New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has returned from another of his periodic sojourns into the cloudcuckooland of his own imagination, and brings us word of this dream he had, which he hopes to implant. The basic plot is this: In an alternate universe, our American lawmakers buck their traditional bases to come up with a plan -- it's a revision of an old plan, actually -- that singlehandedly eliminates the need for the Sad Guys On Trading Floors blog forever.
Journalism is about choices. With millions of Americans out of work, the press decided awhile back to put all of its labor into creating the Beltway Deficit Feedback Loop. Because journalists had become so inured to being led by the nose by the important people to whom they needed "access," they abandoned the American people. Their excuse? "Well, no one in Congress is doing anything about unemployment, so what's to cover?" Pop some popcorn and let's see where this takes us! Well, where it's taken us is "past the brink." Our political culture has been permanently altered for the worse.
We should probably applaud CNN for recently doing something unique among American cable news media -- they actually made an effort to find out what life is like for actual Americans, instead of creating a bunch of hodgepodge panels out of political strategists to expel balloon juice from their word holes. In the most recent case, the most trusted name in news dispatched a reporter to chat up some senior citizens in Pasadena, California. That's a nice start! But there's room for improvement here: The CNN reporters and anchors could try actually listening to what their interview subjects are telling them.