Thursday, June 16, 2011

Media Fail: No context

Despite the ocassional good analytical piece, I've been more and more disappointed in The Hill lately. Case in point, this weak reporting on Boehner's problems with his caucus. The basic theme is Boehner's woes in reconciling competing factions but these two bits stood out as a prime example of everything that's wrong with "journalism" today.
Boehner communications director Kevin Smith said the House Republican Conference has worked well together over the past six months.

“Working together, our team has made real progress in passing our agenda focused on creating jobs, cutting spending, repealing ObamaCare and expanding American energy production,” Smith said. “We’re going to continue working with our members to build on the progress we’ve made.”
Not one word of context questioning whether this is a true statement. Not even so much as a "she said" reply from the Dems. I mean, what progress? Did the GOPers create a single job since they took the House? No, they didn't. Every single thing they passed destroys jobs. Did they actually repeal health care reform? No. They wasted time on meaningless bills saying they wanted to repeal it. And how exactly have they expanded energy production? Did "drill baby, drill" slogans magically fill up the gas pumps? I suppose they could legimately say they cut spending, but a list of their inhumane cuts to the programs that serve neediest Americans would have seemed germane. So would a mention that those spending cuts were all negated by their revenue robbing, deficit inflating tax cuts.

And this bit really rankled.
For example, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has been pushing his plan to allow companies to bring foreign-based income back into the United States at a reduced tax rate. [...]

On Wednesday, Cantor’s office issued a press release titled, “Repatriation Would Create Jobs.”
To be fair, The Hill did at least mention the White House is against the proposal, but major fail in neglecting to mention this is the exact same trick Bush played during the last corporate tax amnesty that was deceitfully billed as a job creator. As you may recall, immediately upon repatriating their profits that time, there were mass layoffs in their US companies and they used the extra money mostly on buybacks of their own stock to further inflate their profits.

Just more proof that media consolidation is destroying our democracy by perverting the information chain that is supposed to inform the electorate. The Hill is a relatively small player inside the Beltway, but a look at their corporate structure reveals The Hill is owned by Capitol Hill Publishing Corp., a subsidiary of News Communications, Inc. The corporate connections of its CEO James Finkelstein are far ranging. In 2009, they bought out 42 Nielsen entertainment titles including The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Backstage, Adweek, Brandweek, Mediaweek and Editor & Publisher. I'm sure you'll recall what they did to E&P. Once it was a reliable source of news. No more.

We are well and truly screwed.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Blogger merlallen said...

Another nice question, "what jobs bill"?

2:11:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Astounding to me how nobody outside of the DFHs seem to recall they ran on jobs, jobs, jobs, nor will they acknowledge that everything the GOPers have done since they won has been to kill jobs.

7:16:00 AM  

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