The Other Half of History Daily Blog

Thoughts on modern politics from a historical perspective.

Sick Presidents and Media Cover-Ups

In recent posts I’ve complained about the partisan bias in mainstream news organizations. The major TV networks and newspapers clearly go to great lengths to find dirt on Republican presidential candidates. Where their is no dirt to be found, the press will take something mundane, like Mitt Romney paying the legally required tax rate on investment income, and portray it as some kind of scandal.

The media treat candidates from their own party very differently. Examples of media cover-ups for prominent Democrats are so numerous that they may take a few days to cover. for today I’ll just confine my comments to the issue of presidential health problems.
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The Media’s Double Standard – Bad Republicans vs Good Democrats

I’ve been writing recently about the phony baloney scandal that the news media and the other Democrats have stirred up after hearing Mitt Romney estimate his effective tax rate at 15%. This made up scandal gives a good illustration of the double standard the press corps uses for Republicans and Democrats; there was no media onslaught in 2004 when Democrat John Kerry was running for President, despite the fact that Kerry had paid a lower tax rate than Romney on a huge income.

Mainstream journalists overwhelmingly vote for Democrats, and the coverage they give to political stories (and non-stories) reflects this concensus.
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Media vs Romney

As regular readers have probably noticed, I’m disgusted with this whole media-fabricated “scandal” over Mitt Romney’s taxes. During Monday night’s debate Romney said that the overall effective income tax rate he’d paid for 2010 was around 15%. (His tax rate is much lower today than it was back in his Bain Capital days, because most of his recent income comes from capital gains on investments, which are typically taxed at 15%.) The media quickly erupted with stories claiming, falsely, that this effective tax rate is lower than the rate paid by most middle class workers.

The media treatment of this so-called issue is false in two ways. First, as I pointed out in my last two posts, the tax system in this country is actually steeply progressive. Media claims that “most middle class workers” pay higher effective income tax rates than Romney are just plain lies.
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Media Lies about Romney’s Taxes

The media is spreading all kinds of disinformation about the tax system, in order to drum up economic envy and resentment against Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. During Monday night’s debate, Romney said that he thought his “effective” federal tax rate was somewhere around 15%. The word “effective” is important here, because it’s the word various journalists have chosen to ignore.
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