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Wed May 11, 2016, 06:39 PM

Within 7 hrs, Jeff Bezos' WaPo Squeezes Out 4 Anti-Sanders Stories From 1 Tax Study

by Adam Johnson
Washington Post Squeezes Four Anti-Sanders Stories Out of One Tax Study Over Seven Hours
5/11/16


A study released by the Urban Institute this week, writes Johnson, "was irresistible for editors looking for viral outrage: huge, scary national debt numbers by a tax-and-spend liberal (entirely without any context), complete with innuendo that the campaign had been lying about its projections." (Image: Screenshots compiled by FAIR)


Surely one study can’t be this important?

It’s not news that the Washington Post’s editorial board has been lobbying against Sen. Bernie Sanders since the beginning of his improbable presidential campaign. Sometimes this editorial ethos seems to extend to other parts of the paper, as it did in March, when the Post managed to run 16 negative stories about Sanders in 16 hours (FAIR.org, 3/8/16).

While the Post has published the occasional pro-Sanders piece, the Jeff Bezos–owned publication was back at it yesterday when it pounced on a tax study by the Urban Institute, running four pieces (two by Post writers, one by the editorial board and one by the AP) in one afternoon:

>1:00pm Sorry, Bernie Fans. His Healthcare Plan Is Short $17,000,000,000,000, by Max Ehrenfreund

>1:49 Confirmed: Sanders Is Selling a Fantasy Agenda, by Stephen Stromberg

>5:15pm Study: Sanders’ Economic Plan Piles $18T on Federal Debt, by AP’s Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar

>7:59pm Sanders’ Plans Aren’t Just Too Good to Be True; They’re Also Fiscally Dangerous, by the Post’s editorial board

The study was irresistible for editors looking for viral outrage: huge, scary national debt numbers by a tax-and-spend liberal (entirely without any context), complete with innuendo that the campaign had been lying about its projections.

................Snip....................

....Depending on the target audience, the ideology of the study’s publisher, the Urban Institute, also changed.

To the Post, it’s “nonpartisan,” while the nominally hipper Vox (“Study: Bernie Sanders’ Single-Payer Plan Is Twice as Expensive as He Says,” 5/9/16) described them as being “left-leaning”—though to depict an organization funded by the likes of Bill Gates, Pete Peterson and JPMorgan Chase as leaning “left” is to render the description meaningless.

Traditionally, the Urban Institute has been considered “liberal,” but this has always been a loaded notion, that pro-Democrat equated to progressive.

The Urban Institute’s president, Sarah Rosen Wartell, worked in the Bill Clinton White House and co-founded the Center for American Progress in 2003 with Bill Clinton’s chief of staff and Hillary Clinton’s current campaign chair, John Podesta. The State Department, while under Clinton’s charge, donated millions to the Institute (as it did before and after her tenure).

Considering Sanders is expressly running against the “Democratic establishment,” it’s no surprise that a scion of this establishment like the Urban Institute would oppose Sanders.............

..................Snip..............

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/05/11/washington-post-squeezes-four-anti-sanders-stories-out-one-tax-study-over-seven

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Reply Within 7 hrs, Jeff Bezos' WaPo Squeezes Out 4 Anti-Sanders Stories From 1 Tax Study (Original post)
RiverLover May 2016 OP
Wellstone ruled May 2016 #1
KansDem May 2016 #7
Wellstone ruled May 2016 #12
Autumn May 2016 #2
RiverLover May 2016 #4
Corporate666 May 2016 #8
Autumn May 2016 #14
Corporate666 May 2016 #18
Autumn May 2016 #15
Ed Suspicious May 2016 #28
MisterP May 2016 #24
pat_k May 2016 #3
RiverLover May 2016 #11
liberal from boston May 2016 #16
CentralCoaster May 2016 #5
Kall May 2016 #6
frylock May 2016 #17
Cali_Democrat May 2016 #9
RiverLover May 2016 #10
chascarrillo May 2016 #19
Cali_Democrat May 2016 #20
chascarrillo May 2016 #25
kaleckim May 2016 #29
vintx May 2016 #27
hrmjustin May 2016 #13
hobbit709 May 2016 #21
monmouth4 May 2016 #22
Sparkly May 2016 #23
kaleckim May 2016 #30
oldandhappy May 2016 #26

Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Wed May 11, 2016, 06:43 PM

1. Get use to stories like this.

One of the many down sides of Corporate Owned News. We are seeing this with Sheldon Adelson's Review-Journal here in Vegas.

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Response to Wellstone ruled (Reply #1)

Wed May 11, 2016, 07:02 PM

7. "Corporate Owned News"

Or, "C.O.N."

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Response to KansDem (Reply #7)

Wed May 11, 2016, 07:29 PM

12. What really sucks is,

comment links to bogus crap stories. It is a whole Cottage Industry complete with paid Posters.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Wed May 11, 2016, 06:44 PM

2. Ghost writers on the payroll?

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Response to Autumn (Reply #2)

Wed May 11, 2016, 06:53 PM

4. Now that's a scary thought.

These moneyed interests running things are just so devious & astoundingly pervasive, & effectively brainwashing a nation. It wouldn't surprise me.

