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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Preschool Headlines Don't Tell the Story

Now here's an example of the "mainstream" media hearing what they want to hear.

Yesterday I attended the legislative crackerbarrel in Rapid City where the controversial pre-kindergarten bill SB 26 was discussed.

As I reported from that meeting, only two lawmakers who spoke could be said to have "supported" the pre-k bill.

Democrat Tom Katus gave a hard-to-follow endorsement of the bill, centering around the admission that he did in fact vote for it, was offended at the implication that he was a "communist," and that "nutrition is important to kids" (I'm assuming the pre-k bill is intended to feed children???).

Republican Mike Buckingham gave tepid support of the bill. He said he supported the concept of preschool, having sent his own children to preschool However, he said he would not support the bill unless standards for it were defined first.

Buckingham said essentially the same thing at the previous crackerbarrel a couple of weeks ago, and at that time added that he didn't believe this service should be "moved into government."

Meanwhile, on the other side, five other legislators stood up at the crackerbarrel and state their opposition to it.

These include Rep. Gordon Howie, who assured the woman asked the emotional question about pre-k that there are many legislators who oppose it; Senator Jim Lintz who pointed out the $25-$90 million price tag for it when the budget is already tight; Rep. Jeff Haverly who said it is “flat wrong for the state to get involved in people’s private business yet again” and flatly said he'd oppose the bill and even speak against it on the floor of the House; Senator Bill Napoli who also pointed out that budget constraints left this proposal making no sense, and criticized it for not taking impact on families into consideration; and finally Senator Dennis Schmidt who spoke in support of families and also criticized the fiscal challenges of the bill.

So would it be fair to say there was a lot of support for the pre-k bill at the Rapid City crackerbarrel yesterday? Well, see what the Rapid City Journal had to say today:

This is a snapshot of the headline at the Rapid City Journal online today:




And here is a snapshot of how the headline read in the print edition of the Rapid City Journal today:



Well, I suppose technically you can say it "got support" and that, yes, area lawmakers did support the bill...even if it was only two speaking in favor (one with lukewarm, provisional support) and five speaking strongly against it.

But do such headlines really tell the story? Especially when the average person is so likely to form an opinion from the headlines, which ideally should encapsulate the main idea or point of a story?

And the media wonders why people don't trust journalists and believe there is a huge amount of bias in the news? Actually, they don't wonder; they just assume the natural order runs according to their liberal leanings, and that the rest of us are too stupid to know better.

The average citizen MUST become more informed and more involved, and this example is simply one more proof of it. If we rely on the "mainstream" media to provide our information to us, we can rely on getting liberal-slanted propaganda.


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