Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Very Strange – Washington Post Explodes with Two, Count Em, Two Pieces of Real Journalism

Maybe It’s Just a Relapse Into a Past Condition

This Forum has been highly critical of the Washington Post.  This once great newspaper is trying to stay economically viable by courting the ultra right wing, and so it has dropped much of the journalism that made it the standard of integrity and investigation and added a bunch of shrill right wing shills.  But the Post has a deep DNA of investigative reporting and every now and then that heritage asserts itself.

Such is the case recently with two actually pieces of real reporting.  The first was an in-depth look at medical care, or lack there of in the NFL.   The story was well written, factual and even handed.  It led readers to the conclusions that doctors routinely ignore the medical well being of NFL players in order to get them out on the field.

A second story illustrated the horror of the Great Recession in the United States by showcasing the desperate lives of people in Rhode Island.  These are people who are kept from severe hunger only by the presence of the SNAP program, what used to be called food stamps.  The story is too discouraging, too disheartening, too bleak to be quoted at length.  But here is the gist of it.

Three years into an economic recovery, this is the lasting scar of collapse: a federal program that began as a last resort for a few million hungry people has grown into an economic lifeline for entire towns. Spending on SNAP has doubled in the past four years and tripled in the past decade, surpassing $78 billion last year. A record 47 million Americans receive the benefit — including 13,752 in Woonsocket, one-third of the town’s population, where the first of each month now reveals twin shortcomings of the U.S. economy:

So many people are forced to rely on government support.

The government is forced to support so many people.

To Conservatives this is Barack Obama’s fault, he being the “Food Stamp President”.  But no one, not even the most radical of the right wing can deny that the Great Recession is something that George Bush and the Republican Administration created, that Mr. Obama came to office AFTER the economic collapse.

The Conservative solution is to cut these benefits, that this will somehow spur the recipients to get jobs and reduce their reliance on government programs.  But the Conservatives who advocate this live warm comfortable lives of plenty, and have no idea of the suffering of those who do not.  They cannot conceive of people being out of work because there are no jobs.  History will judge these Conservatives harshly.

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