Tuesday, May 27, 2003

in the mainstream

For those who prefer to drink from mainstream outlets:
  • in Brad DeLong reports Krugman on Financial Times on how the "tax cut" upcoming fiscal train wreck is likely to be deliberate administration policy -
    • Financial Times:
      Proposing to slash federal spending, particularly on social programs, is a tricky electoral proposition, but a fiscal crisis offers the tantalizing prospect of forcing such cuts through the back door.

    • Krugman (expanding on the above):
      It's no secret that right-wing ideologues want to abolish programs Americans take for granted. But not long ago, to suggest that the Bush administration's policies might actually be driven by those ideologues - that the administration was deliberately setting the country up for a fiscal crisis in which popular social programs could be sharply cut - was to be accused of spouting conspiracy theories.

  • Columbia Journalism Review article on The lies we bought (directed at U.S. media), detailing gullibility of media in face of the manufactured justifications for war, assembles all the pieces & puts them in context.
    Final paragraph not crux of argument, but activated the quote reflex nonetheless:
    Unfortunately, the politicians and their p.r. people know all too well the propaganda dictum related nearly twenty years ago by Peter Teeley, press secretary to then Vice President George H.W. Bush. Teeley was responding to complaints that the elder Bush, during a televised debate, had grossly distorted the words of his and Ronald Reagan's opponents, the Democratic candidates Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro. As Teeley explained it to The New York Times in October 1984, "You can say anything you want during a debate, and 80 million people hear it." If "anything" turns out to be false and journalists correct it, "So what. Maybe 200 people read it, or 2,000 or 20,000."

  • and of course the BBC on the Jessica Lynch story (U.S. denial reported here).
    [Days later - what amnesia? -
    When asked about his daughter's memory, Greg Lynch said it "is as good as it was when she was home. She can still remember everything." But, he said, the family has not pressed her for details.

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