The video is hilarious – and devastating.
I couldn’t get it to embed, but if you’d like a laugh, watch it here.
The Wall Street Journal (which also posts the video at the link below) takes a moment to take the message that comes out of this skewering seriously: just what kind of fools do we have running our economy? And we can answer by saying, “Turbo Tax Tim Geithner.”
By Conor Dougherty
Last night The Daily Show had some fun with the difficulty Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is having in selling his Larchmont, NY home, calling it a “toxic asset” and referring to his blue tile bathroom as “ghastly.” It also makes jokes that Mr. Geithner’s woes are the result of Fed policies “he helped to implement.”
Mr. Geithner, only a few months into his term, has already been through his share of late-night lampoonings, including this Saturday Night Live segment.
The Daily Show piece struck a little closer to home, literally. It starts by describing the thawing real estate market but noting a “tragic tale” about “a family forced to move when the father had to take a job in a different city, and now their well-appointed home remains unsold.” The house, of course, is Mr. Geithner’s.
The Daily Show interviews a real estate agent who says Mr. Geithner priced his house “way too high” but didn’t want to take a price reduction. According to the piece, Mr. Geithner bought his house during the 2004 peak for $1.6 million but, despite the subsequent falloff in prices, listed it for slightly more.
The Daily Show drags out Yale Economist Robert Shiller for a little perspective on the matter.
“Is it not like hiring a personal trainer who is morbidly obese?” Daily Show correspondent John Oliver asks Mr. Shiller, about hiring a Treasury secretary who can’t seem to navigate the real estate market.
“Its not that bad…but yes, it is bad,” Mr. Shiller says, in an interview where it’s not clear if he’s talking about the Treasury secretary or the broader real estate market.
And then it just gets silly, with Mr. Shiller critiquing the blue tile in Mr. Geithner’s bathroom and suggesting a piece of “accent furniture.”
Unfortunately, the only thing Geithner’s boss ever sold is community organizing.
If I may take a moment to be serious, also. You could tell watching the video that economist Robert Shiller wanted to defend his personal friend Timothy Geithner. But the comic – who likely did some significant editing of the interview – made mincemeat out of Shiller.
This is what too often happens in our “news” coverage. A biased reporter manages to get exactly what he or she wants in order to spin the story to reflect the desired propaganda slant. Journalists pick the stories they want to cover, pick the specific aspect, angle, or ‘slant’ they want to cover, pick the experts they want to interview, decide whether to be critical or accepting of the expert’s analysis, decide which questions to ask, and then edits both the interviews and the overall story. The level of potential bias increases with each iteration.
I cited a significant passage of Bernard Goldberg’s book Bias in an article I wrote on media bias that is worth reading in the first block quote of the article. A journalist exposes what has routinely passed for “journalism.”
In this rare case from The Daily Show, a Democrat named Tim Geithner is the victim of a highly edited humor piece. The other 99.999% of the time, it is conservatives who suffer by this technique.