Editorial pages should usually be shielded from charges of bias. After all, that's what the editorial is--an opinion of the paper on a subject. But they shouldn't be partisans, and they especially shouldn't be partisan all the time.
When an editorial page consistently supports one party or ideology over another, that is cause for complaint if the paper continues to dishonestly claim it is objective and straight down the middle. Sorry, if you always have liberal talking points in your editorial you can't claim your paper is straight-down-the-middle. You can have your opinion, but be honest about what your publication really is.
Unfortunately for us, the nation's paper of record continues to spout timed Democratic talking points day in and day out on its editorial page (an ideology that permeates other pages as well, by the way). It's one thing to criticize a party or both parties for stupid things that parties do, but to do a hit piece that coincides perfectly with cheesy liberal campaign commercials is beyond the pale.
Democrats are attempting to score cheap political points by using Tropical Storm Isaac to conjure up images of Hurricane Katrina and juxtaposing it with GOP plans across-the-board spending cuts that include "disaster relief funding and weather monitoring systems."
William Russell, a guest columnist for the Orlando Sentinal, wrote:
Tampa and the Republican convention seem to have dodged the initial impact of Tropical Storm Isaac. But the full impact of its political spin has yet to be felt.
Issac is building power over the Gulf of Mexico as I write this, and the power of the political spin builds as the storm approaches the landfall areas of Hurricane Katrina. While no one wishes for Isaac to follow the map track of Katrina, those living in its path need to prepare for the wind, rain and storm surges. Those following its political track need to brace for the impact of the political spin to follow the storm. Never a group to let a disaster go to waste, the Obama campaign is waiting to unleash the fury of its spin on the storm with a maximum of political effects.
The spin is par for the course for the Obama Administration, but should be beneath the country's most respected newspaper. Coincidentally timed with anti-Romney political ads paid for by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and the Republican National Convention, the Old Gray Lady editorialized:
Tropical Storm Isaac is more than just a logistical inconvenience for Republicans gathered in Tampa: it is a powerful reminder both of Republican incompetence in handling Hurricane Katrina seven years ago, and the party's no-less-disastrous plans to further cut emergency-related spending.
David Axelrod couldn't have said it better.
That is not something you will hear Paul Ryan talk about this week at the convention, nor any of the other lawmakers who make simplistic promises about the power of slashing government spending. But the budgets assembled by Mr. Ryan and warmly embraced by Mitt Romney severely cut spending for emergency preparedness, exactly the kind of money needed in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and scores of other states for this and future storms.
They're not even trying to pretend they are partisans at this point. It's bad enough when they pump up one side all the time, but it's even worse when they mislead readers about the other side.
That is $1.8 billion that will not be available for evacuation equipment and supplies, communications gear that lets first responders speak to one another, and training exercises.
The Times said Mr. Ryan wouldn't want to talk about these cuts, but I suspect the Times doesn't want to talk about all the money that FEMA wasted. They dishonestly list all the good things the money was spent on, and conveniently ignore the bad, like all those debit cards that were handed out like candy.
GAO and Homeland Security audits found that up to 900,000 of the 2.5 million applicants who received emergency aid were "based on duplicate or invalid Social Security numbers or false addresses and names", according to MSNBC. That includes the infamous $2,000 debit cards that were used to buy football tickets, lap dances, and expensive hotel rooms.
What's 900,000 times $2,000? Exactly $1.8 billion, the amount Republicans want to cut.
The Times pulls this every day. It's a disgrace.