Friday, November 11, 2011

This is journalism? Seriously?

Have a look at this YouTube video.

It's from CNN's Erin Burnett.  In the clip she mocks Occupy Wall Street protesters.

She says that the whole movement would go away if people knew that the taxpayers benefited from the Wall Street bailout.  Banks were giving $100 billion to reinvest in low income communities.

Two quick rebuttals:

  • One wonders how taxpayers benefited from paying for a $700 billion bill.
  • And why on earth are the big banks being giving tax dollars to invest in communities?  Isn't that the governments job?

Let's take a look at an example of how this money has been used.  Goldman Sachs gave $5,000 dollars to a Lower East Side bank that caters to poor people.

That all sounds good, right? A big bank that favours the rich giving money to a small bank that favours the poor.

So maybe Erin Burnett has a point.  The big banks are honouring their agreement with the money they were given.

Well, not quite.  Let's scratch at the surface a bit and see if we get any sort of rash.

The Occupy Wall Street movement has so many donations coming its way that it did the only sensible thing.  They opened an account at the aforementioned Lower East Side bank.

Goldman Sachs got wind of this and demanded that they close the account or they would withdraw their $5,000 donation.  The Lower East Side bank refused and Goldman Sachs got back their $5,000.

How Goldman Sachs can take money out of another bank is a story for another day.

So, the money that Erin Burnett is claiming will benefit the taxpayer and lead to the end of Occupy Wall Street is not being used the way it should.  It is being used as a political hammer to bully lesser banks into towing the Wall-Street-Line.

And what of this $5,000? It is a tiny amount by bank standards.  It's almost an insult.

Of the billions of dollars that Goldman Sachs were giving to reinvest in low income communities, only half-a-cent for every dollar has been paid out.

So once again, we have the situation of banks going back on their word and throwing their bulk around to the detriment of those who oppose them.

So Erin Burnett, perhaps your next piece should do a piece on how to do investigative journalism seriously.

Criticism is good for a movement. Poorly researched mockery is not.

"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win" - Mahatma Gandhi

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