Time magazine really knows how to throw the hardballs. In its "Ten Questions" feature on the back page of the May 26 edition, Time's Bill Saporito began an interview with Obama's former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner by asking "The economy is growing. Unemployment is falling. Why is everyone so unhappy?" (On the video, you see Time's editing out the added argument that "banks are solvent.")
Geithner typically referred to the "terrible crisis" of 2008, and how "We're still living with the scars." Saporito also asked about what to do with the disturbing notion that "The rich today have more wealth than Gilded Age robber barons."
TIME: The rich today have more wealth than Gilded Age robber barons. Do we need more progressive taxation or income redistribution?
GEITHNER: If you look at this country today, we still [have] high levels of poverty, a long period of almost no growth in the median wage. You referred to the big rise in inequality, but also there's a diminished sense of mobility [and] opportunity across generations. And that's a very damaging thing.
Doesn't that refute Time's notion that the economy was gangbusters, so why are people whining?
Geithner agreed with the demand for more socialist intervention in code: "It is very important that we rediscover a capacity to try to deliver policies that do a better job of improving the chances the average person has coming out of school today."
Time's Saporito also talked wildly about beheading bankers (metaphorically): "You write about avoiding retribution against bankers, yet people are angry. Why didn't you go for a head on a stake just for show?" (Again, on the video, Saporito is more colorful: "You repeatedly talk abou the to avoid sort of Old Testament retribution against bankers. People were angry at them. Why didn't you go for one head on a stake just for show?")
Remember this the next time this magazine disparages a conservative for using "targeting" metaphors in elections.
In tiny text at the bottom of the article, Time disclosed its own tie to this book tour: "Senior national correspondent Michael Grunwald collaborated with Geithner on [his book] Stress Test while on leave from Time."