The Liberal View (4/3)
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This week’s edition will focus primarily on comparisons:
Dan Rather and George Bush: Dan Rather reported on a faulty document that predominately contained factual information. George Bush responded to faulty intelligence that predominately contained…well, faulty information.
Rather’s mistake was that he trusted a document because it contained information confirmed to be true by other sources. Bush’s mistake was that he trusted his intelligence because it told him what he wanted to hear.
As a result, Dan Rather and CBS News both lost a great deal of credibility. As a result, George Bush and his republican cohorts lead the nation into war that has cost the US their credibility in the international community.
Rather’s mistake resulted in CBS news losing revenue in advertising dollars. Bush’s mistake has cost 1533 US soldiers, and as many as 100,000 Iraqi civilians, their lives. Further, it has also cost the American taxpayer approximately $1.6 trillion to date.
Rather’s mistake led to his early retirement largely because republican pundits repeatedly screamed for it. Bush's mistake has yet to cost him anything, but I’m certain that Limbaugh, O’Reilly and Hannity will shout just as loudly for Bush’s resignation to avoid the appearance of hypocrisy.
Paul Krugman and Bill O’Reilly: Paul Krugman is a world class economist and a professor at Princeton University. Bill O’ Reilly has hosted the TV tabloid show Inside Edition, has written an erotic thriller, and currently hosts the tabloid political show “The Factor.”
Krugman has repeatedly and accurately pointed out the flaws in Bush’s economic policies from taxes to social security. O’Reilly frequently reports false information such as Iraq having ricin (it didn’t), California’s prison system paying for inmate’s sex changes (it didn’t), and he claimed that France has lost billions in revenue due to his boycott and supported the lie with a non-existent magazine.
In a head to head debate, Krugman made O’Reilly look silly by correcting Bill’s flawed understanding of economics and politics. O’Reilly continues to attack Krugman regularly on the Factor by calling him an “extremist” who goes after anyone who disagrees with him.
Krugman has credibility to spare…O’Reilly can’t by any.
Bush’s Education Policy and Successful Schools Education Policies : Bush’s policy calls for more administrative controls to monitor compliance with No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Successful schools limit administrative controls allowing teachers to adjust to the needs of their students.
Bush’s policy calls for undermining teachers and their unions, which limits the amount of teacher’s pay. Successful school districts lure high quality teachers to their schools with more competitive pay and support.
Bush’s policy relies heavily on standardized testing. Successful school districts limit standardized testing as it harms the educational process. This is because it leads to something referred to as “multiple choice teaching,” which is where teachers, who feel pressured to raise test scores, focus more on the memorization of surface level facts, dates and the usage of basic formulas. On the other hand, successful schools teach higher order thinking skills and strive for deeper student understanding.
Bush’s policy creates school systems that prepare students to work at McDonalds. Successful school policies lead to school systems that prepare students for college and the rest of their lives.
This Week’s Quotes:
Bill O’Reilly on the ACLU: All right, this hour's devoted to the most intense threat to your freedom in the world. It's not Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda is not the most intense threat to your freedom -- it's the American Civil Liberties Union. (The ACLU is an independent watch group that defends the constitution of America and the rights and liberties it grants.)
Bill O’Reilly compares himself to Judge Greer who has faced death threats for his stance on the Schiavo case: Well, that's true. So do I, Mr. Krugman. And the reason I need armed bodyguards is because of you and the far left. I gotta have 'em. Okay? So this isn't a one-way street here. (To date, the FBI has yet to capture anyone plotting to kill Bill O'Reilly.)
More Bill O’Reilly on the ACLU: So look, I'm declarin' war on the ACLU. I think they're a terrorist group. They're terrorizin' me and my family. They're terrorizing me. I think they're terrorists. Can I get some lawyers to help me out here? Can we sue 'em? They're puttin' us all in danger. (Evidently, Bill is opposed to civil liberties.)
Bill O’Rielly on the Schiavo situation: "Unresolved Problem" segment tonight -- the battle over Terri Schiavo's life came down pretty much along secular-religious lines. Roman Catholics and other right-to-life-based religions generally wanted Ms. Schiavo to live. And the ACLU and many of the secular organizations saw no reason to prolong the woman's life. (He’s wrong of course on virtually every issue. Polls do not indicate that the country is divided along secular-religious lines as 68 percent of evangelicals felt that congress should have stayed out. Further, 63 percent of Catholics felt the tube should have been removed while only 26 percent opposed it. But if you’re looking for facts, truth or accuracy from O’Reilly you might want to have a CAT scan yourself.)
What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?