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April 6, 2011

Shutdown: Will The Media Report What Happened?

-- by Dave Johnson

This post originally appeared at Campaign for America's Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.

How often have you looked up from a "news report" in disgust at the way our modern news media tries to be cover for conservative lunacy and extremism? There is a template that stamps out the false equivalences: "Both sides do it." They find something extreme written by a commenter on an obscure "liberal" website and equate it with something wild that several Republican Senators might say. Then they say "Both sides do it." Or they report extensively-researched facts and give some absolute nutcase theory by a "scientist" paid by an industry equal weight. Bloggers call that "Controversy over shape of earth" reporting.

Here is what is going on with the battle over a "continuing budget resolution." The Republicans are trying to transform the nature of our country without debate, and doing it outside of our normal processes and procedures. And they are threatening to shut down the government if they don't get everything they want.

We have a budget process but they are not following it. And like the tax cut deal they are holding hostages. Since the election Republicans have been working toward shutting down the government. There just isn't any question. They are itching to do it. And they are going to do it. It's what they do.

But will the press report the facts? Or will they confuse the public? Will they let the public know that the Republicans are forcing a shutdown or will they say "both sides did it?"

We are supposed to be a country of laws, rules, processes, transparency and accountability. There are reasons we set up a budget process with hearings, expert testimony, public input and open, clear votes. And there are reasons we set up a legislative process and procedures. The Republicans are trying to circumvent that and force dramatic changes in the nature of our very system. The Democrats and President should insist that the Congress "pass a clean bill" and follow the normal budget process.

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Posted by Dave Johnson at April 6, 2011 3:48 PM


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