Thanks to the internet archives, we can see what the Cato Institute's "Project on Social Security Privatization" looked like last year and compare that with its new look, now that the stock market crash has reminded the public about the reality of privatization. In the Orwellian new version, all references to "privatization" have been airbrushed out of history and replaced with the word "choice."
"The myth that the National Educational Association told teachers not to blame Sept. 11 on al-Qaida continues to unravel," reports Brendan Nyhan. "It's now clear that Washington Times reporter Ellen Sorokin based her original myth-creating article on a preliminary NEA Web site that clearly wasn't complete, misconstruing quotations from a recommended sample essay allegedly written by a professor named Brian Lippincott and attributing them to the NEA.
U.S. AID Administrator Andrew Natsios has accused environmentalists "of endangering the lives of millions of famine-threatened Africans by encouraging their governments to reject genetically modified U.S.
The Republican Party in Kansas City is backpedalling after running an advertisement on black radio stations attacking Social Security as a form of "reverse reparations" to blacks. "You've heard about reparations, you know, where whites compensate blacks for enslaving us," says the ad. "Well guess what we've got now. Reverse reparations ...
The State Department is providing media training to Iraqi dissidents to "help make the Bush administration's argument for the removal of Saddam Hussein," PR week reports. In addition to teaching the 17 Iraqis how to write "effective op-eds and speeches," the State Department is giving direction on "what to speak about in order to convince the public of the need to topple Hussein." PR Week reports a State Department spokeswoman saying, "The message is democracy. The message is open and free elections.
Did America's largest teachers union construct a subversive web site concerning September 11? This nasty slander against the National Education Association has been spreading across the Internet, sparked by a series of articles in the Washington Times.
Republicans are "crying foul" when Democrats use the term "privatization" to describe their plans for Social Security, but as Joshua Micah Marshall notes, "The simple truth is that 'privatization' has always been the word Republicans themselves used to describe their policy. That is, it was until they rather belatedly realized that their policy was killing them with voters. ... Now the term (and the policy, for that matter) is a political loser.
"Some people are suspicious that President Bush will go for a 'wag the dog' strategy -- boosting Republican prospects with a military assault on Iraq shortly before Election Day. But a modified approach now seems to be underway. Let's call it 'wag the puppy,'" media watcher and nationally syndicated columnist Normon Solomon writes. He suggests the appearance of a "healthy debate" on Iraq may lack real substance and may instead serve to distract attention from negative economic issues facing the Bush Administration.
"Florida's environmental bureaucrats are in the process of removing 600 bodies of water from the state's 'impaired' list by changing the rules. They redefined impaired," Palm Beach Post editorial writer Sally Swartz reports. When a lake or river is classified "impaired," explains Swartz, the state is required to set a limit on how much pollution can be dumped into the water. If a body of water isn't on the "impaired" list, there are no limits. Large developers, corporate farms, and other industry would benefit from the redefinition.
The Spinsanity.org website has on occasion published insightful commentaries on misleading uses of political rhetoric in the United States. In July 2002, however, Spinsanity itself published a deceptive attack on the media watchdog organization Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). After FAIR criticized U.S.