The Blog of the Frances Perkins Center

Posts Tagged ‘NPR’

NPR was punked

In Uncategorized on January 11, 2010 at 11:43 am

This morning, Deborah Amos interviewed David Walker, executive director of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, and she gave him free reign to promulgate the message that his boss and colleagues are spending millions with which to blanket the airwaves. I wrote this in response:

Dear Deborah Amos and colleagues,

I’m sorry to tell you that you’ve been journalistically “punked.”

This morning’s interview with the executive director of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation is yet another piece in a multi-million dollar public relations campaign by the Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson and his various mouthpieces to create a fast-track, undemocratic mechanism with an aim to slash social insurance programs — the very programs that are sustaining Americans through a time of economic hardship brought on by Wall Street and its rapacious disregard for Democratic safeguards.

The deficit is a real problem — one of many we face today. However, the path to controlling and reducing the deficit does not lie in diminishing Social Security and Medicare. Social Security is not in any way a contributor to the deficit; it is projected to be solvent for at least another 33 years or so, and small, careful adjustments can be made to make sure that it continues to be solvent in perpetuity. The issue with Medicare is the cost of health care; the way to solve its financial woes is to bring the cost of health care down, as the bill in Congress’s conference committee is the first step in achieving.

The bias of Peter G. Peterson, his foundations, and his other public relations organs such as the Fiscal Times is well known. Last week, the New York Times covered a recent example in which the Washington Post relied on Peterson’s Fiscal Times to cover this same subject. Peterson and his cohorts want us to believe that the public is unanimous in feeling that the only way to cut the deficit is to cut social insurance programs but this is far from true. In fact, it is a highly orchestrated and well-funded disinformation campaign.

For the other side (a side which has the public’s best interests at heart), please consider interviewing experts such as Nancy Altman, author of the Battle for Social Security, and elected officials who oppose the fast-track commission idea such as Senator Baucus and Speaker Pelosi.

And I’d like to invite you (and/or colleagues) to cover a symposium that the Frances Perkins Center is presenting this Thursday in New York City: “Frances Perkins and Social Security — A Celebration in Film, Food, Art, and Discussion” (

Thanks for your attention to this matter.

Yours truly,

Barbara Burt

Interview with author of The Woman Behind the New Deal

In Biography on March 31, 2009 at 7:27 am

NPR logoClick here to listen to Jacki Lyden’s interview of Kirstin Downey from All Things Considered on March 28th.