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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Big media get religion when Democrats take over

Now that Democrats are in charge, mainstream journalism, after 8 years of adhering slavishly to the official unemployment rate that fails to consider labor-force drop-outs and those forced against their wishes into part-time jobs, suddenly discovers the broader U-6 measure that includes such data. Now, it's 15.6 per cent. You can bet that the press will try to use it to paint a bleak picture even when things are improving, pretending that it was not GW Bush, on their watch, who saw that number sky between March 2001 through March 2009 from 7.4% to 15.6 %. Before the election, it had ballooned to 12 %, but even though that 5 percentage point increase in U-12 meant about 7-8 million more Americans were out of work or grossly underemployed, you never heard that piece of bad news from AP, NBC, ABC, CBS or CNN that might further drag down the McCain campaign.

Remember last year when Chris Matthews, the clueless one, was so puzzled why Americans weren't happier because the official unemployment rate was still under 5%? That's because ordinary Americans in their bones were a hell of a lot smarter than Chris Matthews. Their bones were telling them what the U-6 figure was telling us: that we were hemorrhaging jobs much faster than the more sanguine official rate seemed to say.

That, of course, was on top of hundreds of thousands of temps without benefits being hired instead of permanent employees, millions losing health insurance entirely, tens of millions more seeing their health insurance deductibles and premiums escalating, pension programs that had been a mainstay feature of American industry for five decades, America losing manufacturing jobs to China and elsewhere. We got it. The multi-million dollar “journalist” hired by right-wing multi-billionaire Jack Welch for the Nantucket Broadcasting Corporation just didn't understand.

Will we ever get a better electronic press than this? Not until it's broken up into independent pieces again.

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