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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Washington Post Doesn't Realize that Sometimes Politicians are not Truthful

Washington Post Doesn't Realize that Sometimes Politicians are not Truthful

Tuesday, 04 December 2012 06:21

While it apparently is news to the Washington Post, those who follow politics realize that politicians are not always completely honest in their public statements. That is why it is important never to take what they say entirely face value.

For this reason the Washington Post erred when it reported in a front page story that:

"Republicans were outraged by the president’s proposal [on the budget], calling it a step backward."

In fact, the Post has no way of knowing whether the Republicans were in fact outraged. It of course helps the Republican's position enormously to imply that President Obama's proposal was in fact outrageous. The Post simply should have reported the Republicans claim that they were outraged (e.g. "Republicans claimed to have been outraged by the president's proposal).

The piece then continues its reporting from the Republican perspective:

"On Monday, Boehner referred to it as the president’s 'la-la-land offer.'

'We could have responded in kind, but we decided not to do that,' Boehner told reporters.

"Instead, Boehner began last week rallying top Republicans around the Bowles framework, which was presented in November 2011 to a special deficit- reduction “supercommittee” of Congress."

The Post's discussion implies the Boehner responded to President Obama's proposal with a compromise position that was reasonable, in contrast to the unreasonable proposal that the president had put on the table. This sort of editorializing is supposed to be left to the opinion sections.

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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.