Not So Hidden Agenda

March 16th, 2011 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

By Arthur Alpert

You gotta give the Albuquerque Journal a hand – it doesn’t hide its agenda. Not well, anyway.

As if publishing Robert Samuelson’s deceptive (if predictable) attack on Social Security as “welfare” last Monday wasn’t sufficient, management launched another missile Saturday, March 12.

Two in one week!

Of course, in a demonstration of (Journal-style) fairness, the paper published a dissenting letter to the editor.

Charles Krauthammer, celebrated for the extraordinary powers of analysis and logic that led him to advocate the US assault on Iraq – for which he’s unapologetic – wrote Saturday’s assault.

His thesis – the Social Security trust fund “contains nothing” and the plan, therefore, is not solvent.

Because I believe Social Security is an unalloyed public good, there’s a temptation to argue with him. But that’s politics and my job is to talk journalism.

(Economist Paul Krugman’s view of “The Social Security trust fund doesn’t exist thing” is at Economistsview.)

What most interests me, anyway, is how debating Social Security distracts from a host of current, vital questions. What were the real causes of the deficit? Who dun it? What does it mean that architects of the deficit now compete to tell us how terrible it is?

And most crucially, is the Social Security debate a red herring to divert our attention from how deficit cutting might affect the economy?

So, where is the Journal in all this? Beating an anti-Social Security drum in the Op Eds, that’s where, and – this is key – publishing little or nothing on the topics I just listed in its “news” columns.

As I was saying, it’s not a well-hidden agenda.

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Roland

    Yes, a couple years ago the Republican sound-byte machine was cranking out the message that Social Security is a “ponzi scheme,” and the Journal (being the propaganda arm in New Mexico for the Republican army) obligingly promoted that message via editorials and John Trever cartoons. You mention that the Journal printed a dissenting letter as a pathetic demonstration of fairness. Even those token efforts at fairness are deceptive because you can always count on the Journal to follow that up with another conservative letter of rebuttal, thus giving double-emphasis to the original Republican sound-byte. The Journal is indeed a well-oiled propaganda machine.

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