1. "Politics of the Weak Dollar" (first in a three-part series). The falling dollar was covered from the point of view, in a quote repeated twice and told as though from a neutral expert, that the Bush administration's responsibility for the fast-approaching dollar crisis is limited to a policy of "benign neglect." No mention of the role played by the egregious deficits under Bush, propelled primarily by the Iraq war and Bush's insistence upon cutting taxes for the rich. Compare NPR's coverage with a more balanced report by the Christian Science Monitor -- not a Democratic, and far less leftist, news source. Here are excerpts from a report as of late last November:
The dollar is now down 50 percent against the euro since October 2000, and hit a its lowest level since 1995 against a basket of foreign currencies last week.
Up to now, the White House has let the Treasury deal with the dipping dollar. In comments to the press in London, Treasury Secretary John Snow threw cold water on any move to join the Europeans in managing the dollar's fall.
"The history of efforts to impose nonmarket valuations on currencies is at best unrewarding and checkered," he said.
Decades ago, such an attitude was labeled "benign neglect."
Note the last sentence -- << Decades ago, such an attitude was labeled "benign neglect." >> Well, that's NPR for you -- up to the minute, except by a few decades! Oh well, maybe tomorrow or the next day, the three-part series will get us at least into the current century.
2. "Senate GOP Attempts Compromise on Estate Tax". The latest Republican effort to shift attention away from its two failures -- Social Security and the Schiavo affair -- is a renewed push to do away forever with any estate tax. NPR quoted in a favorable light Republicans in congress talking about how what they call the "death tax" -- already trimmed to a shadow of its former self -- needs to be completely done away with! A lot of air-time was given to talk about how the "death tax" is ruinous to mom-and-pop outfits and family farms. What the Republicans and NPR don't want to talk about is that the old (pre-Bush) system of inheritance taxes already protected mom-and-pop outfits such as family farms. Like, it didn't even kick in until after $1,000,000.
See, related story -- "How about taxing the RECIPIENTS of estates?"