Even changing the meaning of progressive into nothingness, the lesser evil. How is it less evil then? They talk nicer to us & pretend to be on our side? Or is that actually more evil....

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #4)

Wed May 11, 2016, 07:04 PM

8. Sanders is doing the same thing

Perhaps even more insidiously.

His campaign has hired social media propagandists to try to control the online conversation and silence critics. Look at this site. Look at Reddit, where anything pro-Bernie is upvoted and anything anti-Clinton is upvoted. Anything anti-Bernie is downvoted immediately.

The younger generation is much more in tune with online news sources, and these sources can have a much more profound "brainwashing" effect than traditional media. So what Sanders and his campaign are doing is, at best, no different and, at worst, much more insidious and 'evil' than what others are doing.

It's just amusing that the Berniebros don't see that.

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Response to Corporate666 (Reply #8)

Wed May 11, 2016, 07:39 PM

14. Yeah where? Brockshits blue nation review? Con the Record?

Peepulsspew?

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Response to Autumn (Reply #14)

Wed May 11, 2016, 08:16 PM

18. How can you not know where...

..when I listed exactly where in my post?


Look at the politics forum of Reddit. Look at this forum. The Bernie fans have a swarming technique where they overwhelm and take over these venues. The intended effect is to control the information being seen by promoting anything pro-Sanders, getting rid of anything anti-Sanders and promoting anything anti-Clinton (and anti-Trump, in the case of Reddit).

Bernie's campaign has hired companies who specialize in this - nobody is denying that he has won the 'social media battle'.

The simple fact is that if you think one news format is totally in the bag for Clinton but reject the idea that another news format is totally in the bag for Sanders, you're lying to yourself.

Lying to yourself might make you comfortable in your beliefs, but rejecting reality as it is in favor of a conjured up reality isn't a good way to live one's life. It's precisely the problem with organized religion, with climate change deniers, with creationists, with racists and so on. I realize you are recoiling right now at the idea you share a common characteristic with such groups - but like I said, reality is what it is... independent of what people wish it were.

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #4)

Wed May 11, 2016, 07:41 PM

15. That would explain why the talking points hit all over the place at the same time.

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #4)

Wed May 11, 2016, 11:47 PM

28. I contend it's more evil. Only a Democrat will be able to cut Social Security.

Watch it happen under the Third Way.

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Response to Autumn (Reply #2)

Wed May 11, 2016, 11:15 PM

24. I prefer "Winkles Out 4 Anti-Sanders Stories" myself

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Wed May 11, 2016, 06:51 PM

3. And, regarding the "18 trillion in debt" attack

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Response to pat_k (Reply #3)

Wed May 11, 2016, 07:16 PM

11. Thanks for sharing this here.

Its heartbreaking the chances are so slim this great man could be our president.

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #11)

Wed May 11, 2016, 07:55 PM

16. Go Bernie


Cenk Uger video of how Think Tank walked backed inaccurate Bernie Bash:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1017369392

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Wed May 11, 2016, 06:59 PM

5. Fucking Asshole. There's a special circle of hell for these types of dirtbags. nt

 

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Wed May 11, 2016, 07:01 PM

6. So 9 more hours to get 12 more negative stories

to match the 16 in 16 hours Michigan record.

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Response to Kall (Reply #6)

Wed May 11, 2016, 07:55 PM

17. Yeah, I was just thinking that they're slacking.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Wed May 11, 2016, 07:07 PM

9. The Washington Post is one of the best newspapers in America.

 

I especially love wonkblog.

Great stuff.

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Response to Cali_Democrat (Reply #9)

Wed May 11, 2016, 07:15 PM

10. Yes, well the gravy train people stick together.

Follow the money.

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Response to Cali_Democrat (Reply #9)

Wed May 11, 2016, 08:21 PM

19. You know the owner. Jeff Bezos, is a Libertarian, right?

He's anti-income tax, he's donated to Reason.com. Interesting that a $Hillary supporter would defend its rightward turn... oh wait no it ain't!

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Response to chascarrillo (Reply #19)

Wed May 11, 2016, 08:26 PM

20. ....

 

4. He’s donated to mostly Democrats: Bezos has been described by friends as a libertarian, but he’s given donations to mostly Democrats and a few Republicans. That includes Democratic Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell of his home state of Washington, in addition to Democratic Sen. Pat Leahy of Vermont and Democratic Rep. John Conyers of Michigan. Republicans include former Sen. Edward Abraham of Michigan and former Sen. Slade Gorton of Washington. He’s also given regular donations to his Amazon corporate PAC, which donates to both parties.

