Sunday, March 08, 2009

CNN (or 360?) Faithfully Transcribes The GOP's Favorite Talking Points?

Hi guys. From what I'm hearing from readers, both privately and in the comments, as well as what I'm reading around the Internets, there seems to be some MAJOR discontentment in 360 Loyal Viewer Land. I cover some of this discontentment each night in my reviews, but it's not really a forum for fleshing out on a single topic. I don't really have time to spend my whole life blogging, so last weekend I turned my platform over to friend Arachnae. It turns out she has a lot to say concerning what's been irking us lately, so I think I'm going to let her keep posting until she runs out of steam. I need to post and run right now, but check back later and I'll try to stick my thoughts on this topic in the comments. Now give it up for Arachnae:

Hi again. Eliza’s lent me her platform again to expound a little bit about stuff we’ve been discussing that irk us about 360. Today my beef is – the presentation of rightwing talking points as ‘conventional wisdom’ on the show, with no indication that they are following the lead of Drudge, Fox, Hewitt et al. In effect, allowing themselves to become part of the Mighty Wurlitzer that spews misinformation into the ideosphere to confuse the easily-confusable. Here’s one of the worst offenses:

The Stock Market Hates Obama

Jon Stewart pretty effectively put this one to bed, but
let’s dig into the specifics, shall we?

Here’s the meme: never mind that the bursting of the housing bubble has caused the most drastic contraction of money in most of our lifetimes. It’s OBAMA’s fault – he should have fixed things by now. And his prescription? Wall Street hates it.

Here’s some of the data you will often find on the rightwing sites as proof, PROOF, that Wall Street’s Unerring Eye sees nothing but bad times ahead:

November 3, 2008: Obama is Elected
November 3, 2008: 9326.04 Open
November 4, 2008: 9139.28 Close

January 20, 2009: Obama is Inaugurated
January 20, 2009: 8,279.63 Open
January 20, 2009: 7,920.66 Close

February 17, 2009: Obama signs stimulus package into law.
February 17, 2009: 7,845.63 Open
February 17, 2009: 7,502.59 Close

I think everyone knows that Wall Street reacts to new information. Not just information, but changes in expectations – new unemployment claims not as bad as expected? Wall Street Rejoices! Housing starts worse than analysts predicted? Market Swoons!

So look at your rightwing datapoints. Okay, the first one – perhaps you could make the case that Wall Street, secure in its own comfy little bubble of like-minded individuals, ignored the polling and the anger and the sturm and the drang and allowed themselves to believe that somehow, just somehow, McCain was going to pull off a Truman-beats-Dewey and win that day. So when he doesn’t, and Obama wins in spite of their magical thinking? ... le swoon...

Next you have to believe that after the election, Wall Street was hoping against hope that something, someone would come along and rescue them from an Obama Presidency. Were they hoping for an assassin? The success of the crazy-ass ‘birthers’ in ‘proving’ Obama wasn’t eligible to serve? In any event, when Obama got sworn in, as most people would have thought was inevitable after he was, you know, elected, Wall Street was once again shocked, SHOCKED that this could be happening to them, and once again swooned in despair.

And the Stimulus Bill? Everyone knew it was coming, they knew what was in it, it had been roundly debated on every media outlet barring, perhaps, E!TV, and yet the Stock Market, poor pitiful pearl, is once again shocked and surprised that this would be happening!

IF the market is actually reacting to these three events, as the rightwing talking point would have you believe, then the market is a blinkered moron who is repeatedly surprised by changing traffic lights. I would prefer not to see Fox-and-Drudge-led, GOP-approved, Frank-Luntz-Focus-Group-Tested crap like this on CNN. And the question remains - is AC360 made up of faithful footsoldiers of the RightWing Revolution? Or just gullible tools being used by the Right to get their talking points propagated? We'll let YOU decide, as per Anderson Cooper. Heh.

In actual fact, the market is reacting to the continuing fact that the economy is screwed up beyond all recognition and every day shows us another slice of it. And for what it’s worth, fixing the economy may just very well be BAD, in the short term, for Wall Street. It may well be that nationalizing the worst of the Too-Big-To-Fail Banks may be the right thing to do. You think Wall Street is going to react with joy if that needs to happen?

