Sex, Lies, and Videotape

The headline of this article was just to get your attention. There is nothing in this article about sex or videotapes. But to make a point I figure hey, if other people can lie about stuff in print and elsewhere, why not me too?

My mother always used to tell us, “don’t believe everything you hear and only half of what you see.” Turns out that was good advice.

Here are 6 recent examples of highly biased journalism from US and local press accounts that in my opinion make one feel as if you are living in Russia reading the latest issue of Pravda. They are from a wide variety of sources including, USA Today, AP, Pew Research, West Valley View, and my favorite, Joanne Osborne in GY’s InFocus Magazine.

  1. House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan announced the GOP plan for the federal government yesterday. In his statements to the press he specifically said that the purpose of the changes he was proposing was to SAVE Medicare before it goes bankrupt. The press reported headline was that he was SLASHING Medicare. Whether you agree or disagree with someone’s opinion, isn’t it incumbent on journalists to at least accurately report what the news maker is saying? Do you think they’d report what Barack says inaccurately that way? Ryan Budget0001
  2. Journalist Dennis Cauchon of USA Today reports in big headlines that sales tax rates in the US are going down. If you read the article you find that this is completely untrue. A tax RATE is a % charged on a product or service. What Cauchon tells us in his article is that because of the higher % of untaxed services that are purchased today verses goods, the average sales taxes that consumers pay on TOTAL purchases is lower as a % than previously. He even writes that governments have “jacked up sales tax rates in recent years” but the headline contradicts this. Is Dennis just another stupid Journalism major or is he writing for an agenda? Sales Tax0001
  3. Journalism major (probably) Lindsey Tanner writes for the Associated Press. Isn’t the AP supposed to be unbiased news reporting? Not like Pravda? Lindsey tells us about a study that shows that dental visits to ERs are on the upswing by 16% from 2006 to 2009. Dental ER visits0001And at the end of the article she throws in how routine preventive care is cheap compared to ER visits and she opines that it is the underprivileged (who don’t have health care, I suppose) who make all these visits to ERs for their teeth.Agenda? Here is the entire study so you can check my analysis. Pew_Report_A_Costly_Dental_DestinationLet’s look at the raw facts. According to Lindsey’s numbers from Pew, there were an additional 115,00 dental related visits from 2006 to 2009 or only about 30,000 increase per year. Compare this to the fact that there were 124 million ER visits total in 2008 alone. So the dental visit increase problem represents one third of one tenth of one percent of total ER visits. This rates a news article by AP?
    The study also said that 99.9% of the dental visits did not require a hospital stay. They were probably given a strong dose of advil and told to go see their dentist the next day. Compare that to 13% of overall ER visits that result in an overnight stay. 2008 ER visits.And according to this guy; ER Visit Increases from 200o to 2008, (close to the time period measured in the dental survey), overall ER visits increased more than 24%. Compare that to the only 16% increase in dental related visits reported by Pew. New Conclusion. Dental visits as a % of total ER visits have actually DROPPED. It took me about 15 minutes to google all this stuff. Don’t you think someone REPORTING for the AP would do the same for God’s sake?
  4. Rich People are More Likely to Cheat. Rich Cheat0001 First, from what I could find of the study online (you have to purchase it to get the entire study) these were EXTREMELY small sample sizes. I’m talking only 20 to 30 subjects in some cases. Not until the last paragraphs of this headline story are you told that some of the markers for “rich” were not consistent and that in the candy experiment they were specifically told that they could have the candy. Is it possible that taking a piece of candy that was permitted was just not a very big deal for someone who was well off or maybe they have better listening skills?
  5. Goodyear false ordinance alarms article from the West Valley View. WVV Alarms Art0001 Regular readers already know Alarms that not only was most of what was reported inaccurate, the people presenting it to council reported it wrong as well. A double dip. But we all know by now that Sara and others at the WVV report whatever the PIO of Goodyear gives them with little to no regard to whether or not it makes any sense.
  6. And finally. Goodyear Vice Mayor Joanne Osborne reporting on a BIG PARTNERSHIP in the SW Valley in Goodyear’s taxpayer funded political publication, InFocus Magazine. Joanne partnership0001 In Joanne’s column she wants you to know that there is a virtual beehive of cooperative activity going on between all those good public servants who work night and day on your behalf. In Joanne’s “story” she promotes what she calls an example of “regionalism at its finest” as she describes to you an ongoing “partnership” between all these different entities;
    ASU, the SW Valley Chamber of Commerce, Goodyear, Buckeye, LP, Tolleson, and the AZ Office of Tourism.
    Only one problem here. There is no partnership at all.
    In an email I received from Dr. Anerek of ASU, she says that her ASU organization is “doing everything on the research project except distributing some of the questionnaires”. ASU is doing that for a fee of about $27,000 which was obtained by the SW Valley Chamber through a grant (your tax money) from the state of AZ. And in an email from a Ms. Couchon, PIO of the AZ Dept of Tourism (another of Joanne’s “partners”) Couchon admits that she does not know what Joanne is even talking about.
    So basically, the truth to all of this is that the Tourism Committee of the SW Valley Chamber (turns out Joanne is the chairman of that committee), got a $27,000 grant from the state (your money) and they paid ASU to do a study which their members (local hotels and restaurants) will use for their benefit. How are the cities mentioned involved? You’ll have to ask Joanne about that, I can’t find out anything that the cities mentioned are doing.
    So there you have it, pats on the back all around for all these political hacks in a taxpayer paid for magazine and Joanne turns sow’s ear into a silk purse.
    Would you expect anything else from a politician writing in a political magazine?

One Response

  1. Far too many of us have been exposed to the permanent “deer in the headlights” look that is glued to Joanne’s face. Does not surprise me that the Tourism spokesperson had no idea what Joanne was talking about it. Rational thought is sadly sorely lacking from Joanne as it is with most airheads. Look for Georgia to step aside and not run for re-election to pave the wave for Joanne to run for Mayor. Georgia owes Joanne a big favor because deep down they can’t stand each other (each thinks they are more beautiful than the other and it is a school girl/mean girl thing) but they made a pact a year ago and now Georgia owes her big time. Joanne will use her jewelry store sponsorships (ie PebbleCreek men’s softball teams) as free advertising for her campaign and Georgia will lean heavily on the few friends she has left among the creekers to sway votes Joanne’s way. Two wild cards are Ms Lauritano and that ding a ling Pizzillo. Lauritano has been going out of her way to separate herself from the home team and convince us that she is an independent thinker but betting money she has a few skeletons in her closet that may come out in the next election. Pizzillo has more ambition than the casual observer would notice but watch out for him to plan an end to round on Joanne and knock her out early. Joe comes across as a nice guy but those of us who know him well know he has a huge ego and a Mrs who thinks Joe should be Mayor.

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