Larry Elder

Let's play "Jeopardy!"

Answer: This news event triggered the following headlines. "Greenspan Faults Bush in Book; Ex-Fed Chief: Politics Trumped." "Former Fed Chair Greenspan Criticizes Bush in Book." "In New Book, Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan Bashes Bush." "Greenspan Book Criticizes Bush and Republicans -- 'They Deserved to Lose.'" "Greenspan Is Critical of Bush in Memoir; Former Fed Chairman Has Praise for Clinton." "Greenspan Decries Course of Bush and GOP in New Book."

Question: What is the publication of former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's new book?

The headlines provide yet another glaring example of the liberal bias of the traditional press. For the headlines leave the reader wondering. Greenspan criticized Bush about what? His tax cuts? The sluggish federal response to Katrina? The war in Iraq? The alleged constitutional abuses in connection with the war on terror? The Bush position on immigration reform? No Child Left Behind? The prescription benefit bill for seniors? What?

But, in fact, Greenspan criticized Bush -- and congressional Republicans -- for excessive spending. How about a headline like "Ex-Fed Chair Says Bush Spends Too Much," or "Greenspan Says Bush Failed to Rein in Spending," or "Republicans Spend Like Democrats Says Ex-Fed Chair"? Why, you ask, did the newspaper headlines fail to say that?

The actual headlines accomplish two things. The traditional media can gleefully report on another Bush "defection," reinforcing the notion of near-universal unhappiness with Bush and his "failed presidency." But second, and more importantly, it protects Democrats. How? Take the excesses of the Bush administration -- examine the non-defense, non-homeland security, non-automatic pilot "entitlement program" expenses like Medicare and Social Security. Bush's excesses then consist of No Child Left Behind, the prescription benefit bill for seniors, and the pork-riddled highway and energy bills. In each case, Democrats criticized Bush for not spending more.

Democrats criticized No Child Left Behind, but not for its enactment. Instead they call the program "insufficiently funded." They similarly criticize the Bush prescription benefit bill for seniors because of the so-called "donut hole," which included certain seniors. In other words, Bush insufficiently funded the bill. And on the energy and highway bills, both parties larded them up with so-called earmarks. So if you scratch the surface, Greenspan actually says if you think Republicans are bad, wait 'til you get a load of the Democrats.

Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit