Media hysterics are an enemy of responsible budgets

Back in February journalism teacher Richard Benedetto wrote a piece for the Washington Times titled:

Journalists’ sob stories block reform

Press has become a predictable enemy of responsible budgets

Here is how he opened the article:

“Now that budget battles have begun in earnest all around the country, those advocating spending cuts, Democratic and Republican, had better not expect any help in furthering their cause from the mainstream news media. In fact, the news media might be their most formidable foe.

How so? Well, now that we know the targets of the cuts, the news media, suckers for a sob story, are already throbbing with carefully orchestrated, heart-rending tales about what devastation those cuts will cause:

Children who won’t be fed; students unable to afford college; classrooms bursting at the seams; cancers that will not be treated; trains that won’t run; roads that won’t be built; families becoming homeless or freezing in their unheated homes; single mothers who will lose child care and job training; food that will not be inspected; water and air that will be more polluted; farmers who will be forced from their land; playgrounds, parks, museums, libraries and health clinics that will be closed.

You know the drill.”

This drill has been working for decades – fueled by Democrats and the liberal members of the media. By now you would think Republicans and conservatives would have a clue as to how to overcome this obstacle to good sense.

Maybe in the 1980s you can understand how the Republicans would fail to cut government. After all, the only good communicator they had was the Great Communicator in the White House. A president can’t do it all by himself, though Ronald Reagan did more than most.

Back then conservatives didn’t have what they have today: talk radio, the Internet, an alternate cable news channel, and the return to popularity of town hall meetings. No longer are they dependent upon Peter Jennings, Dan Rather, and Tom Brokow to do a mathematically accurate report.

Today there are countless online news outlets – and even better there are also countless email lists where better information can flow to ever more people via tea party type networks.

Paul Ryan introduces a Republican budget tomorrow in Washington. It’s not perfect, but as Dan Mitchell writes here – it’s a big step in the right direction.

Jeffrey Anderson writes in the Weekly Standard that “Boldness on Entitlement Reform Will Benefit Republicans“:

“As Republicans contemplate what sort of budget they should propose (real budget solutions, not continuing resolutions), it’s important to realize that they are in a somewhat enviable position: What is clearly best for the country is also likely best for them politically…

In short, Republicans should force President Obama to make the case against needed entitlement reforms that the CBO scores as – finally! –  making a real dent in our federal deficits and debt, rather than letting him make the case against entitlement reforms that the CBO scores as not doing much good at all over ten years. If Republicans are to go down the road of entitlement reform - as they must – they must go boldly.”

Will they? Pete Spiliakos writes here that “Paul Ryan’s budget committee will propose huge Medicare and Medicaid reforms. The Democratic response is gonna be epic.” You can say that again.

And so will the media’s response. But we’ve seen that for many years and so we expect it. The big question is – how well will the Republicans work to overcome it and win anyway?