The Arizona Republic fails its readers

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Fish The Arizona Republic on Sunday published an Associated Press "analysis" by Nancy Benac and Calvin Woodward that it recaptioned President faced a difficult year. This AP "analysis" has been published around the country since December 20 under this caption, Obama's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year – Fox Nation, taken from the lede of the article:

WASHINGTON – Barack Obama's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year got off to a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad start.

It is the worst piece of political analysis I have read in quite some time. Just godawful. And I read lots of political analysis. This is what the Arizona Republic deems appropriate for its readers. What the hell is wrong with the editors? Actually, I suspect the piece reflects the political bias of the editors. Story selection and emphasis is an indicator of bias.

Steve Benen at The Washington Monthly comments:

The AP runs political analysis pieces I disagree with from time to time, but this week's piece on the White House is just a train-wreck.

The article Benen cites to is from Media Matters, AP, Please Define "Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year":

Reading like it was pulled out of Rep. John Boehner's top desk drawer, the AP published a year-end 'analysis' of Obama's 2010. It's quite a piece of work. (i.e. Snowstorms are considered very bad news for the POTUS.)

The lede pretty much captures the GOP-friendly flavor:

Barack Obama's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year got off to a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad start.

Wow, that sounds bad, right?

For a little context though, please note that Obama's approval rating in the daily Gallup track poll today is 49 percent. Exactly one year ago it was 51 percent.

So again AP, can you please define "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year"?

(h/t Esquire)

There is good reason why I refer to the AP as "all propaganda." It has been part of the right-wing noise machine for many years. As has the Arizona Republic.

In an earlier post at The Washington Monthly, Steve Benen reminds readers that the preeminent political scientist:

Norman Ornstein had a very good piece a while back that characterized the 111th Congress as the most productive in 45 years.

That was in January 2010. [The starting point of the offending AP article above.]

In the 11 months since, policymakers have put together a record of success that rivals any two-year stretch in the modern era.

* * *

Ornstein noted yesterday, "This is the most dysfunctional political environment that I have ever seen. But then you have to juxtapose that with [this Congress being] one of, at least, the three most productive Congresses" since 1900. He added that the 111th "edges the Great Society" in terms of accomplishments.

* * *

[T]he historic record is nevertheless undeniable. It's hard to even know where to start.

We are, after all, talking about a two-year span in which Democratic policymakers approved the Affordable Care Act, the Recovery Act, Wall Street reform and a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, student loan reform, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal, a critically important nuclear arms treaty with Russia, the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the biggest overhaul of our food-safety laws in 70 years, new regulation of the credit card industry, new regulation of the tobacco industry, a national service bill, expanded stem-cell research, the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, net neutrality, the most sweeping land-protection act in 15 years, health care for 9/11 rescue workers, and some other accomplishments I'm probably forgetting.*

All of this was accomplished in the midst of multiple crises here and around the world, and for the first time in American history, with mandatory supermajorities in the U.S. Senate. And don't get me started on the disaster Dems inherited — Great Recession, two deadly wars, a jobs crisis, a massive deficit and budget mess, crushing debt, etc. — after the spectacular Republican failures of the Bush/Cheney era.

Some of the recent victories have been decades in the making — in the case of health care reform, politicians have been talking about a major overhaul for a full century — but it took this Congress and this president to get it done.

* * *

* I forgot the child-nutrition bill, expanded S-CHIP, and the confirmation of two Supreme Court justices.

I would add the rescue of the financial system from total collapse, prevented the American automobile industry and the ten percent of the American economy which relies upon it from disappearing, and most importantly, prevented the Second Great Depression. There is now growing optimism for an economic recovery.

President Obama and the Democratic 111th Congress have enjoyed an historical record of success over the past two years. But no good deed ever goes unpunished.

The role of the right-wing noise machine is to tell you that the last two years have been a disaster, after it ignored the disastrous Bush administration. Such is the nature of Orwellian propaganda: up is down, black is white, war is peace, etc. Now historic success is a "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year."

You shouldn't have to read this kind of propaganda "analysis" in the Arizona Republic, or anywhere else for that matter. You have the right to demand better. Make your complaints heard.

0 responses to “The Arizona Republic fails its readers

  1. I am all in favor of real economic growth. I’ll mention a phrase that Wikipedia says is often attributed to John F. Kennedy “A rising tide lifts all boats”. I hope you don’t mind if I continue to play the part of the court skeptic at least until the US unemployment rate dips a percent or two. (link to unemployment rate graph for the last 10 years)

  2. More good news for the doubters out there…And Thane, though I appreciate Mr. Moore’s documentaries,I see no harm in reminding those that would like to “forget” how we got into this mess, either through willful ignorance or just plain “forgetting”,where this mess came from so we are not bound to repeat those mistakes again.However you see things, it is in the best interests of the country as a whole to have economic growth. It benefits ALL of us.We’re beginning to see a little more than just “green shoots.”

