The audacity of TARP

Weekend reading: Obama and the bank bailout get reviewed, while hookers and blow come to journalism's rescue

Published September 17, 2010 10:01PM (EDT)

Three things to sink your teeth into, if you haven't already given up on the serious world for the weekend:

  • Ezra Klein has a well-executed post appraising the not inconsiderable accomplishments of the Obama administration. Too bad about that 9.6 percent unemployment rate, which means he doesn't get any credit for them. Bonus: Elizabeth Warren is quoted saying that "Rep. Barney Frank once told her that getting a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was a 'pipe dream.'" Keep hope alive!
  • Ryan Avent pushes back against all the bloggers pointing out how great a program TARP turned out to be (kept the financial system from collapsing, earned the federal government a profit). Because, alas, TARP did not address the problems that created the financial crisis in the first place, and in fact, may have set us up for even bigger problems in the future, since Wall Street will rightfully expect to get bailed out again, the next time the system melts down.
  • Finally, there is the irresistibly headlined Bloomberg News report "Murdoch Banks on Rooney Hooker, Coke Binge to Push Paywall Plans." Undaunted by the fact that the recently erected paywall blocking access to the Times and the Sunday Times has gutted traffic and advertising revenue, News Corp has now announced plans to put the tabloid News of the World behind bars as well.

I give you, the future of journalism:

News of the World, which this month featured a video of boxer Ricky Hatton purportedly snorting cocaine and published an interview with a prostitute who said she had sex with Manchester United footballer Wayne Rooney while his wife was pregnant, will seek payment from Web readers from next month.

I don't know. While I will confess I could not stop myself from clicking on a Bloomberg News article advertising hookers and blow, I am reasonably sure that I wouldn't have paid to read the story. Somehow, it doesn't seem essential.

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Bank Bailouts Bank Reform Barack Obama How The World Works Media Criticism