Jonathan Karl Plays the Freddie/Fannie Blame Game

News that Newt Gingrich was receiving millions of dollars to advise Freddie Mac has to be a little unsettling for at least some conservative voters, who are accustomed to demonizing the government-sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for causing the housing bubble, and hence the recession. But it’s not just right-wing pundits like Bill O’Reilly who are fond of blaming it all on Fannie and Freddie. Here’s ABC reporter Jonathan Karl, speaking in conservative shorthand in his job as network news correspondent on This Week yesterday: Meet this week’s new front-runner. He’s a good debater, man of ideas, and […]


Wall St. Cheerleaders ‘Abandon Economic Reporting’

Looking at last week’s “whole series of bad reports on the state of the economy,” Dean Baker of Beat the Press and the Center for Economic and Policy Research tells readers of London’s Guardian (6/1/09) if they think “these reports might have led to gloomy news stories,” such assessments are to be found “not in the U.S. media”: “The folks who could not see an $8 trillion housing bubble are still determined to find the silver lining in even the worst economic news”: For example, National Public Radio told listeners that the new home sales figure reported for April was […]


NYT Economics Reporting Still Failing Along

While asserting the extremely simple journalistic principle that “Past Records Should Matter In Assessing Views on the Economy,” Dean Baker (Beat the Press, 5/2/09) is willing to admit that everyone makes mistakes, but the odds are that anyone who couldn’t see an $8 trillion housing bubble is not a really good person to rely upon for predictions on the economy. Joe Nocera gives a quick survey of some radically conflicting forecasts in his [New York Times] column today. It’s worth noting that all the optimists completely the missed the bubble and the impact that its collapse would have on the […]


Media’s Deficit Hawk Fixation Yields. . . Record Deficits

Listening to “budget hawk” media figures who urge President Obama “to commit to spending cuts and/or tax increases” because they are “upset that the deficits projected for 2013 or 2019 are too large,” Dean Baker (TPM Café, 3/25/09) finds it especially annoying to hear the whining from this group of deficit hawks since their whining in prior years helped to drown out serious discussion of the dangers posed by an $8 trillion housing bubble. While some of us were yelling at the top of our lungs about the imminent disaster that would hit the economy when the housing bubble burst, […]


Financial Reporters’ ‘Very Complex’ Basic Incompetence

Dean Baker (Beat the Press, 3/17/09) weighs in on Richard Cohen’s defense of Jim Cramer, accusing the Washington Post columnist of “continuing the stream of excuses for the financial media’s failure to warn of the economic crisis.” Baker sees “an effort to imply that the issues involved were very complex” lying “at the center of the cover-up for the media’s incompetence.” Baker’s reply to the Cohen claim that “there was not much they [financial reporters] could do, anyway. They do not have subpoena power. They cannot barge into AIG and demand to see the books, and even if they could, […]