Glenn Reynolds | Spin of the Times: Bias Cloaked as Front-Page News

It’s no surprise to anyone who pays attention that mainstream media tilt  their coverage in favor of Democrats and leftish ideas. But it’s not confined to  endless puff pieces about the president, or the ignoring of unpleasant  facts.

Often, it’s more subtle — as when the general thrust of a news story advances  a particular narrative even when the facts within the story don’t really support  it. For that sort of thing, you have to go to the acknowledged experts, the  reporters and editors of The New York Times. And as Obama fights for  re-election, you can expect to see a lot more of it.

Readers of last Sunday’s front page, for example, were informed that “In  Hopeful Sign, Health Spending Is Flattening Out.”

Hopeful? Well, maybe. The article is full of caveats and to-be-sures like  this: “The growth rate mostly slowed as millions of Americans lost insurance  coverage along with their jobs. Worried about job security, others may have  feared taking time off work for doctor’s visits or surgical procedures, or  skipped nonurgent care when money was tight.” Or this: “Some experts caution  that there remains too little data to determine whether the current slowdown  will become permanent, or whether it is merely a blip caused by the economy’s  weakness.”

But, we’re told, “[M]any other health experts say that there is just enough  data to start detecting trends — even if the numbers remain murky, and the vast  complexity of the national health care market puts definitive answers out of  reach.”

At this point, an editor might have spiked the story, commenting that all  we’ve got are dueling experts who admit that they don’t really know what’s going  on amid their “murky” numbers.

While that might have been good use of editorial discretion, it wouldn’t have  advanced the narrative about cost declines, which is this: “If so, it was  happening just as the new health care law was coming into force, and before the  Supreme Court could weigh in on it or the voters could pronounce their own  verdict at the polls.”

There’s your narrative: ObamaCare is working, and the Supreme Court should  back off. Oh, and voters, don’t be mean to the Democrats who rammed this down  your throat.

 

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