Sunday, June 7, 2009

Spin City

Greetings good citizen,

Here’s a switch, I know I spend plenty of time bitching about it but I almost never ‘point at it’. On occasion I will grumble about how obviously manipulated government data is but I’ve never come right out and called it a deliberate ‘conspiracy’ intended to mislead the public.

Although that should be obvious without my pointing it out.

Well, tonight’s offering is ‘hot of the presses’ over at Naked Capitalism.

The Team Obama Con Game Gets Official Notice

[Yves comments]

Readers have been sending various Pangloss/Orwell sightings on a daily basis, with one's take on whether they fall in the absurdist or merely creeping authoritarian camp depending on one's degree of cynicism. I have only posted about 1/10th of them simply because it often takes a fair bit of parsing (headline v. meaningful comment close to the end that undercuts it.) Plus in many cases guest bloggers have already taken a cut at the topic (overly optimistic reports on employment data, for instance) so a piece on a particular new item looked to be overkill.

Nevertheless, it has been noteworthy that some formerly more balanced outlets have swung to at least a high proportion of cheerleading headlines, in particular Bloomberg and the Financial Times (although with the FT, one might argue that it is attempting to cater to a US market.)

But if one were paying only a teeny bit of attention, it would be hard to miss the persistent, nay insistent efforts of the officialdom to put the best possible spin on matters economic. The very fact that Geithner said not more than once that the stress tests were about restoring confidence was such a brazen admission as to be breathtaking. But on another level, it was spin within spin, since the idea that the authorities would openly talk of the tests as a ruse to restore confidence (which is what predetermining the answers, as Geithner also did) is tantamount to saying the skeptics are all wrong, and all we need to do is drown them out for saner heads to prevail.

While the "nary a bad word will be said", or to the extent it is, it is countermanded by an even more positive take, has gotten some notice in the MSM. But I cannot recall anyone taking issue with it frontally. So an article today in the New York Times, "The Economy Is Still at the Brink" by Sandy Lewis and William Cohan, is a badly needed contribution:

Yves provides excerpts of the 4 page long article, I was tempted to use it myself but it reads like a rehash of what I usually write…The above ‘angle’ didn’t occur to me.

I guess I felt this ‘truth’ was too self evident to belabor.

So, is anyone ‘shocked’ that those in charge of cleaning up this disaster they themselves created have been displaying their efforts in the ‘best possible light?’

Which has to be tough since these knotheads have been screwing up by the number from day one, while those of us that have been pointing this out have been castigated as ‘naysayers’.

Which is still a country mile from the truth…most of us that express our doubts about the effectiveness of the administration’s actions do not do so on a partisan basis. Worse, they have yet to convince me there is a nickel’s worth of difference between the new and old administrations.

If you’re looking for something that is truly disturbing, this lack of a definitive difference between the two main political parties is far more disturbing than the ‘spin’ both parties use to cover their misdeeds.

Naturally, the ‘spin’ is often a feeble attempt to mask our politicians ‘true’ constituency. Sometimes reporters will poke a hole in their own work in another feeble attempt to retain a modicum of plausibility.

But as Yves points out, when a reporter points to a contradiction in the facts, they usually end up contradicting themselves in the very next paragraph…

Which brings us full circle to a drum I’ve beaten quite often; it’s always been a matter of trust. If those running the show as well as those who report what’s happening can’t be trusted, the threads holding society together become very thin indeed!

So, is there anyone in Washington that pays their taxes and hasn’t employed an undocumented worker?

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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