(Note: “The Power of the Jump”™ is a semi-regular feature of this site, documenting examples of the Los Angeles Times’s use of its back pages to hide information that its editors don’t want you to see.)
Memo to those people in the media who keep trying to tell us that they are just trying to tell us the facts: You guys want to know why we don’t trust you? It’s because of stories like the one I’m about to describe.
A front-page story in our beloved Bible of fact, the Los Angeles Times, reveals the shocking news:
Wow. She supported a “road to nowhere.” Why would a Governor spend $26 million on a “road to the nonexistent bridge”? I can conceive of no rational explanation.
Except for the completely exculpatory and eminently reasonable explanation offered on Page A23 — namely, the road might connect to a much-needed ferry service.
Turn with me — won’t you? — allllll the way back to Page A23. That’s the burial ground for inconvenient facts that must be published out of “fairness” — but that the editors really don’t want you to see.
Read past the allegations of deception. Past the descriptions of the project as a “dead-end road.” Past the descriptions of the letter-writing campaign begging Palin to stop this pointless insanity.
Keeeeeep reading. Make your way down to the 31st paragraph of this 33-paragraph story. There it is!
State officials said alternatives to the $398-million bridge could include improved ferry service or less costly bridges that would link to the Gravina road. “Gov. Palin understood that a more cost-efficient, sensible solution could still be implemented” in place of the original bridge plan, said Maria Comella, a spokeswoman for Palin’s campaign.
I remember the original debate on the bridge to nowhere. The argument was that, because the island has so few residents, the cost of the bridge wasn’t justified. Yes, the residents should have an alternative to the bridge, so that they didn’t have to get on an airplane just to get to the mainland. But it didn’t have to be a bridge; an expanded ferry service would do.
But even a ferry service requires a road, so you can get to it. That’s what this is.
It’s not necessarily a road to nowhere. It’s not necessarily a dead-end road. Palin isn’t necessarily being deceptive. And you can learn all these facts — if you turn to Page A23 and read down to the 31st paragraph.
Of course, if you don’t bother getting your fingers dirty, you’ll be left with the false impression that Palin wasted money on a pointless multi-million dollar project. And that’s precisely what the editors want you to think.
So, media types, keep pushing the line that you’re doing a fair job. Keep telling us you’re not out to do a hatchet job on Sarah Palin.
It’s just another lie you’re telling us.
Why does John McCain have it harder in this election? Simple.
Barack Obama has only to fight John McCain.
John McCain has to fight Barack Obama and a wholly deceptive media that is in Barack Obama’s pocket.
UPDATE: Some of you argue in the comments that Sarah Palin’s defense — that the road may lead to improved ferry service or lower-cost bridges — is clearly bogus, and therefore it’s okay for the paper to bury that defense in paragraph 31 of a 33-paragraph story. I explain why this story is still irresponsible in this post — with the aid of a former L.A. Times reporter who agrees with me.