28 dec. 2008

How Fox News Manipulates the News

Fox News: "Historians Pretty Much Agree" That FDR Prolonged the Great Depression That's the title of Huffington Post's article and you know immediately: that can not be true. Or is there a piece of forgotten, even hidden evidence? So we want to hear or read about reliable sources. Who is called "historians"? Pointer's guess is that it is a kind of oral history, like common in the dark ages. Well that's the field of religion or any other kind of devoted believe. It's not factual.
Watch the video:
In the article David Sirota gives us some quote, as is appropriate. Read it, but the finest is this:
Paul Krugman recently explained to a stunningly ignorant George Will on ABC News, 1937-1938 was the period Roosevelt dialed back the New Deal in the name of conservative demands that he stop spending:
By 1937 things were a lot better than they were in 1933. Then [FDR] was persuaded to balance the budget or try to and he raised taxes and cut spending and the economy went back down again and then it took an enormous public works program known as World War II to bring the economy out of the depression.

So with all of that data, let's go back to Fox News' main assertion: Is it really true that "historians pretty much agree" that the New Deal's government intervention prolonged the Great Depression? Of course not, as New York Times economics writer Daniel Gross says:
It was only with the passage of New Deal efforts--the SEC, the FDIC, the FSLIC--that the mechanisms of private capital began to kick back into gear. Don't take it from me. Take it from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who wrote the following in Essays on the Great Depression: "Only with the New Deal's rehabilitation of the financial system in 1933-35 did the economy begin its slow emergence from the Great Depression."...
The argument that the New Deal's efforts "perhaps had prolonged, the Depression," is a canard. One would be very hard-pressed to find a serious professional historian--I mean a serious historian, not a think-tank wanker, not an economist, not a journalist--who believes that the New Deal prolonged the Depression. (emphasis added)
In other words, it's the opposite of what Fox News says. "Historians pretty much agree" on one thing when it comes to Roosevelt: The New Deal helped end the Great Depression. But I would go even further than that, and agree with economist Brad DeLong who said that whether you are a historian or not - to argue what Jarrett and Crowley argued yesterday is to publicly declare oneself as divorced from the facts as the most ridiculed conspiracy theorists. As DeLong says, "A normal person would not argue that the New Deal prolonged the Great Depression."
But, then, these are not "normal people" - those making these arguments are right-wing automatons whose claim that we shouldn't look at actual data, we should simply accept the truth of their claims because they insist "it's in the books!" or they've supposedly seen "all kinds of studies and academic work" that proves their hysteria true.

Couldn't better say it.


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