Patterico's Pontifications

10/25/2011

How the Washington Post campaigns for Obama’s re-election

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 10:45 am

[Posted by Karl]

I try to avoid focusing on media bias, but when I see Ed Morrissey and others favorably citing the WaPo story on Obama’s housing policy failure, I must respectfully dissent.  Consider the narrative-building at work in the WaPo piece:

The Obama effort fell short in part because the president and his senior advisers, after a series of internal debates, decided against more dramatic actions to help homeowners, worried that they would pose risks for taxpayers and the economy, according to numerous current and former officials. They consistently unveiled programs that underperformed, did little to reduce mortgage debts owed by ordinary Americans and rejected a get-tough approach with banks.

***

Not that there were easy answers. The administration faced the worst housing crisis since the Great Depression. Spending large amounts of taxpayer money to bail out some homeowners — but not necessarily their neighbors — carried huge political risks and faced opposition in Congress.

It is, coincidentally or not, strikingly similar to the narrative Ezra Klein spun a couple of weeks earlier in a piece on the failure of Obama’s stimulus plan.  While formally a blog post, Klein’s piece runs with the length, original reporting and faux-neutral tone of anything else in the WaPo.  The WaPo spin is precisely the one Team Obama wants put on their obvious and unavoidable failures: It Could Be Worse.  They desperately want the narrative that the current economy was so bad that it could not be fixed by The One in just four years;  he would have done more, but for the obstructionism of those evil wingnuts.  Obama did not lose 3.3 million net jobs; he “saved” millions of jobs, according to the computer models that did not tell him how bad the economy was in the first place.

Contrast the sympathetic, nuanced apologia for Obama’s failures with the WaPo’s breathless, shoddy hit pieces on Rick Perry or Marco Rubio  — possible GOP nominees for president or veep.  (In turn, compare those hit pieces with the way the WaPo dismissed Obama’s longtime association the Rev. Jeremiah Wright as an attack on the black church, itself a smear of most black churchgoers).  The WaPo’s partisan attacks of GOPers feeds the other half of the “It Could Be Worse” campaign — sure, Obama is a miserable failure, but his opponents are dumb, lying, racists.

Some on the right are giving the WaPo credit for reporting on Obama’s failures.  I understand the impulse to encourage coverage that is not completely divorced from reality.  But in this instance, everyone already knows that Obama’s stimulus and housing policies failed.  As biased as the establishment media is, it could hardly stop reporting economic and housing statistics.  Even if they had blacked out such coverage, everyone would still know Obama failed.  In my city, I see the developers desperately trying to unload on their unsold condo conversions.  When I talk to my Dad — who lives in an exurban/rural area — we talk about the longterm unsold houses and the crews the local banks are hiring to mow the lawns on their inventory of foreclosed homes.  Most of us know someone whose mortgage is underwater. And so on, and so on.  The WaPo is not speaking truth to power on these subjects; it’s spinning a pro-Obama narrative of how they think people should think about these subjects.

–Karl

70 Responses to “How the Washington Post campaigns for Obama’s re-election”

  1. Ding!

    Karl (f07e38)

  2. More good analysis. Yeah, I could refinance on the taxpayer’s dime. I’m(or make that my wife) is paying 5% when we could save a $100 a month refinancing.

    But this just adds to the deficit and with 3 million plus homes in overhang, and with Greek default, expect existing homes to crash another 10%.

    So then everyone’s underwater all over again.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  3. What’s wrong with the Washington Post’s narrative..

    The Obama effort fell short in part because the president and his senior advisers, after a series of internal debates, decided against more dramatic actions to help homeowners, worried that they would pose risks for taxpayers and the economy, according to numerous current and former officials. They consistently unveiled programs that underperformed…

    …is the idea that this should have taken anyone by surprise. The day they were announced they should have known they wouldn’t work. It wouldn’t work mathematically.

    Maybe they did understand that (rather han piteously hoping) but they wanted to announce something. I would say maybe they hoped things would get better by themselves – the economy would recover, maybe housing prices would go up, so all this wouldn’t matter except that the president would have in his record that he’d had a mortgage refinancing policy.

