I'm sure you've heard about the hundreds of economists that are either for or against President Obama's stimulus plan. My question to the media is: Where are they? Thankfully, Paul Krugman goes on This Week and usually destroys the panel when they regurgitate disingenuous economic talking points that they probably don't understand.
But that's not enough. One man can't do it. FOX seems to depend on Dick Morris as their economic consultant, so we know where they stand on this issue, but enough already.
Why do I have to see Republican and Democratic consultants (whatever that means) debate the same points over and over again on every show throughout the day? Why doesn't CNN, MSNBC, FOX, ABC, CBS, CNBC and NBC reach out and invite panels of economists on to discuss this important issue? Where are they hiding?
The networks like to have the same tired debate format with the same hired analysts debating with "sound and fury" that usually "signifies nothing" to most of America. Last week the media chose to have Republicans like John Boehner, who helped create the situation we're in, dominate the airwaves, which does nothing but muddy up the discussion on our rapidly failing economy. And which leads Villagers like Chuck Todd to proclaim that Republicans have won the spin wars. It's a "spending bill" now.
Chuck Todd just said that the Republicans have won the spin war on the recovery bill and says that Claire McCaskill even admitted it when she said the Democrats had larded the bill up with spending. He says it's now known as a "spending bill" not a stimulus bill. (He doesn't say "who" now sees it that way.) But I would guess it's gasbags like Matthews who are going on and on about condoms and wondering how the Democrats didn't understand that their job is to write a Republican bill.
Why is it called a "spending bill"? Because the Villagers have decided that the Republicans have won the PR war over the stimulus package. How does that tired argument help this country in a time of crisis? I know the spin wars play a role when messaging is concerned because Americans get a lot of their news through the TV and the elitists get aroused by all this nonsense, but it's killing us. Please Stop It. C&L and many other bloggers have often documented how the media tries to elect our politicians, (They chose Bush over Gore, how did that work out?) but now they are trying to decide how this very important stimulus package will be dealt with.
I wish part of the stimulus plan included money to be sent to the failing print journalism industry so good journalists can keep reporting on things of substance which the public desperately needs. If the networks are forced to lay off 20% of their on-air news departments (I would hope not) because of bad revenues, then maybe they will start to treat this bill seriously.
Please, where's the meat? Stop playing games with our lives. Put people on who can explain it coherently. Economics is complicated. Sound bites aren't enough. Obama was elected to bring change to the economy, not to debate the merits of tax cuts all over again. We had that discussion for 18 months and Obama won. Tax cuts lost. Why is the media ignoring that fact? John McCain ran on tax cuts to save us and he lost. Now he's telling his supporters that he's going to vote NO on the stimulus plan and wants them to sign a petition. You lost the election badly. Democrats have solid majorities everywhere you look, but not when it comes to the media that is supposed to inform us and not play "spin wars' with the country.
Finally President Obama is telling it like it is:
In the past few days, I've heard criticisms that this [stimulus] plan is somehow wanting, and these criticisms echo the very same failed economic theories that led us into this crisis in the first place, the notion that tax cuts alone will solve all our problems, that we can ignore fundamental challenges like energy independence and the high cost of health care, that we can somehow deal with this in a piecemeal fashion and still expect our economy and our country to thrive.
I reject those theories. And so did the American people when they went to the polls in November and voted resoundingly for change.
Chuck Todd reports that the Republicans want more tax cuts in the stimulus. Who gives a damn except the Villagers?
John Amato is the founder of Crooksandliars.com.