MITT

Here’s a surprise. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney wants to cut corporate taxes and protect the wealthy.

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich responds: “For Romney, the key to America’s recovery is to cut taxes on businesses and on people who invest in them. … But anyone looking closely at the American economy today would see this is nonsense. American corporations have an unprecedented $1.8 trillion of cash. …In other words, businesses have all the capital they need … It’s pushing on a wet noodle. Businesses create jobs only if consumers are pulling the noodle from the other end.”

Exactly – though I don’t agree with Reich’s solution, either.

Professor Reich would borrow hundreds of billions to cut the payroll tax on those already with jobs. Not me. I would borrow hundreds of billions to make our economy more efficient, and in ways that would create new jobs – renewing our failing infrastructure, for example, and providing big incentives to weatherize tens of millions of homes and commercial buildings to cut their energy consumption.

FOX

Fred Campbell: “Uh…Andy…NBC’s parent corporation (GE) donated money to democrats in the 2008 election cycle. ABC’s parent corporation (Disney) did the same. Don’t know how this is different than Fox News’ parent donating to republicans.”

☞ I think most people see News Corp’s primary business being “news.” Very few people would say that of GE or Disney.

Under current law, News Corp has every right to make this contribution to advance its corporate interests. But it’s nonetheless a pretty large and clear statement of whom they’re rooting for. And if you work at Fox News, and hope to advance, my guess is that knowing who the boss is rooting for has an influence on your work product.

And listen, the same is true of me. My views are obviously slanted to the left. The difference is that – while I actually do try hard to be scrupulously honest and reasonably fair and balanced – I do not purport to be an unbiased news source, constantly proclaiming to you that “I report, you decide” or that I’m fair and balanced.

Another difference is that News Corp is in it for the money. That’s fine, but it doesn’t always lead to the most thoughtful reporting. (“Thoughtful” doesn’t sell as many papers or get the same ratings as “sensational.”) And a lower corporate tax rate and fewer restrictions on cigarette advertising, and so on – while good for News Corp’s shareholders – aren’t necessarily good for society as a whole.

Steve Nevarez: “You write: ‘Imagine CBS giving the Democrats $1 million. Or Super Bowl referees betting on the game. Well, Fox News parent News Corp just gave the Republican Governor’s Association $1 million. Fox News: always looking for a way to give the wealthy and powerful an edge.’ Are your readers really so blind that they believe your slanted writings? Imagine the New York Times saying after an election that they helped Barack Obama win. Imagine the LA Times killing a story before the election because they didn’t want to influence the election. The New York Times admitted it and the LA Times killed an anti-Obama story. Stuff like this is happening in our media today as they are blatantly campaigning for the democrat candidates. You aren’t interested in truth. You are interested in leading the flock to your side and truth is not to stand in the way. Shame on you. When I read the news about the donation I was disappointed. But I guess since journalism is no longer about unbiased reporting, all gloves are off. In that respect, the Republicans are still way outgunned since most of the media is liberal. You’re a smart man. Give your readers some credit and don’t act like this stuff isn’t going on. The liberal press started it and has a huge advantage in this game. There just aren’t many News Corp type outlets.”

☞ I think almost anyone comparing the journalistic standards of the New York Times or CBS News with those of the News-Corp-owned New York Post or Fox News (or comparing the Wall Street Journal before and after its transfer to News Corp ownership) would conclude that the former make more of an effort to fulfill their roles as unbiased news sources, independent of the views of their editorial pages.

That you were disappointed to learn of that $1 million contribution suggests that on some level we must have points of agreement. One disagreement: I would dispute that “there just aren’t many News Corp type outlets.” There are, for starters, all the News Corp properties. But then you also have virtually all of talk radio – so anyone who drives anywhere is constantly exposed to the “echo chamber.” And you have hundreds of millions of dollars fueling that echo chamber, and hundreds of visible Republicans in Congress and elsewhere, and Tea Party folks, with easy access to the media and unlimited access to the Internet.

Somehow, 70% of the folks who voted to reelect George W. Bush believed Iraq attacked us on 9/11. Somehow, 18% of Americans think President Obama is a Muslim. I don’t think they’re getting this from CBS or the New York Times. A further 43% don’t know what religion he is. (He’s a Christian.) I don’t have comparable statistics for John Kennedy (where, again, the candidate’s religion was an issue in the campaign), but didn’t the whole country simply know Kennedy was Catholic?

Is it the New York Times and CBS that have contributed to our relative ignorance these days? Or might it possibly be the Karl Rove echo chamber (to shorthand it), of which Fox News is a linchpin?

IRAQ

Just in case you missed the news, U.S. combat troops are now entirely out of Iraq. It’s more complicated than this when you read the whole story; but it’s still something to note and feel good about.

Have a great weekend!

 

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