February 7, 2010
By Herman Cain
Most of us know better than to believe everything we see on TV. We also don’t believe everything we hear on talk radio, and we certainly do not believe many of the claims made by many of the blogs on the Internet. But there are some things I have learned from some of the TV news programs that have inspired me to investigate further.
In an age of information on steroids, the TV is often a starting point for many people who want to delve into headlines and sound bites more deeply. So for the president to tell the Democratic senators gathered at a conference to just “turn off the TV” is further evidence that the White House does not want to be challenged, criticized or corrected.
Early on in the Obama administration, they tried to target talk radio, specifically Rush Limbaugh, who has the largest talk radio audience on the planet. Next, it tried to single out the Fox News Channel because they dared to question the potential effectiveness of the $787 billion stimulus bill, and they dared to challenge claims made by the administration about a manufactured measurement called “jobs saved” when the administration was trying to say that the stimulus bill was working.
The administration even barred Fox from White House press briefings and would not schedule members of the administration to appear on Fox for a period of time, until the competing news channels saw this as wrong, and recognized that it could happen to them. They then would not participate unless all major channels could participate.
And now, for the president to tell Democratic senators at a conference to turn off the TV and go listen to their constituency, when they did not want to listen to them last August during the Congressional August recess, is a tipping point of arrogance.
Are the members of Congress who were elected by the people supposed to only listen to the president and his administration for accurate information and analysis?
The answer is no!
What part of the First Amendment to the Constitution about freedom of speech and freedom of the press don’t they understand? Obviously, they choose not to understand any of it.
Had it not been for a TV news report, I would not have heard about the Internal Revenue Service being given expanded powers to become the “health care police”. I looked it up and verified that it was true in the House version of the health care deform legislation.
When the president was trying to sell his health care proposal by claiming that 46 to 50 million people were without health insurance, it was the TV news programs that started to peel back the numbers and report the truth about the makeup of those numbers. Not all of the news programs challenged those numbers, but the president finally started to claim a more conservative number of over 30 million, which is still a misleading number.
There are numerous examples, but most recently, as the House was voting to raise the statutory debt ceiling to $14.3 trillion following the actions already taken by the Senate, the Treasury Department released a statement that the pending new legal debt limit would be used up by the end of February 2010. The original expectation was that it would last until sometime during 2011. I first heard about this on a TV news program and verified that it is true.
The president said in his State of the Union address that maybe he has not explained things well enough regarding some of his proposals. No Mr. President, we do understand your proposals. You just can’t seem to get the message that the majority of Americans do not like them.
And your response is that our Members of Congress and the public should just turn off the TV and stay stupid. I don’t think so.
We will continue to challenge, criticize and correct if necessary. It is our constitutional right.