Friday, September 12, 2008

Working on a chain gang?

Take the example of the bailout/takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the United States.

In America Fox News, so denounced as statists by so many libertarians, had many critical voices on Monday September 8th. On Neil Cavuto's "Your World" show both M. Malkin and Bob Barr (who are very different from each other on so many political issues) both laid in to the corrupt statism. And Mr Cavuto also did so. The next day (Tuesday 9th September) Ron Paul was on the show - continuing the attack. Later on the 8th of September the Brit Hume show (although Mr Hume himself was away) Ed Crane of the Cato Institute was on denouncing the bailout/takeover. There were, of course, other voices and perhaps to let Fannie and Freddie go bankrupt would have been even worse than what the government did - but this is not my point.

My point is that there was no dissent in Britain - from any media source. The BBC did not even report in its main news shows that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were created by the government and run by political cronies. The leftist Independent newspaper gloatingly declared that President Bush had "torn up years of lassez faire polices". The claim that there has ever even been a "lassez faire" policy in the United States under President wild spending Bush is such a blatant bit of agitprop that it is hard to know how to respond to it.

And the so-called 'Conservative' newspapers? No dissent anywhere - at least none I could find. In fact the Daily Mail was demanding something similar for Britain.

George Lakfoff calls this stuff "framing". Samizdata's Paul Marks wants to know if he is living in a communist country.

Somewhere in Highgate cemetry I imagine a coffin is spinning uncontrollably.

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