The Journal's War On Health Care Reform Drags On

March 30th, 2010 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

By Arthur Alpert

Sunday’s Albuquerque Journal continued its war on health care reform in an editorial with this amazing sentence:
“The legislation continues to be unpopular, no doubt made more so by the backroom deals and sleight of hand used to get it passed and Republicans are certain to take advantage of the low approval numbers leading into November.”
What gall!
I don’t mean the boilerplate rhetoric. No, I refer to the nerve of the GOP partisans who operate the Journal writing about “Republicans” as if “Republicans” were somebody else.
It would be honest to say, “we.”
But therein lies a problem for me.
Here’s why. After keeping the business solvent, the Journal’s major purpose is to promote one of our major political parties. It does so by means fair and foul. When I point that out, it’s easy for you and other readers to presume that I’m siding with the other party.
I’m not.
I have come to believe that thinking in “party” terms is mistaken. Neither party is autonomous. And, deep down, they share a lot. As leftists have long known (and some tea partiers recognize), both bend to corporate power.
(That’s why the Journal’s editorial partisans don’t write that Pete Domenici – patron saint of corporate welfare – could love the Democratic health reform. The pharmaceutical and hospital industries found it so comforting, they backed it. As did the AMA. And the “reform” leaves private health insurance in place to find new paths to profit.)
I know that it’s my job to aim darts and laurels at the Journal’s journalism. So like any beat reporter, I use my biases as reminders to be fair.
Of course, keeping my eye on the journalism ball permits – no, it demands – that I clobber Journal management for infecting the news with partisanship.
That’s exactly what the Journal did last week when reporting how verbal threats and violence were aimed at Democratic legislators who voted for the health reform bills.
It’s complex, this interweaving of politics and journalism -unraveling it requires very, very careful exposition.
Which exposition, I will save for a post later this week.

Tags: ··

One Comment so far ↓

  • Roland

    On its editorial page the ABQ Journal advertises itself as an “independent” newspaper, but most discerning readers discover that it should honestly portray itself as a mouth-piece for the Republican party. The tragedy of this situation is that the Abq. metropolitan area is the single largest concentration of voters in the state, yet we are a one newspaper town. The relative proportion of Democratic versus Republican voters is fairly close in Abq., and this balance is vulnerable to being tipped by a biased newspaper. Most people’s perceptions of political reality are shaped by this dishonest Republican rag, and the situation gets even worse in the southeastern corner of this state.
    Yes, the Democratic party is far from perfect, but I am not willing to accept an argument of moral equivalency between Democratic and Republican party platforms. We progressives may moan and bitch about the lack of spine of members of Congress, but we should always keep in mind that Democrats usually are pro-labor, pro-choice, and pro-social justice, whereas the Republican party continues to drift further to the lunatic right, aided by mouth-pieces such as the ABQ Journal.

Leave a Comment