Monday, August 26, 2002

More Woody!

The second James "Woody" Brosnan piece is ostensibly a comparison of the trade positions of Senate candidates Lamar Alexander and Bob Clement. But Woody uses that as a jumping off point for a pro-free trade, pro-NAFTA/GATT, pro-Cuban trade article.

Woody cites four sources, on top of quoting the candidates, in his article: two government agencies, the Economic Policy Institute and Public Citizen, the last two liberal advocacy groups. Woody does label them properly, but doesn't bother to find opposing sources for information.

He also uses another reporter's trick: having one candidate's position echoed by a large group and the other's set off in lonely quotes, making him look out of step. Read:
Clement supported easing the embargo on trade with Cuba, a
position backed by American farming interests. Alexander said the
embargo should end when Fidel Castro "stops trampling the
freedoms of the people."

He also makes the common errors of calling both NAFTA and GATT "free trade" agreements. NAFTA is a "freer trade" agreement that still excludes some islands and countries in the Norther Hemisphere. It was also bitterly opposed by many unions and other groups for exactly what happened--factories closed in America in record numbers as replacements were opened in Mexico! Now, Mexican truckers are seeking access to driving on American highways. For reasons that are too long to go into here tonight, that's a bad idea.

GATT is nothing like free trade. It's a new, international regulatory agency whose rules, regulations and specifications run into thousands of pages. It can mandate that nations change their laws to suit the trade needs of other nations! It is trade micromanagemet, trade socialism almost.

But Woody likes it all just fine.

Until next time,
Your Working Boy

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