By Arthur Alpert
I had no idea Paul Krugman read the Albuquerque Journal, did you?
Hard to believe, I know, but his Oct. 23 NY Times column contains big hints that he follows our local daily closely.
It’s headlined, “Plutocrats Against Democracy”.
Krugman argues first that plutocrats (that is, persons whose power derives from their wealth) fear democracy. He says that’s why they invest in propaganda, telling voters, “often and loudly, that taxing the rich and helping the poor will cause economic disaster, while cutting taxes on ‘job creators’ will create prosperity for all” by way of “a lavishly funded industry of think tanks and media organizations dedicated to promoting and preserving that faith.”
See what I mean? The Nobel-winning economist has offered a neat description of the Journal’s narrative. He’s also noticed our daily’s reliance on “lavishly funded industry of think tanks” for its Op Ed pages. I wish he’d mentioned the Journal’s unwillingness to identify the money behind those essays, but c’est la vie.
Krugman also points to the plutocrats’ efforts to make “sure government programs fail, or never come into existence, so that voters never learn that things could be different.”
He must have had the Journal’s eternal war on Obamacare in mind, don’t you think?
“But these strategies for protecting plutocrats from the mob are indirect and imperfect,” Krugman wrote. And the obvious answer, he concluded, is “Don’t let the bottom half, or maybe even the bottom 90 percent, vote.”
“And now you understand,” he continues, “why there’s so much furor on the right over the alleged but actually almost nonexistent problem of voter fraud, and so much support for voter ID laws that make it hard for the poor and even the working class to cast ballots.”
OK, at this point, I must cease being a wise guy. Paul Krugman almost certainly doesn’t read the Albuquerque Journal. He’s writing about the plutocrats, not the Journal. I pretended otherwise to highlight the strong resemblance – maybe they’re twins – between plutocrats and the paper.
For the Journal is not a newspaper defined by the search for stories (and let the chips fall where they may) but rather a politics-driven advocate for the very rich.
Now I just said a mouthful. It’s a big, broad indictment. To back it up, I should be able to demonstrate not just how it spins the news it prints (as we do habitually at ABQJournalWatch.com) but also that it refuses to cover stories or carry opinion that contradicts its political line.
Well, guess what? I can. Without breaking a sweat. Censorship is the case. Exactly. Egregiously. And in spades.
The Albuquerque Journal averts its eyes from huge swaths of the local, national and global scenes – pretty much everything the plutocracy would have us ignorant of.
Which is why I have a little list of such stories, about a dozen, assuming I can read the notes I’ve been scribbling for the past week or 10 days. Let’s look at a few today.