Imagine, if you will, that in 2003 Fox News brought on a disgraced Bush administration official who had been barred from Wall Street trading to talk up the president's economic policies. Imagine also that the anchor doing the interview failed to disclose that fact to viewers.
Well, that's pretty much what happened in the 2 p.m. Eastern hour of MSNBC coverage today, when anchor Thomas Roberts interviewed former Obama car czar Steven Rattner.
"President Obama stops in the key swing state of Ohio to highlight the auto industry's comeback despite a grim jobs report that is out today," Roberts teased on a return from commercial at 2:30. Roberts aired a sound bite from Obama's speech and then talked with MSNBC White House correspondent Kristen Welker who noted that the president was "trying to create a counterpoint to these negative jobs numbers that came out this morning."
Perhaps in service of that aim, Roberts then interviewed Rattner, who of course defended the Obama auto industry bailout that he had overseen as car czar.
Roberts tagged Rattner as having served as "counselor to the Treasury Department and lead auto industry advisor" but failed to mention that Rattner was accused in 2010 of bribing "a political consultant to win business from New York's pension fund for his former investment firm."
As I noted in January, when the Washington Post printed a Rattner op-ed:
The former Obama's "car czar," was accused last year of bribing "a political consultant to win business from New York's pension fund for his former investment firm." The liberal Democratic financier subsequently worked out settlements with the SEC and the state of New York in November and December of last year respectively. In the SEC settlement, Rattner agreed to "a two-year ban from associating with investment advisors or broker dealers" although Rattner "admit[ted] no wrong doing." The agreement with the state of New York came with a similar "a five-year ban from working with any New York public pension fund."
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