Monday, September 1, 2008

Why I Don't Read the Economist Magazine

Because they have articles like this, which insists McCain "has often displayed a degree of political courage that Mr Obama has never shown," while the same article says

In his desire to get elected, Mr McCain has been prepared to abandon some of the core beliefs that made him so attractive.
Mr McCain used to be a passionate believer in limited government and sound public finances; a man with some distaste for conservative Republicanism and its obsession with reproductive matters. On the stump, though, he has offered big tax cuts for business and the rich that he is unable to pay for, and he is much more polite to the religious right, whom he once called “agents of intolerance”. He has engaged in pretty naked populism, too, for instance in calling for a “gas-tax holiday”.
The Economist ascribes his wholesale sellout of his beliefs to excessive politeness, not a word I would ever think to apply to McCain.

The magazine takes the facts that McCain once had views on immigration and tax cuts that differed from those of most Republicans to be evidence of his "political courage." Shouldn't he lose whatever points he gets for political courage, plus penalties, for later repudiating those same views?

The writer for the Economist--like so many journalists--strains to hope for the return of the "real McCain," or rather the incarnation they knew during the 2000 primaries. But he can't magically become a "man of principle" again by doing yet another 180 with his professed views.

For true "political courage," there's nothing that can surpass Obama standing up to oppose to the disastrous Iraq War, at a time when opponents were called traitors, and when the conventional wisdom at the time was that opposing the war was political suicide.


progredi! said...

As a long-time subscriber to The Economist, I can say that they used to be much better than they have been for the last 10 years or so. The infamous "Just Go!" exhortation to President Clinton over the Lewinsky saga, paired with no similar exhortation or even admonition for the many transgressions of Bush & Co, made the rightward drift and bias plainly obvious.

I remember a senior writer or editor of the Economist lamenting the trend upon retirement; I wish I could find that piece, but a cursory search hasn't revealed it yet.

Anonymous said...

Well, that sounds about right for someone on the left: only get information from sources that agree with and reinforce your bias. All other sources are trash. Ya, I've heard that before. My recommendation is to get your information from multiple sources that provide good information and challenge your bias.

Oh, but that requires one to actually think--to use one's brain. No, we can't have that. Thinking bad.

And for "political courage", why don't you check and see which candidate actually is willing to go against his party and do what's right for his country rather than towing the party line. Want to take a guess? Hint: you'll have to go to a source other than the Daily Kos to get the correct answer for this one. Oh, and while your checking their voting records, try to identify some major political accomplishments that bear Obama's name. It's really embarrassing that he is under serious consideration for President of the United States.

A.F.S., M.P.H. said...

Dear Sir,

So let me get this straight 'anonymous' poster:

Your contention with this post about The Economist's swing from neutral to right leaning...which, of course, requires one to have been reading The Economist, you're accusing bias on the part of the blogger because they've noticed a swing, read about it, and even taken steps to post about it?

Where exactly do we draw the line between reading many sources (thank God Sarah Palin reads ALL of the magazines in existence so we don't have to?) and deciding that one or another has become to biased to be worth our time? All or nothing huh? Don't evaluate your sources, just read 'em all...just like Sarah. The cognitive dissonance must be unbearable for you!