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Obama in Speech: Media Shouldn't Give Equal Weight to Crazy (And Very Wrong) Positions on the Right

In a speech Thursday night in Chicago, President Obama absolutely nailed it with regard to the media's wildly irresponsible, brain-dead, cowardly, false equivalence/"both sides equally at fault" reporting. Sad to say, many Democrats – including President Obama at times, and even a number of Democratic candidates in Virginia's progressive 8th congressional district – use this damaging, "both sides" framing. But President Obama came out swinging last night:

"...[T]he truth of the matter is that the problem in Congress is very specific.  We have a group of folks in the Republican Party who have taken over who are so ideologically rigid, who are so committed to an economic theory that says if folks at the top do very well then everybody else is somehow going to do well; who deny the science of climate change." 

Obama continued, "The problem is not that the Democrats are overly ideological – because the truth of the matter is, is that the Democrats in Congress have consistently been willing to compromise and reach out to the other side. There are no radical proposals coming out from the left. When we talk about climate change, we talk about how do we incentivize through the market greater investment in clean energy.  When we talk about immigration reform there's no wild-eyed romanticism."

It should be added that Democrats have become far too cozy with corporations and are "centrist" to a fault. Where's the fight for working people in this party? That's not an issue of "left" or "right" per se, it's an issue of fighting for the people not the corporations.

"Health care – we didn't suddenly impose some wild, crazy system. All we said was let's make sure everybody has insurance. And this made the other side go nuts – the simple idea that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, nobody should go bankrupt because somebody in their family gets sick, working within a private system."

It was also mostly conservative idea – including the much-reviled "individual mandate."

"So when you hear a false equivalence that somehow, well, Congress is just broken, it's not true.  What's broken right now is a Republican Party that repeatedly says no to proven, time-tested strategies to grow the economy, create more jobs, ensure fairness, open up opportunity to all people."

The media's continued false equivalency – their "both sides" reporting – as well as the tendency of far too many Democrats to parrot this garbage, is damaging to our country and our political discourse, not to mention the planet with regard to climate change. It's rampant at both state and federal levels. And it needs to be called out every time it's done. That's exactly what President Obama did last night.

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