Monday, December 02, 2002

Does Russert go both ways? An alert reader sent me this gem, from the October 13 showing of Meet the Press. Said Tim Russert to Lindsey Graham, the Republican candidate for the US Senate from South Carolina (and the eventual winner in the Strom Thurmond sweepstakes): "Since Inauguration Day, the Dow Jones is down 26 percent. The unemployment rate is up 33 percent. The budget had a $281 billion surplus. We now have a $157 billion deficit and there's been a net loss of two million jobs. You were prescient, prophetic about the Bush tax cut. Why did you change your view and vote for it?"

Now, every honest liberal who opposes the Bush tax cuts knows that they have scarcely had an impact on the federal budget so far -- the impact will mainly be felt in future years. So here Russert ascribes the effects of the bursting of the stock-market bubble, the resultant recession, and the economic fallout from 9/11 to the Bush tax cut and tries to hang it around Graham's neck. This is just more disingenousness on Russert's part, and I'm not surprised that the conservative Media Research Center singled it out as an example of liberal media bias. (I would provide the direct link, but 10 minutes of futzing yielded nothing more than a microscopic image of a PDF file.)

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