A recent Fox News story about ‘limousine liberals’ seems to suggest that Obama and his friends are riding around in limousines bought by the government at taxpayers’ expense. It’s certainly a story that could get people hot and bothered, but there are a few problems with it:
- First, most of the limos were ordered by the Bush administration, during those painful last few months when Republicans were supposed to be dealing with the huge financial crisis they’d helped to create.
- Second, most of the limos aren’t limos. The purchases relate to a range of vehicles used by the government.
- And third, the vehicles are used by a wide range of diplomats and officials. So perhaps it ain’t just liberals riding around in them after all.
What can we deduce from the story? Well first that the basic Fox headline is technically correct but that once you read the story it becomes clear that there are, to say the least, shades of grey. That’s how headlines work for some parts of the media. And of course some people read the headlines and don’t really read the story.
But if the ‘limousine liberals’ turn out to be ‘vehicle-riding politicians and diplomats’, perhaps the headline should be re-thought. I mean, we wouldn’t want anyone to have any ammunition for suggesting that certain news outlets aren’t completely fair and balanced…