Thursday, October 23, 2008

When will the American people get chance to question the news media for its lack of oversight?

In the ongoing frenzy of finger-pointing, a middle digit needs to be aimed at the nation's news media for failing to serve as a watchdog for its readers as the ongoing economic crisis grew this decade.

Instead, the media was more about worshipping at the feet of then Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, and praising him as the nation's real leader and provider of economic fortune. Greenspan was so enthused by the worship that he wrote a book extolling his omnipotence while getting awards from various organizations and even the federal government.

Someone prominent in the news media nationally and locally in your community should have been sounding the warning. They should have been doing their own research. They should have talked with investors who put their retirement future in the market or the college educations of their children.

But the media continued to be enthralled with its own image and writing and financial celebrities such as Greenspan, Warren Buffett and Carl Icahn. Making more and more money was the story, not taking care of what you have and securing it.

The local newspaper here, The Tennessean, sure did not provide any kind of meaningful warning or oversight. It remains most concerned with the bottom line of its corporate owner, Gannett Co. Inc. Continuing staff cutbacks that go unannounced to readers here leave the powerful and uncaring free to do their communities and this nation as they please.

Greed destroys -- be it by these forces or the news media itself. I've tried to warn as many people as possible through this barely read blog about the coming troubles and to not invest in the financial markets now. I've invested in the market since 1984 and was an economics writer for 10 years.

I got a close friend out of the market and into cash before the market recently fell 777 points and below 10,000. So I feel blessed about that. Now the market is headed toward 8000. His family feels a lot more secure.

I would have done the same for many more people through my political columnist job at The Tennessean. But I lost it in Aug. 2007. My position was not considered important enough to readers. I bet with their hurting investments that readers might disagree now.

So if and when you pick up the morning newspaper(I don't subscribe), or watch a local TV type, or catch Lou Dobbs and Anderson Cooper on CNN, ask them what they were looking at. Dobbs was going after undocumented human beings as the real threat to this nation's security. Cooper was swimming with sharks and dodging admirers and building up his own celebrity. Your needs were of no concern.

The point of this rant is not to really place blame. It is to tell you to not depend on the media -- with a few exceptions -- for guidance in how to recoup some of your money, dreams and navigate the coming and terrible economic times.

Jefferson said a free press was needed to inform this nation and keep it free. Now we know the press doesn't really give a damn, and you're lives are now held hostage to losses in your investments that you can't afford.

Trust yourself and your intelligence to find answers on the Internet, or in talking in the lobby after church on Sundays or at the soccer field with parents who share your values of family first.

The pirating profiteers of this nation and their enabling media admirers no longer deserve your patronage or trust.

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