Your Lying Eyes

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29 March 2008

When Columnists Get It Wrong - Immediately

Pundits are never punished for getting it wrong - i.e., when unfolding events prove them to be utter fools or worse. But what about when they're proven wrong even before they write their columns - is there no editorial check whatsoever on columnists' pronouncements?

NYT columnist Gail Collins is certain John McCain is making a big mistake in denouncing bailouts for failed mortgages, taking what is clearly an unduly harsh position that flies in the face of the will of the people.
I don’t see how anybody could deny that John McCain is a straight-talker. The country is terrified of economic collapse and he’s been sounding like Mr. Potter, the banker in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” You can’t get more forthright than that...Now, the Democrats are terrified that McCain will have months and months to raise money and ingratiate himself with the American people...Fortunately for the quivering Democrats, McCain has also felt compelled to speak about the mortgage crisis. His economic thinking...harks back to the time when Republicans all seemed to be elderly rich guys who muttered a lot about bonded indebtedness. The public’s deep lack of enthusiasm for this worldview was what encouraged Reagan to change the subject to optimism and abortion...The theme for his mortgage speech this week was basically McCain to Homeowners: Drop Dead. It was, he said sternly, “not the duty of the government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly”...while everybody else is “working a second job, skipping a vacation and managing their budgets” the way Countrywide Financial intended them to...It was not exactly a rallying cry for the masses.
So this column is released today, March 29. On Wednesday, the 27th, i.e. before Collins's column even came out, we have this release from Rasmussen Reports:
Most Americans Oppose Federal Bailout for Homeowners.Fifty-three percent (53%) of Americans say that the federal government should not help out homeowners who borrowed more than they could afford. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 29% disagreed and believed that federal action is appropriate. Seventeen percent (17%) are not sure.
Yeah, McCain is really out of touch with the American people on that one.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dick Morris gets it wrong all the time, but he keeps getting on televsiion.

My all time favorite media baffoon is Strobe Talbot. I'll never forget reading him state circa 1985or so that the average Russian had it about as good as the average American.

NBC for years would constantly trot out Paul Dumbass Ehrlich, father of the global cooling theory, and a man who predicted starvation in Britan in the nineties, and mass starvation by 2000 and shortages of about every kind of mineral and fuel imaginable, as an "expert" on the environment.

The paleo-right will still link a piece by a nitwit par excellance named Kuntsler who is excited about the world running out of oil and basically not even being able to make electricity and returning to the 18th (not 19th) century. 180 degrees wrong always, but he keeps getting published.

March 29, 2008 8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Dick Morris needs to lay off sucking on those call girl's toes - its going to his head.

The reason Strobe Talbot came out with that nonsense is, it was recently revealed, he was a spy for the Soviet Union and Russia for years. According to Accuracy in Media (a must bookmark website), a Russia defector several years ago named him as a spy for Russia. In fact there were rumors to that effect years ago, for which reason Sen. Jesse Helms voted against his nomination to be Undersecretary of State for Clinton. The guy is also the longtime leader of the World Federalist Society, and has long advocated a one world government. Just recently, he was rewarded for his treachery by being named president of the leading DC beltway think tank, the Brookings Institute.

The thing that makes the Paul Ehrlichs of this country creepy is their belief the world needs a massive dieoff to achieve Earth's carrying capacity. Just the sort of thing a One World Stalinist like Talbott would be happy to support.

But I have to disagree with you on Kunstler. Yeah he overdoes it with his hatred of all things suburbia, but he gets his info on Peak Oil from Matthew Simmons, the leading investment banker for the oil industry (and an advisor to Mitt Romney's campaign). Simmons seems to be a pretty straight talker, and the reasons he gives for why we are facing a "long emergency" on oil supplies sound reasonable to me. I wouldn't dismiss him. And Kunstler isn't all bad; at least he rails against the de-industrialization of the country and our Open Borders immigration policies, which he correctly identifies as two of the major reasons the U.S. economy has been pretty much based on building suburbia for the last twenty years.

March 30, 2008 5:51 AM  

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