I'm losing my faith in The Media. No sooner do we discover that we, here, have a composite in our midst than that the New York Daily News has a credibility problem in its midst. The News' problem was created by columnist Michael Daly who went to Ireland and wrote a rather harsh column about British soldiers wounding a 15-year-old boy. Much of the column was based on the comments of a soldier named Christopher Spell, and when the British pointed out that there was no such soldier, Daly said he had given a real soldier a made-up name but could not prove it and resigned.
As far as I'm concerned, that just goes to show once and for all that you can't believe what you read in The Media. All they ever want to do is report bad news and make up stories just to sell newspapers. If you think I'm kidding, just look at some of the stories The Media has been writing about the Reagan administration. They are unbelievable.
All you have to do is look at President Reagan's inauguaral speech to realize that what The Media says is going on can't be for real. Reagan is nothing if not a man of his word and he told us what he was going to do about the budget and inflation that day. "All of us together -- in and out of government -- must bear the burden," he said. "The solutions we seek must be equitable with no one group singled out to pay a higher price."
He made common cause with the people, "this breed called American," and said, "your dreams, your hopes, your goals are going to be the dreams, hopes and goals of this administration." He promised his administration would "reflect the compassion that is so much a part of your makeup. How can we love our country and not love our countrymen? And loving them reach out a hand when they fall, heal them when they are sick and provide opportunity to make them self-sufficient so they will be equal in fact and not just in theory."
What he said is the truth and we all know it. We heard it on TV.
The next thing you know, we pick up the newspapers and find that people are going to have a tough time being equal even in theory. According to The Media, President Reagan created a budget director named David A. Stockman who proposed a 25 percent cut in food stamp benefits to about 22 million Americans. That was allowed by a proposal to cut $3.7 billion out of the federal feeding programs -- which provide school lunches and summer feeding programs for poor youngsters and provide such supplemental nutrients as milk to infants and pregnant women. Then came the proposal to throw 400,00 families off the welfare rolls and cut the benefits for another 258,000, all of whom are below the poverty line.
This guy Stockman, according to The Media, was a hit man for Reagan, going after job training and education programs that could have gotten the poor off welfare, services for the handicapped and clinics for the poor. He went after Conrail and rapid transit, Legal Services and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Stockman said that much of the CPSC's work has been accomplished. I didn't believe a work of that story. Who on earth would monitor the safety of all the swell products that we are going to be able to buy during the new era of Reagan productivity?
Some of the stuff the media says the Reagan administration is doing is simply unbelievable. According to the papers, Stockman wants to put homeless kids back at the mercy of the states who ran such lousy foster care systems that Congress intervened a year ago to get the kids adopted. Then Stockman decides that he hasn't cut government spending enough, so he goes after Social Security and the next thing you know people who have been figuring they could retire at 62 on $372.80 a month are looking at $246.80 a month income instead. Maybe Stockman figures they can make up the difference off their savings, but somebody ought to tell him nobody's been able to save any money for years.
If you pay any attention to what The Media tells you, you can only come to the conclusion that something is seriously wrong with the Reagan administration. According to The Media, the corporations and the rich are going to continue having $260 billion in tax shelters while the poor and the elderly are going to get their incomes cut. some of us are bearing the burden a lot more than the rest of us. You might even say Reagan is robbing the poor to cushion the rich. That's the kind of politics that created Robin Hood. But Reagan's not that kind of man. He said he wanted to be fair and he wanted to be compassionate. He said our dreams were his dreams. You heard it on TV.
That's why I'm losing my faith in The Media. If you believe what you read, you're going to be awfully worried. You're going to be forced to the conclusion that Reagan's dream is turning into a nightmare. That can't happen here. Reagan's not that kind of guy. It's just a media fabrication.
That guy Stockman is really just a composite.