From Paul Krugman's column today [emphasis]:
A not-so-funny thing happened on the way to economic recovery. Over the last two weeks, what should have been a deadly serious debate about how to save an economy in desperate straits turned, instead, into hackneyed political theater, with Republicans spouting all the old clichés about wasteful government spending and the wonders of tax cuts.
He's right. It should have been, if we had a professional press corps operating inside the Beltway and whose members saw their job as accurately informing news consumers, especially in times of national crisis. Instead, what he have is a permanently unserious and decidedly un-professional press corps which treats the unfolding economic calamity as a game. And it's a press corps that in some ways has become active members of the opposition party.
When the war in Iraq unfolded as a calamity, lots of people looked back and realized the press had abdicated its responsibility during the run-up to the war. That it had willingly walked away from its watchdog role. I have a hunch we're watching history repeat itself. And if, as Nobel Prize-winner Krugman suggests, the country does plunge into an extended economic meltdown, people will once again look back in amazement and wonder how the so-called professional press corps in Washington could have failed the country. Again.
As Digby says, the media are going to be the death of this country.