“Bailout” And “Loan” Are Not Synonymous
What’s wrong with the media? That’s right, my signature line is back because I need it today due to the fact that the media is totally misrepresenting the Big Three request for a LOAN as a BAILOUT.
I sat for years in the court reporter’s chair faithfully “reporting” each and every word uttered in legal settings: courtrooms, deposition suites and even for a while in the halls of Congress. I would have committed “malpractice” if I had substituted one word for another, especially if the two words did not carry the same definition. Yet for weeks and weeks the media has been misleading the American people by substituting their new favorite word, “bailout,” for the correct word, “loan.” Oh, yeah, somewhere along the way they will say “loan” one time, but the ratio between the two words seems to be about ten to one. And the teaser/headline is always phrased with the word “bailout.” This is just plain wrong and manipulative.
Today on Morning Joe the topic dominated the show as Joe Scarborough and Mike Barnicle continued to warn of the human dimensions of a failure to give LOANS to the Big Three, with the Sarah-Palin-loving Mika Brzezinski continuing her demand for a bankruptcy solution. Mika never used the word “loan” one single time as she pushed her agenda. Then Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, took center stage to offer his agreement with Mika. His reasoning for the bailout was that it would bring the unions and dealerships into line, thus allowing the current management of the Big Three to “manage” their way out of the mess. Joe Scarborough asked Welch straight out if he wanted to “break the unions.” Welch tacitly said, yes, but then later backed off of that statement. The back-off was done in a backhanded manner when he included the dealerships in on his “break-em” plans.
Now a word about Mr. Welch and his corporate philosophy. In the course of the conversation with Scarborough, he revealed his true feelings about the American worker. He asserted that those “old union contracts” were from a distant past when we weren’t competing in the world economy. He went on to say that American workers now have to compete with workforces from around the globe. HELLO! Corporate America has been putting the American worker in a vice with off-shoring for quite some time now. But it
is apparent that as long as the United States Government gives tax-breaks to these behemoths of banking and industry for doing just that, they will continue their practice, squeezing the American worker in the process. President-Elect Obama has promised to stop this tax break, and I hope he does so quickly. The Bush Administration’s vocal support of this policy was disturbing, yet not widely covered or discussed in the so-called “liberal media.”
There was also some talk of class warfare among today’s guests due to the fact that Wall Street zoomed into Washington and REALLY got a BAILOUT without questioning or many strings, yet Detroit got the cold shoulder for asking for a LOAN. Now, I ask each and every one of you to delve into your own personal experiences and determine if you have ever considered your mortgage loan a bailout. How about your car loan? Was that a bailout? Is VISA or MasterCard bailing you out every time you slide your plastic through a card reader at the discount store or mall? No, because it is a LOAN! You are expected to pay it back. That makes it a LOAN! The media is playing some kind of game here, and I’m not quite sure what it is. It was posited by Chuck Todd this morning that the reason the media bought into the Wall Street bailout was because they live in the I-95 corridor and personally know someone who works in the financial sector. Detroit is far, far away from New York and Washington, so the so-called media elite don’t know any of the real people involved. But the truth is the media, through the word BAILOUT, is coloring the view of the American people on this issue.
I am left to posit my own opinion on what the real makeup of the media is in our country. It is not left-wing or liberal as the Republicans constantly scream. Instead, it is New York/Washington centric. We are well aware of the term “fly-over states” referring to those of us who live in the vast middle of OUR nation. It is a put-down heaped on us rubes out here in the unsophisticated states. And perhaps we deserve some of that abuse. Conservatism reigns supreme as demonstrated in much of the “fly-over zone” in the last election, but part of what passes for conservatism is merely a backlash against an East Coast/West Coast establishment that seems totally unconcerned with our issues. Look how long it took the mainstream media to finally realize that there was a real economic problem going on out here. It was literally years. And this is exactly the kind of ignorance of a part of the country’s population that leads to the emergence of a Sarah Palin in our political conversation.
The point I am trying to really drive home today is that the truly sophisticated New York/Washington/California axis needs to watch its step if it wants to bring about a progressive change of direction in this nation. There are many of us out here in “Fly-over Land” who share your vision, but our efforts are made much harder by our brothers and sisters in the movement who outrage our neighbors with their lack of concern for OUR problems. If we don’t want to see a resurgence of the ultra right-wing of the Republican Party like the one we have just lived through, we must look beyond our own regions and help EVERYONE with an even hand. This includes a population in the Midwest that is hanging on for dear life. And, might I add, had it not been for their desperate need for change and assistance, we would be getting ready to inaugurate John McCain and Sarah Palin.
It is time for those of us on the left to stand up against a media that is leading us astray by misrepresenting the request of the Big Three. Whether you agree with the LOAN or not, you should at least hold people posing as journalists accountable for the words they use in reporting a story. MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC might as well be FOX Noise on this one. For some reason they are pushing an agenda embraced by the most conservative supply-side Republicans on the Hill. Stand up and demand that they stop reporting so irresponsibly. That’s what the internet is for.
KEEP FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT!