Peter Marcus’s Lap-Dog Journalism

While Peter Marcus of the Denver Daily News smeared the Tea Party last month, he has been nothing but a fawning advocate of new tax-and-spend legislation. Marcus seems to see his job as journalist to amplify Governor Bill Ritter’s views and agenda. His “news” stories are little more than fawning editorials.

Today’s headline offers some indication of the paper’s political leanings: “Guv lists goals reached: Ritter happy lawmakers targeted jobs, education, transportation, more.” Marcus’s “news” story consists entirely of praise for Ritter. Out of the entire population of Colorado or of Denver, apparently, Marcus could not find a single critical voice.

Marcus, for example, praises Ritter’s signing of Senate Bill 67, which “commits $2.5 million in public funds to leverage more than $50 million in private bank loans.”

But wait just a minute. Do private banks refuse to grant loans unless they are subsidized by tax dollars? As a rule, no. They make money by judicially giving out loans; that’s their business. So it’s simply wrong to think that the $50 million depends on the $2.5 million. It is true that today credit is crunched — and that is because the federal government promoted risky loans. The solution is to get government out of the loan businesses.

As we’re “helping” politically-connected businesses with the $2.5 million in tax funds, whom are we hurting? We’re hurting everyone who no longer has access to that $2.5 million. Robbing Peter to pay Paul does not improve the economy. Moreover, forcibly transferring wealth from some people to others is morally wrong and a violation of individual rights.

But Marcus is not about offering a balanced news story. He is about pushing a political agenda in the news pages.

As to whether the legislature’s overall policies in fact serve to benefit the economy, my dad and I will have more to say about that on Monday.