'Nation's Newspaper' USA Today Devotes Just Nine Paragraphs to Tea Parties

<p>USA Today, which touts itself as the &quot;The Nation's Newspaper,&quot; devoted just nine paragraphs on <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2009-04-15-tea-parties_N.htm" target="_blank">page 3A of the April 16 paper</a> to the roughly 800 Tea Parties held nationwide yesterday.</p><p>By contrast, on Tax Day morning, readers of April 15 USA Today, some of whom probably reading USA Today over breakfast, were greeted with a front page story that was six times longer and insisted that &quot;<a href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2009-04-14-biggovernment_N.htm" target="_blank">Most Americans OK with Big Government, at least for now</a>.&quot; </p><blockquote><div>WASHINGTON — Most Americans say they're glad Big Government is back to help through hard times. But they aren't sure they want it to stay.</div><!--break--><p>The Obama administration, trying to reverse the economy's meltdown and prevent it from happening again, is redefining the role of the federal government in the economy — spending trillions of dollars, building new regulatory systems for financial institutions and effectively taking over a major part of the automobile industry.</p></blockquote><p>USA Today staffer Susan Page noted the evolution of public sentiment about big government over time, quoting Reagan from his 1981 inaugural address and even conceding that a majority of Americans are concerned about the size and scope of the federal government (emphasis mine):</p><blockquote><p>&quot;In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem,&quot; he said in his 1981 inaugural address, delivered during a time of economic upheaval.</p><p class="inside-copy">That year, Americans by more than 2-to-1 said &quot;Big Government,&quot; not &quot;big business,&quot; was the larger threat. Anti-government sentiment helped sweep Republicans into control of Congress in 1995. In his State of the Union address in 1996, Democrat President Clinton declared, &quot;The era of Big Government is over.&quot;</p> <p class="inside-copy">By the time George W. Bush was elected president in 2000, Big Government was seen as a larger threat than big business by nearly 3-to-1. </p> <p class="inside-copy">Now the tide has turned, at least a bit. Reports of corporate excess and malfeasance have fueled suspicion of corporate America, and eagerness to have government turn around the economy has reduced the number who view it as a threat.</p> <p class="inside-copy"><b>Even so, by 55% to 32% Americans still say they worry more about Big Government</b>, a concern that Republicans have tapped in opposing Obama's programs as too costly and wrongheaded, even dangerous. Rep. Spencer Bachus told a hometown audience in Alabama on Thursday that 17 members of Congress were &quot;socialists&quot; who were pushing Obama to the left. </p></blockquote><p>Page went on to note that many Americans don't favor big government all the time. Many Americans are simply trusting that growing the government can be a short-term fix to jumpstart the economy.</p><p>That's where another Reagan quote may have come in handy:</p><embed src="http://media.entertonement.com/embed/PlayerText.swf" id="1_733d63b2_2ac0_11de_b34f_0015c5f4d562" name="PlayerText" flashvars="auto_play=0&amp;meta_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.entertonement.com%2Fclips%2F21177.query&amp;id=1_733d63b2_2ac0_11de_... style="margin: 10px auto; display: block; text-align: center" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" quality="high" bgcolor="#ffffff" wmode="transparent" allowscriptaccess="sameDomain" allowfullscreen="false" width="304" align="middle" height="30"></embed><a href="http://www.entertonement.com/clips/21177/Ronald-Reagan/A-Time-for-Choosi... src="http://www.entertonement.com/widgets/img/clip/21177/1/1_733d63b2_2ac0_11... alt="Blank" style="margin: 0pt; padding: 0pt; visibility: hidden; width: 0px; height: 0px; float: right" width="0" border="0" height="0" /></a><blockquote><p>No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. So, governments' programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth.</p></blockquote><a href="http://www.entertonement.com/clips/21177/Ronald-Reagan/A-Time-for-Choosi... </a>

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