Thursday, November 17, 2005

Don't Believe the Headlines!

Washington Post: "Funding for Alaskan Bridges Eliminated." New York Times: "Two 'Bridges to Nowhere' Tumble Down in Congress."

Reading those, you might be thinking (as I did) wow, we won a round, Ted Stevens gave up the ghost and relented on the stupid bridge projects. But no. The headlines turn out to be nothing more than a bit load of hooey.

Yesterday, House and Senate negotiators hashing out the chambers' differences on the Transportation Department spending bill decided to eliminate specific provisions funding the two "bridges to nowhere," as they have become known. But that doesn't mean the money for those bridges gets saved ... or even that it gets re-routed to hurricane-ravaged areas in the Gulf. Oh no. Alaska still gets the $454 million, it's now just not specifically earmarked for the bridges, so the state can use it for whatever it wants (i.e. well, the bridges).

This is unacceptable. No one who has been concerned with the current drunken-sailor pork-addicted spending binge should be placated by this shell game maneuver designed to attract favorable headlines (which worked like a charm today, may I add). While both the Post and Times articles do note that the money's still going to Alaska, their headlines and lead paragraphs convey the exact opposite (and wrong) impression.

*To be fair, the AP's headline and lead are more on the mark: "Alaskan Bridge Projects That Drew Ridicule May Be on Ice, But State Will Still Get the Cash."


At 10:13 AM, Blogger Carol Gee said...

Thanks for the subtlety of this post. The details are always in the fine print, huh? I also posted, in a related vein, about this stuff this morning (linked in my name).

At 7:29 AM, Blogger scott said...

As a former "drunken sailor" I can honestly say I'd never spend $400M on a bridge and I take umbrage with the insinuation that I would.

A couple of million San Miguels maybe...

At 10:55 AM, Blogger J. James Mooney said...

This whole campaign against the bridge is sick. The only reason the bridge is being targeted and not all the other pork is because the bridge got the press.


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