Dick Biggs’ letter on Friday was a well-written warning about America’s addictions to opioids, tobacco and other substances. But he omitted a serious addiction that afflicts its users’ critical thinking and ability to empathize with others. It’s this page’s addiction to the Heritage Foundation.
News releases from the Heritage Foundation seem to ooze onto the page regularly, gobbling up any white space left when Jonah Goldberg, Star Parker or John Stossel run short. This addiction then spreads to readers, filling their brains with twisted logic and right-wing talking points, and clouding their ability to identify where the middle of the road exists (some readers — and local editors — actually believe Kathleen Parker is a liberal, despite her Wikipedia page that calls her “conservative-leaning”).
Worst of all, the Heritage Foundation virus constantly mutates. The Heritage Foundation gave birth to all the basic concepts behind The Affordable Care Act, and they loved it when it their baby was adopted by Gov. Mitt Romney. But as soon as the ACA became known as “Obamacare,” the Heritage Foundation disowned its parentage, cursing its very existence.
Fortunately, there is help. The editors of this page can break the noxious grip of this think-tank by replacing some of its releases with more-independent information. Start with the RAND Corporation, the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Aspen Institute. Once the paper and its readers begin to cure their myopia, this page could offer a healthier diet ideas by including releases from the Brookings Institute, Human Rights Watch, the Center for American Progress and even the Guttmacher Institute.
The next time a package of news releases from the Heritage Foundation arrives, help yourself—and all your readers—and just say no.