The Left Must Be 'Loven' AP's Biased Coverage of SCHIP

Associated Press reporter Jennifer Loven practically blew kisses to the Left with her biased coverage of President Bush's veto of the Democratic proposal to boost SCHIP by a whopping $35 billion over five years.:

WASHINGTON -- President Bush, in a sharp confrontation with Congress, on Wednesday vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have dramatically expanded children's health insurance.It was only the fourth veto of Bush's presidency, and one that some Republicans feared could carry steep risks for their party in next year's elections. The Senate approved the bill with enough votes to override the veto, but the margin in the House fell short of the required number.

Ah yes, the old paint-the-conservatives-as-the-bad-guy trick. Bush's veto is [cue ominous music] a "sharp confrontation" that prevents kids from getting health care and is sure to doom the GOP to wander the electoral desert. Those are all nice partisan talking points, but you'll notice no quote marks. It's all Loven's spin.And what about the fact that President Bush would be fine with a $5 billion increase over five years -- simple math tells us that's a healthy $1 billion-a-year on average. Indeed, given current spending levels, a $5 billion increase would amount to a 20 percent hike in spending, hardly a draconian cut in taxpayer spending.Yet Loven shoved President Bush's rationale for the veto deep in her article -- paragraph 13 out of 22 -- and even then deployed language making the President's alternative sound miserly:

The president argued that the Democratic bill was too costly, took the program too far beyond its original intent of helping the poor, and would entice people now covered in the private sector to switch to government coverage. He has proposed only a $5 billion increase in funding. After Bush's speech, White House counselor Ed Gillespie said the president's offer of more money meant more than the $5 billion extra, but he wasn't specific about how much more.

Aside from President Bush, Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) were quoted in favor of a revised SCHIP authorization more likely to earn the president's signature. Yet Blunt's quote was a two-word note about him being "absolutely confident" of upholding the veto in the House and Lott's talking point about keeping SCHIP limited and available only to working class Americans -- not the middle class who can afford private health care -- was relegated to paragraph 18. By contrast, Democrats blasting Bush were given prime real estate towards the top of Loven's article.For a list of NewsBusters articles about SCHIP bias, click here.See also the Business & Media Institute's "Balance Sheet" article about SCHIP bias here (post includes video link).

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters