Lies and Lying Liars (with apologies to Al Franken)


By: David Rosman  Columbia, MO  September, 15, 2010

On September 9, I was pulled into the “politicalizing of 9/11” quagmire along with the worldwide media. On September 14, I apologized for my indiscretion. On September 15, responses started to arrive.

One of the responses, from “Al,” blaming the 9/11 ordeal, blaming every ill America now faces on MSM – Main Stream Media. He is especially angry at liberal arm of MSM for “not doing their job in reporting the truth.” A standard complaint.

Since last Thursday, I have received a number of Tweets from White House press secretary Robert Gibbs complaining about a feature column in the September 27 edition of Forbes (on stands now). I initially took it as a rant against someone who does not like the president. But things continued.

I also received my emailed copy of the Columbia Journalism Review featuring Ryan Chittum’s “Forbes’ Shameful Piece on Obama as the “Other” – The worst kind of smear journalism by Dinesh D’Souza.” You can read D’Souza’s article at the Forbes’ Web site. CJR is a monthly publication of the Columbia University School of Journalism, describingitself as “both a watchdog and a friend of the press in all its forms, from newspapers to magazines to radio, television, and the Web.”

For the record, Forbes’ is a conservative, pro-business publication. Maybe not as conservative as Rush Limbaugh would like, but conservative nonetheless.

I am sure that a few, if not most, of the editorial board and staff at Forbes’ have a séance on the anniversaries of Ronald Reagan’s birth and death, February 11 and June 5, to ask for guidance from their long dead hero.

I usually do not dig too deeply into Forbes’ articles believing that they are thoroughly vetted by professional editors and fact checkers.

However, reading the first paragraph of D’Souza’s column left me with a single question: did anyone read this before it went online or to print? When I read this commentary – and it is a commentary – I was wondering if the Forbes’ editors and fact-checkers were on a business junket to visit their offshore bank accounts in the Grand Turk Islands.

Let’s start with the simple stuff. D’Souza writes about “nasa Chief Charles Bolton,” “… the International Space Station was a model for nasa’s future.” Notice the errors? Even my spell check knows that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is “NASA,” all caps. The head of the agency is the Administrator. These error are ever present in the column.

He starts his rant with, “Barack Obama is the most antibusiness president in a generation, perhaps in American history.” I’ll forego that “antibusiness” is a hyphenated word, but anti-business?

On August 10, 2010, the President signed the Manufacturing Enhancement Act of 2010. As the Presidentstated at the signing ceremony, “That’s why we fought for and passed tax breaks for companies that are investing here in the United States rather than companies that are keeping profits offshore. That’s why we closed loopholes that encourage corporations to ship American jobs overseas.” A bill that came from the White house and was sponsored by Rep. Sandy Levin, a Democrat from Michigan and co-sponsored by Rep Kevin Brady (R-Tx.).

As of September 16, 2010, the Democratic lead Senate passed H.R.5297 – Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010, providing about $40 billion in business incentives and loans to, what else, small businesses. But not without a “full court press” by the Republican members to kill the bill. According to the Library of Congress this was a straight party line vote with every pro-business Republican voting against the pro0business bill. The bill now goes back to the House for reconciliation before going to the President for signature.

The very next sentence in D’Sousa’s pitch is, “Thanks to him the era of big government is back.” According to the CATO Institute, Ronald Reagan increased federal spending by almost 70% from 1981 to 1983. The Foundation of Economic Education reported, “that overall—that is, considering all taxes together—taxes as a percentage of GNP were… higher at the end of the 1980s than they were at the beginning of the decade.”

The Tax Policy Center of the Brookings Institute said of George W. Bush, “If taxes are cut (or at least never increase), government spending must eventually decline. In practice, however, the Bush tax cuts have been accompanied by an acceleration in spending, both in inflation-adjusted dollars and in proportion to the economy, which means that the tax cuts have not led to lower government spending but have instead increased the budget deficit.” And a bigger government.

The last sentence of the paragraph states, “The Weekly Standard summarizes Obama’s approach as omnipotence at home, impotence abroad.” The article from this ultra-conservative magazine was written by Irwin Stelzer, the director of regulatory policy studies at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. Is AEI a legitimate organization? Yes it is. Do they have a pre-existing agenda? You betcha.

In fact, the only administration that did reduce the size of government was the Clinton administration and the conservatives are pissed off at that.

Yes, Forbes’ is a conservative publication. Conservatives and ultra-conservatives are manning (and womaning) the A.M. airwaves, cable television and Fox News. D’Souza is a perfect example of what a true a journalist is not supposed to do.

Return to InkandVoice

David Rosman is an award winning editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in Communications, Ethics, Business and Politics. You can read more of David’s commentaries atColumbiaMissourian.com and New York Journal of Books.com.

(c) David Rosman, Ink and Voice 2010 Columbia, MO

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About David Rosman

David Rosman is an award winning editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in Communications, Ethics, Business and Politics. You can read more of David’s commentaries at ColumbiaMissourian.com, InkandVoice.com and NYJournalofBooks.com.
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