News Dumps, Bias, and CLASS

by Stanley Kurtz

As one of the dwindling number of folks who still receive newspapers on dead tree, I noticed a striking difference between the way The New York Times and The Washington Post played the news about the Obama administration’s decision to scrap the CLASS Act. Despite the late Friday afternoon news dump, The Washington Post placed the story at the very top of its front page on Saturday. The New York Times, on the other hand, buried the story on page 10. That’s an awfully big difference in news judgment. In my experience, while both the Times and the Post have a leftward tilt, bias at the Times is much more pronounced. This case certainly fits the bill.

By Sunday, The New York Times seemed to have forgotten that the CLASS Act had been scrapped at all. The Sunday Review section ran an opinion piece by Jane Gross on the need for long-term care insurance. Referring to Obamacare, Gross wrote “a long-term care insurance provision – with an average daily benefit of a mere $50 – is under siege.” This seems to be a reference to the CLASS Act, and appears to have been written before the act was scrapped. (If it was written in full knowledge of the scrapping of the CLASS Act, it is misleading, confusing, or both.) Apparently, the editors at the Times buried Friday’s news dump so well, they themselves forgot the story ever existed.

If you’re looking for up-to-date and illuminating takes on one of the most important stories around, I’d suggest you turn to this editorial from NRO and this one from The Wall Street Journal.