We’re not the flavor of blog that would normally link to someone like Glenn Greenwald, but he does a nice job of excerpting some of the most obnoxious bits from yesterday’s Steven Pearlstein chat on WashingtonPost.com. I can’t think of a time where I’ve seen a writer be as rude to his readers as Pearlstein is here.
Greenwald’s extensive rebuttal to Pearlstein’s contention that only the ignorant oppose the bailout is more full of supplementary information and quality links than I care to construct, so you should just read it directly. However I’ll point out two things if you can’t stomach going to Salon or want the executive summary.
One: Pearlstein responds to one critic, angry at having his disagreement with the bailout proposal reduced to “they just don’t get it,” with this terse response:
Obviously you’ve read one column and none of the dozens that preceeded it. Please do your homework before sharing your disgust.
However when I go back to the Washington Post website and search for “credit default swap pearlstein” I find exactly 4 hits. In three of them it’s his readers, in an online chat, raising the question about the significance of these noxious instruments. In the fourth he makes a passing mention of them without providing a definition – one of his readers has to try to do that in a later chat. Conseqently he never once provides a quality explanation about the real impact of the CDS intrument in those preceeding “dozens” of articles.
Two: When your job is to provide coverage to your readers on a complicated and important matter – and nothing else Pearlstein has been called upon to write about this year has been this complicated or this important – you might keep something in mind. If your readers still don’t see your side after several articles, there are three possibilities.
- You’re wrong.
- You’ve failed to effectively communicate the issues.
- Your readers are morons.
Interesting that Pearlstein seems to have latched onto the only explanation that doesn’t involve a personal failing.