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What's going on at Politico these days?

Over the years, the organization has earned a reputation as a moderate, nonpartisan voice on political news. While writers like Glenn Greenwald and Andrew Sullivan have exposed some evidence of a right-wing bias, I’ve for the most part found them to be fair.

Lately, I'm not quite sure what they're up to. Take a look at their reporting Monday morning on health care, the defining domestic issue recently. They released three stories in the span of a few hours, all three vigorously predicting failure for reform. Parts of their reporting were fishy, while other parts were outright false.

Take a look at the opening for the article titled "5 keys to getting health care deal."

It was always going to be hard for President Barack Obama to pass health care reform by the fall. Lately, there are signs it’ll take a political miracle.

Really? High costs and few dissenting Democrats means it’s going to take a "political miracle"? Last week wasn’t the best week for health care, as many news organizations pointed out, but to jump from that to "it needs a miracle" sounds to me like priming for failure.

The next article’s title says it all: "How Obama could lose health fight."

Sigh. Jumping the gun a little, guys? For Politico to sit around and dream for three pages about how Obama can fail on an extremely newsworthy day for health care—one that’s been good for reformers, no less—might raise an eyebrow.

President Obama's campaign for health care reform by this fall, once considered highly likely to succeed, suddenly appears in real jeopardy.

It echoes the first piece I linked to, preemptively foreshadowing failure twice in a couple hours.

Now, for the real kicker, check out this one, titled "Momentum key for health care bill."

It starts off ridiculing Democrats’ views of Obama as the "second coming," the "messiah" and suggesting the GOP was somewhat justified in calling him a "celebrity" and creating the impression of an unfounded Obama cult.

Have a look at the next paragraph -- this ought to make you cringe.

There is today a curious disconnect between support for the president’s policy prescriptions and the popularity of the man himself. Fewer than half of all Americans are on board with the president’s health care agenda (although they remain open to persuasion), a majority are uneasy about the burgeoning federal deficit, and voters remain dubious about the very notion that government can solve the country’s problems.

First bold: this is sheer nonsense, and flatly disproven just days ago by a widely circulated New York Times/CBS poll that should make this Politico writer feel ashamed. The poll found that a whopping 72 percent favored Obama’s health care plan. That’s quite a difference from "fewer than half," no?

Second bold: this is the most tried and true right-wing talking point of all: government is bad; government can’t solve our problems, and so on. But this sentiment is hardly prevalent in today’s society, especially on health care. The same poll found that a majority of the public believed that the government would in fact do a better job of both "providing medical coverage" and "holding down health care costs."

How does a fair-minded reader extrapolate a prevailing anti-government sentiment from that? Did a writer from this esteemed national newspaper miss a poll that has been front-and-center for days?

And now I must ask: where’s Politico’s mention of the poll? Where’s the story about Chuck Schumer’s rejection of the co-ops idea and the silence of the obstructionists in centrist-Dem land? Today was filled with positive news for reformers, and you wouldn’t have a clue of it by reading Politico. It doesn’t sound like they’re trying to report the news; it sounds like they’re trying to alter and manipulate it. And that’s not what objective reporters do, is it?

People who aren’t familiar with right-wing scare tactics might fall for this, but enough of us have developed radar for it over the last many years. It’s also not difficult to sense when someone’s bullish on a policy failure. As of Monday, Politico reeks of it.

Fox News symbolizes the dangers of highly opinionated media masquerading as honest, balanced reporting. If Politico wants to be a right-wing organization, they have every right to do so. But as long as they try to pass off agenda-ridden "reporting" passed of as "news," they deserve to be called out on it.

Originally posted to utopiandrive on Mon Jun 22, 2009 at 08:09 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'll be honest, I think they've always sucked. (10+ / 0-)

    But that's just me.

    I also think their sense of self-importance is far greater than their real impact, especially outside of Washington.

    •  I second that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action, awcomeon

      Assessment.

      Between my shoulders is a genius. Between my legs is a penis. It seems I have to get both my minds right...

      by theone718 on Mon Jun 22, 2009 at 08:29:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Absolutely - it's very right wing and always (4+ / 0-)

      has been . .

    •  Same here (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action

      On my Yahoo home page, the Yahoo political news feed tends to feature AP and Politico headlines.  

      Most of them just suck.  It reminds me of the hack job writing they both did during the election.

      They are rooting for failure- either because they are wingnuts or they just feel success makes boring news... or both.

      Either way, Teh Suck is with them.  May their computers go pffft.

      To the GOP and their ilk... YOU LOST!!! So, STFU.

      by oxfdblue on Tue Jun 23, 2009 at 02:51:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  True of SO many Beltway clowns... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob Johnson

      I also think their sense of self-importance is far greater than their real impact, especially outside of Washington.

