Thursday, October 14, 2004

LA Times "Truth Shading" III

To the editor:

Though your article "Rivals Choose Their Numbers Wisely" distorts the balance of spin used by each side in favor of the incumbent, and the fact that Bush repeatedly lied about John Kerry's record, I did appreciate that you did have a separate article on the same page, "Bush 'Not Concerned' About Bin Laden in '02," describing the blatant lie Bush told about how he had never said he was "not concerned" with Bin Laden. What I regret about this separate article, however, is that you failed to state plainly that this is a blatant lie.

One of the reasons Bush tells such blatant lies is that he knows that most of the electorate won't read the paper to do any fact checking after the fact, and that the papers will generally avoid using the words "blatant lie" even when that is the truth of the matter. What Bush also counts on is this strange deferential treatment he has gotten throughout his term in office, where the media avoids holding him accountable for what is for many his recurring and obvious deceitfulness.

I found one specific of your article "Rivals Choose Their Numbers Wisely" particularly frustrating. In two previous letters to the editor, I have argued that the job loss figure Kerry has given throughout the debates (1.6 million jobs lost) is correct, contrary to several claims made by your paper that this is somehow dishonest. Yes: this figure represents private sector job loss only -- because that is all that matters! The issue at hand is the health of the private sector. Government job gains are irrelevant. Government job increases do not reflect the health of the economy, especially when they are paid for by increasing record deficits. There was considerable job creation in the government during the depression!

Eric Anders
Los Angeles

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