New York Times columnist Tom Friedman once declared that he doesn't really bother understanding international trade agreements. But that doesn't stop him from writing about them.
In corporate media, some political arguments are treated as indisputable fact. One of the most important: Democrats win by moving to the right. In the New York Times (5/3/12), Peter Baker offers the latest example: Mr. Obama, who campaigned on Sunday with Mr. Clinton, seems to be following his Democratic predecessor's playbook. After a generation of Democrats alienating voters with liberal domestic positions, Mr. Clinton moved the party toward the center on issues like trade, welfare and deficit spending. First off: Democrats had been alienating voters for a generation with their liberal policies? I am not sure what this is […]
A New York Times story today (10/28/11) by Jennifer Steinhauer on the state of bipartisanship in Washington noted: Outside of a few recent flashes of light–the passage of three trade bills this month, and an agreement on patent reform–there have been no big bipartisan jobs initiatives in this Congress. The idea that trade deals with Colombia and South Korea are "big" job creators is not a fact–it's an argument that proponents of the deals make. But a corporate media that gives a thumbs-up to anything labeled "free trade" are going to be just as eager to call these deals job […]
Corporate media's incredibly uncritical boosterism of so-called "free trade" deals has been remarked on many times, and continues to be remarkable. What else but blind faith would allow a story to carry a line like one in the October 12 New York Times, about textile industry opposition to the new deal with South Korea: "The production of shirts and sheets has shifted steadily from the United States to countries with lower-cost labor. Economists argue that this process strengthens the economy as companies and workers shift to more productive and lucrative kinds of work." Of course, if the Times has evidence […]
The corporate media has more or less been on the same page in applauding Obama's cabinet picks so far–"He's been pragmatic in choosing pragmatists," as the Washington Post editorial page cheered on November 28. There's been occasional criticism of Obama's choices as being too progressive, as when the L.A. Times (12/5/08) attacked the idea of Rep. Xavier Bercerra as U.S. trade representative, declaring that Obama "should break his promises and appoint a free-trader as trade representative." So it was refreshing to see Michael Hirsh's piece in Newsweek wondering why left-leaning Columbia economist Joseph Stiglitz hasn't been in the mix: But […]