An interesting observation by Ed Driscoll, pointing out how the media is now reporting bad economic information, even though it’s not news. They’ve had the information, they just withheld dissemination of it. Over at Instapundit, they pointed out this quote from F.A.Hayek’s Road to Serfdom:
Everything which might cause doubt about the wisdom of the government or create discontent will be kept from the people. The basis of unfavorable comparisons with elsewhere, the knowledge of possible alternatives to the course actually taken, information which might suggest failure on the part of the government to live up to its promises or to take advantage of opportunities to improve conditions–all will be suppressed. There is consequently no field where the systematic control of information will not be practiced and uniformity of views not enforced.
Here is what Ed Driscoll wrote:
In his latest Impromptus column Jay Nordlinger describes something that almost everyone reading this Website experiences on a daily basis — “Swimming Against the Tide.” Here’s but one of numerous examples Nordlinger rounds up:
The briefest word about the news media — a further word. You may recall this year’s Al Smith Dinner. The tradition at these dinners is for the presidential nominees to crack wise. And here’s something that Romney said about the news media: “My job is to lay out a positive vision for the future of the country, and their job is to make sure no one else finds out about it.”
Everyone laughed. No one said, “Gee, that’s weird. I don’t get it. What’s he talking about?” They knew. Everyone knows.
Or as Investor’s Business Daily notes today:
Little noticed in President Obama’s “fiscal cliff” plan is a demand for a huge new stimulus package. Wait! Wasn’t he and everyone in the press telling us just before the election how the economy was gathering steam?
In addition to the $1.6 trillion in new taxes on “the rich” that Obama demands, he’s also pushing for upward of $255 billion in new stimulus spending for next year — including $50 billion for roads, $30 billion in extended unemployment benefits and various short-term tax breaks.
According to the New York Times, the administration’s argument is that “the sluggish economy requires a shot in the arm.”And, indeed, the Times paints a rather grim picture of the current economic situation.
Data show “the recovery once again sputtering,” it reported Tuesday, adding that the “underlying rate of growth (is) too slow to bring down the unemployment rate by much.” Manufacturing and exports are lagging, it noted, while consumers and businesses are “holding back” and “wage growth is weak.”
What’s more, the Times says, economic data have “come in surprisingly weak,” and forecasters have “slashed their estimates of growth in the fourth quarter.” Macroeconomic Advisers thinks annualized GDP growth will be just 0.8% this quarter.
Now they tell us. In the crucial last few weeks before the election, the mainstream media were falling over themselves painting a rosy economic picture. Every upbeat bit of data made it to the front page; any bad news got buried.
Well, yes. And the same pattern works exactly the same in reverse in an election year, when the economy is recovering nicely under a GOP president.
And it’s not just burying bad news about the economy: “Yes, all those people coming out of the woodwork now to complain about drone strikes, interrogation, warrantless spying, indefinite detention, etc. could have been talking about this stuff in September. But they didn’t.”