Thursday, July 12, 2007

Analysis: "fair and balanced"

In today's press conference, President Bush described the Libby commutation as "a fair and balanced decision." (See video).

That prompted me to search how often Bush and other administration officials have used the Fox News slogan.

As it turns out, the phrase is quite popular with the Bush administration for describing their own policy views on legal or judicial matters. It serves as their basic talking point about matters of justice.

For example, a Google search of "fair and balanced" on the White House website gets 49 hits, mostly about tort reform, campaign finance reform, and immigration reform.

Here's President Bush on tort reform:

And the Senate needs to get out for the junk lawsuits that make it hard to do business. It's important that we have a judicial system that's fair and balanced. Class action lawsuits oftentimes are not fair and balanced. After all, the money goes to the lawyers and not to the people who got hurt. We need a system that's fair and balanced, and the Senate needs to act on that.

The DoD's website offers 23 hits. Many concern the military's administration of justice.

For example, Donald Rumsfeld said to Tim Russert about international worries concerning our military tribunals:

We have a reputation for being fair and balanced and measured in what we do.

And the Department of Labor sets overtime-pay standards and reaches workers-compensation settlements that are "fair and balanced."

And so on.

In sum, the Bush Administration applies the standards of Fox News to law and justice: it has made them "fair and balanced."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

English language is not my main language, yet I could understand it while using google translator. Perfect post, you can keep them coming! Thanks!