You find the darndest things on Craigslist, don't you?
Looks like the The Peter G. Peterson Foundation is putting together another scare piece (remember "I.O.U.S.A."?) to use in their latest attempt to kill Medicare and Social Security.
As a Philadelphian, I'm thrilled we were chosen to take part - even if they picked us because tightwad billionaire Peterson knew it would be cheaper than filming in New York.
But this is more than mere marketing - and it isn't even the major thrust of his sophisticated astroturf campaign. The fact is, billionaire Peterson has spent decades of his time - and millions of dollars - pushing for the eventual gutting of these two programs. He's a deficit hawk, all right - but only when there's a Democratic administration.
And in a classic piece of disaster capitalism, he and his powerful allies are moving in for the kill. Be very, very afraid.
A New York City Production Company is looking for participants for a documentary web series about the financial issues facing everyday people. We are interviewing real people, not actors, talking about their lives, experiences, and thoughts about one or more of the major issues facing Americans today.
We are looking to cover stories from as many different ethnicities and political viewpoints as possible. Whatever your age, background, or income, if you have an interesting story, we'd love to hear from you.
Since this is documentary journalism we can not by law compensate the interviewees but we will pay for travel and food. The shoot should take a few hours and we will do our best to schedule around your convenience.
What do you suppose the odds are of my viewpoints being included in this "documentary journalism"?
You will be helping other people by telling your story. Other Americans who feel alienated and hopeless will gain comfort by knowing they are not alone. And together we can make a difference in the future of our country and for our children.
Yes, we'll be stripping the recession-battered country bare of what tattered remnants of a safety net that remain - and we'll make you like it! It certainly will make a difference.
The videos are for The Peter G Peterson Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan, organization whose only mission is to educate the American people about the country's financial situation and incite them to take action on their behalf.
Dear sweet Jesus, shoot me now. The man worked for Nixon. He was the CEO of Lehman Brothers, which held the same kind of influence we now see with Goldman Sachs. (So you know he has only our best interests at heart!)
You don't have to be a political expert to participate. We just want to know your personal story.
The topics are:
1. The Healthcare System - What it does to the participants and the need for reform in a way that works.
2. The Tax System - How complicated and unfair it is.
3. Social Security and Medicare - What will happen to the younger generations once the Entitlements go broke.
4. The Federal Government's Financial Situation - 11 trillion in National Debt with no plans to balance the budget and pay it back.
5. Our own personal financial issues - High school loans, credit card debt and mortgage rates are crippling Americans.
Some of the possible "stories" we're looking for:
* A person who can't pay their mortgage or their taxes
* A recent college graduate with credit card debt and student loans.
* A young family adjusting to the costs involved in raising children.
* A person with serious healthcare expenses.
* A small business owner who would like to provide healthcare but can't.
* A person who has been or is being audited due to a mistake by their accountant or not knowing how to file taxes properly.
* Anyone who is infuriated by these issues.
Please remember, the types listed above are only possible guidelines. If you have an interesting story about your financial struggles, we'd love to hear from you!
Fellow Philadelphians, I think you know what to do. Let's send these sorry excuses for human beings back to Wall Street with some real stories.
The series will premiere on prominent websites with potential TV airings. If interested, please send an email with your name, contact info, and a brief description of your your situation to John at email@example.com. We will be shooting in Philadelphia mid to late January so time is of the essence.
Look, if the healthcare battle hasn't opened your eyes to the fact that immensely wealthy and powerful corporate interests are perverting our democracy, you're not paying attention. Why else do you suppose the Washington Post turned over a chunk of their news section the other day to a Peterson propaganda supplement - as news content?
The Washington Post published in its news pages an article by The Fiscal Times -- "an independent digital news publication reporting on fiscal, budgetary, health-care and international economics issues" -- that promoted the creation of a task force to reduce the deficit in part through cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. But the Post did not disclose that the Times is funded by conservative billionaire Peter G. Peterson, whose organizations have long advocated reducing the deficit through entitlement cuts and have called for the creation of such a commission.
The Fiscal Times article ran on Page A10 of the January 31 edition of the Post. The article's byline noted that authors Elaine S. Povich and Eric Pianin report for The Fiscal Times; a note at the end of the article stated that it "was produced by the Fiscal Times, an independent digital news publication reporting on fiscal, budgetary, health-care and international economics issues."
Oddly enough, there was no inclusion of opposing views in this "news" piece. But then, the Washington Post has a long and proud tradition as a willing andmaiden to powerful interests.
So here it comes, the cranking up of the Mighty Wurlitzer. If they want a fight, bring it on.
This time, we're ready.
Follow Susan Madrak on Twitter: www.twitter.com/PhillySusie