Omissions

Omission BIGGIBS are key facts or viewpoints that directly pertain to the subject of a news story that its author left out. If included, the news consumer would be left with a far different impression of what's happening.

Omissions can be hard to spot if you don't know much about the subject of the news story. It's a good rule of thumb to expect that vital information is omitted from most articles about government policy.

Information commonly omitted from news reports includes:

  • Anything that reveals the full cost of a Big Government Program
  • Anything that shows how much taxation or government spending has increased. Usually government programs increase at a far faster rate than their private sector counterparts.
  • Outcomes of a Big Government Program (as opposed to just anecdotes) that would show its overall impact, and in particular, the destruction it causes.
  • Alternative private sector solutions and how extraordinarily well they work compared to their Big Government counterparts.
  • The political agendas of the people quoted in news reports.

Example:

The Boston Globe reports that by repealing a campaign regulation law they call "Clean Elections", which was established by ballot initiative, the Massachusetts legislature violated the will of the people who voted for it. But they refuse to point out the following facts, each of which are Omission BIGGIBS:

  • The Boston Globe advocates for the repeal of ballot initiative laws it doesn't like, e.g., reduction of the income tax. This glaring hypocrisy goes unmentioned.
  • In a separate ballot initiative, the voters of Massachusetts voted for the effective repeal of the "Clean Elections" law in even greater numbers than those who voted for it.
  • The original ballot initiative law that won voter support was described in the state's Voter Information Guide in terms that were factually incorrect. For example, it claimed that the law is "voluntary", when in fact candidates who do not "voluntarily" submit themselves to the regulations are severely punished. Thus it is coercive, not voluntary. Had it been correctly described, voters may well have rejected it. Thus its initial victory did not necessarily indicate approval by a majority of voters.
  • The Voter Information Guide also neglected to clarify that the law would force taxpayers to fund their political opponents.
  • Campaign regulations are unconstitutional and a gross violation of our right to freedom of the press. Almost all news stories about campaign regulations ignore the violation of this vital right guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights.
  • With every state and federal campaign finance law that's passed, voter turn out goes down and incumbency reelection rates go up - now at over 95% in both federal and in many state legislative races. Incumbents have become almost impossible to challenge by another major party candidate, much less a third party or independent. Campaign regulations have made American elections more elitist and less representative of the people - the exact opposite of what their advocates claim they achieve. This horrendous failing of the laws and the pressing need to repeal them is almost never mentioned.
  • Since regulations severely restrict how much campaigns can spend on advertising, major media outlets - which are unrestricted and virtually unregulated in their ability to cover or not cover campaigns - are left with a monopoly over campaign news coverage and commentary. Major media outlets never acknowledge this conflict of interest when they report on (and lobby for) campaign regulations.

Omission BIGGIBS like these are common in all news reporting about campaign regulations - not just regarding this particular law and not just in the Boston Globe. Beware!