Associated Press, News & Record mislead readers
January 3, 2013 5 Comments
The Associated Press and the (Greensboro) News & Record misled their readers with Wednesday’s front-page, above-the-fold story, the headline of which is “Congress votes to avoid fiscal cliff.” That’s fine, but the subtitle reads as follows: “The president says he’ll sign the bill, approved late Tuesday night, that prevents middle-class tax increases.”
The subtitle is factually incorrect. As I wrote here Tuesday, the fiscal cliff deal increased the payroll tax by 2%, which will cost the Davenport household approximately $1,200 per year. Contrary to the reporting of the AP and the N&R, the president did not prevent a middle-class tax increase.
Progressives squirm with delight at the prospect of punishing the “the rich” (those loathsome, greedy bastards!), but even those of us who barely rank as “middle class” are taking a knee to the groin from our elected representatives, including the president. We can only wonder how many oblivious, duped Obama voters will be shocked upon receipt of their downsized paychecks.
It is not surprising that “journalists” at the AP and the N&R fantasize about the president racing in on a white horse to save the day, but one would think a conscientious, objective editor somewhere along the line (is it possible that one or two remain?) might have said, “Wait a second. There is a tax increase on the middle class. We need to change the subtitle.”
For whatever reason—an oversight, perhaps, or unchecked ideological bias—no one noticed, or bothered to change, the false claim. Did anyone at the N&R actually read the story? Deep into the article, the 20th paragraph informs us of the payroll tax increase, which will, in fact, clobber the middle class.
Many of us will be waiting for the News & Record to run a correction.