Arkansas Media Watch – let’s hold the media accountable

We are poorly served by our media. Too often, we get misinformation and extreme partisanship instead of responsibility and journalistic integrity. I am starting this blog after another frustrating experience with our beloved  monopoly paper, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. The Gazette’s opinion page is dominated by political extremists who publish irresponsible propaganda pieces while refusing to be held accountable. After pointing out a massive factual inaccuracy in an editorial and taking the time to look up verifiable documentation, I asked the editors whether they would publish a correction. The editors never responded to that and also refused to provide appropriate space for a critical letter. Opinion writers exert a lot of power but there is no accountability whatsoever. The rest of us thus have no choice but to fight back in our own little blogs.

I encourage everybody to share their own experiences with Arkansas media.


3 thoughts on “Arkansas Media Watch – let’s hold the media accountable


    By The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

    Thursday, June 30, 2011

    LITTLE ROCK — Irresponsibility nothing new

    The Democrat-Gazette recently printed charts depicting the United States annual budget deficit, the total national debt, and the federal debt as a percentage of gross domestic product. Unfortunately, you did not use the same time period for all of the charts, thus skewing presentation of the facts. The period covering debt as a percent of GDP shown is from 1940 to present. The other two charts covered from 2002 to present. On first glance, what difference does it make? The main one is that the reader may forget that immediately prior to the 2002 deficit there were three fiscal years in which a surplus was collected that was applied to paying off some of the previously incurred national debt. The other is that by showing deficit without context, the charts indicate that irresponsible behavior has just now been invented. By going back to the 1940 baseline for total national debt, it would show that huge increases took place during the time of Ronald Reagan and George H. W.Bush. When the economy suffered the largest decline during 2008-2009 since the Great Depression in the 1930’s, tax revenues fell but expenditures for the safety net increased, thus accounting for much of the increase in the annual deficits that have lately occured.

    There is a question that should be answered by our Republican friends: If cutting the annual deficit and reducing the national debt is so important today, why was it not as important in 2001? I am looking forward to hearing some Republican answer that question.

    DALE GOSSIEN Little Rock

  2. Pingback: Arkansas Democrat Gazette editors make fun of Ronald Reagan « Arkansas Media Watch

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