For an example of just how crappy the reporting on a potential auto bridge is, check out this NYT article. Its title announces "Republicans Divided on Aid to Automakers." Yet the part of the article that purportedly tells that story consists solely of statements of the four most invested Republican Senators on the issue.
Kit Bond (who co-sponsored past efforts with Carl Levin):
“I’m glad the Democratic leadership has embraced the principles of the Bond-Levin bill to hold auto companies accountable, protect taxpayers and save millions of American jobs as we head into the holiday season,” Mr. Bond said in a statement.
“Based on the outline we’ve seen so far, we are disappointed,” Mr. Corker said in a statement. He reiterated his demands that the automakers make aggressive efforts to cut labor costs and reduce their overall debt obligations before receiving any aid.
“These are the same types of conditions a bankruptcy judge might require to ensure that these companies become viable and sustainable into the future,” Mr. Corker said. “And if they will agree to these terms, then we have something to talk about.”
“I look forward to reviewing the legislation being drafted to address the difficulties in our auto markets,” Mr. McConnell said in a statement. “As we consider this legislation, our first priority must be to protect the hard-earned money of the American taxpayer.”
And a gratuitous inclusion of Richard Shelby, though he apparently hasn’t issued any new statement, but somehow gets included, based on no apparently new reporting:
The senior Republican on the banking committee, Senator Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, has said he will oppose any taxpayer-financed bailout for the auto industry, and other fiscal hawks are likely to join him in opposing the measure.
This is what counts as reporting these days for the NYT. Three official statements probably gleaned from press releases, thereby letting those most invested in this debate stand in for those who will determine its outcome.
In spite of the fact that every single Republican listed (along with Carl Levin) is an auto state Senator of one sort or another, David Herszenhorn doesn’t apparently consider that information to be noteworthy (indeed, he attributes Shelby’s opposition to any bailout to fiscal conservatism, not anti-union ideology and home state self-interest). Read more