Journal-AP Tag Team Bury the Facts in Social Security Story

August 13th, 2010 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

By Arthur Alpert

Life offers great pairings.

I’m thinking of Heloise and Abelard, Romeo and Juliet, Fred and Ginger and – eternally entwined – Albuquerque Journal management and Associated Press Washington Bureau.

That last duo – they go everywhere holding (right) hands – has produced another cute offspring. Wearing a bold headline – “Outlook For Fixing Social Security Bleak” over an odd factual fabric, it stares out of page A7 Thursday, Aug. 12.

Wow! It’s certainly serious that “Money Could Run Out in 2037”, as the sub-head proclaims. Worse yet (per Stephen Ohlemacher’s lead), the “Prospects are bleak for fixing Social Security’s financial problems….”

It’s almost enough to make you quit reading, head to a favorite saloon and drown your sorrows.

But don’t, at least not before paragraph nine. For there, the story makes a U-turn.

“Despite the rhetoric,” writes AP’s Ohlemacher, “many experts think policymakers will eventually settle on a compromise: small cuts in further benefits coupled with small tax increases.”

And in the next graph, he quotes William Gale, a former George W. Bush economic adviser, this way:
“It’s not that hard to do.”

No? So the outlook isn’t bleak at all. So why did you say it was? And why at such length? Why eight paragraphs of negativity before telling us that a Republican conservative (fer gosh sakes) isn’t a bit worried.

It couldn’t be that the Journal and AP Washington despise Social Security, could it?

Nah. Girls – and eternally entwined pseudo-journalists – just wanna have fun.

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Roland

    I have always wondered why the ABQ Journal uses the AP almost exclusively as its news source, and this clarifies things a bit. It’s pretty obvious why the Journal virtually never cites stories from the NY Times news bureau, but the political leanings of the AP were not entirely clear. Concerning the so-called “crisis” in social security, that is certainly one of the Republican hot talking-points. There are several obvious solutions, which Republicans will never address, such as “raising the cap,” and probably most obviously, the U.S. needs to stop being the policeman of the world, spending trillions of dollars engaging in nation-building. The Republicans never anxiously wring their hands about the looming crisis in our runaway military spending. In their world view, money spent on social programs is wasted, but money spent on military ventures is all worth it.

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