Understandably, the public is outraged by the likes of Anthony Weiner, Arnold, and Mr. Edwards to name a few. However, it is shameful that our public outrage – and our media coverage of the sex scandals – exceeds our outrage over the looming debt crisis.
To be sure, the news can be depressing and sex scandals – stories of supposedly highly moral people doing human things and falling from grace – sell well to the general public. It’s not just sex scandals; many people defended the coverage of the royal wedding in England as a way of escaping the depressing news here at home. Fair enough. Even I watch Sarah Palin for comedic relief.
Nevertheless, spending time calling for the resignation of Weiner means time not spent demanding solutions to the debt crisis or other worthy issues from our elected representatives in Washington. Certainly I’m not trying to throw everyone under the bus. At least Rep. Paul Ryan had a plan, a hotly contested plan, but a plan.
While Ryan proposed a budget, most people only know that he’s proposed a change to Medicare. Here’s the problem: pundits on the left call his Medicare solution a “voucher plan.” Critics on the right are not allowed to say anything negative about a party member’s plan. Recall what happened to Newt Gingrich. The left exaggerates and the right won’t compromise within their party. Meanwhile, most major news agencies and pundits alike have yet to explain the Ryan budget clearly, save one of my favorite columnists, David Brooks.
We the people should be more outraged at the focus and quality of their coverage. Just because we have access to various news mediums and Internet resources, does not mean that objective and informative media coverage should wane. While the options for news sources have increased, it seems that the quality has become diluted. Moreover, we’re increasing our bias by choosing sites that cater to our fancies rather than being forced to read opinions or hear stories that offer a viewpoint other than our own.
No one doubts the “scumbagness” of Weiner, et. al., but we should be focusing on moving forward with budget coverage instead of debates about whether Weiner will stay in office or resign. Let his district deal with that.
I’ve heard from some traders that Wall Street is too fragile and the government will raise the debt ceiling, despite all the current political posturing. Even if we raise the debt ceiling, our delay in doing so and our un-budgeted debt might be enough to scare off foreign investors. If I’m a foreign investor, like China, I might become nervous just at the thought of the United States debating whether or not it could default – just for a few days – which is now conversation among Republicans in Washington, according to American Public Media’s Marketplace.
Unacceptable is the word. It is unacceptable that we have no compromised solution to this problem. For those who think Obama is weak on economic policy, he now has an opportunity to show a strong backbone and austere leadership. The president has an opportunity to lead, but I worry that he, and most of the members of Congress, will forgo the beautiful art of compromise for political expediency.
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