L.A. Times: Transforming Reform into ‘Reform’

Arianna Huffington (Huffington Post, 5/25/09) is offering, as “a particularly egregious example” of corporate media as “enabler of the transformation of real reform into D.C. ‘reform,'” a May 23 L.A. Times editorial she thinks “might as well have been written by industry lobbyists (the way many ‘reform’ bills are).” After her initial reaction to the subhead, “Stung by the excesses of the financial services industry, Congress is striking back”–“Actually, it wasn’t Congress that was ‘stung’ by those ‘excesses’–it was the entire world. And why is regulation of out-of-control markets ‘striking back’?”–Huffington warns us that “it gets worse”:

“Rather than trusting market forces, Democrats in Congress and the administration argue that unbridled capitalism has victimized consumers.”

Who wrote this, the “tea party” organizers? Glenn Beck? Since when do things like setting ground rules and demanding transparency mean you no longer believe in “market forces”?

Apparently, according to the L.A. Times, the call for reform is now a “backlash” in which “Democratic majorities in Congress” are going to “clip the financial industry’s wings.” And this is bad because reform means “raising costs and limiting the freedom of savvy investors and borrowers.”

Really? I wonder just how many of those “savvy investors” made money in, say, 2008, when they were blissfully free of all the wing-clipping regulations the L.A. Times is so afraid of? Not many–and that’s because all investors, savvy and non-savvy alike, are victimized when the entire financial system is destabilized. In fact, I believe I’ve heard something about the crisis affecting the L.A. Times, too.

Noting that “the closer we get to actual reform, the more hysterical the debate surrounding it becomes,” Huffington tells how “mainstream media’s habit of internalizing bad faith arguments in the name of ‘balance’ becomes more pronounced; and the public interest loses out to the interests of the established financial/political class.”