a 2% raise each year to "help out" the coporation that's paying its CEO %45 to $135 million dollars a year in salary and benefits.
The only thing that "trickled" down was unemployment. The rich, a little research will show you, got a lot richer, and the poor got poorer.
I find it manifestly absurd that someone would claim that the 8 years of Clinton's Presidency was "coasting" on previous achievements, but I'll let that pass. This is already too long. I just want to make it clear that I blame no one
, neither Clinton nor Bush II, for the disasters of the internet bubble nor the economic impact of 9/11.
However. The initial round of tax cuts that were approved with certain reservations (the ones that started the job of dissipating the goverment's surplus funds) did nothing to "jump-start" the economy. Nor did the "little people" get very much of them. Most of the money went to the wealthy. The current round of proposed tax cuts (the figure the White House is asking for is $726B over, I believe, ten years) is causing huge arguments in Congress.
The Senate has offered a tentative "compromise" of $350B over the same time period and many are saying even that's too much since the war-related $74B is, in fact, only a "down payment." Billions more will be needed and where on earth does the Administratio think the money is coming from? Aid and assistance programs for the poor and for children are already being slashed all over the country. Veterans benefits are taking a hit, which will be a very nice gift for the soldiers when they get home, don't you think?
#3 Bush is a right-wing conservative. He is in no sense moderate. Check his appointments if you doubt it. He is, as previously mentioned, using what time he can spare from his daily exercise and video game routine to dismantle environment protections this country spent 25 years putting into place.
He is, in my opinion, unfit for the office he was awarded. What was originally lauded as his "hands off" mangement style, coupled with his own admission that he doesn't read much and hates reading White House briefings most of all, added to the news that while Bush was exercising and getting his full 8 hours of shut-eye, Cheney was working late into every night tells me who was really running the government.
Even as the war started, his staff made no secret of the fact that Bush practically ignored the whole thing. It's only been recently, as the heat has been turned up on the Administration, that they're trying to portray him as a constantly informed and decision-making leader. All of a sudden, instead of a 'hands off' manager, we're supposed to believe he's some steely-eyed, determined Great Leader? Don't make me laugh.
Or, better yet, do some real research. There's a book called "Shrub" written by Milly Ivins and Lou Dubose. Yes, they're liberals, but they're Texas liberals and they know whereof they speak, having lived in the state while Bush was governor.
And they weren't writing about George Bush, President, okay? They published this book in 2000, before the election, and it's about Bush's policies while Governor of Texas.
They make no secret of their disbelief in Bush's ability to win the election, so they're not dissing him in advance or anything. They're just writing the truth - all of the stories that a truly "free" and unbiased national press would have brought up during the campaign. They were frustrated that the national press wasn't covering these things, so they wrote a book.
I'll give you a shortcut. He pressed for "faith-based initiatives" instead of government aid programs. He dismantled environmental protections. He passed tax legislation in favor of corporations. He slashed aid programs. The same economic approach, in other words, that he's using on the USofA. Go ahead. Read the book and find out what the result in Texas was. (If you think the results will be any different on a national scale, you need to think again.)
Okay...I'm getting hot under the collar, aren't I? I'd better stop now. If I've gone over the line, I apologize.
(* EDITED to correct a mistaken reference to NATO when I meant NAFTA)
Edited by AnneZo, 05 April 2003 - 07:52 PM.