You may have caught National Review reporter Byron York on the Daily Show last night promoting his new book, The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy. A portion of York’s book relating to The Progress Report — the daily electronic newsletter of the American Progress Action Fund — was reprinted in The Hill last week. In it, York argues that American Progress is nothing more than a “talking points factory.” Part of his “proof” for this contention is a series of “headlines” from the Progress Report. A response written by Christy Harvey and myself appeared in the Hill today:
York’s ‘headlines’ weren’t headlines
From Judd Legum and Christy Harvey, editors, The Progress Report:
We write in response to the excerpt from Byron York’s book about the work of the Center for American Progress that appeared in the Thursday, April 7, issue of The Hill.
None of the “headlines” of “The Progress Report,” the daily electronic newsletter of the American Progress Action Fund, cited in the column by Byron York were actually headlines. Instead, York selected snippets of text drawn from the entire report. Here are the actual headlines:
- Oct. 5: “Paige Papers Over Problems”
- Oct.13: “The Stem-Cell Debate”
- Oct.18: “Troops Talk Back”
- Oct.26: “IRAQ, The $225 Billion Mess”
- Oct.28: “Defeating the Jihadists: A Blueprint for Action”
What the real headlines reveal is that “The Progress Report,” like the organization itself, presents a combination of positive policy prescriptions and criticism.
The American Progress Action Fund welcomes scrutiny of our work from York and others. (We urge everyone to go to progressreport.org and make their own conclusions.) But while York is entitled to his own opinions, he is not entitled to his own facts.