June 16, 2011 — By all appearances, Glenn Garvin has had a distinguished career as a journalist. But the current T.V. writer for The Miami Herald tripped badly in his debut as a critic of the Postal Service. Indeed, if “Mark a U.S. Postal Service bailout ‘return to sender'” were a pilot episode on television, it would immediately be cancelled as an embarrassing flop. Perhaps the freedom to offer subjective reactions to television programs without reference to verifiable facts in his day job can explain his complete misunderstanding of the situation facing the Postal Service. But that is no excuse for a supposedly seasoned newspaper reporter.
Garvin may have set some sort of journalistic record for distorting an issue and misleading his readers in a single paragraph. He writes:
“Make that two bailouts. The Postal Service is not only trying to sneak a direct $75 billion payment out of the government without congressional approval, it’s also seeking to be let off the hook for a $5.5 billion payment into a trust fund to guarantee the absurdly generous pension benefits it has promised its retirees. When the Postal Service can’t pay those benefits a few years down the line, who do you think will get the bill? Hint: Look in the mirror.”
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