    The only thing is, the economy did not go through a dramatic recovery, because the stimulus didn’t work, and there was no reaosn for housing prices to go up.

    And besides which what other consumer good do we have where the government’s policy is to drive up prices?? Why is that good policy anyway? Because of the outstanding loans, of course. But is it really good?

    – maybe they did

    Sammy Finkelman (71494b)

  4. Hey you wingnuts are engaging in a Mccarthyesque witch hunt against our first black president but hey lets use Mccarthys words against the right.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  5. In regards to Marco Rubio’s so called spin of his family history, has the Post done a hit piece on Obama’s lie about his mother being denied health care benefits? Turns out she was completely covered. It was the disability claim that was rejected due to pre-existing condition.

    AZ Bob (7d2a2c)

  6. You’re being too hard on the Post, they’re simply doing what liberals do and for the same reasons.

    They can’t accept that Obama’s policies haven’t made everything good… for that would suggest that there was something wrong with Obama’s policies… and no liberal can ever admit that Keynesian big government doesn’t work.

    So they fall back on some alternative story lines to push to the public. One is to claim that it really did work, as evidenced by all the bad things that didn’t happen (global depression, nuclear war, attack by aliens, etc.). The second is to claim that it would have worked, if only it was bigger. A third is to claim that it is working, just taking a little longer because things were so screwed up by Bush. And the fourth is to say that it would have worked but for all the unanticipated things that came up (tsunami, Europe, etc., etc.).

    Typical. Nothing new. And certainly not unexpected.

    steve (369bc6)

  7. Hot Air and its readers would be better off with Karl on the main page and Ed in the Green Room.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  8. What DRJ said…

    Gazzer (1d869e)

  9. DRJ

    Second that!

    EricPWJohnson (d84fb0)

  10. B-but what if Aslans Girl is offended?

    DohBiden (d54602)

  11. Those are kind words, but HotAir would not be better off with Ed in the Greenroom, I assure you. Michelle Malkin was very smart to balance Allahpundit, first with Bryan, later with Ed. But I don’t always agree with Ed’s take, this being one such occasion. And I raise it in part because I think Ed tends to usually get such things right.

    Karl (f07e38)

  12. I should add, having guested on the front page while Ed and AP were meeting re the site purchase by Salem, that neither of them has an easy job. Sure, you get to go right to the story of the moment, but cranking out posts at that volume while trying to hold an audience that large is a pressure situation.

    Karl (f07e38)

  13. Karl,

    My comment was intended primarily as a compliment to you and not to slam Ed Morrissey, who is a well-intentioned and prolific blogger. I also admire Mr. Morrissey for his faith and compassion. But at times he seems to post based on his first impressions and they aren’t always reliable. So either you think things through better or you have more reliable first impressions.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  14. I love how the left blame the rich for the economy and not Obamas spending spree.

    Doesn’t Obama get rich off of Wall Streets money?

    DohBiden (d54602)

  15. Democrats-If only we were allowed to raise taxes on the rich so we can get rich the Economy would be better off.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  16. Comment by DohBiden — 10/25/2011 @ 1:46 pm

    Only if it’s laundered through Rezko
    (who seems to have dropped completely from sight – Fitz must be setting himself up to replace Holder at DoJ).

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (d0e7e2)

  17. The rich are using us by offering jobs to us according to leftys

    Nice logic.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  18. Because if the rich pay their fair share in taxes thna Maobama would not be going on a spending spree.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  19. DRJ

    the guys would love it if you started writing again…

    EricPWJohnson (d84fb0)

  20. The rich left are using their voters.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  21. Great stuff, Karl.

    And I like what DRJ said. One thing I’ve very little patience for these days is conservative bloggers running after every bone some liberal press person throws.

    We don’t always have to fetch.

