AJ Ericksen's Blog World

Friday, November 21

Observation About the Press and the Economy

This entry from the Wall Street Journal's "Best of the Web Today" encapsulates much about what is wrong with the media:

"The CEOs of the big three automakers flew to the nation's capital [Tuesday] in private luxurious jets to make their case to Washington that the auto industry is running out of cash and needs $25 billion in taxpayer money to avoid bankruptcy," ABC News reports:

The CEOs of GM, Ford and Chrysler may have told Congress that they will likely go out of business without a bailout yet that has not stopped them from traveling in style, not even First Class is good enough.All three CEOs--Rick Wagoner of GM, Alan Mulally of Ford, and Robert Nardelli of Chrysler--exercised their perks Tuesday by flying in corporate jets to DC.

Reader Todd Green makes a good point in the CEOs' defense:

The real story is how journalism in this country is so incompetent when it comes to any stories that deal with economics, that the best they can come up with is a "gotcha" story about CEOs and corporate jets.

What is wrong with a company like GM having a private jet for executive business? If anything, this meeting in Washington is the most important one in the company's history. Its entire business future depends on it. If you are a GM employee, would you really want the CEO stuck in Cleveland and missing the hearing that might decide the fate of the company because he missed his connection on Continental?

This story goes beyond lunacy, because it is a glaring example of how journalism has failed to accurately report the things that were happening that caused the financial meltdown. The majority of the major stories seem to follow the same themes: exuberant corporate bonuses, corporate excess and the wacky things that corporate America does (AIG going to a spa). If the media did their job, we would be a lot more informed as to why we are in the situation we are in right now. I'm still waiting.