5. He’s a big proponent of gay marriage: Last summer, Bezos and his wife pledged $2.5 million to defend Washington’s gay marriage law. It was seen as a counterpoint to fast food chain Chick-fil-A, whose president donated money to organizations that oppose same-sex marriage. According to the Seattle Times, Bezos’ contribution was one of the largest political contributions to the gay marriage campaign in the U.S.

http://www.msnbc.com/hardball/8-things-you-may-not-know-about-jeff-bezos

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Response to Cali_Democrat (Reply #20)

Wed May 11, 2016, 11:36 PM

25. Yes, as you stated, he has donated money to Republican Senator Slade Gorton. Good find. -nt-

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Response to Cali_Democrat (Reply #20)

Wed May 11, 2016, 11:55 PM

29. What does any of that

have to do with institutional power or economics? The left used to be defined by economics, its stances on institutional power (labor versus capital), inequality, etc. Now, those things are given equal or sometimes less weight than non-economic issues when determining what is on the "left". Got news for ya, Ron Paul is "liberal" (whatever the hell that word means) on some issues, more so than Clinton. That doesn't mean I would pretend that it would mean a damn thing if we found out that Ron Paul gave more to Democrats than Republicans. I could give a damn, and it would say a lot about the Democratic Party and what it has become anyway.

If you are a rich person that owns a newspaper and is arguing against core ideas on the left, and you are working hard to maintain the inequitable and corrupt status quo, you can go fly a damn kite.

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Response to Cali_Democrat (Reply #9)

Wed May 11, 2016, 11:44 PM

27. What did we used to call them on DU? The unquotable rag?

 

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Wed May 11, 2016, 07:31 PM

13. How dare they criticize Sanders!

 

Do they think we have a first amendment or something?

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Wed May 11, 2016, 08:30 PM

21. And within hours Camp Bansalot oozes out dozens of OPs running with the stories.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Wed May 11, 2016, 09:26 PM

22. They must be getting very, very nervous. Good!..n/t

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Wed May 11, 2016, 09:41 PM

23. I'm still looking for a factual refutation of the study.

From your CommonDreams link:

Missing as well (as well as some comment from the campaign - Sparkly) from any of the pieces was any meaningful critical analysis of the study’s highly contestable cost projections, as David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler—two of the nation’s leading experts on healthcare finance, and co-founders of Physicians for a National Health Program—laid out yesterday in the Huffington Post (5/9/16). Himmelstein and Woolhandler called the Urban Institute’s cost estimates “ridiculous,” saying they “ignore the extensive and well-documented experience with single-payer systems in other nations—which all spend far less per person on healthcare than we do.”


Documented experience within different countries, populations, tax structures and needs does not equate laterally with what would happen if we instituted this tomorrow, even if we could. I like the idea of single payer very much, but it's not going to happen overnight. Sorry. It just isn't.

Himmelstein and Woolhandler note that the Urban Institute report assumes there will be 100 million more doctor visits per year, despite the fact that the plan does not involve an increase in the number of doctors. The Urban Institute report supposes that the US single-payer system would pay 50 percent more for prescription drugs than Medicaid currently pays, and ignores or minimizes administrative savings from a unified system that add up to $6 trillion over ten years.


Okay, let's unpack that. One of the criticisms IS that the plan does not assume an increase in the number of doctors, thereby creating shortages of care. Ultimately, I think that should be addressed; right now, Sanders plan does not do that. The study is probably taking into account current prescription drug discounts -- note that Medicaid and Medicare are two different things, by the way -- and the "administrative savings" from moving away from a for-profit industry (which I do support) are offset by the administrative costs of a government-run system for the entire country. A "unified system" doesn't mean those costs go away.

While honest people can disagree on these figures, readers were not clued in that there are legitimate healthcare experts who back up Sanders’ numbers. Instead, on the basis of one report, the Post painted his plan as at best fantastical and at worst a cynical effort to deceive the public on its “true cost.”


If honest people can disagree, are there many outside of the "Physicians for a National Health Program" who do? That would be good to see.

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Response to Sparkly (Reply #23)

Thu May 12, 2016, 12:06 AM

30. Give me a break

"Documented experience within different countries, populations, tax structures and needs does not equate laterally with what would happen if we instituted this tomorrow, even if we could. I like the idea of single payer very much, but it's not going to happen overnight. Sorry. It just isn't."

First off, no one is arguing that it would happen overnight. That's a straw man argument and you know it. You cannot get something until you lay out the vision. This is true of every single movement of historic importance. Not a single one lacked a long term vision that wasn't "realistic" in the short term. Secondly, while it is true that single payer working in a particular country wouldn't necessarily work here, single payer or socialized medicine has worked in EVERY developed country, regardless of differences in culture, taxation, etc. Every country, in multiple continents, with varying political, tax, and ideological contexts, has shown it to be superior to our system. What you are arguing is basically that what works EVERYWHERE ELSE cannot work here. Simply amazing that "Democrat" is the one making this argument.

"If honest people can disagree, are there many outside of the "Physicians for a National Health Program" who do? That would be good to see."

Yeah, again, every developed country on Earth, endless studies, and countless international organizations have shown this. Even the damn World Bank, the WHO, Oxfam and the UN has done in depth studies on public health care systems, and what happens when they are gutted and privatized.

What exactly does your party stand for?

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Wed May 11, 2016, 11:41 PM

26. When WaPo does this, the threads

erupt immediately. Sanders gets lots of coverage. WaPo does also but for the wrong reasons. Hmmm They must be getting something out of it.

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