Establishment Media's Whipping Boy: How the Left Conspires with the Right to Trash the Black Guy

For those of us who have been following the Professional Left Poutrage Artists in our media since the inception of the Obama presidency, it has always been clear that the self-proclaimed "Left" and "progressive" flanks of the media is in fact no better than Fox News. When it comes to propagandizing the news and cherrypicking only what suits their irrational ideological hatred of President Obama, the likes of Salon are not willing to take a back seat to their Right wing counterparts like Breitbart and Fox. It is no coincidence, then, that Salon's own headline about Thomas Frank's interview with Sen. Elizabeth Warren matches that of the Washington Times nearly verbatim.

And so, the headlines - Left, Right and CNN - were all atwitter about how Elizabeth Warren, the current darling of the Professional Left, had endeared herself to them even more by accusing Barack Obama's financial management team of siding with Wall Street.

What the headlines in 30-point fonts did not note was that critic, captured entirely within the headlines and made within the context of not having bank executives prosecuted in the wake of the Bush financial crisis, was the only direct criticism of this president and his team that Thomas Frank could muster out of Sen. Warren in his 4,610 word interview, and even that followed a much stronger endorsement of the president by Warren about his tenacity to put in place the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

More than once, Sen. Warren drilled into Thomas Frank's head that President Obama wasn't just supportive of the CFPB, he is the singular reason it exists.

If Barack Obama had not been president of the United States we would not have a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Period. I’m completely convinced of that. And I go through the details in the book, and I could tell them to you. But he was the one who refused to throw the agency under the bus and made sure that his team kept the agency alive and on the table. Now there was a lot of other stuff that also had to happen for it to happen. But if he hadn’t been there, we wouldn’t have gotten the agency.
— Elizabeth Warren

After this and Frank's nagging, Warren also criticized the Obama administration for "protecting" Wall Street by not prosecuting them - the absurdity of which criticism I will address in a minute. But the truth is, "Elizabeth Warren: If Barack Obama had not been president of the United States we would not have a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. PERIOD." would be just as apt a headline - in fact a more apt headline since Sen. Warren spent more time speaking about that - as the one going around the interwebs for the exact same story.

What should it tell us that the "media" - regardless of which ideological mask their members wear - stuck, universally, to the Obama-slamming headline rather than the at least equally valid Obama-praising one?

It tells us that Obama Derangement is the common clickbait in every corner of the establishment media. It tells us that despite their pretentious snobbery, the "Left" establishment media cares no more for the truth or fairness than the Teabagging Right.

Speaking of a callous disregard for truth and fairness, let's examine for a minute the hyped up charges.

First of all, it is utterly false that there has been no legal adverse action against Wall Street by the Obama Administration. To name just a few, under President Obama, the office of US Attorney Preet Bharara (Southern District of New York) alone has prosecuted and convicted the following financial criminals:

  • Conviction of Raj Rajaratnam of The Galleon Group of 14 counts of insider trading. Since 2009, Bharara's office has gotten 85 convictions on insider trading counts.
  • On November 4, 2013, Bharara's office announced the guilty plea of SAC Capital Advisors LP of wire and securities fraud and paid nearly $2 billion in the largest insider trading settlement in American history.

Bharara also successfully prosecuted the Madoff bunch, collected $1.7 billion forfeiture (another largest in its catagory in US history) from Citigroup, and convicted Bank of America of mortgage selling fraud in a civil suit.

Despite the howling and growling of the loudmouths, the truth of the matter is that criminal prosecutions were difficult to make when what the banks had largely done to cause the financial collapse were... wait for it, legal. It was made legal by a collusion of the financial interests and the political parties from Reagan to Clinton. Bill Clinton's financial deregulations (including the dismantling of Glass Steagall) and George Bush's encouragements are what lade to funny financial instruments and liar loans.

So if one is looking to assign blames, one can no doubt look to the banks. But blame, as we know, does not always translate into criminal activity under the law. Despite liberals pointing to the Savings and Loan Scandal and the like as past financial crises, there has only been one other crisis in American history that parallels the Great Recession in cause and effect: The Great Depression. In fact, the Great Recession and the Great Depression had similar aftermaths in this regard, notes PBS' Frontline.

