Friday, December 19, 2008
Where is TV News?
Of all the stories in the news this week, the one story that has importance and significance, in my opinion, to the financial crisis and the bond market meltdown, is totally absent from TV news. I am talking about the excellent article that appeared in The New York Times, Sunday, December 14, 2008 about Senator Charles "Chuck" Schumer and his direct influence on the rating agencies and the whole issue of regulation and Wall Street. Is this Senator so powerful that he can force the TV news, cable included, to give him a pass? Of all the bullshit issues that there is time for on TV news, I find it hard to believe that this comprehensive article about the way things happened in Washington and Wall Street, and appearing on the front page of the Sunday New York Times, that not one journalist or talking head has made a peep about this article this week. If this is the state of journalism in America today, then it is going to be a long road before regulation, oversight and transparency in the banking and securities industry sees a brighter day. While President-elect Obama has picked individuals of ability and, I hope, character, the battle to better regulation of the banking and securities industry will not be won easily. Such power to keep any follow up of this article, which I mentioned in MONEYTHOUGHTS on Monday, December 15, 2008, off network or cable news programs, is just beyond me. Either the talking heads and journalists that cover politics and the market do not understand the significance of this article, or, the power to bury this piece of journalism is on par with Darth Vader's death ray. I realize that the story about Bernie Madoff losing $50 billion is more fun to report, but its significance is only made greater by its connection to the overall lack of regulation, oversight and transparency in the securities industry. It is because of the culture of abuse and contempt for regulation in the brokerage and money management business, as well as their shills in Washington promoting their interests, that this huge tragedy could happen. Our only hope is that the New York Times does not let this issue of Senator Schumer and his influence on Wall Street regulation die.