February 12, 2009

I wrote a post a week ago called: Why aren't there hundreds of economists on my TV explaining the stimulus package? It was picked up by Yahoo News via the Huffington Post. Thankfully Media Matters did a little research and broke down the TV coverage to see where these hundreds of economists are lurking.

Guess what? They weren't on the air trying to explain one of the most important times in our nation's history. The networks decided to stick with the arguing talking head monkey format.

In the hour following President Obama's February 9 press conference -- during which he gave a brief address about the economic recovery legislation currently moving through Congress -- cable news programs featured guests and panelists to discuss Obama's remarks. But CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC did not bring on a single economist to discuss the plan. The absence of economists in the post-press conference discussion was consistent with the observation made by Crooksandliars.com founder John Amato in a February 4 article on The Huffington Post:

"I'm sure you've heard about the hundreds of economists that are either for or against President Obama's stimulus plan. My question to the media is: Where are they?" Indeed, a Media Matters for America review of the Sunday talk shows and 12 cable news programs from January 25 through February 8 found that during 139 1/2 hours of programming on Sunday mornings and weekday afternoons and evenings, of 460 total guest appearances in discussions about the economic recovery legislation and debate in Congress, only 25 were made by economists -- a mere 5 percent.

Check their full break down. It's sickening. Only 5% of them were put on air. It's not that Americans are uninformed, but that our media fails to do their jobs and intentionally decides to keep them uninformed. They would rather have a recently defeated Lindsey Graham and John Boehner appear to whine and whine and whine about President Obama's stimulus package.

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