A smile never increases in price or decreases in value.
Slanting the News
The U. S. Senate recently passed a stopgap bill to extend President Obama’s cut in the Social Security withholding tax, leaving it at 4.2% instead of the 6.2% needed to fund Social Security. It also would preserve Medicare’s current level of reimbursements to physicians. In the absence of this bill, Medicare’s reimbursements to doctors will drop to a level few doctors can live with. The result could well be a massive withdrawal of doctors from accepting Medicare.
A couple of days ago, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram ran a front-page story under the headline “Stalemate in Congress means tax hike is likely.” Underneath the headline was the following bold statement: “House GOP rejects bipartisan Senate bill . . .”
Both statements are true, but are they fair? Without getting into the merits of the bill itself, let’s examine the fairness of the headline. Since a lot of people scan the headlines and sub-headlines without reading the entire articles, the only impression they get is from what the large print says.
To put what actually happened in Washington into context, it is necessary to read on and find out exactly what the Senate passed and the House rejected? In this particular case, the Senate passed a stopgap measure that would be in effect for only two months. At the end of that two months, the changes in both the Social Security tax rate and the Medicare reimbursements would go into effect.
Recognizing that this Senate bill is much ado about nothing, the House refused to pass it. House leaders seek instead to postpone those changes for a full years rather than just two months. What they want to do is more than what the Senate bill would do, not less, but the headline conveys the impression that the Republicans in the House are acting like the Grinch who stole Christmas.
Again, I’m not trying to discuss the merits of either the change in Social Security tax rate or in Medicare reimbursements. I only seek to point out the abuse of power by the media when they use such slanted and inflammatory headlines. It’s obvious from the way the headlines read that someone in power on the newspaper’s editorial staff wants to cast the Republican party in a bad light and, by implication, cast the Democrats in a good light.
This is the sort of abuse of the power of the press that Republicans have suffered for decades. The left-leaning media in general use every trick at their command to make their favorites look good and those in disfavor look bad. They don’t actually lie, since what the headline said actually did happen. They just report it in a way that distorts the truth.
This is why Fox News has become so popular in recent years. Rather than try to support an agenda, they report the news fairly and accurately. Isn’t it time the rest of the media began doing likewise?
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No post on Monday the 26th, since we’ll be visiting kids and grandkids. See you next Wednesday.
David N. Walker is a Christian father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years as a health insurance agent. Most of that career was spent in Texas, but for a few years he traveled many other states. He started writing about 20 years ago, and has six unpublished novels to use as primers on how NOT to write fiction. Since his retirement from insurance a few years ago, he has devoted his time to helping Kristen Lamb start Warrior Writers’ Boot Camp and trying to learn to write a successful novel himself.