Monday, September 29, 2008

Bill Cunningham: A Clinic In Chicanery

Bill Cunningham, host of Live on Sunday Night, it's Bill Cunningham, rose to national fame on February 26th of this year for calling "Barack Hussein Obama... a hack, Chicago-style" politician. Even John McCain, one who is generally loath to disavowing and repudiating [ad hominem or false attacks on his opponents], was quick to distance himself from Cunningham's use of Sen. Obama's middle name as inappropriate, given the obvious negative connotation, and from Cunningham's characterization of Obama as a "hack, Chicago-style" politician.

(Interestingly, on that occasion, Sen. McCain also said the following: "My entire campaign I have treated Senator Obama and Senator (Hillary Rodham) Clinton with respect. I will continue to do that throughout this campaign..." and "I want to dissociate myself with any disparaging remarks that may have been said about them." How soon we forget, right?)

Anyway, back to Cunningham...

Last night Cunningham played a You Tube montage, made by interspersing comments by Democrats who were all against oversight for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and comments by Republicans who all asked for more oversight and reform of the two mortgage giants.

Cunningham glibly underscored the disingenuous presentation, assembled by cherry-picking quotes (all Democrats opposed, all Republican in favor? Come on!) by voicing the adjectives "Democrat" and "Republican" on each sound bite.

Cunningham's artful conclusion? Democrats carry the entire blame for the collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

I'll say this: No doubt, some Democrats must have contributed to block reform and greater oversight of the two troubled companies, but guess who else did? McCain's campaign manager Rick Davies, a lobbyist who actively worked to prevent reform of the two housing giants; Phil Gramm, McCain's financial advisor who was instrumental in deregulating the banking industry; and many staffers of McCain's campaign, also lobbyists.

To suggest--as Cunningham was only too happy to do--that blame lies all on one side of the aisle is exactly the problem with the way politics are reported in this country.

Even allowing the point that Cunningham makes, that many Democrats opposed necessary oversight and reform, there is a huge gap in his reasoning (if we may call Cunningham's patent chicanery reasoning):

The clips in the You Tube video are from 2004. The last time prior to Jan 3, 2007, that Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate was in 1994. Since 1996, Republicans have controlled the House uninterruptedly and the Senate for 8 of 10 years.

Additionally, available data shows that Republicans have held the majority in the Goverment Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee from 1997 to 2007.

So I ask, Mr. Cunningham: who is to blame for the inaction that cost taxpayers $700 billion?

No comments:

Copyright 2004-2012