- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 4, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

I was shocked to find in the Economy/Business section - in effect and substance - an editorialized Obama campaign press release under David M. Dickson’s name (“Household incomes flat during Bush administration,” Business, Aug. 27). Mr. Dickson handpicked statistics to reach conclusions not even mentioned in the U.S. Census Bureau report. He created his own conclusions and attributed them to the Census Bureau to indict the Bush administration, which is the centerpiece Obama strategy of campaigning against President Bush instead of Sen. John McCain.

It is so obvious in its intent to promote Sen. Barack Obama that it reeks of unprofessionalism on the part of its author and your editors. It’s one thing to seek political balance in a newspaper in an Op-Ed section, but quite another when you manipulate and distort what is supposed to be hard, unbiased and uneditorialized news in a business section.

I researched the referenced Census Bureau reports and other statistics. Did Mr. Dickson mention that median income has risen for the past three years, which the actual Census Bureau report mentions? No. Why not? He decided to compare Mr. Bush’s term with President Clinton’s. Why? What is the motivation or relevancy? If you’re going that far back, why not compare it to earlier Democratic or Republican presidencies? For that matter, how does any president directly affect median household income? Mr. Dickson undoubtedly would make a very long and futile attempt to validate that connection. Yet that is what political operatives do to manipulate the public’s opinion.

As for the poverty rate, if Mr. Dickson is going to bring Mr. Clinton into the argument on income, why did he fail to mention that the annual poverty rate under Mr. Clinton peaked at 15.1 percent and that during six years of his term, it was much higher than during Mr. Bush’s? The poverty rate historically has stayed within a certain range regardless of who has been president. I suppose Mr. Obama will succeed where 43 previous presidents have failed - and there are 45 million voters who actually believe this.

As for health-insurance coverage, because 32 percent of all Hispanics do not have health insurance, a figure grossly higher than for any other race or ethnic group, including blacks, how has the influx of illegal immigrants affected those statistics?

As the saying goes, statistics don’t lie; the people interpreting them do. When it’s a reporter doing so, readers suffer from being intentionally misinformed by the reporter.

RICHARD CASTELLI

Falls Church

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