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John Gibson anti-New York Times rant gets results

Reported by Chrish - July 13, 2006 -

Viewers' response to John Gibson's "My Word" segment yesterday 7/11/06 was mixed, with the aired "Your Word" emails 2::1 against the Times and Democrats. His followers apparently took as fact his opinion that "The New York Times has morphed from the newspaper of record — "All the News That's Fit to Print" — into the Bush-hating newspaper of record — any Bush bashing that fits."

It continues:

"Take the deficit, which is coming down because tax revenues are going up. It was our big story right at the top of the show.

"It's a good story because it shows that the Bush policy of tax cuts isn't in place simply to give his rich friends some extra cash for bigger yachts.

(snip)

On Sunday The New York Times ran this story with a headline that said: "Surprising Jump in Tax Revenues Is Curbing Deficit."

OK, maybe a little snarky in the word "surprising," but otherwise it sounds like the writer and editors got it.

Well, then a few days pass and the editors at The New York Times evidently say, "Hey, good news for Bushie. Can't have this.

So Tuesday an editorial appears on the op-ed page at The Times with the headline: "Another Mission Accomplished."

This time The Times' take on the deficit reduction is that it's more Bush smoke and mirrors. Now The Times says the extra tax revenue really isn't that much, and the deficit isn't down that much, and Bush was overstating the deficit this year anyway just so he could show it was down when the tax revenue picture actually kicked in."

Gibson takes a swipe at FOX/Bush nemesis economist Paul Krugman by saying it sounds like he's the author of the unsigned editorial. Krugman has his own syndicated column and has been quite publicly calling Bush on his economic policies since 1999, at least.

So, Gibson asks,

"why did The Times turn on a dime on the deficit story? Because news about the increased tax revenues and the deficit going down made it sound like Bush was right about something. That's a story The New York Times and its star editors and columnists choke on."

Gibson doesn't recognize the difference between straight reporting and editorializing, as he consistently mixes the two as a matter of policy.

His segments prompted this response: "These Democrats never cease to amaze me. [Bush] had such good news yesterday and all the Dems can do is try to go put it down...and they wonder why they lose elections." and another writes "If Krugman is an economic expert, then I'm an astronaut...do serious economists pay attention to him?" (Gibson answers, " 'fraid they do." )

Get your butt down to NASA, pal. Paul Krugman is a professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University, a syndicated columnist, and author (or co-author) of such books as The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade; Development, Geography, and Economic Theory (Ohlin Lectures) ; International Economics: Theory and Policy ; and numeerous economics textbooks. They damn well better listen to him.

The first writer, who claims "Dems" are putting down Bush's "good news", apparently isn't aware of the comments from

The Wall Street Journal: Democrats Were Right to Suggest Original Estimate Was Inflated to Make Bush Look Good. “Democrats are right that the White House February estimate of a $423 billion budget deficit in Fiscal Year 2006 was inflated, perhaps to be able to claim progress later this election year.”

USA Today Editorial Board : $296 Billion Deficit “Hard to Get Excited About.” “Great news! This year's budget deficit won't be $423 billion as forecast in February but $296 billion. President Bush touted this on Tuesday as evidence that his fiscal policies are working. Forgive us if we don't break out the party hats. It is hard to get excited about an abysmally large deficit in the range of $300 billion that is somewhat less gargantuan than earlier predicted…frankly we don't see much reason to gloat.”

Newsday Editorial Board: “Everything Is Not Coming Up Roses” When Comparing Clinton Years to Bush Years. “Everything is not coming up roses. The lower projected deficit is a small, incremental improvement in what remains a pretty bleak, long-term federal fiscal picture. Washington has gone from four straight years of surpluses during the previous administration to four years of deficits under President George W. Bush, a string that will continue this year and into the foreseeable future…The federal government hasn't lived within its means since Bush became president, and it still isn't.”

Conservative Expert: “Fiscal Discipline Has Been Lacking.” “[I]t's still the case that there's a big deficit and that fiscal discipline has been lacking.” – Kevin Hassett, director of economic policy studies at the conservative American Enterprise Institute [Wall Street Journal, 7/12/06]

Expert: Fact Is There Is Still A $300 Billion Deficit. “Politicians should keep the fiscal champagne bottles corked. The real news here is that even into our fifth year of economic recovery and with two years of very strong revenue growth, we will still have a deficit this year of almost $300 billion.” – Robert L. Bixby, executive director of the non-partisan Concord Coalition


Conservative Expert “No Fiscal Discipline” Within the Administration. “There is no fiscal discipline at all going on. It's utterly shocking for me to hear an administration that claims to be conservative focus exclusively on the deficit, because the deficit is a pretty meaningless measure of the size of government.” – Veronique de Rugy, a budget analyst at the conservative American Enterprise Institute

Comment: Gibson (and other FOX faces) diminish non-supportive experts' qualifications, while right-wing nobodies are regularly inflated in importance (ex: Laura Mansfield). Viewers are left ignorant of the enormous intellectual reasoning that deplores Bush administration policies - it's all quickly dismissed as "Bush-hating" and not to be given any weight. It's designed to squash curiosity and exploration, which could lead to learning and critical thinking. Dumbed down and frightened: that's the way (uh-huh, uh-huh) they like it.

As John Dean's latest book, Conservatives Without Conscience, posits:
"a vast majority of Conservatives are drawn into the Leader/Follower archetype, where the Leaders are considered infallable, and the loyalty of the Followers is completely unshakable. About "23% of the populace falls into the follower category" said Dean. "These people are impervious" to fact, rationality and reality. And their "Numbers are growing"."