One wonders at what point members of the Big Media – led by The New York Times, The Washington Post and National Public Radio, along with the major network news outlets – officially shunned watchdog journalism for lapdog journalism?
Steven Pearlstein’s report in The Washington Post on President Obama’s recent speech before the joint session of Congress couldn’t be any more fawning if it were written by Obama’s communications office, and then edited by his own late grandmother.
“Not since Franklin Roosevelt delivered his first fireside chat, eight days into his presidency, have Americans been more hungry – and more desperate – for economic leadership,” Pearlstein writes. “And not since FDR has there been an economic agenda as bold or ambitious, or as likely to reshape American capitalism.”
Russell Roberts of Cafe Hayek, however, says that Pearlstein is mistaken. Roberts points out that When President Reagan gave his first State of the Union address, in 1982, unemployment was more than 10 percent; today it’s currently at 7.6 percent. In the year before Reagan’s first address, inflation had exceeded 10 percent; today it’s roughly zero, Roberts added.
“Yes, Obama is spending a lot of money,” Roberts adds. “But the spending itself isn’t reshaping capitalism.”
The Washington Post would do its readers a great service by impressing upon Steven Pearlstein and its other reporters the difference between recounting their own wishful thinking and reporting actual news.
Some might expect that a reporter who’s made it to a paper of The Post’s stature would already know the difference, but apparently not.