Reuters Editor- at- Large Chrystia Freeland, who was invited to "moderate" a panel discussion of the White House Council on Jobs and Competitiveness in New York this past weekend, quoted a mega-banker as saying just that. According to her article, Robert Wolf, chairman of UBS Americas, and one of Obama’s earliest Wall Street supporters said: “Since I sat here a year ago, we have two million jobs that have been created. Exports have gone up by 10 percent and technology is booming, agriculture is booming. But when you look at the TV you hear what we are not doing well. I believe we have built a foundation and are on the right path.”
Yeah, that TV sure is biased, all right. I have to give Freeland credit for not being a media stenographer on the meeting that the Public Private Obama Administration so obviously co-opted her into attending as a discussion "moderator" rather than a reporter. Just beneath the surface of her balanced piece is the wee-est bit of healthy snarky skepticism. A close reading reveals just what lengths the White House is willing to go in its propaganda campaign of getting the masses to put on their rose-colored glasses and just how they attempt to manipulate public opinion by cultivating the press. I loved this bit about Obama BFF and Chief Cheerleader and Presidential Back-Watcher Valerie Jarrett:
That’s why her determined good cheer at the forum matters. “We have good reason to be optimistic,” she said. “We have great entrepreneurs and the capacity to reinvent ourselves. This is still the best country on earth.”
The other panelists, all members of the Jobs and Competitiveness Council, faithfully chimed in in the same key. Brian L. Roberts, chairman and chief executive of Comcast, the cable giant that recently acquired a majority stake in NBC, said a positive outlook was essential to “make America a great place to live and work. We all want that to be the outcome, so it’s critical to have a sense of optimism."Jarrett now runs something called The White House Office of Public Engagement and even blogs about it. Her entry today touts the oxymoronic "Corporate Voices for Working Families", a consortium of megabanks (including Goldman Sachs), giant pharmaceuticals and multinationals that strives to make life better for the workers. Who needs a union or on-site day care or paid maternity leave when the beneficent corporations are now making it okay for new moms to bring breast pumps to work! And thanks to the miracle of Public/Private, breast pumps are now tax deductible.
And Jarrett is certainly enthusiastic if not very original: "As we work to Win the Future by out-innovating, out-educating, and out-building the rest of the world, we must use every tool at our disposal, and workplace flexibility is one of those tools!" (take an extra 10 minutes, Honey, and pump away and we won't even dock your pay!)
In the best of all possible results of this ham-handed White House propaganda campaign of feel-goodism, the American people will at long last arrive at their Candide moment in the face of this hideously happy Panglossian assault.
"...and private misfortunes make the public good, so that the more private misfortunes there are, the more everything is well."
- Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 4