Monday, March 09, 2009

American Media Bias - Size of the Stimulus

Sometimes there is evidence of the conservative character of the "mainstream" media in the U.S. that is clear and unequivocal. One such case is identified by Paul Krugman and Media Matters who have drawn attention to the fact that the media, especially tv news, paid almost no attention to the argument that the size of Barack Obama's stimulus bill was too small. The fact that the downturn now appears to be worse than anticipated suggests that more stimulus will indeed be needed, but what should have been part of the initial debate was ignored despite the fact that there were important voices making that case.

I expect Obama and team will recognize the need for more stimulus. I don't agree with Krugman's column today that in effect argues they somehow won't notice. I do suspect that the limits on the size of the first package reflected a recognition that, given the difficulties of getting 60 votes in the Senate, it was all he could do initially. It will take time to build some general recognition of the need to do do more. Obama, the former community organizer, often likes to make it look as if he is being pushed to act. It would help if the media would broaden the terms of the debate because we are going to need more aggressive action on the economy to get out of this mess.

Update: The always invaluable has an excellent post on the politics of bank nationalization, which argues that the administration is playing for time and has not yet made up their mind on what to do. I think there is still much more to come from Obama on economic strategy.

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