The Post Gets It Half Right, Half Left

By July 18, 2005General

A story by Michael Fletcher in last Saturday’s Washington Post reports on the President’s visit to Dallas, NC on Friday and carries the headline, “Bush Says CAFTA Will Save Jobs“. In truth, the President probably said that CAFTA will create jobs, which it will. And, in parts of the story, some of the President’s message is contained therein. However, the Post spends way too much time on the counter view. “Some economist say that …CAFTA…would, at a minimum further depress the wage growth of manufacturing workers…” And quotes the straight-down-the-middle, impartial Center for Policy and Economic Research and its spokesman, Mark Weisbrot. Who…?!?

In Google we trust, so we just typed in the name of the organization and perused their website. Our conclusion is that next time, Fletcher should preface their name with, “The left leaning”, or “flat earth society members” or “the perpetually gloomy.”

While we hate to draw attention to a Web site not in synch with our message (what the heck, we link to Lou Dobbs’s site), we offer it as a peek into the dark underbelly of leftist thought. There you will find a paper on “The Reform of Intellectual Property” which says, among other outlandish statements that “Copyrights and patents are government granted monopolies.” Wow. Must be small comfort to the Steve Jobs’ and other innovative manufacturers in the US. We think this is what’s called…

…a fringe view.

A paper on Venezuela’s economy is a paean to leftist President and Castro-pal Hugo Chavez, when even The Washington Post has given up on him. There are also numerous papers about how Social Security really isn’t a problem and one about “prime age workers” who are “trapped” in minimum wage jobs. In short, this is the fringe element gloom and doom crowd. This is who The Washington Post goes to when it needs a comment on CAFTA. Maybe everybody else closer to the center was golfing.

Finally, on the important issue of CAFTA, Weisbrot himself displays his schizophrenia. In a press release on the topic on their site he makes the same point that he makes in The Post article, i.e., that NAFTA really was a giant sucking sound (a fact not supported by any evidence but what the heck). However, in the next paragraph he goes on to say — correctly — “It is worth noting that compared to trade agreements such as NAFTA, a bigger cause of our trade deficit is the over valuation of the dollar.” Hmmmmm, which is it?

It just bears constant vigilance when you see one of these groups quoted with a harmless — or even valiant — name, to stroll on over to Google and see what they’re about. The Post doesn’t shy from a “conservative” or “right leaning” appellation when quoting groups that dare to have a free market view, but they sometimes get a little sloppy when the bias goes in the other direction. Could it be that their compass is broken….?