If you’ve seen me say this once, you’ve probably seen me say dozens of times that there is no equivalence between the parties. It’s bad enough to hear uninformed people jumping on the equivalence bandwagon that Republicans are pushing to deflect from themselves the blame that they so richly deserve. However, it’s ludicrous to hear this from reporters whose job it is to report the facts.
“Reality,” Stephen Colbert once said, “has a well-known liberal bias.” He was joking–or “joking”–but he identified a serious problem for political reporters in a polarized era. What do you do when the actual reality of a news story is not evenly balanced between two sides? What do you do when the facts of a situation are such that to describe them accurately will make you sound biased?
This month’s fiscal crisis is one such situation. One party (in fact, essentially one wing of the Republican party), seeking the elimination or delay of Obamacare, precipitated a government shutdown and threatened to force a default on U.S. debt. Period. There was no corresponding threat or demand on the Democratic or White House side; having gotten the Affordable Care Act into law three years ago, they are not in the situation of saying, “Pass Obamacare or we shut ‘er down.”
That’s the situation. To accurately describe it, as news coverage should, is not to endorse an ideology. It’s not to say that Obamacare is good or bad. It’s not to say that Republicans do or don’t have good reasons to oppose it. It’s not to say that Democrats have or haven’t sought political benefit in the aftermath. But it correctly places the impetus where it belongs… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <Time Magazine>
Click through for the rest of this excellent article. I am not the only one who was impressed. Lawrence O’Donnell interviewed the author.
The shutdown story is about the Republican Party. It is ONLY about the Republican Party. The notion that Democrats have anything to do with this crisis, other that standing firm and resisting it, as they should, is absurd! The Democrats didn’t shut down the government. When Republicans did, Democrats had already compromised to give Republicans the priorities they wanted. Even Cantor said so. Then Republicans moved the goal posts, as usual. The shutdown is built on animus to the President, and is yet another attempt to destroy the Obama Presidency. Media’s job is to report these proven facts. For the most part, they are failing miserably.