NYT Hypes GOP's Deficit-Cutting Rhetoric; Ignores Its Deficit-Increasing Priorities

Under the header "Deficits Reshape the Debate as Republicans Jockey for 2012," The New York Times' Jeff Zeleny devotes 1,300 words to the purported “opportunity” Republicans have to “cast President Obama as a weak leader” due to the deficit:

The growing profile of the issue has given Republicans an opportunity to cast President Obama as a weak leader, unwilling or unable to confront the tough issues, and has added fuel to the conservative drive for smaller government.

Those themes were at the heart of appearances over the last week by a number of leading Republicans, all of whom pushed the idea, to varying degrees, that the nation needed to have a serious fiscal debate. And with fiscal issues playing out in high-profile ways in Congress and in statehouses, they will be called on to take more specific positions.

And in those 1,300 words, Zeleny never gets around to mentioning that the most high-profile Republican initiative this year -- the attempt to repeal last year's health care reform legislation -- would actually increase the deficit.

Bizarre, isn't it? The New York Times spends 1,300 words on Republicans accusing President Obama of being a weak leader unwilling to confront tough issues and saying the nation must have “a serious fiscal debate” -- but can't bring itself to mention that the GOP's top priority would increase the deficit. It's reporting like this, not “the growing profile of the issue,” that “has given Republicans an opportunity.”