Tuesday, January 06, 2009

No Exceptions

In his latest roundup of stories, Mike Shedlock talks about this story about 77% of Americans believing the media makes the economic situation worse.

I often agree with his assessments, and this time it's no different.

My first thought was, "turn on CNBC on a Friday" for talking heads who are trying to protect their own interests by talking about bottoms and recoveries and turnarounds. Read the e-mails I get daily about how things are going to get better by Spring. These people are either delusional, morons, or lying... or a bit of all three.

Anyway, I get the idea of doom-and-gloom in the media fuelling fear about the economy. Guess what? The US media's job has to been to fuel fear for a couple decades at least. Good news just doesn't sell. This is the latest thing for them to jump on.

But I don't think it actually makes the situation worse. Sure, it might stop some people from rushing out and buying stuff, or create additional job-related stress for those who are on the brink. It doesn't have much of an effect on the fundamental issues and causes of this situation though. Companies would still be collapsing without the media coverage, but people wouldn't have ANY clue as to why. Add to that the ignorance that would exist from people being unaware of the situation, and we'd be worse off. Why? Because people would still be tossing money into the market, or spending endlessly, or otherwise not being frugal and saving, leaving them even worse-prepared for a long recession/depression.

What REALLY pisses me off though, is this snippet:

Richard Scheff, a national expert on corporate liability and white collar crime issues, warns media that they could potentially be exposed to liability despite apparent constitutional protections:

"Although statements by the media are protected by the First Amendment, the survey results demonstrate that the public believes that the press bears some responsibility for the lack of confidence in the economy. One would hope that the media would act less out of self-interest in these times of national crisis," said Mr. Scheff, vice chairman and partner with Philadelphia-based law firm Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads.

Shut the fuck up Dick. First Amendment rights except when it's not in the best interest of the nation? Who the fuck determines that? Who the hell is fear-mongering now? The media in the US is FAR from perfect, but I'd rather they tell the truth than blow sunshine up our collective skirts when times are tough. Hey, you're free to spout whatever moronic claptrap you choose, but you walk a dangerous path when you start talking about censoring the press.

1 comment:

OhCaptain said...

Everyone loves the First Amendment until people say something they don't like. It's the American way.

There is no liability in this for the media. I'm not even sure an attorney would file this, they could lose their license for filing such an obvious frivolous lawsuit.

I agree with you, I'd rather hear the truth then some sunshine contrived to make me feel better.

It might be better to direct the criticism at the people with the most influence. How directing some of the blame to the silence and incompetence demonstrated by Mr. Paulson and Mr. Bush.