On Talking Points Memo, Dan Gillmor makes some stinging points about the media's complicity in manufacturing the financial crisis by unquestioningly promoting reckless bubble spending while pooh-poohing any idea that the bill would come due some day:
When we can predict an inevitable calamity if we continue along the current path, we owe it to the public to do everything we can to encourage a change in that destructive behavior.
In practice, this means activism. It means relentless campaigning to point out what's going wrong, and demanding corrective action from those who can do something about it.
So in Florida, Arizona and California, among other epicenters of the housing bubble, newspapers might have told their readers -- including governmental officials -- the difficult truth. They could have explained, again and again, that the housing bubble would inevitably lead, at least locally, to personal financial disaster for many in their regions, not to mention fiscal woes for local and state governments. How many should have done this, given the media's at least partial reliance on advertising from those who profited from the bubbles? Any that cared to do their jobs.
Some plain-as-day woes don't present any financial conflicts. For example, the threat to New Orleans from hurricane-created flooding was clear long before Katrina, and the New Orleans Times-Picayune did run a series of articles warning of what might happen years before the hurricane struck. What it didn't do was follow up in the relentless kind of way that might have spurred local, state and federal action to prevent or mitigate the inevitable disaster.
The Media's Role In The Financial Crisis
More than 6.6m Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, breaking the record for the second week running. “That brings the total number of Americans who filed for unemployment over the past two weeks to nearly 10 million,” writes Fox Business’s Megan Henney, “a stunning sign of the colossal economic damage inflicted by the outbreak.” […]
America has no fire drill for economic uncertainty. What is going to happen today, April 1st, in the middle of an unprecedented pandemic, when everyone’s rent, mortgages, and bills are due?
Wouldn’t it be amazing if the United States did this? Britain’s finance minister Rishi Sunak said Thursday all self-employed citizens will receive a taxable grant of 80% of their average monthly profits as part of the government’s coronavirus response plan.
While all the downsides of stay-at-home orders and social distancing are evident, there are at least a few small silver linings to come out of all this. For many, this time spent indoors has meant a happy reintroduction to your very own kitchen. You know your kitchen. It’s usually the place that holds all your […]
Have you ever had more time to hone in on fine details than right now? Sure, at first glance, this might not seem like the time to get tripped up on the nitty-gritty of minutia. But how often are you ever going to have this much time to really stop and think about hows and […]
There are plenty of productive ways to spend time while stuck indoors. While it’s undoubtedly fun to binge all 15 seasons of Supernatural or sink days of playtime into an Overwatch campaign, learning something new is definitely a more meaningful and long-term beneficial use of open hours. And if you’re going to invest time in […]