For The Los Angeles Times, a highly revealing juxtaposition

April 3, 2014 - By Chris Reed

lat.april2.2014If you’re a conservative or libertarian who’s not just mad but astounded by how much the media protect Barack Obama, Wednesday’s front page of The Los Angeles Times was likely to generate either a stroke or a snort of disbelief/amusement. But if you are someone who may not be ideological yet is open to the idea that media bias is real and powerful, it should have been a jolt, too.

The lead story on the top right of the page was a news account of President Obama’s Tuesday “victory lap” press conference in which he said that the fact that 7.1 million Americans had allegedly enrolled under the Affordable Care Act was proof that he was right and everyone who criticized the ACA was wrong. The headline pushed readers to accept this view; the subhead made the case that only selfish people opposed the law.

In the story itself, the first half by David Lauter and Christi Parsons of the Times’ Washington bureau gave no larger context at all — it was all “victory lap.” Among the 40 relevant things it didn’t mention, most significant was the fact that it chose not to say that so many past claims about Obamacare proved wildly in error. Nor did it emphasize that it appears that there were more people signing up for the ACA through government exchanges because they lost their coverage due to ACA rules then there were of people who previously had no health insurance.

The whole point of Obamacare was supposed to be to get health insurance to the uninsured — not to create churn among the insured that pushed them into having to use government alternatives. Yo, David! Yo, Christi! Isn’t this, yunno, news?

‘Trust the prez’ side-by-side with ‘Don’t trust the prez’

But the patheticness of this cheerleading for Obama was triply underscored because just underneath the story was another piece that also had as a core element the question of whether the White House could be trusted: LAT reporter Brian Bennett’s detailing of the dishonest way the Obama administration had reported deportation numbers to buy it political cover. The (pathetic) headline: “Figures Skew Numbers Obama Deports.” Not “Obama Skews Numbers Of Deportations.”

However painfully biased the headline was, the story made plain the duplicity of Obama’s White House:

“WASHINGTON — Immigration activists have sharply criticized President Obama for a rising volume of deportations … But the portrait of a steadily increasing number of deportations rests on statistics that conceal almost as much as they disclose. A closer examination shows that immigrants living illegally in most of the continental U.S. are less likely to be deported today than before Obama came to office, according to immigration data.

“Expulsions of people who are settled and working in the United States have fallen steadily since his first year in office, and are down more than 40% since 2009.

“On the other side of the ledger, the number of people deported at or near the border has gone up — primarily as a result of changing who gets counted in the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s deportation statistics.

“The vast majority of those border crossers would not have been treated as formal deportations under most previous administrations. If all removals were tallied, the total sent back to Mexico each year would have been far higher under those previous administrations than it is now.

“The shift in who gets tallied helped the administration look tough in its early years …”

So next to an article that says Obama grossly manipulated the numbers for years for political advantage on a huge national issue is an article that says the numbers Obama cites on another huge national issue somehow offer confirmation that he’s right and others are wrong.

The Los Angeles Times has never looked dumber.

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Comments(18)
  1. Donkey says:

    Face it Chris, we live in a world where propaganda is the norm and honest information is frowned upon by those in power.

    We have Praetorians that have their own set of rights(POBOR), we have a Prison Industrial Complex that dwarfs any other nation and these trappings and many more go on as the RAGWUS system continuously squeezes more money out of the private sector taxpayer. But what the heck, our schools tell their students that government is freedom. :)

  2. Ulysses Uhaul says:

    No one reads this rag of a newspaper…..RELAX.

    Clean your caves and be off to your graveyard shift jobs!

  3. Bill Gore says:

    At the risk of sounding like a ’70’s throwback, there really is an ‘establishment’ in this country, comprised of politicians, bankers (money power) and social engineers (academicians and activists). All three of these categories are sympatric: players can transition from one sphere to another relatively seamlessly. Obama is a perfect case study for this type: from university to a pro forma stint as an activist, then suddenly he’s a professor of ‘constitutional law’ for a very short while (just long enough to get it on his resume) then bam-he’s in elected office, didn’t even finish his first term as a US Senator before he ran for the presidency.

    The role of the press in this system is not to inform, but to obfuscate. It is not like the old Pravda, throwing up an iron wall of government dogma, instead it’s more like a flak cloud of trivia and pre-digested factoids that are thrown out there to intimidate and confuse the rare citizen who actually wants to know what is going on the world. Part of the intimidation is the reporting on the pronouncements of ‘officials’. This helps move the herd in one direction. Fortunately we have the Internet….

    • Donkey says:

      I like it Bill!! :)

    • levbronstein says:

      About that internet. We also know that we have government agencies that run programs to post comments to message boards, and blogs to paint those they don’t like as radicals and control the conversation. Its a pretty thick level of flak indeed.

    • eck says:

      Unfortunately Bill, most don’t get their (what I call, missing) information from the internet. They really are sheep – I know many,many of them. Welcome to American in the 21st century. A nation of elites (or “establishment” as you put it) and an increasing number of un-educated, un-thinking and indoctrinated(you talk with many high-schoolers lately? I do every week) drones who vote. Sigh.

    • Carlos Martinez says:

      Very perceptive and your description is on target! Will the internet provide enough fire power to protect liberty we are accustom to? Will there be sufficient numbers against the establishment to maintain the political and economic freedom we have usually enjoyed in this country?

      Thanks Bill.

  4. Mark Landsbaum says:

    Nice Chris. The main head says unequivocally “overcomes” and the head next to it says unequivocally “figures skew.”

    In this case, I think the headline writers simply are confined by the format. Not that they aren’t biased, but all this would be solved with attribution. But nah. Why let clarification get in the way of looking stupid in print?

  5. Ron says:

    Both headlines can be replaced by the evergreen “Obama Lied.”

  6. David McGaha says:

    “Fortunately we have the internet….”

    For now.

  7. Deserttrek says:

    the media is the biggest enemy of the people, followed by government at ALL levels. time to start over

  8. FrancisChalk says:

    Deceit and hypocrisy are Core Values to the Left.

  9. Bill Adams says:

    It’s not clear to me that you realize the Times considers both these stories to be favorable to Obama. They are not covering up for Obama’s lies on deportation — not in their minds, at all — they are defending him against the charges of enforcing the law and deporting lots of people. He is really a good guy who deports fewer, that’s their story. There is no contradiction between the two; they are both meant as puff pieces.

  10. PD Quig says:

    Nobody with any brains has ever believed a f***ing thing this a**hole president says. Clear enough?

  11. eck says:

    Most unfortunately, the number of Obama deports was zero.

  12. Ulysses Uhaul says:

    Yep….Doomer goose steppers load boxcars with little brown people…. Read All About It!

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