The Fix Is In?

Does it seem obvious to anybody else that the mainstream media, most notably CNN, is going out of its way to hang this entire economic situation (framed in easy-to-understand “villain/scapegoat” shorthand with the AIG story) around the neck of the Obama administration?

Even supposedly liberally-biased MSNBC last night was painting this whole thing as the supposed tipping point for Obama’s popularity, and a threat to getting his agenda done.

The worst of it, though, is today’s reporting. Check this out:

This CNN story, headlined “Geithner Treasury Pushed For Bonus Loophole”,, where the story opens with:

“Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told CNN Thursday his department asked Sen. Chris Dodd to include a loophole in the stimulus bill that allowed bailed-out insurance giant American International Group to keep its bonuses.”

Except that there’s a slight problem. According to CNN’s own transcript of the interview, he didn’t say that, and in fact, when specifically asked, he said “No.” The relevant passage (emphasis added):

Velshi: But inadvertently, might somebody at Treasury have told Sen. Dodd to do something that has now resulted in these payments not being able to …

Geithner: No, again, what we did is just express concern about the vulnerability of a specific part of this provision, the legal challenge, as you would expect us to do, that’s part of the legislative process, but again, his bill also has this very important provision that allows us to go back and see if we can recoup these payments, and we’re going to explore that, but in any case, we’re going to make sure that the American people are compensated for any payments we can recoup.”

So CNN is reporting something that’s directly contrary to what Geithner said, and it’s being picked up by everybody else.

I figured that the entrenched interests would be threatened by Obama’s plans, but I never figured they’d be so blatant in their attempts to drag him down.

Showin’ the Indie Love

Joe Hill, who John Scalzi correctly describes as “someone whose writing is a slice of awesome generously slathered with awesome sauce with a sprig of awesome as a garnish”, is running a contest over at his blog in support of local independent bookstores.

Here are the details of March-is-love-your-Indie-Bookstore: The Contest:

How to Play: Go to a local independent bookstore sometime this month. Buy something. Save the receipt. Send a photo or scan of the receipt to this address: Make sure either your e-mail or your receipt includes the name and phone number of the bookstore in question.

Prizes: At the end of March he’ll hold a random drawing, and at least 24 winners will receive a rare or limited edition book (donated by various folks — the full and ever-expanding list is available via various update links on his site).

Very cool.