While most mainstream media outlets continue to ignore racist statements made by Obama economic adviser Robert Reich two weeks ago, CNN's Lou Dobbs not only played them for his viewers Friday, but also pointed out the absurdity of the comments as well as the shameful way the press boycotted them.
Despite Reich's January 7 remarks about stimulus spending and "white male construction workers" having been revealed Thursday morning by a number of conservative websites including NewsBusters, Dobbs was one of the few "journalists" who seemed offended enough about what was said to shed some light on the subject (video embedded below the fold courtesy our dear friend MsUnderestimated):
LOU DOBBS, HOST: Well it's clear that there is a remarkable need for a high order of specificity irrespective of the partisan interests here it would seem. Thank you, Ed Henry, as always, for keeping us on top of these issues.
Astonishing remarks today on the stimulus package, the remarks coming from one of the president's more influential advisers outside government, Robert Reich. Reich saying in a committee meeting earlier this month that race would play a large role in determining who would benefit from the economic stimulus package.
His comments came in remarks to a top-level committee of congressional Democrats, comments ignored by the national mainstream media. Let's hear what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT REICH, FORMER LABOR SECRETARY: I am concerned, as I'm sure many of you are, that these jobs not simply go to high skilled people who are already professionals or to white male construction workers. I have nothing against white male construction workers. I'm just saying that there are a lot of other people who have needs as well.
And therefore, in my remarks, I have suggested to you, and I'm certainly happy to talk about it more, ways in which the money can be -- criteria can be set so that the money does go to others. The long- term unemployed, minorities, women, people who are not necessarily construction workers or high skilled professionals.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOBBS: Extraordinary set of possible criteria to be applied to an infrastructure and economic stimulus plan. Reich apparently doesn't believe government money should be allocated on the basis of need or skills, but by something else entirely. And that leaves open the question, I think it's a question that it is shouting is, what in the world is he thinking. Reich is a former labor secretary in the Clinton administration. A well documented liberal who obviously is not resisting the temptation to inject group and identity economics into group and identity politics that affects all Americans irrespective of race or ethnicity.
Bravo, Lou. Bravo.
For the record, a LexisNexis search identitied that as far as television is concerned, only Dobbs and Fox News's Sean Hannity addressed this matter since it was revealed Thursday morning. Not one newspaper appears to have covered it. In fairness, reports made on Friday might not be available on LexisNexis yet.
However, doesn't this demonstrate a willful intent by media to ignore this subject?
As NewsBusters reported Thursday, when Reich made these comments earlier in the month, the hearing he was testifying in front of got a great deal of attention. After all, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was present, and the subject was a stimulus package to jumpstart the economy.
As you might imagine, given that this was the first major economic hearing of the new Congress, media were present.
As they ignored Reich's statements when he made them, and continue to do so now that new media members have revealed them, doesn't this mean the old media just don't want people to know what the former Clinton Labor Secretary said? Isn't this a rather disturbing precedent as a new administration takes control of the White House?
If Americans can't count on the press reporting things they've somehow missed when revealed by us in the blogosphere, just imagine what they'll feel comfortable withholding from the public when such is their wont.
Be afraid, America. Be very afraid.