      ...who are hot stuff inside the Beltway, but either unknown or unpopular in the rest of the U.S.A.

      Newt Gingrich comes to mind.  A legend in the Beltway -- a Very Important man!  To the rest of the country, he's just that jabbering, bloated has-been who Bill Clinton slapped around in the 1990s, and who won't get the hell off their TV screen now.

      Fox "News" = Republican PRAVDA.

      by chumley on Tue Jun 23, 2009 at 07:22:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why would anyone who reads KOS read Politico??? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alba, Words In Action, awcomeon

    They are a right wing hit org.
    They pretend to be in the center...

  •  Ummm... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fly, enemy of the people

    Mike Allen & Jim Vandehei are NOT moderate, non-partisan voices on political news.

    "Parts of their reporting were fishy, while other parts were outright false" could describe most of their content.

    The penalty that good men pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by men worse than themselves. - Plato

    by robroser on Mon Jun 22, 2009 at 08:31:16 PM PDT

  •  Media Matters... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    search results for Mike Allen.

    The penalty that good men pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by men worse than themselves. - Plato

    by robroser on Mon Jun 22, 2009 at 08:33:15 PM PDT

  •  Politico pushing for RW favored result (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    Breaking:  Sun rises in the east?

    Just look at their editor?

    Jim VandeHei:

    He is married to Autumn Hanna VandeHei, a former staffer for House Republican Leader Tom DeLay of Texas.

    After a stint as a national political reporter for The Wall Street Journal in 2000, VandeHei joined the Washington Post.

    What do you expect?

    "Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something." - President Barack Obama, April 5, 2009

    by justmy2 on Mon Jun 22, 2009 at 08:46:08 PM PDT

  •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fly

    Over the years, the organization has earned a reputation as a moderate, nonpartisan voice on political news.

    Are we talking about the same Politico?

  •  They're disenchanted Republicans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    Standard issue movement conservatives who are now embarrassed for believing a bunch of corrupt crooks for the last dozen years.  I'm assuming some of them are young enough they weren't even around at the beginning of the conservative movement.

    Anyway, because they're arrogant fools, they now say good things occasionally about Dems, not because they support them but because they don't want everyone to realize what tools they are.

    Most likely, their view on HCR is being driven by big ad money being spread around in the news outlets by big pharma and insurance.

    Private health insurers always manage to stay one step ahead of the sheriff - Sen. Sherrod Brown

    by Betty Pinson on Mon Jun 22, 2009 at 09:28:20 PM PDT

  •  Politico = Tabloid Political Coverage (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fly, Ladyhawk, Words In Action, miss SPED

    Politico loves creating tabloid drama. The headlines are always tabloid-esque and then when you read the articles, 9 out of 10 are usually just a bunch of drivel anyone who's paying attention could piece together.

    Vandehei is a known Republican (remember all the Republican memorabilia on display in the house he was selling - it was like a shrine).

    Mike Allen thinks good journalism is creating controversy instead of reporting the facts. H etries to make everything sound like he's got some big "scoop'" and when it's not he has to sensationalize it. He's just creepy.

    Politico is out to create narratives and all the beltway pseudo-journalists bounce of each other.

    Keep calling them out.

    Healthcare reform won't be decided by third-rate reporters.

    Voted proudly for Obama in spite of all the primary flame wars! Let's move on and support him 100%!

    by GregNYC on Mon Jun 22, 2009 at 09:34:29 PM PDT

    •  You nailed it..... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GregNYC

      Politico is out to create narratives and all the beltway pseudo-journalists bounce of each other.

      When I think of the Politico website, I think gotcha analysis, sarcasm, snarky, tabloid style journalism.  They always look for the negative angle.  They seem to "reluctantly" report anything positive.  

      And don't get me started with the White House Press Corps.  I am astonished at the stupid questions they ask Robert Gibbs everyday. It's embarrassing.  

         

  •  Seriously?!? (0+ / 0-)

    "Over the years, the organization has earned a reputation as a moderate, nonpartisan voice on political news."

    You were serious when you wrote that? This isn't snark? Are you obtuse? Politico has never been "nonpartisan", they were quite positively partisan during all of Bush's term and were quite positively partisan during the 2008 election. The only way one could possibly call the Politico "nonpartisan" is if one were comparing them to say "the free republic".

    •  Yes, their "reputation" is non-partisan; (0+ / 0-)

      The overwhelming majority of people seem to believe they're moderate. Unlike Fox, it's not common knowledge that they're right-wing.

      I haven't followed them closely enough but from what I had previously seen they were no Rush Limbaugh.

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