  3. “That would not surprise me, there is much that you miss.” Oh! I am mortally wounded by your disparagement (not).

    As I have pointed out below since you did not provide a footnote in your original claim anybody can pick a reference after the fact and say “Look! I was right.”

    I am all in favor of as much reasonable optimism as the next guy.

    I’ll promise to leave my cave more often if you promise to footnote your unsourced claims going forward.

    In closing I hope Barack Obama and America have a very successful next few years.

  4. When it comes to evaluating the statement “There is now growing optimism for an economic recovery.” I tried my best to find a reasonable source given that it is very easy to cherry pick one’s sources. I used to search for “rcp optimism” which took me to a link to the ABC/Yahoo poll the link I referred to above.

    Given that AzBlueMeanie didn’t provide a footnote for his original assertion any and all sources you or I might give are equally valid in my eyes.

    As for “Who got us into this again??” even Michael Moore is saying it is time to start moving on past blaming the past administration and start owning the economy.

  5. Thane…you have LOTS of reading to do.. Is it going as quickly as we’d like? No. But to act like it’s NOT moving in the right direction, is ignorant.Who got us into this again??

  6. That would not surprise me, there is much that you miss. Here is a summary of recent reporting collected by Steve Benen at

    “As 2010 comes to a close, however, we’re once again seeing some sun peek through the clouds. The Wall Street Journal reports this morning, “As the economy gradually recovers, some big U.S. companies are cranking up their recruiting and advertising thousands of job openings.” The New York Times added that a growing number of economists are expecting a stronger 2011.
    * * *
    The rationale for “measured optimism” isn’t without evidence. The job market is improving, as is consumer confidence. Private-sector profits are up, and some additional stimulus is now on the way.”

    Here is another report from the combined news service on December 22, 2010

    “Expectations for economic growth in 2011 are turning more optimistic now that Americans will have a little more cash in their pockets.

    A cut in workers’ Social Security taxes and rising consumer spending have led economists to predict a strong start for 2011.

    Analysts are forecasting economic growth in 2011 will come in close to 4 percent. That would mark an improvement from the 2.8 percent growth expected for this year and would be the strongest showing since 2000.

    ‘Looking ahead, circumstances are ripe for the economy to develop additional traction,’ said Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at MFR Inc. in New York. He is estimating growth for 2011 to be more than 3.5 percent.”

    You need to get out of your troll cave more often.

  7. “There is now growing optimism for an economic recovery.”

    Really?!? Really?

    “Fifty-seven percent say the economy has not yet begun to recover — up 8 points from a year ago. One in three reports a job loss in their own household within the past year; equally remarkably, 72 percent say a close friend or relative has lost a job or been laid off. Both are new highs since the recession began.” ABC News 12-14-2010

    But I imagine I must have missed a more recent poll and analysis.

    “growing optimism” eh? Really?!?

  8. “Fails it’s readers”? Oh, ‘Meanie, you naive child! You still belive that newspapers exist to inform the public!

    They have but two jobs: to sell the public things contained in their advertisements, and to propagandize for their right-wing owners. We had a short, glorious time in the middle of the last century where journalists actually took their jobs seriously. Since then it’s all gone rapidly back to the William Hearst model of yellow journamalism.

    Doncha know, Obama is a huge failure, the entire economic downturn was his fault! He caused it with the bailouts! Him and those socialists ar Fannie and Freddie who were giving all those greedy poor brown people home loans they couldn’t afford because of Jimmy Carter and ACORN.

    Also Algore is fat hahaha and it’s snowing yah smelly hippie so global warming is all a lie by those socialist climate scientists conspiring with George Soros to destroy Freedom and Liberty and Christianity and establish a IslamoMarxist state where all god-fearing white folks will be put into FEMA re-education camps so young bucks can enjoy their cadillacs and steaks, served by gold-plated public employees and their pensions consuming 90% of the economy, while everyone is forced at gunpoint (tasteful, color-coordinated gunpoint with designer camouflage) to gay marry in the Army!

    On second thought, the Republic wouldn’t print stuff like that…they’ll leave that to the Star.

  9. In my estimation, the Republic has been doing this for years.What a miserable paper it is. There is no thoughtful, honest analysis…they always go with the noise machine way of thinking…sheepeople that they are. I used to get the paper, years ago, but have long since cancelled my subscription. My personal “austerity” plan.I don’t even read the online version…when they endorse blatant idiots, that’s when I said enough is enough.