The folks at CNN should be really proud of themselves.
In less than 24 hours, one of their current anchors - Fareed Zakaria - flat out lied about deficits, the debt ceiling, and the U.S. credit rating before a former host - Eliot Spitzer - falsely told viewers of HBO's "Real Time" that George W. Bush "gave us the deregulatory craziness that led us over the cliff" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ELIOT SPITZER, FORMER CNN ANCHOR: Bill Clinton had a budget surplus. George Bush gave us the deficit, gave us the recession, gave us the deregulatory craziness that led us over the cliff. The Tea Party is the tail wagging the dog. It is the inmates running the asylum. It is people who don't know history, economics, politics, sociology, science. It is insane. And it is, it is time, I let you, I’m glad you [Bill Maher] said I’m an old school Democrat: I believe in science, facts…
MARGARET HOOVER: And spending.
SPITZER: ...no, and responsible capitalism. That’s who I am.
Yes, that's who he is: a man willing to go on national television and lie to the American people.
As a reminder, up until a few weeks ago, he was doing this on CNN on a nightly basis.
It is a immutable fact that the two pieces of legislation that led to the credit bubble and our economy's eventual collapse were the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000.
The first signed by Bill Clinton in November 1999 - twelve months before Bush was elected - removed the last Depression era Glass Steagall constraints on the financial services industry thereby deregulating banks, securities firms, and insurance companies to invest in anything they wanted.
The second signed by Clinton in December 2000 a month before Bush was inaugurated deregulated commodities, in particular various derivatives including credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations which were at the very heart of the eventual crisis.
These two bills George W. Bush had nothing to do with were the "deregulatory craziness that led us over the cliff."
Yet Spitzer, who accused Tea Partiers of not knowing "history, economics, politics, sociology, science" as he bragged about believing in "facts" on national television falsely pinned them on our 43rd President rather than the man whose signature is actually on both.
He concluded this diatribe by saying, "That's who I am."
Well, I can't argue with that.