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CNN Plugs Study Showing Partisan Divide Causes Confusion about Economy

     After featuring a new poll showing Americans perception of the economy depends on ones political views, CNNs January 28 In the Money followed with liberal author and think tank analyst Tamara Draut criticizing the state of the economy with no attempt at identifying her left-wing bent.

     Draut was plugging her new book, Strapped, which blamed society for the phenomenon of debt-ridden 20- and 30-somethings living at home with parents. The book Web site pointed the finger at a generation of leaders more interested in serving wealthy interests than in investing in the nation's future. Certainly Draut didnt blame young people and rationalized their spending on iPods and other tech items because electronics are really cheap.

     At the top of the program CNNs Jack Cafferty had interviewed Andrew Kohut of the liberal Pew Research Center on his groups latest survey showing a partisan divide in how Americans perceive the economy.

     Cafferty was hardly shocked at the findings. As widely divided as this country is on almost every other issue is it really any great surprise that Democrats and Republicans have a totally different view of the economy as well, Cafferty asked Kohut.

     Later in the program, co-host Jennifer Westoven omitted any mention of Demoss ideological leanings in her introduction of Draut, referring to the organization only as a national think tank.

     An overview of her groups Web site gave away its leftward tilt and Draut did her part urging more government involvement in child care and added financial aid. She also claimed, falsely, that We've disinvested in higher education. According to John Berthoud, president of the National Taxpayers Union and aBusiness & Media Institute advisor, thats incorrect. In fact, from 2001 through 2005, spending at the Department of Education will have grown at almost twice the rate of military spending, he wrote on May 10, 2005.

     On January 30, Demos and the liberal Center for American Progress are co-hosting a forum on Americas growing economic divide while the following day New York Times columnist Paul Krugman joins among others Miles Rapoport of Demos and Laura Flanders of Air America in New York City for a forum on the same topic.

     The Business & Media Institute has previously documented how the media downplay or ignore the ideological leanings of liberal think tanks featured in news stories.