Skip to comments.Journalists still playing fast and loose with the truth
Posted on 05/05/2006 2:53:52 AM PDT by DallasMike
I came across an article written a few weeks ago and was even more amazed than usual at how little truth the piece contained. The title is ominous -- Iraq Quagmire, Domestic Troubles Have Bush Setting Sites on Iran -- and the writer, John Hanchette, has credentials out the yin-yang.
John Hanchette, a professor of journalism at St. Bonaventure University, is a former editor of the Niagara Gazette and a Pulitzer Prize-winning national correspondent. He was a founding editor of USA Today and was recently named by Gannett as one of the Top 10 reporters of the past 25 years. He can be contacted via e-mail at Hanchette6@aol.com.
Now, one might think that a journalist with those credentials would be a careful fact-checker and could be trusted to tell us the unbiased truth. Unfortunately, that isn't the case at all with the good professor Hanchette.
Hanchette claims that the White House and Pentagon are denying facts:
For several days now, I've tried to pin down a phantom of angst, a mental shadow that hovers in doubt and anxiety when I least expect it. It's there when I'm awake. It's there when I dream.
The White House and Pentagon continue to deny evidence of what is clearly an insurgency and blooming civil war
The current White House seems to be losing control in Iraq -- the Bush administration's equivalent of Vietnam, whether they like to hear that description or not.
However, the facts say otherwise. From an article published in the DefenseLINK News on May 4th:
Over the past year, the coalition has cut the number of suicide attacks Zarqawi can launch. First, operations in the Euphrates River Valley disrupted the flow of foreign extremists from Syria, and now intelligence has allowed coalition forces to kill or capture a significant number of foreign fighters.
A year ago, Lynch said, there were on average 75 suicide attacks per month. Today there are less than 25 per month.
Lynch said coalition officials have targeted suicide bombers. "Since April 8, coalition forces have killed 31 foreign fighters," he said. "These are people that Zarqawi brought into Iraq to be suicide bombers who were killed before they could launch their attacks."
Suicide bombers most often come from Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Jordan. Most come into Iraq over the Syrian border. Lynch said that once captured, suicide attackers have often given coalition officials "actionable intelligence."
Did you get that? The number of suicide attacks is only a third of what it was a year ago. Where is Hanchette getting his information that there is an "insurgency" and that we're "losing control in Iraq?" Well, to his credit, he actually tells us:
I have that same queasy feeling I had in 1968.
So there we have it. He has a queasy feeling. Queasy feelings are apparently a substitute for facts in Hanchette's world. He continues:
President Dubya remains resolute on Iraq, but fails to address a confusing and totally broken health-care system, an economy headed for the precipice, the imminent destruction of the middle class through a favor-the-rich tax system and approbation of outrageous corporate greed, and heating-fuel and gas prices that will trigger national crisis before summer arrives.
A broken health care system? First, no one in America is denied health care if they can't pay for it. Yes, they may have to go to county hospitals and clinics, but they still receive care. Second, we have a new Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage program which will reduce the cost of prescriptions to senior citizens. Finally, if our health care system is so bad, why didn't Bill Clinton fix it?
Hanchette says we have a "favor-the-rich tax" system? Yet 41% of the population pays no federal income taxes at all and the top 5% of American income earners pay 54.36% of the total tax revenue. In 1980, the share of income taxes paid by the top 1% of taxpayers was just 19.3 percent. Now the top 1 percent of taxpayers pay 34.27%!
If Professor Pulitzer Prize-winner Hanchette had bothered to do any research, he would have found that Bush's “favor-the rich” tax system really doesn’t favor the rich at all and the rich pay a much greater share of taxes than they did 26 years ago. But he didn't do his research.
Not only that, but the good economy produced by Bush’s tax cuts are actually increasing the amount of taxes collected! Hanchette, with queasy feelings, claims that we have "an economy headed for the precipice," yet the New York Times writes:
Yet the national economy continues to speed ahead, with families and businesses spending money at an impressive pace. Forecasters expect the Commerce Department to report this morning that the economy grew at a rate of around 5 percent in the first quarter, the biggest increase since 2003.
The industries leading the way are ones that have been receiving far less attention than cars or real estate, though they have been adding thousands of new workers each month. In the last year, hospitals, doctors’ offices and other health care employers have created almost 300,000 jobs; restaurants have added 230,000; and local governments — including schools — have added 170,000.
But for now, the economy is on a fast track. The fact that interest rates remain low, despite the Fed’s rate increases of the last two years, is a big reason. The average rate on a 30-year conventional mortgage was 6.3 percent last month, lower than at any point in the 1970’s, 1980’s or 1990’s, according to the Fed.
Yeah, gas prices are a problem, but Hanchette doesn't understand what has caused the problem and will probably refuse to ever understand because it would upset his little world. The last new refinery in the United States was built in 1976 -- environmental laws make it too expensive to build new ones. Don't blame Bush, blame the Democrats and environmental activists:
Let's take an honest look into who is causing us to pay high oil prices. Beginning with 25-30 years ago, what group of people made it extremely difficult for the U.S. to build new oil refineries? Who protested the development of nuclear energy plants?
Don't know yet?
Well, then more recently, who has stopped the U.S. from allowing drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)? Who has not allowed oil drilling off the California coast? How about the Florida coast?
Are you getting the picture? No? Who has stopped the mining of shale oil in Colorado and other Western states?
If these hints are not enough for you, then maybe you'll get this one. Who does not want the Cape Wind Farm off the Massachusetts coast?
For every one of these questions there is only one answer, and it is not George W. Bush and the "big oil companies." The only group that answers every one of these questions is the Democrats in Congress and their anti-American allies in the environmentalist movement.
If you are enjoying paying $3 a gallon for gas, then continue voting for those who have prevented the U.S. from keeping energy costs low. If this letter does not fit your template for what "big media" feeds you, then maybe you should do a little digging of your own.
I hate to be blunt, but it really doesn't matter whether you're a professor of journalism or how many Pulitzer prizes you've won -- if you refuse to research the facts before you write then you're really not a very good journalist. Hanchette is supposedly a consummate professional yet he either intentionally lied in his column or was just too plain lazy to do any research. He relies on feelings rather than facts. I'm sure that he's very popular with the Democrats and the mainstream media for precisely that reason.
There's a reason that people have turned to talk radio and the Internet for news -- “professional” journalists no longer control the flow of information and people can now compare what is written with actual facts. The mainstream media is killing itself through biased and selective reporting. Despite Professor Hanchette's impressive credentials, he is this week's poster-child for bad, biased journalism.
Stingray: Conservative Christian News and Commentary
Any established bill$hit artist knows this.
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