The New York Times should be embarrassed. On December 24 it gave a Christmas present to the corporate-backed lobby group Fix the Debt with its front-page Business section puff piece about the organization, which is pushing to balance the federal budget by slashing social programs while cutting taxes for the rich. The 1149-word piece, by reporter Annie Lowrey, focused on the group's public face, Maya MacGuineas, without even mentioning that it was founded and is funded by Pete Peterson, the Wall Street financier who over many years has invested tens of millions of his money in his long-term crusade to reduce the federal debt on the backs of the poor and middle class. Reporter Lowrey could easily have found dozens of articles on the web about Fix the Debt that reveal how it is simply the latest incarnation of Peterson’s crusade, including this article in New York magazine (http://nymag.com/...) and this one on the Salon website (http://www.salon.com/...). Indeed, Times columnist Paul Krugman mentioned Peterson's close ties to the organization on his website two days earlier (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/...). MacGuineas had already been the subject of profiles in both the Washington Post and New Republic a few days before, so was this the Times simply playing catch-up? Perhaps Lowrey's piece was the Times' way of providing "balance" for Krugman's criticism of Fix the Debt, but it was shoddy journalism nevertheless. Here’s the Times’ article: http://www.nytimes.com/...
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