By Alan Caruba
Sometimes having begun my working life as a journalist is an embarrassment. This is particularly true when I read stories like Saturday’s Associated Press garbage, “Everything Seemingly is Spinning Out of Control” by Alan Fram and Eileen Putnam.
Their idiotic article begins with a litany. “Midwestern levees are bursting. Polar bears are adrift. Gas prices are skyrocketing. Home values are abysmal. Air fares, college tuition and health care border on unaffordable. Wars without end rage in Iraq, Afghanistan and against terrorism.”
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! That’s what Dorothy and her friends, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man, were worried about as they made their way to the Emerald City, only to be told they had to bring the broom of the wicked witch to the Wizard who turned out to be a charlatan, a carnival sideshow windbag blown off course in his balloon.
The world is full of sorrows and tribulation, and there is no end to the charlatans.
The AP article required the reader to go almost to the end before learning that, “American University historian Allan J. Lichtman notes that the U.S. has endured comparable periods and worse, including the economic stagflation (stagnant growth combined with inflation) and Iran hostage crisis of 1980, the dawn of the Cold War, the Korean War and the hysterical hunts for domestic Communists in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and the Depression of the 1930s.”
Yes, indeed, Things were much worse in former times and we don’t have to look very hard any more for domestic Communists. Many are members of Congress and you can find their names by visiting the website for the Progressive Caucus. Two of them recently suggested the U.S. oil industry be nationalized, as if the government could do a better job running it than private enterprise.
A little further on we get to the piece de resistance of the article, the revelation that the bad times of the past were cured when “each period was followed by a change in the party controlling the White House.” (Emphasis added)
If Fram and Putnam are not on the payroll of the Democrat Party, then they surely should be for writing tripe like this. It screams at the reader to vote Democrat and, in particular, for Sen. Barack Obama, the wizard of hope and change.
This is not journalism by any stretch of the imagination. It is a blatant use of scare tactics to influence the outcome of an election. One expects a political party to engage in such tactics, but a major newswire syndicate should have a layer or two of seasoned editors who make sure such tripe does not move to newspapers and other media.
Let me give you an example. In the early 1960s I was a rooky reporter for a local weekly newspaper serving a small city in New Jersey. My editor sat me down and said, “Look kid, let’s say you don’t like one of the council members for some reason. You know what I expect you to do? I expect you to bend over backwards to give that guy a fair shake. It’s not your job to agree or disagree with what he says or how he votes. Your job is to report it and let the reader decide.”
Good advice then and good advice now. Instead, the AP reporters threw together a laundry list of things people are worried about today, many of which are called “Acts of God” by the insurance industry, and then rather blatantly suggest that they vote for the party that is out of power.
This ignores the fact that the Democrats have been in control of Congress since the 2006 midterm elections. Promising a burst of action to solve the nation’s problems, they have not demonstrated much progress except for Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Harry Reid’s announcement that “the war is lost” and House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi taking time to visit Syria’s dictator.
Holding hearings to provide former White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, with a platform for his gibberish or grilling oil company executives who have no control over the price of oil is hardly action by most people’s reckoning.
But who cares about facts when you can string together natural calamities and economic distress to give the Democrat candidate for President a boost while pretending to be journalists?