The Beltway press does not do public policy. Period.

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

That's been painfully obvious for years, and it was certainly highlighted during the general election. That's when when during the final months of the contest the mainstream press nearly uniformly walked away from even pretending to address the public policy issues featured in the campaign (i.e. the candidates' platform and agendas), and focused almost entirely on process and tactics.

The press doesn't do public policy and, not surprisingly, it appears the press no longer even understands public policy. Today, it certainly does not understand, or pretend to address seriously, the topic of economics. Instead, much of the press has covered the unfolding economic debate as--you guessed it--process and tactics.

That's why economists have been virtually banned from the airwaves in recent weeks, even as the country and Washington, D.C. grapple with pressing economic issues. Why on earth would the cable shows book professional experts on the issue at hand when they can book minority party Congressmen, right?

Media Matters has a new study detailing the paucity of economists taking part in the televised 'debate' over economics in recent weeks. Just 5 percent of the TV guests have been economic pro's.

As John Amato at Crooks and Liars notes:

Only 5% of them were put on air. It's not that Americans are uninformed, but that our media fails to do their jobs and intentionally decides to keep them uninformed. They would rather have a recently defeated Lindsey Graham and John Boehner appear to whine and whine and whine about President Obama's stimulus package.

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