    MayBee (081489)

  22. Oh, meant to add that Karl doesn’t automatically fetch.

    MayBee (081489)

  23. President Millstone’s re-election strategery…
    The Lightworker is in L.A. this week, disrupting traffic in a major way.
    This only demonstrates that there is a God since his disruption is concentrated in the Blue-est of Blue sectors of the City,
    which is the Hope & Change that those idiots voted for, I suppose.
    Any time life is brought to a standstill on the West-Side of L.A., and around Beberly Hills, a little part of me smiles.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (d0e7e2)

  24. I liked Cain’s ad even if it wasn’t perfect.

    Perrybots to explain how Bloc is somehow a creepy man who likes to ogle you and how Cain tortures Hungarian mimes in his secret underground dungeon in 3…2…1…

    DohBiden (d54602)

  25. Bye bye dollar bill.

    Won’t this cause the economy to collapse?

    DohBiden (d54602)

  26. So karl, when did the Bush recession end? Was it the day Obama was sworn into office or was it earlier than that?

    Spartacvs (69d31d)

  27. The Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) said that the recession ended at the start of the 3Q of ’09.
    YMMV!

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (d0e7e2)

  28. I see Spartacvs has returned to deliver fresh evidence of his ignorance.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  29. And, as we can see from these BLS numbers, things (unemployment) have gotten oh so much better since June of ’09:
    ……… JA… FE… MA… AP.. May. Jun Jul…AU…SE….OC…NO…DE

    2009- 7.8 – 8.2 – 8.6 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 9.7 – 9.8 – 10.1 – 9.9 – 9.9
    2010- 9.7 – 9.7 — 9.7 – 9.8 – 9.6 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 9.6 – 9.6 – 9.7 — 9.8 – 9.4
    2011- 9.0 – 8.9 – 8.8 – 9.0 – 9.1 – 9.2 – 9.1 — 9.1 – 9.1

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (d0e7e2)

  30. He doesn’t need to remind us, as his idiocy is preserved in amber.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (d0e7e2)

  31. Spurty’s idiocy is legend.

    JD (a1d502)

  32. Spartacvs

    I think you mistook Bush Recession for the Reid-Pelosi-Obama recession of 2006, thats when they blocked in the Senate the Bush Tax plans for social security, held funding for Katrina and the War on Terror until they got their massive spending bills passed and then controlled the congress for the last half decade

    I think thats what you were thinking of – Bush didnt have a recession

    EricPWJohnson (d84fb0)

  33. More accurately, the NBER observed that the 3Q of ’09 marked the trough of the Bush recession.

    Spartacvs (69d31d)

  34. Spurty – Why do you hate black people?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  35. spartacvs

    As I rmember its congress, that passes the budget and by the third quarter of 09 – the democrats were in control for the previous 14 qtrs

    So you really mean the Pelosi-Reid-Obama recession, right?

    EricPWJohnson (d84fb0)

  36. I’m guessing the word, trough, doesn’t mean what you think it means, Spartacus. Maybe you should try again.

    East Bay Jay (2fd7f7)

  37. No, they marked June ’09 as the trough, and that the economy began to expand again, though anemically, in July ’09; therefore, 20 June 2009 marked the end of the recession that began with the First-Quarter ’08 (as they had marked Dec-07 as a “peak” of economic activity.

    But, using this chart, we see that the traditional definition of a recession of two-consecutive quarters in decline, didn’t occur until the last half of ’08, beginning four consective quarters of negative growth until the mid-point of ’09:
    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/gdp-growth

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (d0e7e2)

  38. Karl – It’s almost time to cue up those video clips of Barney Frank claiming there is nothing wrong with the financial condition of Fannie or Freddie in order to deter Republican efforts to rein them in. More and larger government interference in the housing markets is exactly what we need.

    After all, what could go wrong?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  39. Trough = low point, Q4 2008

    East Bay Jay (2fd7f7)

  40. Spurty has honesty issues.

    JD (a1d502)

  41. SpartacBS is just another idiot who believes blacks who don’t agree with liberals are just sellouts.

    Gotta love Darlene Routiers defenders calling the jury a bunch of sexist conservatives.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  42. Yes, but GDP didn’t go back into positive numbers until Q3.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (d0e7e2)

  43. ADRTROS your just confusing our trolls with that mumbo jumbo.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  44. Everytime spurty and friends show up they get “schooled”.
    Why do they keep coming back for the same self-induced abuse?
    Are they masochists?
    Or just stupid?

