Accuracy in Media

In a front page, above the fold article in the June 6, 2011 edition of The Washington Post, the Post asserted that the Republican Party of today is radical and extreme, unlike the Republicans of the past. The Post also asserts that the Republicans are endangering progress in reducing the national debt by refusing to raise taxes. For instance, the Post asserts, “Even with drastic spending cuts, [Republican Sens. Coburn, Crapo, and Chambliss] concluded, Washington could not vanquish its soaring $14.3 trillion debt without additional income” and that “Such reasoning was common in the GOP circa 1963.”

It is only in the tenth paragraph of the piece that the second obstacle to a “bipartisan agreement” on debt relief, namely Democrats’ refusal to “[cut] federal retirement benefits,” is even mentioned. The Post asserts that the “‘no new taxes’ orthodoxy” and “loyalty to the brand” on the part of Republican officeholders “has proved far more powerful than the desire to balance the budget.”

The Post also draws on a long line of “prominent Republicans” encouraging a “flexible approach to taxes.” In keeping with the belief among journalists that the most competent Republicans are those not in office any longer, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, former Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH), and former California State Senator Dave Codgill (who is a Modesto, CA tax assessor) were asked their opinions on GOP tax policy. Shockingly, all were opposed to the “economic doctrine” of opposing tax increases.

The Post also interviewed Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist, whom the Post, through “lapsed Republican” Bruce Bartlett, alleges is the “enforcer” of anti-tax “doctrine.”

The Republican Party was often accused during the Bush years of attempting to impose its religious views on a terrified nation. When traditional Reagan-Republican views on such mundane things as taxation are characterized as “dogma,” “doctrine,” and “orthodoxy,” the Post’s stance is transparent.

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