Accuracy in Media

When Democrats issue policy proposals like the “Green New Deal” that are full of errors and strange conjectures, the mainstream media treats them with respect, but when Republicans point out problems with the proposals, they are aggressive people looking to “pounce” for political gain.

The Green New Deal endorsed by some Democratic lawmakers stated “we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes” within 10 years and also asserted that a mere decade would be enough time to end consumption of oil and natural gas and to “retrofit every building in America, build the smart grid, overhaul transportation and agriculture, plant lots of trees,” and achieve “net-zero” carbon emissions.

Given the dubious odds that the “Green New Deal” could ever be feasible, it’s no wonder that Republicans point out these basic facts such as those outlined in a letter to the Wall Street Journal: “According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), there was approximately 850 gigawatts of uranium and fossil-fuel installed electricity capacity in the U.S. as of 2016. Also, according to the EIA, as of January 2019, total capital costs per kilowatt for onshore wind range from $1,455 a kilowatt to $2,773 a kilowatt. Solar is $1,759-$3,212 a kilowatt. Let’s assume there is amazing innovation and costs decline to $500 a kilowatt for both of them. To replace 850 gigawatts (850,000,000 kilowatts) of capacity would cost $425 trillion, give or take a few dozen trillion.”

James Freeman reports: “Conservative news consumers have been chuckling over a headline this week in the New York Times: ‘Ocasio-Cortez Team Flubs a Green New Deal Summary, and Republicans Pounce.’ The long-running joke among right-leaning media skeptics is that when leftist politicians support destructive policies or make outrageous claims, reporters ignore them—except when they can be used to cast conservatives as opportunistic and self-interested critics of the bad ideas.

In the story that has inspired another round of ‘Republicans Pounce’ gags on social media this week, [The New York Times’] Coral Davenport writes:

Days after introducing her Green New Deal — a plan to combat climate change that has won the endorsement of several Democratic presidential candidates — Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez found the proposal enmeshed in confusion when her staff published a summary that included provisions not endorsed by the candidates.Over the weekend her staff backed away from the document, saying it was incomplete and had been published by accident, after Republicans pounced on the plan, citing a blog post of frequently asked questions. That post included language that called for economic security ‘for all who are unable or unwilling to work.’

One doesn’t need to be a Republican to criticize the idea of handouts for people who refuse to work. A reasonable taxpayer might regard such criticism as the bare minimum to be expected of any elected official … Perhaps instead of editorializing about the motives of a speaker— using a verb that often makes readers think of animals trying to eat other animals—reporters might simply quote the speaker.”

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