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (d0e7e2)

  45. Both

    JD (a1d502)

  46. But they have terrific self-esteem.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (d0e7e2)

  47. spvrty betrayed them
    he often played with himself
    and with the Left’s fears

    ColonelHaiku (fbf87d)

  48. Karl is, by far, the best writer on this site.

    ODB (8d652e)

  49. vote for 0bama
    will qualify voter for
    the Darwin Award

    ColonelHaiku (fbf87d)

  50. down wit ODB?
    yeah, you know me, Karl is
    but Aaron real close

    ColonelHaiku (fbf87d)

  51. Greedy liberals will throw their own grandmother out the window if it meant voting for Obama.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  52. Obama did!

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (d0e7e2)

  53. Heh. Good point, AD.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  54. That’s the really striking thing about Obama, he was willing to let his grandmother, who raised him,
    be slandered as a ‘typical white person’ to get from under Jeremiah Wright. Then he prided himself
    for ‘debating’ over whether she should get a hip
    replacement.

    ian cormac (0fc95f)

  55. Wrong! If he’d only thrown her out the window, she could have made a run for it. Obama threw her under the bus.

    ColonelHaiku (fbf87d)

  56. The guy has a level of class that is simply indescribable.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (d0e7e2)

  57. That’s in the Vizzini sense of the word.

    ian cormac (0fc95f)

  58. striking a pose of
    arrogant pomposity
    none do it better

    ColonelHaiku (fbf87d)

  59. those jug ear handles
    and the mussolini pose
    la Merda Uno

    ColonelHaiku (fbf87d)

  60. It will only be a matter of time before Obama throws his fat arsed wife under the bus.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  61. Michelle Bachmann on Hannity………………..Uggggggggh.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  62. Fascism is lefty in ideology not right wing.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  63. #50, … that would be lyrics for OPP by Naughty by Nature. ODB is a dead person from the Wu-Tang Clan. I like Karl — no fluff.

    ODB (8d652e)

  64. I just wanted to comment to thank Karl for continuing to blog well on a practically daily basis.

    Dustin (b2fb78)

  65. Obama’s 2 new big ideas-

    1.Housing-more Freddie and Fannie funds for homeowners who borrowed money they could never pay back for more house than they could afford;

    2. Student Loans-more federal money for people to go to schools they cannot afford, and will never pay back.

    In both cases the government bails out those who don’t live within their means and refuse to save for big things. And bailed out by those who do plan for the future. There will be no incentive to do so in the future if Daddy Government will take care of you.

    As to the former, it didn’t work out before, there’s no reason to expect it would work this time. In fact, quite the opposite. As to the later, when does anyone ask colleges why tuition increases have doubled ands tripled inflation year after year? Will we ever get hearinsg on that,or is academia exempt from such discussions?

    As to both, the Socialist-In-Chief doesn’t grasp math nor economics. No wonder he won’t release his grades. He took mostly Women’s Studies and junk like that. This is an embarrassment; he is mathematically clueless. And no one in MSM will call him on this.

    Bugg (ea1809)

  66. Q: What’s the difference between the “Washington Post” and “Pravda”?

    A: Pravda is less sensational, more objective, and way more open to “speaking truth to power.” 😉

    MarkJ (42fe5b)

  67. But with Romamba and Government as usual we’ll be Greek. From Mish, Mike Shedlocks blog:

    ‘The head of an Athens bank branch told BILD: “More and more Greeks who still have some money come to get it from the bank. In my office there are a total of 5,000 customers, 2,500 of which either have their money transferred abroad or hoard it at home. If this continues, there will soon be no more money.”‘

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  68. Comment by MarkJ — 10/26/2011 @ 7:24 am

    Would that make them Izvestia?

    Old Soviet saying:
    There is no news in Pravda, and there is no truth in Izvestia.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (30e753)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 1.3352 secs.