22 December 2008

The Memory Hole

This past Sunday, the esteemed New York Times claimed - on their front page no less - that President Bush is the reason for the downturn in the economy, specifically for the disaster in the housing market.  This is ridiculous and thankfully the Investor's Business Daily noticed the re-creation of reality.
He [Bush] pushed hard to expand homeownership, especially among minorities," its [NY Times] lengthy front-age piece asserts.  "But his housing policies encouraged lax lending standards."

If the Times had said the same thing about Bush's predecessor, its story might have a kernel of truth to it.

Seeking to lock in minority voters for Democrats, Bill Clinton in 1993 set a national homeownership goal of 55% of blacks, a major increase from existing levels.

To achieve it, he tasked his regulators to lead an anti-redlining crusade against the banking industry that included revising Community Reinvesting Act regulations to pressure banks to adopt "flexible" lending standards for low-income borrowers.

Clinton also pressured Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy not just subprime loans, but also subprime securities, to meet "affirmative action" lending quotas.

These actions - which were far more concrete than anything Bush did to encourage minority homeownership - were never cited in the Times' nearly 5,000 - word piece.

The New York Times is not the only source of mangled and dishonest information; we have seen such bias many times over the last two years of the election system.  We see the media only serves its own purposes.  History is being changed and corrupted - the truth is no longer important - welcome to 1984... where history is being sucked down the memory hole and being rewritten.

The honorable muckrakers of the late 1800s and early 1900s, who spent their energies investigating the prisons and insane asylums, as well as other major issues of the time did a service to us all.  Rather than being the honorable writers of yesteryear, nowadays we have the Times breaking stories which undermine and destroy the United States' ability to fight the war against fundamental Islam.  Is this the muckraking of today?  WWSLS?  What would Sinclair Lewis say?

Between the deliberate and calculated deceptions being perpetrated and the destruction of history by those to whom we've given our public trust - Americans have no reason to believe a word in print, or an image on the screen that purports to be "news" or "investigative journalism".  True journalism is dead.  Honesty in the media can be assumed gone.  Welcome to the new Ministry of Truth.

1 comment:

Eli7 said...

As a journalist, I hear this sort of thing a lot. And as a journalist, I could not be more convinced that it is unfair criticism. I am not saying the media are perfect and never let any bias seep in. But I am saying there is no vast conspiracy to tell you liberal untruths.

And in terms of election coverage, let's be honest, McCain ran a really awful campaign. Maybe he didn't get as much positive coverage as Obama, but maybe he didn't deserve it. I did not read the Times piece you reference, but it is also possible that both Clinton and Bush ultimately negatively affected homeownership, but Clinton is not really news anymore (except insofar as he releases his donors so Hillary can get her Cabinet post). As I said, I didn't read the piece, and I don't think the NYT is infallible but I do think it does a pretty good job, and in general people do not give the press enough credit, but we will miss newspapers if they die.

To quote NYT Executive Editor Bill Keller: "There are some critics who propose that, because pure objectivity is elusive, the press should give up any pretense of impartiality, that individual reporters should declare their views and write polemically. To me, that is like saying that because much of our children's future is ordained by genetics, we should abandon the business of being parents. Impartial journalism, like child-rearing, is an aspiration, but it is a worthy one. And, unlike your children, a daily newspaper affords you the chance to start all over the next day, and this time get it right."