NYT Deploys Powerful New Weapon of Media Bias: Headline on today’s New York Times lead story by Helene Cooper—
SAGGING ECONOMY DRAWS ATTENTION TO WAR SPENDING
“Draws attention to …” Wow. Am I crazy, or has the NYT just deployed some powerful new liberal bias technology? I mean, with the “draws attention to” formulation, Times editors can concoct a lede “news” story making practically any tendentious ideological connection they want.
“Sagging economy draws attention to lack of industrial policy/dwindling union leverage/absence of comprehensive immigration reform.”
“Rising deficit draws attention to potential tax increases on wealthy.”
“Crime wave draws attention to lingering effects of racism.”
You get the idea. The hed could as legitimately be “Sagging economy draws attention to regulatory uncertainty,” but that isn’t an issue the White House Democrats ambient libthink Times likes. “Draws attention to” is even better than the time-honored “comes at a time when” formulation, because it gives the impression that lots of people other than the paper’s reporters and editors are making the connection in question.
Want to write a “draws attention to” A-1 story? It doesn’t take much! One of the pegs for Helene Cooper’s argument that
$1.3 trillion in spending on two wars in the past decade has meant … a ballooning budget deficit and a soaring national debt at a time when** the economy is still struggling to get back on its feet ***
is a planned protest by an outfit called the “Prayer Without Ceasing Party,” which “said they would picket the Capitol on Wednesday .” And you know that doesn’t happen every day of the week! How many members does the “Prayer Without Ceasing Party” have? Would any actually show up? We’re never told. It doesn’t matter! They’re drawing “attention”!
Why didn’t the Times think of this game-changing innovation sooner? … Update: Actually, they did–last Sunday, when the lead front page story was
QAEDA WOES FUEL TALK OF SPEEDING AFGHAN PULLBACK
They might as well run a headline
WHY WE WANT U.S. TO GET OUT OF AFGHANISTAN
THIS IS THE ARGUMENT WE WANT TO PUSH TODAY.
But that might not draw the right kind of attention. …
**–Yes, she uses the ‘comes at a time’ device also. Backup!
***–Even the liberal Ezra Klein admits the Iraq and Afghan wars are responsible for only 15% of the FY2012 deficit, about the same share as the economic recovery package (16%).