Accuracy in Media

“Mortgage Rates Fall as U.S. Expands Rescue” was the page-one headline in the November 26 Wall Street Journal. The story concerned a promise from federal officials to “pump” another $800 billion into the economy, bringing the grand total of the cost of various bailouts to something over $8 trillion. The term “rescue” is laughable but is used for the obvious purpose of confusing people about the calamity that has befallen our nation. If we’re not bankrupt now, we will be someday because we are being “rescued” by the federal government. This is the ultimate in what William Lutz, in his 1997 book of the same name, called “doublespeak.”

Ronald Reagan always warned of government officials who said they were there to help you.

I would have written that Journal story under the headline, “U.S. Plunges Deeper into Socialism.” But, of course, I’m biased.

It’s not fashionable these days to tell the truth about our financial and economic problems. The reason is simple―the media want to keep the American people in the dark about what is happening to their country. It is a catastrophe of historical proportions. And the obvious danger is that the loss of political liberty will follow the loss of economic liberty.

For many years to come we will be talking about the market meltdown of 2008 and what was done or said about it. Those media conservatives who defended the Wall Street bailout should be given special scrutiny. It is not too early to hold them responsible.

One apparent reason for covering up the nature of what is happening is the fear of further reducing consumer confidence. Still another reason is that many in the media favor the new Big Government policies. Harold Meyerson of the Washington Post, who is a member of Democratic Socialists of America, wrote a column, “Gods That Failed,” about this being a great opportunity to transform the U.S. into a full-blown socialist state. Meyerson, who thinks Obama will take us there, should be commended for his brutal honesty.

The God That Failed was a book by ex-communists who gave up on socialism. Meyerson thinks capitalism has failed and that the financial crisis has proven it. It’s too bad that so many conservatives, ranging from Fred Barnes to Hugh Hewitt, gave up on capitalism, too. 

Conservative commentators are continuing in the masquerade by saying that President-elect Barack Obama has been moving to the center-right with selections of people like Timothy Geithner of the New York Federal Reserve as Treasury Secretary. They ignore the abundant evidence that Geithner’s fingerprints are already all over this mess.

The terms “left” and “right” lose much of their meaning when the nation’s official policy, which began under and is being implemented by a “conservative” Republican president named George W. Bush, has already become socialist.

In this context, it is absurd for commentators such as Sean Hannity to refer to what is happening as the “Obama recession” when Obama hasn’t even taken power. This only further confuses people about the socialist nightmare that our nation has entered into, and which is now being implemented on a bipartisan basis. It is just silly to be trying to score partisan political points.

At this point the issue becomes degrees of socialism. Hannity is correct that it can get much worse under Obama because he has vowed to expand socialism to other areas of the economy such as health care and because he favors further integration of the U.S. into an international socialist system. That is where the battle now has to be fought. It is time to quit defending Bush, who will go down in history as the Republican Jimmy Carter.

It will be hard for Congressional Republicans to fight this socialist trend when their leadership in both Houses backed Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s initial $700-billion Wall Street bailout. In the House, where most Republicans opposed the Wall Street bailout, they inexplicably elected Rep. John “Bailout” Boehner as their leader, even though they have lost 50 members under his leadership. And they elected Rep. Eric Cantor, another bailout backer, as their number two. The saving grace is the elevation of Rep. Mike Pence, an opponent of the bailout, to the position of chairman of the House Republican Conference. This is the number three spot. Pence, a former talk radio host and articulate conservative, should take the lead on economic matters and leave Boehner and Cantor in the shadows where they belong. 

In the overall scheme of things, analyst Dick Morris was correct in his recent column that “what is happening is the end of the consensus around free market economics engendered by the fall of communism. The era of free market consensus lasted from 1989 through 2008. It is now over.” In a previous column, Morris was also right on the mark, declaring that Bush was leaving America a legacy of European socialism. He warns that it could get far worse under Obama.

For his part, Bush was either clueless or deceptive when he was at a summit in Lima, Peru, on November 21 and declared, “Together, our nations must focus our efforts on three great forces that drive this growth―free markets, free trade, and free people.” The fact is that Bush has left our nation far less free. We may never recover from this debacle because his mismanagement of the economy left the door wide open for Obama’s victory and greater numbers of liberals being elected in the House and Senate. The congressional socialists are now stronger than ever, with one of them, Rep. Barbara Lee, the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, now chairing the Congressional Black Caucus.

Paulson’s role in engineering this crisis cries out for scrutiny, but a realistic official inquiry doesn’t seem likely. The only hope is Rep. Darrell Issa’s legislation, H.R. 7275, the Financial Oversight Commission Act of 2008, to create an independent panel to study and issue a report on the crisis. But Issa, a bailout opponent, only has eight co-sponsors. Both major political parties are probably afraid of where such an inquiry would lead. 

If our media were doing their jobs, a statement by Bush about the need to protect free markets at this point in time would have been highlighted as a major gaffe. But the liberal media like big government and have excused Bush, under the influence of Paulson, for moving us down this dead-end road. 

In fact, the media are part of the con job.  Consider Steven Pearlstein of the Washington Post. The paper, on page one of the November 26 issue, promoted one of his columns on the “historically massive economic efforts” undertaken by the federal government in this meltdown. Consider that phrase “historically massive economic efforts.” This is a euphemism to disguise America’s descent into socialism. It’s like calling taxes “fees.”

While he didn’t try to completely play down the magnitude of the federal interference in the economy, his column defended the various “investments” being made in the financial sector and claimed that “to suggest, as some have, that the entire effort has been a failure ignores the harsh reality that, without the efforts so far, things would actually have been worse―a lot worse.” This statement, offered without any evidence at all, comes from somebody in the media who was a cheerleader for the original Paulson plan.

Pearlstein’s real motive was evident when he later complained about a leak that Larry Summers, Obama’s pick to run the National Economic Council, might eventually be named as the next Federal Reserve Board chairman. This is no time, Pearlstein declared, to “undermine” the confidence in the current Fed chairman Ben Bernanke.

This is what Pearlstein is all about―cheerleading for those who brought us into this meltdown and can’t get us out because their socialist policies will not work. Pearlstein is not a journalist but a shill for incompetent and/or corrupt officials.   

I used to laugh at the ways that federal officials and politicians disguised their tax and spend policies. Taxes for example, were called “revenue generators,” in order to deceive people about their true impact. But using the term “rescue” to disguise socialism is about as bad as it gets. Calling a bailout an “investment,” as Pearlstein does, is equally dishonest.

William Lutz’s 1997 book, Doublespeak, carried the subtitle, “Why No One Knows What Anyone’s Saying Anymore.”

It is up to the alternative media, especially conservative bloggers, to expose the doublespeak that is dragging our nation into ruin. It’s not a laughing matter anymore.   

The American people are crying out for truth from the press.

“Thank you for your most recent article,” one person wrote to me. “Of all days for me to write this e-mail, it is Thanksgiving. Our founding fathers sacrificed so much, gave us such a beautiful country and a brilliant Constitution. They were tired of the heavy hand of England, the high taxes and the religious oppression. Through many dangers, toils and snares, they escaped to the New World and started over. Now, where do we run?”

Ready to fight back against media bias?
Join us by donating to AIM today.


Comments are turned off for this article.