Let’s just admit that as a measure of how well OBAMA is doing in fixing things, Wall Street is a pretty poor indicator in the short term. Things are probably going to get a lot worse, DJIA-wise, before they get better. And let’s also admit, while we’re at it, that the 14,000 DOW was fairly heavily full of the hot air that was the housing bubble.

NEXT: Economists disagree about FDR!


Blogger eliza said...

In regards to 360 being faithful foot soldiers vs. gullible tools, I really don't know anymore. I've never subscribed to the notion that the media is biased towards liberalism or conservatism. I think overall, most journalist try to remain objective.

But what we've seen lately is different. This is not Left vs. Right, but rather Status Quo vs. Americans Who Want Change, and after what I've seen, unfortunately, yes, 360 is biased.

I'd expand on that, but I really don't need to because it seems John Cole has done it for me. His post is a must read. Here's a sample:

"However, it becomes more and more clear every day that the media is not biased towards liberal or conservatives, but rather, it is simply in the business of defending the status quo for the wealthier members of society. The reason social conservatives and progressives both hate the media is because they really don’t care about either group or their issues. This is about protecting the amassed wealth of the few."

One of the reasons I started watching 360 was that they seemed different from all the rest. There was a hint of anti-bullshit there. It was about getting to the truth. But now? They're gobbling up the same beltway conventional wisdoms put forth by the same tired (and usually wrong) pundits every night. In other words, 360 has become just another show that's Part Of The Problem.

3:01 AM  
Anonymous Duffy said...

Great post, Arachnae. I'd add to it that nobody ever mentions that the DJIA is only a measure of 30 stocks, or how many times it has dropped two or three hundred points in the past several months. It's done that on dozens of days, most of which had absolutely nothing to do with Obama.

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

360 used to be a show that supposedly bought us the news from all angle,and yes,I started watching too because it WAS different from all the rest.Well,those were the good old days,long since gone.
Now it seems they have only ONE angle.They need keeping honest,for themselves.
Could they at least pretend for a few segments once in awhile,that there really is a ''rest of the world'' happening?
Perhaps lose the same old faces night after night?These people are still stuck in election mode,for heaven sake.It seems they are adrift since it was over,and have no clue what to do with this show anymore.
As for all their little suggestions on the live blog the other night,well,try and repair what is left of this damn show first,and THEN worry about all their little bells and whistles extras you got goin' on over there,folks!
They seem to be more concerned with their 'blog and web people' than whatever viewers are still left for the actual program.
Not much point in all that cutesty stuff if no one is left watching.

Wake up and get the priorities in order,CNN. This show sucks.What the hell is wrong with you people over there?

4:41 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

Hi Eliza,

With your talent for writing, will you be contributing to another blog if you end this one? I agree with you and Aracnae about the media setup. Glenn Greenwald and Jay Rosen are so onto the media. Their appearance on Bill Moyer's show reinforced what others like you are saying about the media and their precious status quo. I can't bear to watch Meet the Press or Face the Nation anymore. It's always filled with rightwing pundits and politicians spouting their usual talking points. Who really ticks me off is that Erin Burnett(CNBC) who is such a Wall Street troll. When the Gerg starts sounding like the rest of the pundits, it's time to stop watching to hold onto your sanity. It's very sad to note that the Press went off message and displayed individuality during Katrina and for a short time afterwards but that was then not now. I read the link to John Cole, yes he sums it up quite well.
Anne D.

1:37 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@anonymous 4:41: Ouch. Not a happy camper here, I see. You hit on a couple of good points. The show just doesn't seem to understand that their political panels are no longer working like they did during the election because the election is over. This is a financial crisis, not a political one. Yet we see nary an economist and a lot of the coverage is focused on horse race crap, like who's winning the message.

Your other point regarding the web extras, I don't really have a problem with them, but I will say that if they think bringing more producers onto their live-blog is going to help their ratings, they've got big problems.

Anne: Am I sounding like I'm about to throw in the towel? I'm not there yet, but close. I'd be very sad to shut down this blog. If that day ever comes though, I'll start another. I'm hoping that the viewers (or more likely the horrible ratings) will knock some sense into the show and get it back on track.

Glenn Greenwald is a must read. I'm not all that familiar with Erin Burnett, but ironically she was just on Real Time with Bill Maher and it seems Gawker has her number. This is why I don't trust any financial experts that work in television. Give me an economist with a proven track record.

3:46 AM  

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