When even @NewsHour fails to do their job properly

Here’s a perfect example of how easily people can be duped. Given the outlet this time, I suspect the targets are mostly people on the left.

Column: Why the Trans-Pacific Partnership isn’t a bum deal

TPP signing“The TPP is a horrible deal,” Donald Trump said. “It’s a deal that’s designed for China to come in, as they always do, through the back door and totally take advantage of everyone.”

“TPP is a disastrous trade agreement designed to protect the interests of the largest multinational corporations at the expense of workers, consumers, the environment, and the foundations of American democracy,” Senator Bernie Sanders argued.

With presidential candidates on both extremes denouncing the Trans-Pacific Partnership as a bum deal, and with middle-ground candidates offering tepid support at best, it may be tempting to declare the Trans-Pacific Partnership dead on arrival.

That would be a mistake.

It’s actually a very interesting read, and brings to light some of the sausage making that still has to be done before the Trans-Pacific Partnership gets translated into actual law.

What disappointed me was how Kristin Doerer (@k2doe), Making Sen$e Editor for the PBS Newshour, seemingly sidestepped what I would think is part of her job. Then again, perhaps I’m asking too much for any journalist nowadays to give us more than the canned bios of a column’s creator.

Ms. Doerer ostensibly, “…asked trade scholar Gary Hufbauer and Cathleen Cimino-Isaacs of the Peterson Institute to break down the nuts and bolts of the trade deal and make their case for it.”

What Ms. Doerer didn’t do but I wish she had done was to tell us something more about the authors and their employer.

Yes, Hufbauer’s and Cimino-Isaacs’ bios were printed, but after spending some time today doing my own research, I feel as if they aren’t even really the tip of a meaningful iceberg.

The Peterson Institute for International Economics , like most think tanks and experts, have done a nice job of branding themselves. Even the name conveys a degree of gravitas. “Institute for International Economics.” Sounds like it ought to be a group of very smart people whom we can trust.

It’s only when you look at where 40%+ of annual funding comes from, who sits on their board, and even who the “honorary” directors are that you may begin, as I have, to question their claim of a, “….commitment to intellectual integrity and independence.”

Given all of this, it comes as no surprise to me that Mr. Hufbauer and Ms. Cimino-Isaacs would make the case for why the TPP isn’t a “bum deal.” Oh, and as it relates to duping PBS fans, look at that language. “Bum deal.” Sounds innocent enough, doesn’t it?

How about lumping Sanders in with Trump as “candidates on both extremes?” Most people aren’t comfortable with being labeled as extreme or as being associated with extremists, right? Can you begin to feel what I’m quite sure is an intentional subliminal tug toward the authors and their views?

The rest of the column is peppered with similar language which I am sure is meant to appeal to the sensibilities we left-leaning and rational fans of PBS are supposed to possess.

Which is why I think PBS and Ms. Doerer need to be called out for the lack of transparency on these authors.

Yes, I’m sure Ms. Doerer believes she’s doing her job as a journalist. I don’t have any reason to believe otherwise. After all, all that’s really required to call oneself a journalist these days seems to be a willingness to give both sides of an issue equal voice without bothering to provide meaningful background, context, or facts that challenge and refute the spin or outright lies from one side versus the other.

It’s how journalism has come to be described in the 21st century with these two words:

Chuck. Todd.

Is it any wonder that so many Americans have lost faith in the Fourth Estate? Now this from PBS.

Are we asking too much of PBS to reveal more of the truth when they offer their outlets as a platform……sorry, column…..for an organization that any reasonable person would come to see has an agenda masquerading as a position and interpretation of the facts?  I believe that any reader would immediately see through this charade if only a bit more was revealed about who the authors are and who butters their bread.

Can we count on someone like Lori Wallach (@PCGTW) of Public Citizen Global Trade Watch to be invited to publish her views?

This piece isn’t a personal attack. It’s a plea to Ms. Doerer and all of her professional colleagues everywhere to do more than simply look for sources of content. You have a responsibility like no other institution in our democracy.

Your failure is our failure.

Please don’t succumb to the rampant failings of corporate mainstream media.

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