Accuracy in Media

In a piece that asks if Congress is “worse than it’s ever been?,” POLITICO leads by saying that Congress “still can’t-or won’t-function.” Noting that the Congress has only passed 18 bills into law, POLITICO claims that “when Congress is in, all it does is bash Obama.”

In the sixth paragraph, POLITICO says that “Obama’s GOP critics on Capitol Hill countered that the president’s cool detachment from debt-limit negotiations until last week has been a problem.” POLITICO claims that “throughout the 112th Congress, lawmakers and the White House have cut deals only when pushed to the very edge of political or budgetary disaster, and neither side has walked away from those agreements with its supporters pleased by the results.”

POLITICO does not mention that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) “hasn’t passed, or even offered, a 2012 budget” until the 28th paragraph. Even then, POLITICO calls this “a strategy of nonengagement.” Conversely, POLITICO characterizes the debates between the Congress and the President thus: “It is governing while balanced on a knife’s edge.”

POLITICO frets that “many current and former lawmakers complain that the stalemate on the Hill is worse than ever, even going back to the bitter partisan wars of the 1990s and the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.”

POLITICO also characterizes the support of the two parties differently. POLITICO takes care to note that “House GOP leaders are working feverishly to appease a party base” whose policy preferences “will never be implemented with Democrats running the Senate and White House.” POLITICO adds no such recognition of GOP control of the House of Representatives as it notes that “Democrats, for their part, are trying to motivate their own base, which is unhappy with Obama and any moderates who want to cut deals with GOP leaders.”





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