It is no big surprise given the state of Texas produces the most extreme among the GOP fringe that the Dallas Morning News editorial republished as an “Outside Voice,” in the Spokesman-Review on the 23rd of March 2009 would start off clawing at President Obama and his economic team over the AIG bailout and subsequent payments of excessive bonuses. Apparently however, the same newspaper must have been asleep at the switch when then Senator Obama only voted for the bailout package that as then Treasury Secretary Paulson declared must have as few strings attached as possible. Which meant that taxpayers’ money could just get delivered carte blanche to the banking industry in trouble over bad financial practices to simply do what they wished with the money. The Republican party in Congress certainly never asked hard questions of Paulson even as they raised the specter of “socialism.” But then, I would guess that they would have some lingering loyalty still toward an administration that would prove more than an embarrassment to them come November. An administration that most certainly treated everyone as a chump. Yeah, Dallas Morning News could have said a great deal about that bailout when it was initially passed. It could have said a great deal like asking exactly why AIG kept coming back to government wanting even more and more billions in bailouts.
It would take former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer on Fareed Zakaria’s “GPS” on CNN to give us a real clue as to why exactly AIG kept coming back to the feds for more and yet more billions in taxpayers’ dollars. Seems that AIG was padding TARP money that the various banks had already received with even more of its own bailout money supposed to bring AIG back to some kind of financial health. Handing out billions to those various lending institutions and applying hundreds of millions in bonuses to its own failed executives. I can see why the taxpayers should have been outraged. But what can you say when Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Sec. Hank Paulson screams in utter panic that if we don’t “do something,” the sky will fall.
What was just as amazing was the the GOP waited months before they could start asking hard questions of the current Dem administration. The hard questions as to why Paulson and Bernanke wanted “no strings attached” on the banking bailout seemed out of the question in September, October, November, December. And what is just as amazing is that the Dallas Morning News assumes that Treasury Secretary Geithner should have divine powers to “know” all about AIG shenanigans “a year ago” concerning those retention bonuses, when no one knew about them until last week. Geithner wasn’t treasury secretary a year ago. And he doesn’t have a full staff at treasury now. Why would we assume he’d “know anything?” You need a full staff at treasury before you can begin to investigate AIG and etc. in the manner that they deserve. For all that the news media to include “60 Minutes” realizes that on an intellectual level, the news media to include CNN, still loves to level strum and drang at an administration that has barely been in office a little more than 2 months. President Obama in a “60 Minutes” interview last night did disclose that Geithner is operating without a lot of personnel support. Yeah, why should we assume that Geithner trying to do the most with least should have known what was brewing at AIG?
Has it ever occurred to such fish wrappers as the Dallas Morning News that investigative reporting is part of their job description? “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” is a parody of a talk/news half-hour based loosely on CNN. But unlike CNN, Mr. Stewart (who sets out most often to make fun of the so-called “seriousness” of news reporting) doesn’t suffer from short-term memory loss. He’ll pull file footage and remind people, for example: What candidate Bush said in 2000, as opposed to what President Bush would say even 3 or 4 years later. Whereas, CNN seems to have been perpetually surprised by unfolding events… He tasked Jim Cramer and by extension news media reporting of the business world for failing to investigate more thoroughly, scammers, cheats and frauds hell-bent on causing their respective companies to go belly-up. Why would Geithner, who just now accepted the Treasury job and who doesn’t have a full staff to assist him have the power to take a good hard look at AIG: Executive pay in the excess, executive bonuses in the excess; even as AIG had inserted one foot into the grave. Dallas Morning News could have looked into it. CNN, CNBC and etc. could have investigated. If there is anyone now playing catch up on this issue, seems to me that it is the news media. And they are playing their viewership and readership for chumps. A truly independent press wouldn’t have waited for the government to issue a statement before venting. A watchdog press at its finest would have told the government where there was a problem.