Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Economic Failure (or, Media Losers pt 2)

Just as I am not sure what to make of the polls, I have also given up trying to figure out what's happening at the stock market. Everyday, there is another wild swing, up and down.

Surprisingly, the FannieMae/FreddieMac debacle has kind of faded from view, which is interesting. No one seems to be reporting on just how we got from Point A to Point B. What's the story?

There is an obvious political angle here. This article by Orson Scott Card,(I only knew him as an interesting sci-fi writer) should be required reading. It not only gives a fairly succinct summary of the origins of the crisis, but calls the media on the carpet for their less than honest reporting of the situation.

This housing crisis didn't come out of nowhere. It was not a vague emanation of the evil Bush administration. . . This was completely foreseeable and in fact many people did foresee it. One political party, in Congress and in the executive branch, tried repeatedly to tighten up the rules. The other party blocked every such attempt and tried to loosen them.

Guess which party is which.

"Isn't there a story there?" asks Card. Of course there is--inconveniently though it involves the wrong party. So, it becomes not-news; not now anyways. So, Card hammers the media:

Now let's follow the money ... right to the presidential candidate who is the number two recipient of campaign contributions from Fannie Mae.

And after Fred Raines, the CEO of Fannie Mae who made $90 million while running it into the ground, was fired for his incompetence, one presidential candidate's campaign actually consulted him for advice on housing.

If that presidential candidate had been John McCain, you would have called it a major scandal and we would be getting stories in your paper every day about how incompetent and corrupt he was.

But instead, that candidate was Barack Obama, and so you have buried this story, and when the McCain campaign dared to call Raines an "adviser" to the Obama campaign -- because that campaign had sought his advice -- you actually let Obama's people get away with accusing McCain of lying, merely because Raines wasn't listed as an official adviser to the Obama campaign.

You would never tolerate such weasely nit-picking from a Republican.

The job of a "journalist" (ugh--there's that word again) is to tell the truth. But in this case, the truth is ignored, or, at best, only selectively reported. Card mentions how Sarah Palin's life and family (and Joe the Plumber too) got extensive attention and scrutiny, yet John Edward's rather messy and tawdry extramarital perambulations were studiously ignored and perhaps even covered up.

Remember--Card is apparently a Democrat, so this insight is amazing:

This was a Congress-caused crisis, beginning during the Clinton administration, with Democrats leading the way into the crisis and blocking every effort to get out of it in a timely fashion.
If you at our local daily newspaper continue to let Americans believe -- and vote as if -- President Bush and the Republicans caused the crisis, then you are joining in that lie.
If you do not tell the truth about the Democrats -- including Barack Obama -- and do so with the same energy you would use if the miscreants were Republicans -- then you are not journalists by any standard.
You're just the public relations machine of the Democratic Party, and it's time you were all fired and real journalists brought in, so that we can actually have a daily newspaper in our city.

And yet, with all of the media adoration, with the repeated mantra of change, Mark Steyn notes this:

This is an amazing race. The incumbent president has approval ratings somewhere between Robert Mugabe and the ebola virus. The economy is supposedly on the brink of global Armageddon. McCain has only $80 million to spend, while Obama's burning through $600 mil as fast as he can, and he doesn't really need to spend a dime given the wall-to-wall media adoration. And tonight Chris Matthews' doctors announced that his leg tingle has metastasized leaving his entire body like a vibrating cellphone whose ringtone is locked on "I'm In Love, I'm In Love, I'm In Love, I'm In Love, I'm In Love With A Wonderful Guy."

And yet an old cranky broke loser is within two or three points of the King of the World. Strange.

Strange indeed.


Petronia said...

This is a bit unrelated, but I think it sorta shows that not only is journalism the big loser this election are the two main candidates:

Sean said...

Wow! Not enough time right now to address all this now, will return later. Don't know where you found this idiot piece, but his claim of being a Democrat might need further scrutiny...

Also whenever I need to understand economics I go to my nearest homo-hating Mormon sci-fi writer, just like whenever I want an explanation of what Obama's possible election might mean for Israel I go to the first welfare recipient plumber I can reach, and if he's busy I try to at least get a hold of his publicist.

Small Town Doc said...

Attacking the messenger I see . . . perhaps we can have his books banned, or run through his private records.

So if you are against gay marriage, you are a homophobe? What does that make Obama?

Sean said...

October surprise!!!

Pam Geller (Atlas Shrugs) reveals that Obama is actually the son of Malcolm X. It is so over now!

Rush calls himself "America's Anchorman" and Sean Hannity claims that his is the hardest hitting coverage of the campaign. My view is that most people on the right do get their news from these sources, and don't really read anything (except Drudge and Newsmax). The media was much more negative in their coverage of Gore than way were on shrub back in 2000, but no one on the right complained at all. I think the media bashing that these mental midgets typically engage in is the ultimate case of shooting the messenger.

Did you hear the L.A. Times has footage of Obama palling around with several terrorists but is refusing to release it? Did you also hear that McCain led a group that gave Khalidi half a million dollars back in 1998?

Some local raving right wing maniac on Friday was screaming about Obama removing press from his plane, but never said anything about McCain doing the same thing for weeks. It's only a clear sign of fascism if it comes from a liberal, if it's a republican it's not even worth mentioning.

