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Saturday, April 09, 2011

Ballzance at the Washington Post

Dan Ballz* feels the need to spread the blame for Congressional disfunction so he wrote
President Obama and the Democrats have themselves to blame for being in this predicament. Had they done their jobs last year, when Democrats had ample majorities in the House and Senate, the government would have been funded for the current fiscal year before Republicans assumed control of the House.

His claim that Democrats had ample majorities is false. Given the Republican obstructionism, an ample majority in the Senate is 60 or more. 59 is not an ample majority. The Democrats could not have passed a budget without at least one Republican vote for cloture. There was no way to obtain that vote (short of maybe kidnapping a close relative of a Republican Senator -- I should have typed no legal way of obtaining that vote).

Balz knows this perfectly well. However, he must be Ballanced, so he chose to lie.

I think the interesting point is that everyone who follows the news knows that Balz's claim is false and knows that he must know it. Yet his credibility will not be reduced. It is just agreed when a journalist makes a false claim in order to achieve Ballance then "his remark was not intended to be a factual statement". The fact that Balz knows perfectly well that there was no way that the Democrats could pass a budget last year obviously has (and according to Washington Post journalistic standards should and must have) no effect on his willingness to assert that could and should have passed a budget.

Acting as if the claim was "intended to be a factual statement", is like thinking that, whenever people say goodbye, they mean it as the imperative "God be with you," and therefore must believe that He is at their beck and call.

* I add a second l not in a reference to uh courage or uh leadership ability, but in reference, as usual, to Jack Ballance who was added to a corruption scorecard in a violation of the stated scoring procedure in order to add "balance." I can't let this go, because, while I noticed the positive proof that the Washington Post is willing to contradict itself rather than let the liberal bias of the facts determine its coverage, Josh Marshall blogged it before I did. Worse, Chris Cilizza noted that Ballance - balance pun, when he reported that his article had been butchered by an editor, who he didn't name and who clearly was not fired as a result.

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