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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press NYT Thinks That President Obama is a Philosopher

NYT Thinks That President Obama is a Philosopher

Thursday, 30 August 2012 04:10

It really is bizarre, but apparently the NYT doesn't know what line of work President Obama is in. Perhaps they think he is a jazz singer, a mystery writer, who knows? While the rest of us know that President Obama is a politician, the NYT somehow thinks he is a philosopher. It told readers this in the very first sentence of a front page article on Representative Ryan's acceptance speech at the Republican convention referring to "President Obama’s governing philosophy."

The article never explains how it came to the conclusion that President Obama has a governing philosophy. While a philosopher might have a governing philosophy, a politician responds to political pressures from powerful interest group. President Obama very obviously does the latter, the NYT gives us no information as to why it thinks that President Obama is a philosopher.

This piece also erred by following Representative Ryan in referring to his accusation about President Obama's failure, "to act on the recommendations of his own bipartisan debt commission." While the article did point out that as a member of the commission, Representative Ryan had voted against the plan put forward by the commission co-chairs, Morgan Stanley director Erskine Bowles and former Senator Alan Simpson, it did not point out that the plan actually was not adopted by the commission. To have been approved, the report would have needed the support of 14 members of the commission. It only had the support of 11 members. It is therefore inaccurate to refer to the report as coming from the commission.

The piece also does a he said/she said segment on Medicare, telling readers:

"Mr. Ryan made it clear that he would portray the Romney-Ryan ticket as protecting Medicare, not 'raiding it,' as he said Democrats would, saying his own mother’s reliance on the program should be proof of his commitment to it."

Many readers may not realize that both Governor Romney and Representative Ryan have proposed replacing Medicare with a voucher program. This voucher system would not assure beneficiaries that they would have the money to afford a policy equivalent to the current Medicare program.

Comments (1)Add Comment
written by Last Mover, August 30, 2012 6:26
Funny thing is, if you ask these reporters what was the governing philosophy of real philosophers like Kant, Nietzche, Sarte and so forth, no doubt they would readily respond that it depends only on whether they were a tax and spend pro choice liberal or a right wing anti-regulation small government balanced-budget austerian.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.