Monday, November 9, 2009

Editorial: Let's get people back on the job

The unnamed Courier editor offers yet another example of willful short-sightedness today in decrying the administration's efforts to reconfigure our clearly broken health-care and energy systems while people are out of work.

We used to rely on journalists to look into the implications of public issues and supply us with the information we need to see the bigger picture and make better decisions as voters. It seems that those journalists are in the unemployment lines now, too, since corporations realized in the 1980s that all they really need to do to reliably get what they want is buy up the news business, knowing that over time the media organizations would steadily make small changes in policy and mindsets favoring corporate views.

Let's postulate, for example, that a cap-and-trade regime really could "put and end to the coal business," as the editor egregiously misquotes the president. Could he really imagine that the transaction ends with all the coal people out of work? Can he really not see that the shift to renewables will create an order of magnitude more jobs than the modern coal business could ever provide? How could a supposed journalist miss this plain-as-day linkage?

The problem here is that ideology is simply blinding the editor to the facts. He sees what he wants to see (and the person who hired him knew that would happen). The challenge for the reader is to avoid seeing only the bit that the editor is able to see. Bear in mind that the decisions the editor makes in the open on the editorial page indicate the sort of decisions he makes subtly on the news pages.

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