Virtually no bankers were jailed in the wake of the Great Depression, though not for lack of trying. Beginning in 1932, the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency opened a public inquiry into the stock market crash. The Pecora Commission, as the investigation came to be known, led to indictments for several of the era’s finance titans. However, because banking laws did not guard against the kind of speculation that fueled the crash, most escaped prosecution.

Sound familiar? For a couple of decades, financial protections are dismantled and banks are given the leash of a wild market, it collapses, and the president who rebuilds from that collapse ends up not prosecuting the bankers. Anyone who wants to claim - and that includes Sen. Warren - that President Obama has been soft on banks cannot avoid the same conclusion about FDR without wearing a "The-Black-Guy-Did-It" blinder. The only thing different for the Great Recession was Congress - not the president, but Congress - refused to fully do its job of investigating.

Sen. Warren, if you want to claim that President Obama chose to protect bankers and not ordinary citizens, please pen an op-ed encompassing similar disdain for the Great Liberal Lion who actually did send American citizens to internment camps instead of sending bankers to jail. At least, that would be an honest argument.

But I digress. So, precious few prosecutions in the wake of the Great Depression under the Great Fighter Franklin Delano Roosevelt - fewer, compared even to prosecutions under "weak-kneed Wall Street Puppet" Barack Obama - but what ended up happening at the end?

The resulting public backlash translated into meaningful reform. The Pecora Commission endorsed the creation of the Securities and Exchange Commission, predicting it would “materially abate, if not eradicate, abuses that caused much economic distress.” It also endorsed the Glass-Steagall Act, which until its repeal in 1999, required a strict separation of commercial and investment banks.

Oh. You mean like the meaningful reforms that resulted under Barack Obama that Elizabeth Warren - and Paul Krugman - heap praises on? You mean meaningful reforms like allowing regulators to nationalize at-risk financial institutions and the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which would not have existed without President Obama's leadership?

For anyone trying to make a sense of this whole thing, it may indeed appear hypocritical and surprising that the same crowd that claims to extol the virtues of FDR because of his handling of the financial crisis of his time trashes Barack Obama for very similarly handling the crisis that was handed to him. It may indeed appear flabbergasting that the same crowd that canonize FDR precisely due to financial reforms he instituted now refuse to recognize Obama's.

There is, however, an explanation. First, as I already said, trashing Obama is clickbait. It's just... good business. And journalism these days is not a public good, it is business. Second, the ideologue Left, like their counterparts on the Tea Party Right, like to idolize a version of their late heroes that never existed in real life.

Third, and most importantly, the loudly pronounced undercurrent of trying to tar the black president with common African American stereotypes of lazy, weak (yet violent), and a sellout is just too hard for white "journalists" and politicians (and black radio personalities who aim to curry favor with this crowd) to resist. On the Right this may be crass but on the Left this pervades under a presumption of tolerance none of these journalists or politicians deserve.

That is the only thing that can explain the utter and absurd pile-on against this President despite his accomplishments in moving this country forward. You will not hear a peep from the supposed - and mostly white - "progressives" in the media about FDR's handling of bankers after the Great Depression with kid gloves - and even though you will often hear newfound criticism against Bill Clinton for signing the repeal of Glass Steagall, it will never take the sort of vicious, derogatory form in an attempt to destroy his presidency as it does against Obama for failing to re-institute the law verbatim (and you won't even hear about the strong regulations this President DID put in place).

Whether the Obama-derangement porn artists do this consciously or subconsciously is beyond the point. The point is, no president of any party has faced this level of coordinated, intense and propaganda-filled coverage from the entire main stream media, regardless of ideological bend. This president's accomplishments are historic by any measure, and so is the nature of the Left-Right media's determination to treat the black president as a whipping boy.

What they will not be able to do, though, is to escape the judgment of history. They will not be able to shield the American people from benefiting from all this president has done for us. And they will not be able to whip into submission the spirits of those determined to tell the truth.



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