Days after former Sen. Phil Gramm told the Washington Times that "We have sort of become a nation of whiners" when it comes to the economy, Ben Stein claimed, "It's the media that is whipping us into this frenzy."
Deliciously, this came just minutes after a Democrat strategist actually said, "We are in the toughest economic time we have ever been in this country."
As such, I would make the case that it is media AND Democrats doing the whipping.
But before we get there, here's what Stein said Saturday on Fox News's "Cavuto on Business" (photo courtesy BenStein.com)
My spot is that it's the media that is whipping us into this frenzy. The economic conditions are not that bad for most Americans. We still have high employment. We still have pretty good corporate profits outside of the finance sector. It is the media that is whipping us into this state of despair. I wish they'd stop shouting "Fire" in a crowded theatre.
What made Stein's statement all the more poignant was that earlier in the program, Rita Lewis, a Democrat strategist with ties to the Clinton White House, actually said the following to guest host Dagen McDowell:
You know what, Dagen, we are in the toughest economic time we have ever been in this country, and Americans know it.
With this in mind, Ben, I'd say that folks like Lewis, and the Democrat politicians and candidates they support who on a regular basis talk about the current economic conditions as being Depression-like and Hooveresque, are just as responsible as the media for the currently low consumer confidence.
Are there economic issues also involved? Certainly. But to equate the current condition to a period when 25 percent of the nation was unemployed, and people were standing in soup lines is the height of intellectual dishonesty, and people doing it exclusively for political benefit should be ashamed of themselves.
Moreover, those that aren't doing it for political reasons, but are just too ignorant to know the facts, should not be invited on television programs to offer such irresponsible and unqualified opinions.