Monday, February 22, 2010

Where we are today

I've been away for a while, not paying extremely close attention to politics. Every once in a while I just need to take some time off from this stuff. But I came up with a little game: which passage is from Fox News and which is from the AP? Here are their two main items on health care.

Here's item one:
Starting over on health care, President Barack Obama knows his chances aren't looking much more promising. A year after he called for a far-reaching overhaul, Obama unveiled his most detailed plan yet on Monday. Realistically, he's just hoping to win a big enough slice to silence the talk of a failing presidency.

The 10-year, $1 trillion plan, like the current Democratic version in the Senate, would bring health insurance to more than 31 million Americans who now lack it. Government insurance wouldn't be included, a problem for Democratic progressives. Republicans are skeptical about where the money would come from — and about Obama's claim that the plan wouldn't raise the federal deficit.
Here's item two:

The White House issued proposals Monday for health care reform that have won kudos from several Democratic lawmakers, a sure sign, say Republicans, of how little GOP input is in the plan.

Republicans have agreed to show up at the White House Thursday for a summit on health care, but are heading there with a dim view of the outcome.'s interesting. Item #1 sounds embarrassingly opinionated and antagonistic, with plenty of weaselly turns of phrase and elision of simple facts that it makes it seem more like a hacky rightist op-ed than a real news story. By comparison, the second item seems positively journalistic by comparison. So, which is which? The answer, of course, is that item #1 is the AP (and item #2 is Fox). Evidently not even Fox News is that embarrassing.

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.