Businessweek: Leaving Finance Behind for Liberal Politics

Perhaps it was only a matter of time before Bloomberg Businessweek followed its namesake, New York Mayor and Head Nurse Michael Bloomberg, moving from business and finance and into liberal politics.

And it’s jumped in with both feet. This week’s cover, featuring Ted Cruz dressed as the mad hatter, proclaimed “The Tea Party Won: Ted Cruz and his band of dead enders took the U.S. through the looking glass. Crazy is the new normal.” Covering everything from the deficit to the debt to tax cuts, this edition was little more than a PR piece for the White House.

But political commentary is becoming Businessweek’s cup of tea. This week’s magazine joined the rank of other purely political Businessweek cover stories, including “It’s Global Warming, Stupid” edition after Hurricane Sandy and the anti-NRA cover riddled with bullet holes.

The article linked to the cover was titled “The Tea Party’s Pyrrhic Victory,” comparing the Tea Party to the Greek King Pyrrhus, famous for his self-destructive victories.

Businessweek called out the Tea Party for pushing for “heavy spending cuts when the economy was weak, needlessly depressing output and keeping the unemployment rate high,” and halting social programs. “What’s worse, the cuts the Tea party achieved have come almost entirely on the discretionary side of the budget, choking everything from medical research to antipoverty programs to food inspection.”

The worst thing that could happen, as far as Businessweek was concerned? Trimming the budget, cutting spending and not adding to the national debt. “Things could get worse. Failure to raise the debt ceiling either now or in the future would limit the government to spending only what comes in. The country would have instant budget balance – and, most likely, an instant recession.”

Looking for an expert to back up their partisan claims, Businessweek turned to Mark Zandi. Zandi has been a supporter of Obama’s fiscal policies, including the stimulus. In this interview, Zandi claimed that the Tea Party’s actions “nearly tipped the economy into recession.”

While the article admitted that “[t]he federal government really does need to tighten its belt eventually,” it argued that this should not be “with the scale and immediacy the Tea party insists on.” The Businessweek solution? “Fiscal policy would not look like this if the key players in Washington trusted one another more. (No smirking.)”

If Bloomberg Businessweek wants to compete with other financial news publications, it needs to ease up a bit on the politicizing.

Mike Ciandella
Mike Ciandella
Mike Ciandella is a staff writer for the Media Research Center's Business & Media Institute.