And lastly, Palin calling Obama a socialist is pretty rich in light of a wonderful Alaskan tradition of oil and gas rebate checks. Last year, every Alaskan resident received a $2069 check as a dividend from oil revenues. Now, thanks to an initiative backed by Palin, each Alaskan (including Palin, her husband and children) will get $1,200 more to help pay for energy cost increases. They pay no state income or sales tax, and her family will receive a $23,000 check this year.

Welfare mothers do make better lovers!

Small Town Doc said...

Sean (are you blogging now?)--

Calmly addressing your issues . . .

1. Who is Pam Geller? Website looks like she's a female Michael Savage in clown makeup. Fringey.

2. I don't remember how the media was on GOre in 2000 (although I do remember how negative they were on Bush during the FL recount); it is kind of hard to deny that they have been fawning over the Obama campaign, don't you think? What's relevant here is the media behavior in THIS election. The studies I mentioned didn't come from Rush or from Hannity, BTW.

3. I've heard about the McCain-Khalidi sortofconnection, although no one seems to mention the actual group in question. If it's valid, not good. I'd really like to see the video, though; what legitimate reason does the LAT have in withholding it? At the very least, it gives the appearance of favoritism (remember, they had no qualms about releasing Awnold's tapes prior to the CA gubernatorial election). Again--if this was a McCain tape, do you really think they would be sitting on it?

4. Palin took a chunk from those greedy oil companies (which is exactly what Pelosi and Clinton have been wanting to do). But because she's not a liberal, it doesn't count.

5. (missed one) Can't seem to find story of McCain's booting press off plane . . .

Sean said...

Dowd and Klein were booted from the McCain plane in September.

Direct qoute from Editor of Dallas Morning News yesterday:

"But we don't have evidence that the newspaper's endorsement of Sen. McCain had any bearing on the campaign's decision to boot us from the plane. No one from the campaign ever mentioned it to Todd. (And for the record, he as a reporter, and I as the editor in charge of political coverage, had absolutely no input or knowledge of the endorsement. That's handled by a different department on a different floor. I didn't even know about the editorial board's choice until I read it in the paper a couple of Sundays ago.)

We think the Obama campaign's decision is to some degree more a function of limited seats, and while we're a large regional newspaper, we're not national and we're not in a swing state. We've been on the road with them at key moments, but we've not been along for the entire ride, like, say, The New York Times and The Associated Press.

For what it's worth, we've had the same trouble with the McCain campaign."

The name of McCain's group that paid the terrorist that the right wing is so upset about is called the International Republican Institute.

Atlas is too fringy but Orson Scott Card is a Democrat...OK then. I like to think of her as a slightly more inebriated Anchoress, except she's Jewish so everything is anti-semitic, rather that the actual anti-christ.

And one last thing with regards to Fannie and Freddie: McCain campaign manager Rick Davis had earned nearly $2 million in lobbying fees from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (based, almost primarily, on his access to McCain) at the same time that he was attacking Barack Obama for his own ties to those very institutions.

"You would never tolerate such weasely nit-picking from a Republican."

Sean said...

More palling around:

Last month, McCain's campaign released a list of 100 former ambassadors endorsing the GOP presidential nominee.

Second on the list, is Leonore Annenberg, currently the president and chairman of the Annenberg Foundation and widow of ambassador and philanthropist Walter Annenberg. If that name sounds familiar, it's because it also graces the name of the Chicago education board where Barack Obama and William Ayers sat in the room six times together.

She has donated to Republican candidates over 100 times in the past few elections cycles and donated regularly to the Republican National Committee, the Republican Senatorial Committee and Republicans for Choice.

Have each of these GOP candidates refunded her money because she's got a "domestic terrorist" on her own Board or because she gave that "domestic terrorist" a $49 million grant before Obama was on the Board and should each of these GOP members be assailed for taking contributions from someone who associates with a "domestic terrorist" from the 60s?

Damn that media bias!!!!

Small Town Doc said...

You leave me with a lot of homework, dude.

Few places other than Drudge made a fuss over the Obama press incident.

Do you really think that Geller is mainstream on the right? Not even close. But we can talk about the folks at HuffPo if you want to go that route; Naomi Wolf comes to mind.

The folks at the Annenberg FOundation dispense the grants to different groups, incl. the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, which is not the same entity. It wasn't the Annenbergs with the direct association with Ayers--it was Obama.

Same thing with Khalidi. Back in 1998 (?) the IRI gave a grant to an organization co-founded by Khalidi to do polling among Palestinians and Israelis. I may not understand or be happy with this grant, but it is a far cry from this:

There are PLO and Hamas flags decorating the room, along with Che and Mao posters. Khalidi, Ayers and Obama are slapping each others' backs, raising their glasses and toasting the upcoming destruction of the racist Zionist entity, all the while laughing at the thought of the final Final Solution. Obama says, "You know, when I take over, the first thing I'll do is withdraw all aid from those fascist kikes, and I'll give the Palis a couple nukes." Then he turns to Ayers, and asks him if he's come up with any fresh schemes for mass murder of the millions of recalcitrant capitalists, so that they can be implemented in the first one hundred days. After dessert, they get out an American flag, crumple it up on the floor, and jump up and down on it, shouting "Death to Capitalism, Death to America."

I'm just guessing about some of the above (courtesy Rand Simberg), since LAT won't release the video.

Look--the bottom line is that a large portion of the American people feel that there is a distinct anti-McCain/Palin bias; this isn't just some off-the-cuff remark by Rush. This belief is based on something. Show me a similar study during this campaign where the results are the opposite. Maybe you believe that the MSM is playing fair and square (or is that "fair and balanced?"), but I just don't see it.