Originally published by Extra!, the magazine of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
by Michael Corcoran and Stephen Maher
For corporate media, the verdict is already in: The Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP), the unpopular program that redistributed some $700 billion of U.S. taxpayer funds upwards, to the very financial institutions that contributed to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, is an unabashed success.
It is hardly stunning that corporate media would react favorably to one of the biggest boons for big corporations in U.S. history. When the bailout initially failed to make it through Congress in 2008 due to House opposition, journalists quickly accepted and reinforced the narrative that the unpopular legislation--which gave unprecedented power to the Treasury Department with virtually no mechanism for oversight or review--needed to be passed so urgently that a serious national debate was not even possible (Extra!, 1/09).