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News Network or Bush PR Firm?

Reported by Ellen - February 19, 2005

The promo on FOXNews.com reads "Youth Appeal - President may have idea for winning over young voters to GOP — let them invest their payroll taxes." This sounds more like a flyer from a GOP strategy session than a legitimate news blurb.

The title of the web article is, "Bush Uses Social Security to Appeal to Youth." FOX News does the same. Here are some excerpts from the article:

"The Bush team and the GOP overall have been savvy about fostering 20- and 30-something voters as their new 'investor class,' as well as mobilizing loyal evangelical youth, (Washington D.C. Democratic Party Chairman Kathie) Boettrich said."

"Bush's attempt to change the face of Social Security by offering American workers the chance to invest a percentage of their payroll taxes in private accounts has emphasized the benefits to young voters."

"'I think the White House is talking to them directly and I think it's having an effect,' said (Washington D.C. field office director for Rock the Vote Hans) Riemer. 'I think it's becoming a hot topic on college campuses. That's what happens when the president puts something this big on his agenda — young people respond.'"

There is a sprinkling of less rosy Bush talk, such as "Younger Americans... are unsure about whether to privatize some of (Social Security) and risk losing some of their promised benefits," and "We don't want this president cutting our benefits." That last remark is followed immediately by "Sheri Annis, a new mom and Republican media strategist (comment: just an average, unbiased opinion - not!), said she is confident that younger workers will see the benefits of personal investment, particularly when questions arise about whether benefits will be cut anyway in 40 years, when the program is expected to go bankrupt."

And Boettich, the supposed Democrat in Washington, D.C., said "'Republicans had made some successful connections with young voters' during the presidential campaign. 'There were a number of them who were excited about Bush's Social Security plan... I don't think [the Social Security plan] is buying over all of the young people because there are so many issues that they disagree with him over,' said Boettrich. 'But there is certainly a connection.'"

Comment: This is the kind of coverage institutions pay big money for yet FOX does it for free, presumably, and calls it news. I think I can speak for the other News Hounds when I say that we wouldn't mind FOX News so much if it were just conservative but it's the Republican party cheerleading that we find so offensive.

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