Gramm advises McCain, lobbies for a bank that’s in criminal trouble: not news.
Obama says “uncle” for “grand-uncle” and misidentifies which Nazi concentration camp his relative helped liberate: news.
Time to do something about it: now.
Yesterday we learned:
1. That John McCain’s chief economic adviser was a lobbyist (and is still a Vice-Chairman) of a bank that’s loaded up with possibly worthless paper and hip-deep in criminal activity (facilitating evasion of U.S. taxes by rich Americans through the services of its “private banking” arm).
2. That it wasn’t Barack Obama’s uncle who helped liberate one of the Nazi death camps; it was his grand-uncle. And that the camp wasn’t Auschwitz, but Buchenwald.
Guess which one made news? It’s not that the press actually bought the silly Republican spin that Obama is “gaffe-prone;” but they let the RNC catch them up in the argument, distracting them from the Gramm story, which should have been devastating to McCain.
We need to be relentless on calling the media on this b.s. The right wing cowed the “liberal media” into submission years ago (cf. Scott McClellan), and of course the right wing also owns its own media empires: the Murdoch/News Corp. empire including Fox News and the Moonie empire including the Washington Times. Time to start working the refs, and workin them hard.
Author: Mark Kleiman
Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out.
Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken)
When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist
Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993)
Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989)
View all posts by Mark Kleiman