AP Notes ‘Buffett Rule’ Would Raise Just $5 Billion Per Year

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on April 18, 2012

Jump to...

Print

Directions

-Read the excerpt below from Tom Blumer's post at newsbusters.org.
-Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the questions.

From a post by Tom Blumer at Newsbusters (original post date 4/15/12):
President Obama has been using his weekly radio and Internet address to urge Americans to ask their member of Congress to support the “Buffett Rule,” which is named after billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who says he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.

The “Buffet” plan would require that people earning at least $1 million annually, whether in salary or from investments, pay at least 30 percent of their incomes in taxes.

Senate Democrats later this year may hold votes tied to President Barack Obama’s “Buffett rule,” using his idea of a minimum 30 percent tax on the wealthiest to raise money for proposal to create jobs and keep student loan rates from rising.

Yet the measure would raise just $47 billion over a decade, a smidgen of the $7 trillion in federal deficits expected during that time.

Only one of five Associated Press [AP] articles on ‘Buffett Rule’ mentions that it would only raise $5 billion per year.

In the five relevant articles found in a search on the Omaha billionaire’s last name at the [AP] wire service’s national site [on April 15] at 10:30 a.m. ET, only one (the latest) mentions that it might raise $47 billion over 10 years, i.e., the paltry $5 billion per year cited at media outlets ranging from CNNMoney.com to Rush Limbaugh that the rule might raise. Beyond that, if the rule is coupled with permanent Alternative Minimum Tax repeal, as is being proposed by Congressional Democrats, the federal treasury will be out hundreds of billions of dollars. None of the AP reports mentions that.

Questions

1.  What type of bias does the Associated Press display, as explained in the excerpt below?

2.  a) What do you think the AP’s motive is for failing to point out how ineffective implementing President Obama’s “Buffet Rule” would be?
b)  Ask a parent the same question.


Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.
























Answer(s)

1.  The AP displays bias by omission and spin.  Their news reports leave out an important part of the story, because it makes President Obama look bad, or it points out to readers that the “Buffet Plan” would not be an effective way for the government to raise the money it needs to pay for new programs.

2.  a) Opinion question. Answers vary.
b)  Answers vary.