3/6/14 Era of Austerity

A
A
A

In the past 30 months, Congress and the President have agreed again and again on spending limits, freezes, cuts, a sequester, new revenues, new taxes, new spending.  And the list goes on.  They’ve raised the national debt ceiling. Over and over.

But it’€™s all gimmicks.  The end result? Government spends more money we don’t have.  Plunging us deeper in debt.

At the end of 2013, Congressional Democrats and Republicans reached their own budget deal.  It blows through the spending limits Congress promised only two years earlier. 

The Congressional plan increases spending and debt in the next seven years with a promise of making cuts in years 8, 9 & 10.  Of course, those cuts will never happen.

The Washington Post and the New York Times are encouraging even more spending.  I specifically mention these two papers because there is very little original reporting and analysis that occurs among the TV networks, cable channels, and newspapers. 

Go to our website and see how many journalists admit they follow the lead of these two papers.

Just before President Obama submitted his 2015 budget the Washington Post claimed the US is in an “era of austerity.”  The New York Times said we’€™re experiencing “painful austerity.”

The term austerity is laughable. And dishonest. 

Why should Washington acknowledge its spending problem when the media denies one exists?

Journalists admitting they follow the lead of the Washington Post and New York Times:

“The problem is that so many TV journalists simply don’t know what to think about certain issues until the New York Times and the Washington Post tell them what to think. Those big, important newspapers set the agenda that network news people follow.”
Bernard Goldberg, Bias, p. 18.

“For better or worse, too many Washington correspondents must respond to people in New York or Atlanta without nearly as much news experience who take cues from the New York Times or Washington Post.”
John King, CNN, March 15, 2001, Annenberg Public Policy Center panelist

“Even if you don’t read the Times yourself, you get your news from journalists at other media who do. The Times sets the news agenda that everyone else follows. The Washington Post and maybe one or two other papers also play this role, but even as a writer who appears in the Washington Post — a damned fine newspaper run by superb editors who are graced with every kind of brilliance, charm, and physical beauty — I would have to concede that the Times is more influential.”
Michael Kinsley, Editor, “Sympathy for the New York Times,” Slate.com,  May 21, 2003

“[I]t is the imprimatur of the Times or the Post that stamps the story as important before sending it back down to other papers — as well as up to the media gods of television.”
Michael Kinsley, Editor, “Sympathy for the New York Times,” Slate.com, May 21, 2003

“The standard operating procedure at most publications-Slate included — is to commence the reporting of a new piece with a healthy Nexis dump, one that draws on the major dailies but especially from the Times.”
Jack Shafer, “The Same River Twice,” Slate.com, December 16, 2003

“We all work here in Washington.  We sort of look to the New York Times every day and the Washington Post and USA Today and CBS News and the networks to get our news and that’s what we think is important.”
Vaughn Ververs, editor of National Journal’s The Hotline, December 3, 2004, Hotel Washington, Washington, DC.

You can follow Behind the Headlines on Twitter at @BehindTheHead.
You can follow Mark on
Twitter at @MarkHyman.
Join us on our
Facebook page.