Journalism

From Time.com:

“The legislative achievements have been stupendous — the $789 billion stimulus bill, the budget plan that is still being hammered out (and may, ultimately, include the next landmark safety-net program, universal health insurance). There has also been a cascade of new policies to address the financial crisis…”

If you’re into the 100-day-Obama-lovefest, read the complete article: Joe Klein on the President’s Impressive Performance Thus Far.

To me this is terrible journalism, akin to the Latin Business Chronicle voting Alan Garcia as Leader of the Year. Where are the hard questions journalists are supposed to ask? Take this quote from an Obama speech for example:

“It is simply not sustainable,” he said, “to have an economy where, in one year, 40% of our corporate profits came from a financial sector that was based on inflated home prices, maxed-out credit cards, overleveraged banks and overvalued assets.”

This quote is completely contradictory to the economic policies the Obama administration has implemented, which amount to nothing more than printing up collosal amounts of money to keep the big banks and big wigs on Wall Street in business.

If Obama actually believed what he said in this particular quote, he would simply let some of the big banks (and GM) go bankrupt. If you think that sounds insensitive, it could be argued that throughout history successful societies have been distinguished by having some orderly liquidation/bankruptcy process, so that smart, innovative, successful businesses can replace those that for whatever reason became obsolete and insolvent. If anyone actually believes middle class America benefits from the big banks on Wall Street’s survival, I have a mountain top in Peru I’d like to sell them.

In fairness, other than the economic policies of the Summers-Geitner team I’m not critical of anything President Obama has done in his first 100 days, and to his defense Joe Klein does say it’s a “journalistic conceit” that the President could be assessed in 100 days. But to print these type of quotes without at least questioning whether the President’s policies are in line with what he said, is just plain terrible journalism.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s