What liberal press?

It’s good to know that our nation’s journalists are hard at work being unbiased, apolitical, and neutral purveyors of hard facts. Like this story about how Bush is uncaring and insensitive in the face of a “humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportions.”

…Bush’s decision at first to remain cloistered on his Texas ranch for the Christmas holiday rather than speak in person about the tragedy — showed scant appreciation for the magnitude of suffering and for the rescue and rebuilding work…

It's hard to imagine such an opinion piece being passed off as straight news, but there it is. Blatant political slant in virtually every sentence. Every word calculated for maximum negative effect. This is what I would expect from the DNC or the Blue column of Watchblog, not a story purporting to be news. Who knows, maybe the core of this piece did come from a DNC memo.

  • ...vacationing President Bush has been insensitive to a humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportions.
  • ...domestic criticism of Bush continued to rise.
  • ...Bush's decision at first to remain cloistered on his Texas ranch
  • ...showed scant appreciation for the magnitude of suffering
  • After a day of repeated inquiries from reporters about his public absence...
  • Bush's actions and words both communicated a lack of urgency...
  • ...they were surprised that Bush had not appeared personally..."It's kind of freaky," a senior career official said.
  • ...Bush was missing an opportunity to demonstrate American benevolence.
  • In Germany, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder cut short his vacation...

The last two paragraphs are by far the most misleading in repeating a statistic intended to 'prove' that the United States is a stingy country.

Still, the United Nations' Egeland complained on Monday that each of the richest nations gives less than 1 percent of its gross national product for foreign assistance, and many give 0.1 percent. "It is beyond me why we are so stingy, really," he told reporters.

Among the world's two dozen wealthiest countries, the United States often is among the lowest in donors per capita for official development assistance worldwide, even though the totals are larger. According to the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development of 30 wealthy nations, the United States gives the least -- at 0.14 percent of its gross national product, compared with Norway, which gives the most at 0.92 percent.

Never mind that these reporters don't have time to check to see what these numbers are based on. The mindset that accepts this as truth naturally would not want to take into account any giving that is not governmental in nature. Because as we all know government dollars are all that counts, private money is tainted by the stink of commerce.

Mark Twain said that there are lies, damn lies, and then there are statistics. The predominantly liberal press has mastered the art of lying with statistics. Let's examine the claim that the US gave the least out of among two dozen wealthy countries. First of all, according to the source cited, the US gave more, in dollar amounts, than any other country except Japan. Second of all, these figures are only, and I repeat only official government aid.

The total amount of all two dozen wealthy countries, "Net Official Development Assistance Flows In 2000" was $53.1 billion. The Official US Governments portion of that was $9.5 billion. By my calculations that's about 18% of the total.

Total US private donations to international charity is harder to measure because charity is an individual matter, but estimates range from $17.5 billion to $35 billion. Much more, in fact than just our government. Here's another article directly addressing this subject.

Let's see a revised OECD chart adding the total private international donations of their respective countries and then calculate it as a percentage of GDP. That would be a more accurate measure of stinginess.

Some even estimate the total charitable contributions of Americans equals $240 billion per year. Put that in your statistical pipe and smoke it, Mr. Egeland.

Posted by Eric Simonson at December 29, 2004 2:20 PM