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Articles about the work of Michael D. Shear

Tax Changes
smartertimes.com

"To Pay For Infrastructure Repairs, Obama Seeks Tax Changes" is the headline over a Times news article. The euphemistic language of the headline echoes that of the article itself, which reports:

The president's proposal, which he first suggested in a speech last summer in Chattanooga, Tenn., would eliminate business and corporate tax loopholes to finance a four-year, $302 billion transportation bill. White House officials declined to be specific, but said they would try to eliminate incentives for companies to ship jobs overseas....

White House officials said Mr. Obama's plan would use savings from business tax changes for a one-time, $150 billion infusion of cash into the trust fund to make it solvent.

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Aggressive Republicans
smartertimes.com

A front-page article in today's Times appears under the headline, "G.O.P. Divided On Proper Role For U.S. Abroad."

"Republicans divided" is one of the Times' favorite themes, and, though I haven't made a formal study of it, it seems a story that gets written up more often than the story of the no-less-divided Democrats. But the main point here isn't so much the disparate treatment of Democrats and Republicans, but the language that the Times uses to describe the divide.

The article begins, "For more than three decades, the Republican Party brand has been deeply tied to a worldview in which the aggressive use of American power abroad is both a policy imperative and a political advantage."

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George W. Bush's Golf Outings
smartertimes.com

Toward the end of a Times news article by Michael D. Shear about whether President Obama and his family should keep golfing and going on vacations amid the sequester comes this: "And like Mr. Obama, the second President Bush was criticized for his frequent golf outings, which sometimes made him seem disconnected from the grim task of leading a nation in war."

This is misleading to the point of inaccuracy. George W. Bush stopped golfing as president in August 2003, as the Washington Post reported. The sentence in the Times, with its reference to "frequent golf outings" by a wartime President Bush, omits that highly relevant piece of information.

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Michael D. Shear

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