This morning, I got a little emotional about the rock-solid work that my Daily News colleagues perform under duress, but there's still a lot of shoddy journalism out there and I still intend to call it out. Like this piece in the Chicago Tribune (also bankrupt...it's a trend!), which commits one of the worst sins of modern American news reporting, conflating that inane prattling of the Beltway blowhards for what real citizens think. The subject is CNBC ranter Rick Santelli, who supposedly tapped into anger that people have for low-income (and often duped) homebuyers that didn't exist for bailed-out banking billionaires.
Here's the part that blew my mind:
Yet Santelli's rant, the points he raised and the White House response were the talk of the Sunday-morning TV roundtables, an acknowledgment that he had given voice to many unhappy with where the bailout seems headed.
"About this populist backlash, I think they're worried [at the White House], and rightly so," National Public Radio's Mara Liasson said on Fox Broadcasting's " Fox News Sunday." "In this kind of a situation, you want to be dishing out the populism if you're the president. You don't want to be on the receiving end."
"[A]n acknowledgement that he had given voice to many..." Such as? If there are so many everyday people angry that the federal government wants to aid homeowners, let's hear from them! Yet none are quoted in the story, only a Beltway journalist babbling on the conservative, frequently Obama-bashing FNC. That's your populist revolt. You can't have a populist vote unless there's, you know, "people."
So let's ask the American people...survey says!
Washington Post-ABC News poll, 1,001 U.S. adults, conducted Feb. 19-22:
21. On another economic issue, would you support or oppose the federal government using 75 billion dollars to provide refinancing assistance to homeowners to help them avoid foreclosure on their mortgages? Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat?
-------- Support -------- ------- Oppose -------- No NET Strongly Somewhat NET Somewhat Strongly opinion 2/22/09 64 37 27 35 12 23 2 I don't think it's much of a populist revolt when it's backed by just 35 percent of the American people. But what do I know, I'm only a journalist.