Sunday, March 15, 2009

Let Me Spare the Washington Post From Its Own “Mea Crama!”

I’ve read lots of commentary on John Stewart’s public spanking of CNBC’s Jim Cramer, but nothing more fitting than Glenn Greenwald’s point that Cramer isn’t all that different from the rest of the traditional media in his willingness to pass on lies and then claim innocence when they turned out to be wrong.
Jim Cramer isn't an aberration. What he did and the excuses he offered are ones that are embraced as gospel to this day by most of our establishment press corps, and to know that this is true, just look at what they do and say about their roles. But at least Cramer wants to appear to be contrite for the complicit role he played in disseminating incredibly destructive and false claims from the politically powerful. That stands in stark contrast to David Gregory, Charlie Gibson, Brian Williams, David Ignatius and most of their friends, who continue to be defiantly and pompously proud of the exact same role they play.
Then sure enough, as if on cue, I find this Washington Post “report” suggesting that Barack Obama risks being seen as “too partisan” if he mentions the fact that he inherited a failing economy from George Bush.

Give me a break! Didn’t we just have an election in which John McCain’s last hope of prevailing went up in flames at the precise moment he suggested that “the fundamentals of our economy (were) strong, while everyone knew that they weren’t? I believe George Bush was still President at that time, so don’t give me Ari Fleischer suggesting that Obama’s credibility is at risk if he points out the obvious:
“There's a fascinating behind-the-scenes trend taking place for someone who remains a very popular president," said Ari Fleischer, a former Bush press secretary, describing the decline in Obama's approval ratings and an increase in disapproval numbers. "His response to that trend is to turn up the blame on George Bush and everything that came before him. And he was the one who talked about getting past partisanship.”
Jim Cramer just went on The Daily Show and had to apologize profusely because he had been (gasp!) "lied to by CEOs" hoping to boost the value of their stocks despite horribly overvalued assets. Unable to muster even a token rationale for his willingness to pass on such misleading information, Cramer had no choice but to bend over and take his punishment, while meekly wishing he had tried harder to expose the lies, and promising to do better.

So let me spare the Washington Post the same indignity that Cramer was forced to endure at the hands of John Stewart:

When Ari Fleischer is talking to you about Obama’s extreme partisanship, he’s lying!

When anyone tells you that the American people want the new President to shield George Bush from the undeniable fact that his policies sent the economy into a downward spiral, he’s lying!

They are lying just like the CEOs who so "painfully" lied to Jim Cramer, who then did nothing to correct those lies but actually gave them weight by letting them be aired on his show.

When the Washington Post presents lies as fact, they spread the same kind of bullshit that Cramer just had to eat in front of millions!

If the good folks at the Washington Post really want to be considered respected purveyors of news, instead of easily manipulated, misleading clowns like Cramer, I’d suggest they take the opportunity now to "try harder and do better," rather than waiting for someone like John Stewart to tar and feather them in front of the whole world!


  1. Anonymous11:29 PM

    Stating the obvious; dead-tree and TV journalism are both dead. RIP.

    Lost Wages Joe