White House priorities have been overshadowed this week by a false charge of reverse racism. What was the role of the media, from the right to the mainstream? Should the President address the issue directly? Also, the City of Bell's highly paid public servants call it quits, and the energy bill has been shelved for this session of Congress. What about US leadership against climate change?
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Finance Reform, the extension of unemployment benefits and possible tax cuts have been overshadowed this week by a false charge of reverse racism. President Obama has telephoned former Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod about her summary firing after a right-wing website released a misleading video. When Andrew Breitbart released the excerpt from Sherrod’s speech, Fox News played it big. But even Fox has confessed to overplaying a story it failed to check out. The New York Times admits that "other media" were under pressure to follow up. Do Americans live in different worlds, according to their sources of information? What are the lessons about white anxiety?
Clarence Page, Nationally Syndicated Columnist, Chicago Tribune
Joel Dreyfuss, Managing Editor, TheRoot.com
David Frum, The Atlantic (@davidfrum)
Brad Sherman, US House of Representatives (D-CA) (@BradSherman)
Bell, one of 88 cities in Los Angeles County, made national news last week when the Los Angeles Times reported that City Manager Robert Rizzo was making almost $800,000 a year and Police Chief Randy Adams was pulling down $457,000. Bell is a city of 37,000 mostly Latino people whose average income is $40,000 a year. Last night, after a public outcry, Rizzo and Adams agreed to resign. Steve Lopez is a columnist for the LA Times.
After a series of stunning victories on economic stimulus, healthcare, finance reform and unemployment insurance, President Obama suffered a major setback yesterday. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declared that the climate-change bill is dead, at least for now. Months ago, the House passed a comprehensive bill to charge corporate polluters for releasing carbon dioxide, but even a pared-down version failed to attract enough votes in the Senate. Jesse Jenkins is Director of Energy and Climate Policy at the Breakthrough Institute.
Jesse Jenkins, Director of Energy and Climate Policy, Breakthrough Institute