The Washington Post’s Economic ESP

Chronicling how “media continue to do more to misinform the public than to inform them” about the current economic crisis, Dean Baker (Beat the Press, 2/8/09) spots “the absolute worst in journalistic practices” when “a front-page Washington Post article explains the Obama administration’s policy by telling readers that the ‘approach reflects Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner‘s philosophy of how governments should respond to financial crises'”:

Trees had to die for this garbage? The reality is that the reporters have no clue as to what [is] Timothy F. Geithner’s philosophy of how governments should respond to financial crises. The reporter knows what Timothy F. Geithner told them, so why don’t they just stick to passing this information along to readers instead of speculating about his innermost thoughts?

The excursion into philosophy deflects readers from the real issue. Mr. Geithner wants to use taxpayer dollars to keep bankrupt banks in business. In effect, he wants to tax teachers, fire fighters and Joe the Plumber to protect the wealth of the banks’ shareholders and to pay high salaries to their top executives.

Alas, Baker realizes that “no readers of this piece would understand that this is the process being described.” Listen to the FAIR radio show CounterSpin: “Dean Baker on Stimulus Package” (1/30/09)