Unopposed on CNN, DNC Chair Tim Kaine Defends Stimulus on Anniversary

It's no surprise that Democratic National Committee chair Tim Kaine would agree with the Obama administration about the effectiveness of last year's stimulus packages. That's why CNN's "American Morning" should have at least included a single critical guest Feb. 17.

Kiran Chetry began the interview by citing a CNN poll that showed public skepticism regarding the stimulus.

"What do you say to Americans who feel that this $862 billion was basically wasted?" Chetry asked.

Kaine defended the stimulus by citing a New York Times piece saying that the stimulus "has pretty much done exactly what it was intended to do." The former governor gave the stimulus credit with getting the economy growing again. Kane also said it saved or created 2.4 million jobs.

According to the CNN poll, only 36 percent of people believed the stimulus benefited the economy, while 63 percent thought that the stimulus was made up of political projects that had no economic impact.

Chetry pressed the point to Kaine again: "Why do you think nearly a third of people actually only a third, according to our polling, think that the stimulus money is actually benefiting the economy? Why is there that disconnect then if you think it is working so well?"

"Because people are still hurting," replied Kaine.

In addition to not including a critic, Chetry neglected to point out the failure of the stimulus to prevent unemployment from rising above 8 percent (as promised), the most jobs lost in one year since 1940 and the many examples of waste and misuse of stimulus funds that some media outlets have reported in recent months.

The Business & Media Institute examined the year of network news coverage of the stimulus package and found all three broadcasts networks to be unofficial boosters of the massive government spending by picking more supporters than critics to include in stories and leaving criticism entirely out of almost half of their reports.

Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour is the Assistant Managing Editor for the MRC's Business and Media Institute.