President Barack Obama challenged Wall Street to embrace his proposed financial regulations at a New York City fundraiser Tuesday night.
Obama criticized the “reckless speculation and deceptive practices and short-sightedness and self-interestedness from a few.” The audience included members of the Wall Street community.
Banks and other financial institutions have fought the proposed regulations, including one for a Consumer Protection Financial Agency. Obama has insisted the agency is necessary to prevent another economic collapse.
Its great that President Obama is trying to enact regulation that one hopes will prevent another Great Recession, but for an administration that had such great message discipline during their campaign why the mixed signals its sending the public, see Greenwald’s Another Goldman executive named to key government post as its profits skyrocket. Considering the size of Goldman Sach and its unique position in the financial industry its not unreasonable that the administration should, under the circumstances, have frequent contact with them, but when you add in the the money Goldman spends on lobbying and the extraordinary access they have had to our Treasury Secretary, much of the public is going to have a hard time parsing out giving Obama credit for genuine reform. If Obama is serious about holding Wall St accountable and ramp up public support, he needs to bring back some of that good old days message control. One easy way to do that is not hiring Wall St insiders.
One message in Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” is never underestimate the enemy. If you never watch Faux News you miss a lot. A small sound bite one day turns into next week’s far Right echo. If you just cannot bring yourself to put up with Brit Hume and Bill O’Reilly at least check in at News Hounds once in a while – they watch so you don’t have to. That the White House has pointed out that Fox is simply a propaganda arm of the conservative movement is not earth shattering news. Fox’s feigned hurt and outrage is comical at best. They’ve claimed that President Obama is not differentiating between Fox news segments and the endless stream of opinion programming. There is not enough difference between Fox’s so-called news and its opinion programming to pass a thread through. Not the ultimate throw down of Fox’s poor victim meme, but HuffPo has compiled some “news” clips from Fox in a video, The Ten Most Egregious Fox News Distortions (VIDEO). And related this editorial by Jacob Weisberg, The O’Garbage Factor
Fox News isn’t just bad. It’s un-American.
What’s most distinctive about the American press is not its freedom but its century-old tradition of independence—that it serves the public interest rather than those of parties, persuasions, or pressure groups. Media independence is a 20th-century innovation that has never fully taken root in many other countries that do have a free press. The Australian-British-continental model of politicized media that Murdoch has applied at Fox is un-American, so much so that he has little choice but go on denying what he’s doing as he does it. For Murdoch, Ailes, and company, “fair and balanced” is a necessary lie. To admit that their coverage is slanted by design would violate the American understanding of the media’s role in democracy and our idea of what constitutes fair play. But it’s a demonstrable deceit that no longer deserves equal time.
A few misguided members of the media has defended Fox – the brotherhood of journalist mentality I suppose. A concept I would defend if Fox remotely resembled an actual journalistic endeavor. Also not surprising is some of the brotherhood are saying that Obama pointing out the obvious is unprecedented, The Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus must have been napping during the Bush administration
Marcus must have forgotten, for example, when a top White House advisor to President Bush targeted NBC in May 2008, accusing the network of deceptive editing and blurring the lines between “news” and “opinion.” Officials from the Bush team, around that time, began treating NBC and MSNBC as political opponents.
And let’s not forget that to this day, with the exception of PBS, not one network – ABC, CBS, NBC – has investigated or apologized for presenting highly biased opinions of “military analysts” as news, when all they were doing was helping the Bushies sell the Iraq occupation and the utterly absurd concept that Iraq was the “front” in the “war on terror”.