March 7, 2008

David Sirota: Hope in the Time of NAFTA

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , — Volt @ 11:06 am

David Sirota, TruthDig, March 6, 2008

Reading articles about Hillary Clinton attacking NAFTA can lead you to believe The Onion has taken over America’s news bureaus.

Clinton spent the last 10 years repeatedly praising the trade deal in speeches, most recently calling the job-killing accord “good for New York and America.” Yet, journalists barely mention that record as they transcribe her assertions that “I have been a critic of NAFTA from the very beginning.”

This week, such media negligence went from pathetic to absurd, as a CNN headline blared, “Clinton hammers Obama on NAFTA.” Political scribes breathlessly recounted how the New York senator criticized her opponent-a longtime NAFTA critic-over a thinly sourced television report claiming his adviser, economist Austan Goolsbee, told Canadian officials to not take the campaign’s anti-NAFTA platform seriously. Clinton said the uncorroborated allegations, seeded by Canada’s right-wing government, showed “the difference between talk and action.” Most journalists regurgitated her charges without noting the difference between Clinton’s new fair-trade talk and her decade-long pro-NAFTA actions (nor did they note that the same report said Clinton advisers also did what Goolsbee was accused of).

Of course, Bill Clinton signed NAFTA after pledging to oppose expanded cross-border trade until Mexican wages rose. So Hillary Clinton’s dishonesty, which sealed her Ohio primary win, is nothing new in politics.

What is new is the fact-free coverage. Whereas diligent reporting marked the original NAFTA debate, today’s media reduce trade discussions to vapid cartoons-ones so inane that a leading NAFTA booster is rewarded with glowing headlines for pretending she never supported the accord.

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March 5, 2008


Filed under: Toon — Tags: , , , , , — Volt @ 8:02 am

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