Non-News In The Public Interest

From Pro Publica:

Bank Employing GOP House Leader’s Wife Got Bailout Bucks

House Republican Whip Eric Cantor, a rising star in the Republican party, has been a prominent voice demanding accountability in how the government doles out hundreds of billions for bank bailouts.

“I think most American taxpayers now are sort of scratching their head,” Cantor told CNN in December, “wondering when all this bailout stuff is going to end. And probably thinking, ‘You know, when is my bailout coming?’”

This Thursday, Cantor cast a high-profile vote opposing release of another $350 billion in bailout funds. Unpublicized until now was a recent development: The Treasury Department used $267 million of taxpayer funds to buy preferred stock in a private banking company that employs Cantor’s wife.

Why is this news?

I can understand that if Cantor had voted for the release of additional TARP funds and if he could have known in advance how the funds would be distributed and if he had the ability to direct the funds why this might be construed as a conflict of interests. But none of that is true.

In my opinion, that makes this a non-story, which becomes apparent to anyone who reads the entire article. However, for those who read just the headline and possibly the first paragraph or two, the clear implication is that Eric Cantor is guilty of some kind of shady dealings to benefit his wife’s employer.

Of course, as professional journalists, Aram Roston and Paul Kiel should know that. By choosing to publish this non-story as news, Roston and Kiel reveal their bias and make the choice of headline all the more revealing. Pro Publica’s tagline of “Journalism in the Public Interest” makes it all the more disappointing.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Non-News In The Public Interest

  1. bill

    Paula, get a grip! Just substitute the name “Obama” for Cantor and then see if it is news or not. Yet you guys tried to impugn Obama’s character because he lived in the same neighborhood with a 60′s radical with whom he had a casual acquaintance. GOD I hope Palin is your nominee in 2012! I have already preprogrammed my Tivo to record Saturday Night Live shows in 2012. Maybe she will “Pardon” some more turkeys or get another call from Sarkosy!! What a Joke!
    Bill

    Bill

    • paulag1955

      God bless, you, Bill, why don’t you get a grip! Do you see anything on this blog about Obama and Ayers? And, for your information, if I substituted Obama’s name into that story, it still wouldn’t be news. It is a non-story. Can you understand those words? A spouse whose employer benefits from a bill that her congressman husband voted against. That’s not a story, are we agreed on that?

      Let me tell you a story, though. Michelle Obama was promoted to a newly created position at the University of Chicago Hospital shortly after her husband was elected Senator. Lucky Michelle! That job just happened to come with a nearly $200K per year pay increase. Interestingly enough, within the year, then-Senator Barack Obama requested $1 million earmark for the hospital. What a coincidence!

      Here’s another interesting coincidence. Michelle obviously quit that job after her husband won the election and guess what! Five days later, the job was eliminated. Wow! That job that was so vital to the operation of the hospital…Kaput! Yeah. That’s pretty much what I call a story.

  2. John in CA

    Wonder why *bill* (if that’s really his name) doesn’t bring up Barney Frank’s former lover being at the top of one of the Macs? Or the thieves from Freddie/Fannie who were in Obama’s circle of advisors? Guess it’s “move along, nuttin’ to see here, folks.”

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