Simple explanations for perplexing news headlines.
* A poll shows that the US public blames politicians in Washington, D.C., more than they do Wall Street, for the bad economy. While legislative changes and lack of regulation, pushed in Washington, had a role, the economic crisis was mainly caused by criminality and/or criminal irresponsibility on the part of the banks and the securities industry.
So why is Washington taking the fall here (to the extent that a lot of people blame President Obama for the TARP bailout, which was Bush’s doing)? Because Wall Street owns the media corporations like Fox Cable News that bombard the American people with the propaganda message that government is bad and inept, whereas corporations are sleek and efficient. Of course, the Federal government is still here, but Lehman Brothers is not, which suggests the opposite.
* Only 9% of the media coverage of President Obama is positive in tone, whereas over 30% of the coverage of Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann is positive, with other Republican candidates trailing closely.
Since Barack Obama is clearly a highly intelligent and competent leader who has done relatively well given that he became president when the US was going over the Niagara Falls in a barrel, it is on the surface baffling that he should be pilloried while a nut job like Bachmann and a nonentity like Perry are relatively feted.
But if you follow Media Matters fact checking regularly, you wouldn’t be surprised.
*Journalists are calling the Occupy Wall Street protests “unprecedented.”
This characterization can only be offered because the long history of democratic and progressive protests against Wall Street, going back to the Jeffersonian democrats, is typically not taught in American schools, and US television is careful to remain ahistorical and to teach people to think ahistorically. Everything is explained by character, emphasis is put on timeless celebrity, and social and historical causation is ignored. As Glenn Greenwald rightly puts it, “Anyone expressing confusion about why these protests are erupting or what the ‘message’ is is almost certainly someone invested in keeping things exactly the way they are.”
* Republican representative Cliff Stearns told NPR that the US “can’t compete with China to make solar panels.”
But General Electric is confident that it can compete, and is building a 400-megawatt facility in Aurora, Colo, to produce cadmium telluride thin-film solar panels. GE is confident that it has the technology and deep pockets and business expertise to compete in that industry.
So how come GE is more confident than Stearns? Hmm. Maybe Stearns is in the back pocket of Big Oil?