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Hit Piece on Sanders Proposals Relies on Pro-Clinton Economists Mislabeled as ‘Leftists’

Striking out at the NY Times

    Meanwhile, the Republican party sinks into a hyper-nationalist, anti-immigrant and anti-Islam discourse (even though Islam isn’t a great religious force in the country), and a limitless glorification of the fortune amassed by rich white people. The judges appointed under Reagan and Bush have lifted any legal limitation on the influence of private money in politics, which greatly complicates the task of candidates like Sanders.

    However, new forms of political mobilization and crowd-funding can prevail and push America into a new political cycle. We are far from gloomy prophecies about the end of history.

Calmes would have done well to call any of these actual leftists for at least one critical response to her one-sided hit piece on Sanders. But then, since when has the New York Times been a fair and balanced journal when covering US national politics (and foreign affairs)?

The giveaway about what is really going on at the Times is that just a month earlier, on Jan. 14, 170 economists, many of them quite prominent -- and many, but not all, of them actual “left-leaners” in the profession -- signed a public letter endorsing and supporting Sanders’ proposals for breaking up the “too big to fail” banks, and for more tightly regulating Wall Street. That list included such big-name genuinely "left-leaning" economists as Baker, Galbraith and Binder, as well as former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich and William Black, the man who spearheaded the unwinding and prosecution of the massively corrupt Savings and Loans companies during the Bush administration scandal involving those institutions.

When that letter was released, the Times simply ignored it -- the media's typical response to reporting on "inconvenient" news -- while its economics columnist Krugman, a Clinton backer, labelled its signers “not serious people.”

Just by assigning this hit piece to Calmes speaks volumes about the intent of the Times management. Calmes has a history of writing right-wing pieces on economic and social issues. For example, back in 2013 she assembled a bunch of Republican talking points into an article claiming that Social Security was going to drive the US budget deficit to new heights, though Social Security was in surplus and doesn't contribute at all to the deficit. In another hit piece that same year, again based on Republican talking points, she "reported" that Social Security would become unsustainable starting in 2016 -- a claim whose absurdity is evident as we enter 2016 with no crisis in benefit payments.

I suppose the best way to view this latest Times hit piece by Calmes, and Krugman’s brush-off of professional colleagues who disagree with him, is to note that it’s probably a measure of the fear the establishment has of the power and potential impact of Sanders’ upstart economic proposals that it has to attack them with biased, one-sided reporting and snide comments instead of reasoned argumentation.

story | by Dr. Radut