By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
When The Wall Street Journal discovered that the price tag of Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) proposals would be in the neighborhood of a staggering $18 trillion, Washington Post blogger Paul Waldman went into action. Waldman, also a senior writer with the “liberal” American Prospect magazine, figured out a way to make socialism seem positively beneficial for all and practically without cost to anyone.
Waldman said that “…while Sanders does want to spend significant amounts of money, almost all of it is on things we’re already paying for; he just wants to change how we pay for them.”
Please think about this formulation. We already pay for these things, so what Sanders is proposing, in terms of a bigger role for Washington, D.C., is really nothing to get alarmed about. In fact, it’s something we should welcome. This logic says that, if the federal government takes over spending for everything, it’s nothing to object to. After all, we were paying for those things anyway. Left unsaid is that Sanders wants to redirect the spending from our own pockets to Washington bureaucrats.
Treating his readers as ignorant fools, Waldman explains how Sanders is simply “spreading out a cost currently borne by a limited number of people to all taxpayers.” Now that’s interesting. The phrase “spreading out a cost” sounds like sharing. It actually means forcing other people to pay for what some people want to buy. This is done through the federal government dictating what you should buy with your hard-earned dollars, and taking those dollars from you.
Waldman goes on to explain that the Sanders “plan for free public college” would spread the cost around. He said, “…right now, it’s paid for by students and their families, while under Sanders’ plan we’d all pay for it in the same way we all pay for parks or the military or food safety.”
So rather than have students in college and their families pay for college, non-students and their families will be taxed to pay for those costs as well. Does this sound fair? Waldman apparently thinks it is. It certainly sounds fair when one group is confused about the money being taken from them to pay for services benefitting another group and routed through a federal maze. The last time I checked, everyone doesn’t go to college. But under the Sanders plan, those who don’t go to college will pay for those who do.
Meanwhile, in a story about the supposed great successes of Obamacare, the Post on Thursday referred to Sanders as just a “progressive,” not the socialist he claims to be.
This was apparently done in order to separate Sanders, who is leading the Democratic presidential field in Iowa and New Hampshire, from the anti-American socialist, Jeremy Corbyn, who has taken over the Labor Party in Britain. This made big news internationally, and Sanders said he welcomed Corbyn’s election.
The term “socialist” has generally received bad press, since it is associated with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, a place where tens of millions died to enforce the Marxist vision of a planned and centralized economy. In socialist Venezuela there are shortages of food and toilet paper. A major opposition figure, Leopoldo Lopez, was just given a term of 13 years and nine months in jail for organizing protests against the regime.
Aaron Blake of the Post had previously reported, “While the word ‘socialist’ carries with it negative connotations for many Americans, that’s not the case for a majority of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters.” He noted the Gallup poll showed 59 percent of Democratic voters would be okay with voting for a socialist.
On the other hand, he noted that “…it’s also true that a very large chunk—as many as 4 or 5 in 10 Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters—are not okay with it.”
So this explains the emerging trend to label Sanders as just a “progressive,” which carries nicer overtones, and not as the socialist he is. At this rate, Sanders will soon be transformed by the paper into just a “liberal,” someone like Post blogger Waldman.
This kind of “journalism” reminds me of my old college journalism textbook,Interpretative Reporting, written by another socialist, Curtis MacDougall.
As I’ve noted previously, MacDougall taught at Northwestern University, where he was a journalism educator and political activist. A fan of Fidel Castro, he ran for office on the Communist-controlled Progressive Party ticket. His son, Kent, also a journalist, came out as a Marxist, after working at the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal, and he then became a professor at the University of California at Berkeley.
The MacDougall textbook was a standard text in journalism for almost 50 years. His FBI file was 319 pages long.
Perhaps Sanders could clear up the apparent confusion over his devotion to progressivism, socialism, or communism, by authorizing the FBI to release his file. The Freedom of Information Act cannot be used to disclose information about another living person unless you have obtained the person’s written consent.
What do you say Bernie? Doesn’t the public have a right to know?