09/27/05 — Conspiracy? No, but the news sure gets a ‘spin’

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Conspiracy? No, but the news sure gets a ‘spin’

Is there a conspiracy among the nation’s news media to promote a liberal agenda and, more specifically, to slam Republican presidents?

The answer, of course, is no.

There is no communication between networks and “wire” services and the heads of big newspapers.

But a liberal spin is obvious — to everyone except the “spinners.”

This applies both to the selection and presentation of facts to the prominence given them in newscasts and headlines.

President Ronald Reagan awakened the spirit of America from the malaise deplored by President Jimmy Carter. He rebuilt the nation’s military and presided over a policy that led to not only the destruction of the Berlin Wall but to disintegration of global communist imperialism.

Yet, the national press depicted Mr. Reagan as a not very bright old man who divided his time between eating jelly beans and dozing off during important meetings.

That notwithstanding, the people of this country — to their credit — loved and admired him, and those around the world respected him.

President George W. Bush, likewise, is depicted as a bumbling air-head, the dupe of big business interests and one indifferent, perhaps even hostile, to the plight of the poor and the “working people.”

And in daily “news” reports the public and the world are constantly reminded that ours is a country divided. Seldom if ever do we hear or read of the “United States position” on an issue of national or worldwide concern. It is the position of “the Bush administration.” Suggesting, of course, that a substantial number of Americans probably disagree — especially the network anchors and their ivory tower dwelling colleagues.

Editorial page cartoonists are especially creative and consistent in projecting the desired image of Mr. Bush. On editorial pages of newspapers and magazines across the country he is shown as a big-eared, bow-legged dunce who appears to have unwittingly wandered off the comic pages.

In many instances, facts themselves are distorted. On a recent day, a major newspaper in our state noted in a headline: “Bush urges change in military’s role.”

The story, written by Cox News Service, asserted that Bush “advanced his call for putting the military in charge of responding to catastrophic disasters now under state and local control.”

Actually, Mr. Bush asked if there might be a future natural disaster of sufficient magnitude to have the Defense Department “become the lead agency in coordinating and leading the response effort.”

He was raising a question regarding the best approach to managing a potential “catastrophic disaster” in the future. He was calling for discussion and thought — not “urging” a change taking away state and local control.

Published in Editorials on September 27, 2005 9:30 AM