Monday, January 07, 2008

The Media--Not Left, Not Right, Just Wrong

Don't know if you watched the Democratic candidates debate on Saturday night, but we did, and I admit I joined in with the derisive laughter at this moment (the key line happens at 36 seconds in or so):

As if the glasses halfway down his nose don't already scream patrician SOB, but what is Charlie Gibson thinking? Sure, he only made $7 million in 2005, so he feels the middle class pinch if anyone does. He probably has to limit the number of designer glasses to buy to perch on that nose to a mere three or four.

Inside HigherEd looked into Gibson's claim and wrote "the average salary for a full professor at Saint Anselm is just over $77,000 while the average for assistant professors is under $50,000. " So even if two full professors are married, they're still 46 grand short of the 200 grand point at which the wealthiest Americans would get taxed in most of the Dem candidates' plans. Indeed, the U.S. Census figures for 2006 put the median U.S. income at $48, 201, which would mean you'd need to be a Mormon supporter of Mitt Romney with 4 incomes in your family to sniff that $200,000 threshold. (Sorry to put the image of the Mittster and sniffing in the same sentence.)

All this economy talk wouldn't matter if the press's view of things wasn't the prevailing view of politicians, too. On January 4, when we heard the jobless rate hit a two-year high of 5%, President Bush tried to calm us by saying (according to CNN) "that while there is some uncertainty about slowing economic growth, the nation's 'financial markets are strong and solid.'" Of course, according to the Economic Policy Institute, less than 50% of American households own stock, and only 35% hold more than $5,000 of it. So while a stock market on the rise helps friends of George W. and Charlie Gibson, the rest of us might not be so fortunate.

Politicians live in the media, and it's not a pretty petri dish most of us get to swim in.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

the breck girl stumping for the rights of the middle class is about the most disingenuous stance of any of the candidates running. that ambulance chaser is worth millions, millions he made off of faulty class action lawsuits that the courts ate up like so many m&m's. i'm below the $200K, but i dont feel like it's george bush's fault i dont own stock. americans need to buck up and remember what it takes to get ahead: hard work and ingenuity.

9:39 AM  
Anonymous kusala said...

This all supports why I don't have cable and rarely watch television -- though it makes me shudder to consider where most people and voters get their "information".

Oh, and I think 'anonymous' helps answer my question about why so many members of the "middle class" are so content or eager to vote against their own economic interests and gladly swallow the Kool-Aid mantra of "if you're struggling financially you have no one to blame but yourself" (or, if you're lucky to have a scapegoat handy, someone even lower on the economic rungs).

11:04 AM  
Anonymous jeff said...

great post, George. I must lack anonymous's ingenuity. But in the interest of full disclosure, the two teachers in our family of four (one who teaches college, the other public middle school, in a half-time job that allows her to stay home two days a week with a toddler daughter) make $67K a year. Nothing to be too proud of ingenuity-wise, but then I don't share anonymous's indifference to GWB's hard work.

We were told by somebody who is rich to take out a loan on an insurance policy my father gave us that had been paid off, and had a death benefit of $18K. But the dividend on the cash value never exceeded the yearly interest payment, as this person assured us it would. So we're still paying interest on the loan. Seems the Insurance Company's portfolio did less well this year than expected.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Smitty said...

the breck girl stumping for the rights of the middle class is about the most disingenuous stance of any of the candidates running. that ambulance chaser is worth millions, millions he made off of faulty class action lawsuits

At leastsomeone is looking out, truly, for the middle class. I don't care if it is a rich girl or a rich trial lawyer or the Second (or first, depending on your religious view) coming of Christ. So...disingenuous my ass.

The only person to look bad coming out of that debate was Charlie Gibson. He's a tool.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Rickey Henderson said...

who is this breck girl anonymous is refering to? It's John Edwards, right?

1:11 PM  
Blogger Rickey Henderson said...

Heh, that was actually a joke Rickey was making. People actually call Edwards that? Hilarious. Lemme guess, its one of Rush's talking points?

Yep, using sexist language toemasculate presidential candidates and then talking about "hard work and ingenuity" does sound like Rush an awful lot.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Trekking Left said...

The point all Democratic candidates are trying to make is that "hard work and ingenuity" aren't enough anymore ... because the system is rigged towards the wealthy.

2:57 PM  
Blogger ahab said...

"Anonymous" sounds a lot like the asshole troll who embarrassed himself out of here a few weeks ago. You know, the one who liked to call Hillary "pantsuit." That boy's got gender issues.

Tortureboy obviously lifted his confused notions about "what it takes to get ahead" straight from posterboy for nepotism Bill Kristol's first NY Times column, which I blogged about and tortureboy commented on at his new S&M palace, Tom Hilton's blog.

The fact is, the kind of "hard work and ingenuity" it takes to get ahead in these United States, as Kristol ably demonstrates, is more and more a matter of being born (and connected) right. Only fools masochists and idiot dittoheads will deny it.

5:50 PM  
Blogger George said...

Please do not feed the troll.

5:54 PM  
Blogger MCConfrontation said...

still talking about me queequeg? i dont feel embarassed about anything. i left because regular discourse here had degenerated, and because people like you cant debate the issues without going postal. i left at the right time too, right before you and george pulled the racist card on me elsewhere, which is just plain ridiculous. i do know you cant spell liberal without l-i-b-e-l. i lost respect for george the other day when you guys pulled that crap. im only commenting now to say im not the anonymous commenter, even though i think he/she is spot on.

you can all go back to your porn and cheetos now.

9:30 PM  
Blogger ahab said...

Gotcha, George. Apologies.

3:26 AM  

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