I expect bias from the Fox News folks (more on Victoria Jackson later), but why are all the press rooms today full of malarkey stories about Obama’s “earmarks,” as though Republicans aren’t asking for some of the biggest earmarks, and as though a bill with 1.9% of its money going to earmarks is somehow full of pork?
I wouldn’t have bothered blogging about it–the media bias has become so common in the last decade and a half that I think it’s not worth parsing through–I usually leave that to The Daily Howler, one of my favorite blogs. But then I logged into my yahoo account and saw this:
Yahoo, what the fuck? Note that they fucking lead with “Obama defends pet projects.” What about “Obama Passes Monumental Spending Bill?” or “Obama signs Omnibus Bill, but Cautiously,” or “Obama Signs Spending Bill, Cautions Against ‘Business as Usual,'” or one of the many fucking things that would be more succinct and to the point than this gobbledygook that obfuscates the real lead here, which is that a potential boon to the economy just passed, and that we should maybe make sure the money is enough and gets used wisely?
I have no problem with criticizing Obama. Hell, he sucks Clean Coal’s dick, he’s a shitty negotiator with the Republicans, and he lets bigots such as Rick Warren give his invocation. But to lead with “Obama defends pet projects?” That’s like a headline saying “FDR Owns Gramophone Recordings of The Mikado, but Declares War on Japan.” Less than fucking 2% of this bill was used for earmarks, and half that money roughly was earmarked by Republicans anyway, and a lot of that money will still indirectly stimulate the economy by providing jobs. As I learned today from a shockingly well-written and informative Republican blog, six of the ten highest earmarkers on this bill were Republicans. And of what’s left for the Dems, maybe two things are “pet projects” of Obama. So why lead with a sentence that refers to maybe 0.03% of a spending bill that, as John Stewart pointed out tonight, has less potential defects than a can of apricots? Why put the pork guilt on Obama?
But what reaaaaallly makes me mad is that jab at the Kennedys, which in the context of this Yahoo splash page is basically another jab at the Dems. Kennedy = liberal elitist from New England, and money for Kennedys = waste, right?
But I did the math. According to the pandering asshole loser, I mean, AP reporter Steve LeBlanc, a bunch of earmark money is going to the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston, plus like $22 million is going to the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, and a smaller chunk is going to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate. That’s 32.8 million total.
Don’t get me wrong: to me, 32.8 million dollars is a lot of money, and I would gladly drink Drano for that amount. But let’s look at the data from Taxpayers for Common Sense, not a liberal organ by any means. According to their documentation, $51,075,000 in earmarks is set aside for the Eisenhower Executive Office Building Phase III, accompanied by $14,700,000 for the Eisenhower Executive Office Building CBR, whatever that is. That’s over $65 million for one building named after a Republican president. When you tack on the $333,000 for the Eisenhower Foundation, Washington, DC (“to replicate and evaluate job-training and supportive services programs for disadvantaged workers in Des Moines, Iowa”), you wind up seeing that $66,108,000 was spent on Dwight Eisenhower alone, more than twice the amount spent on three different Kennedys added together.
So, why did Steve LeBlanc craft an article together about Kennedy-funding earmarks, instead of “Dwight Eisenhower Takes Earmarks from the Grave,” or just simply “Millions in Earmarks Spent on Dead Presidents?” Maybe it’s for the same reason that Yahoo put two anti-Dem articles in their email landing page today, or the reason that we see no articles about the Republicans such as Sen. Arlen Specter who decry earmarks while at the same time making them, or the reason that we NEVER saw articles during the primo Bush years that watered down his decision-making with scrutiny (they did start aiming criticism at him, eventually, but not until about 2005, after he’d already lied, tortured, spied, and Patriot-ed till the cows came home, literally). It’s that the media has a hard-on about shooting down Dems.
Once again, there is plenty about Obama and the Dems in general to get riled up against, in particular their wormy weakness and their poll-driven poker faces. They have two branches of government that they are just squandering, and it makes me want to puke. But this spending bill was remarkably lean, and the fat was purely bipartisan. The media wants you to believe that Ted Kennedy and Barack Obama crammed this bill into their own home-made pork barrel behind the Bobby Kennedy Special Interest Pig Barn, and that just ain’t the fucking case.