Let’s all blame the media

Journalists are making Canadians “needlessly nervous” about the future,
Catherine Swift,
president and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, in this Canadian Press story.
The result is a lack of faith in finance minister Jim Flaherty’s comforting
reassurances – and that’s bad for the economy.

The concept certainly makes sense to folks down south, like Karl Rove.
Rove recently told
Fox News
: I think the economy — the media has been beating the
drum for years and years and years that the economy stinks. And after a while,
that begins to color people’s attitudes.” What’s more, in this
interview, he agrees with Bill
O’Reilly that publications like The New York Times are strategically using
economic “scare words” to set up a honeymoon period for president-elect Obama.

Indeed, in a December poll, 77
percent of Americans
said the U.S. media was making
the economic situation worse by projecting fear into people’s minds, according
the Opinion Research Corporation. But you never know – maybe this thought was
projected into their minds by Fox.
“The theory’s fatal flaw is that it wildly
exaggerates media power,” notes Robert J. Samuelson in Newsweek.

Samuelson’s commentary, it should
be noted, was written in 1990, proving that at least it’s not a new theory. He
adds: “Did the media cause mass overconstruction of office buildings that has
left a 19.5 percent national vacancy rate? Did the media raise crude-oil prices
from $17 a barrel in July to $28-$40 now?”

Good questions
then, good questions now. Today’s journalists can ask the same: “Did my story
on B7 cause me to lose my job?”

It could be
worse. At least we’re not being blamed for this winter’s weather. Yet.
(This just in:
blamed for weather)

(Photo: Jousting fingers by Poniatowicz1224)