A Vast Conspiracy to Generate Blog Posts That Are Mildly Critical of the Obama Administration
The latest fake scandal arising out of JournoList is that when Jared Bernstein was at the Economic Policy Institute he was, like many other JList members, on the email list. Then he got an appointment as Joe Biden’s economic advisor and so he left. Then over a year after that, there was a White House meeting where Bernstein talked to several progressive writers including Yours Truly about the first anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Apparently the insidious nature of this double-dealing — a think tank policy expert offering his views to journalists, then becoming a government official, and then continuing to sometimes talk to the press — is so self-evident that it merits a sarcastic “Nothing to see here, move along.”
So for the record, I thought I would look up what kind of fawning coverage the administration earned from the Yglesias Blog in exchange for the February 2010 meeting. I got a post titled “White House Should Fill Open Federal Reserve Board Slots”
I asked Bernstein about something different, namely that given the importance of monetary policy it seems odd that the Obama administration hasn’t filled either of the vacancies on the Federal Reserve board. The answer I got wasn’t unexpected, but it wasn’t super-enlightening either. He said it was a good question but “it’s one I’d rather not comment on.”
So fair enough. But I’ll comment that we have an independent central bank in the United States, which is as it should be. But we also have a democracy in the United States. And the way that democracy works is that one of the important powers the President has is the ability to appoint members to the Fed board.
Collusion! Or, um, mild criticism! Which is just to say that if you want to know if a given blogger is shilling for the Obama administration the best way to figure it out is to read his blog and see what he says.