Friday, June 22, 2012

Right-leaning? The states as laboratories of democracy?

I laughed a bit when I heard a local radio reporter refer to the "right-leaning" Pioneer Institute in her story about suggestions the organization made to the Massachusetts legislature during the current debate between the Senate and the House on their dueling bills.  I laughed because that same station never refers to liberal advocacy groups as "left-leaning."  Only in the "people's republic of Massachusetts" could one get away with applying an exclusive modifier like that and believe it to be journalistically correct.

As I mentioned before, the Pioneer Institute offers excellent analytical work in this arena and, indeed, is one of few places to employ sufficient rigor that, even if you disagree with them, you are left respecting how they get to their views.  In light of that, look at this new piece in The Daily Caller, entitled, "What Romney should do on health care."  Careful, though.  You might find right-leaning predispositions in an article that says:

Encourage individuals to become active participants in the health care they receive.

Cover Americans with pre-existing conditions who may be denied affordable insurance when between jobs.

Convert Medicaid into a per capita block grant.

Heed the lessons from the last major entitlement fix, [Clinton's] welfare reform, which demonstrated that political settlements require respect for the states.


Anonymous said...

I agree with your point that it is dangerous to label sources of information without regard to the legitimacy of the suggestions they make. We should certainly not emulate our esteemed Congress' habit of doing that.
However, the Washington Post this morning reported Mary Cheney's marriage, saying "The news was first reported by The Daily Caller, a conservative Web site."


Paul Levy said...

The point is that this radio station never refers to other liberal organizations as left-leaning, only this one as right-leaning.

Why is it the job of media to apply a label in any event, especially in a news story, as opposed to an opinion piece?

Anonymous said...

I don't know why the Post would apply a label in the Cheney case, but as someone who doesn't follow a lot of political news, I appreciate knowing the political tendencies of a particular news source. It's just current reality that news sources slant their perspectives based on their political leanings; therefore I want to be able to take that into account when I read them. As to whom should or should not apply that label, I cannot argue with your point.