News Media Continues To Spin Payroll Tax Cut Extension Debacle

December 23, 2011

OK, so I understand that, by design, today’s news anchors adlib nothing. The model is that everything they’re supposed to say on air is scrolled across a teleprompter, and that they’re at risk if they purposely deviate from that. This means that management is in nearly complete control of not only what is reported but how it’s reported.

From the moment House Speaker John Boehner announced yesterday afternoon that the House had come to an agreement on extending the payroll tax cuts, the media has referenced only one “reason” — and one “reason” only — for the House opposing the bill. And that was because the House wanted a one-year deal instead of a two-month deal.

Admittedly the media did the same thing prior to Boehner’s announcement. But you’d think that since millions of Americans already know that the deal is done and probably not paying much attention to it anymore, they’d at least give it a “by the way” mention. But not to be.

As any one knows who gets their information from a variety of news sources, there were two very controversial riders on the payroll tax cut extension, along with others. One was the legislation to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline project (probably from the friends of that industry) and the second was more cuts to discretionary spending (probably from the radical tea party caucus). So the real reason for the House’s position was not about the payroll tax cuts. (Senate Democrats had approved a version of the pipeline bill, but since there are other factors concerning the approval process, they weren’t too worried about it.)

This morning CNN, CNBC and all the network morning news reports have reported on the passage of the bill by the House. And the one common denominator in their reporting is that they’ve all continued the spin started by the Republicans; ‘the House wanted a one-year extension as opposed to the two-month extension from the Senate’. Not one single reference to the controversial riders in the bill.

It’s not hard to figure out why the corporate news media is not reporting on the other reasons for the House not passing the bill. It falls directly in line with their un-stated policy: ‘Limited or no adverse reporting on the Republican Party’. Besides, if they, along with the GOP, can nip this thing in the bud now, there will be much less fallout come election time.

P.S.: I didn’t mention Fox Faux for obvious reasons.


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