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Monday, May 29, 2017
CNS Stenography -- And Factual Failure -- on Trump Budget
Topic: CNSNews.com

The Trump stenographers at CNSNews.com have been busy promoting President Trump's official budget. CNS' reporters were busy uncritically touting the stuff they liked in a series of articles:

Patrick Goodenough's contribution to the stenography parade, "Administration Proposes Steep Cuts to Account That Funds U.N. Regular Budget," actually did include some criticism, but it was buried in the final two paragraphs of his 30-paragraph article. And another article by Arter, "WH Budget Director to Democrat: ‘What About the Standard of Living for My Grandchildren Who Aren’t Here Yet?’" did provide a give-and-take between White House budget director Mick Mulvaney and Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee, but the point was mostly to present Mulvaney as authoritative and Lee as a complainer.

CNS also rushed out a couple of op-eds praising Trump's budget proposal. A trio of Heritage Foundation employees wrote one with the praiseworthy headline "Trump Budget Proposal Would Jump-Start Economy, Rein in Size and Scope of Gov’t." Another Heritage writer's op-ed proclaimed: "Trump Budget Reduces Government’s Role in Higher Ed, Will Curtail Runaway Tuition Prices."

They were joined by CNS editor in chief Jeffrey himself, praising the proposed elimination of "unwarranted" programs like the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Legal Services Corporation, ranting that "America is headed toward bankruptcy because it has become a welfare state where increasing numbers of people are dependent on government for the basics of their lives."

The Trump sycophancy is so entrenched at CNS that it can't even be bothered to fact-check anyone in the administration. A May 24 blog post by Craig Bannister uncritically repeated Mulvaney's claim that money to public television can be cut because big Bird is a fat cat that does "extraordinarily well" and besides, the corporate tax cuts will help his creator, Henson Associates.

In fact, the rights to Big Bird and other "Sesame Street" characters were sold to Sesame Workshop, the show's producer, in 2001,  and the Henson company is no longer connected with them. While merchandising revenue from the "Sesame Street" characters does generate significant revenue, Slate reported, Sesame Workshop spends much more than that on production and development of TV shows. The New York Times added that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting spends only about one-fourth of its budget on programming; two-thirds of it goes to support public radio and TV stations across the country, representing about a quarter of the funding from public TV and radio stations in rural America.

But Mulvaney got facts wrong in the advancement of a conservative narrative, so it's highly unlikely any correction will be forthcoming from Bannister.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:50 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 29, 2017 11:43 PM EDT

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