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May 6th, 2011

Iowa’s Press

By Nathan Tucker

This past weekend’s performance by the mainstream media left much to be desired.  First there was Friday’s kid-glove handling of Democratic Congressman Leonard Boswell on Iowa Public Television’s political talk show Iowa Press, which was followed up by the Des Moines Register’s “Big Lie technique” op-ed on Saturday.

Dean Borg, the moderator of Iowa Press, got the show off to the left foot last Friday by stating that, “President Obama [has proposed] long-range spending cuts but none as controversial as what is called the Ryan Plan, approved by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.”

Masquerading as an objective journalist, Borg managed to slip an editorial comment into his opening statement by calling the Republican budget “controversial.”  Doubtless there are many on the Left who find Congressman Paul Ryan’s plan controversial, but there are just as many on the Right who find Obama’s plan, or lack thereof, equally controversial.   Either call both plans controversial or none at all.

Continuing with this biased “objective” reporting, the first question asked by the AP’s Mike Glover was:  “Congressman, you have a lot of new territory in this new re-drawn third congressional district, a lot of people you haven’t represented before.  What do you want them to know about you?”

Might as well have just called this episode of Iowa Press the thirty-minute Boswell reelection infomercial.  That question, which was far too slow a pitch to be dignified with the term soft-ball, was followed up with this zinger:  “Republican Congressman Tom Latham has announced that he is going to move into the district and oppose you next year.  What do you want voters to know about him?  And what do you plan on telling them about him?”

Not to be left behind, Radio Iowa’s Kay Henderson chimed in with a pitch that almost didn’t even make it to the plate:  “Congressman Latham said this week that that is a good fit for him, the new third congressional district, those sixteen counties in the southwestern corner.  Do you agree with his assessment that that’s a good fit for him?”  Did the panelists even bother to edit the questions sent them by Boswell’s office?

When asked about raising the debt ceiling, Boswell replied:  “I think we must do it.  I think we must…if we don’t make good on our payments and so on it would be disastrous, I think worse than going into an all out depression…But we can’t go south on our world responsibility as well as the responsibility of the country.”  Sadly, no one reminded the good Congressman that he had voted against raising the debt ceiling four times in the past fourteen years.   Nor did they bother to ask what he meant by “world responsibility,” or why it required that we go into yet further debt that we end up buying ourselves.

Ever the economic genius, Boswell argued that our $130 trillion debt can be solved by taking away $4 billion in oil subsidies and giving that money to “renewable efforts” such as ethanol.  Again, none of the three panelists asked how spending the same amount of money, actually $1 billion more, on a different program can possibly save money.

Channeling his inner Obama, Boswell’s second, and final, idea for solving our debt crises is by taxing the rich.  Never mind the fact that there just aren’t enough rich people to make the math work, both Boswell and Obama claim that they have all these unnamed multi-millionaires coming up to them telling them they want to be taxed more.  Why is it that none of the panelists asked Boswell for specific names of these generous members of the top 0.2% of Americans, or whether these ultra-rich have already begun to voluntarily give more of their money to the IRS rather than Boswell’s reelection campaign?

And then there’s the Register, which felt strangely compelled to argue against the impeachment of the four remaining Varnum justices even though the House Republican leadership has already doomed that effort.  In their op-ed Saturday, the Register opined that the Iowa Supreme Court could not have been activist because it “can’t pick and choose its cases.”  But the Court’s website clearly points out that the justices do not have to hear cases on appeal but can, and often do, send them instead to the Court of Appeals.

The Register also ridiculously argued that the “decision in Varnum v. Brien was about as strict as construction can get.  They read the words of the Iowa Constitution literally and decided the words mean what they say.”  Odd.  Apparently, those who drafted the Iowa Constitution and every generation thereafter until Varnum were loose constructionists.  Instead, Iowa had to wait for the profanity-laced ostracism of conservatives in institutes of higher learning before it could be (re)educated as to the error of its ways.

It must be exhausting for such journalists to carry all that water for the Left.  Either that, or an act of love.

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About the Author

Nathan W. Tucker
Nathan W. Tucker is a Davenport attorney and author of We The People: The Only Cure to Judicial Activism. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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