Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Faux outrage, the new fashion statement

All of the AIG outrage is so tiresome and mostly so phony.  The members of Congress questioning Geithner and Bernanke today made it crystal clear that democracy doesn't always produce the best outcomes.  Tom Friedman in yesterday's NY Times and Joe Klein in Time get to the heart of the matter.  A sample from Klein:
But most of the anger we see and hear comes from people who are paid to be angry, on cue, on cable television--as opposed to people with actual grievacnes. Suddenly, the White House press corps goes barking mad over the AIG Bonuses. It is said that the bonuses are an aspect of the bust that the "public" can understand; in truth, the bonuses are an aspect of the bust that reporters can understand. Suddenly, the Obama Administration has a "crisis." The President has to go on television and act as if he's angry, even though he knows these bonuses are the tiniest outcropping of outrageousness.