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It is understood that the Pope matters to 1.5 billion Catholics and likely many others. The Pope has abdicated his papacy. Cardinals will be getting together in the next few days to start a process to elect a new Pope. There will be little real news on that event in the near term. Media providing background to the functions of the Catholic Church and its hierarchy must be expected.

That said, if a tidal wave was approaching the United States, one would expect a large part of the news coverage to be pertinent to said wave and the effects it would have on the lives of those it would affect. It is what a serious news media must do.

Yet, coverage of the Pope’s abdication and the ceremony of the transition is what is being covered ad nauseam. Coverage of the sequester in the form of who is winning or losing the blame game is the extent of most of the coverage.

Many blame deepening polarization for the inability of the politicians to compromise to get any serious legislation passed. The reality is it is time to blame the media. The media, the free press is supposed to be the watchdog of the government. It is their responsibility to ensure that the population at large is presented with real unbiased information. It is their responsibility to go beyond the spin of politicians.

Americans are not dumb. Americans for the most part are misinformed. They are misinformed because the media has abdicated its duty. An uninformed population can be manipulated to elect politicians that do not have their best interest at hand when legislating but the interest of moneyed interest, the folks that have the ear of the politician.

While the media continues to treat the sequester as blood sport there are human beings that will be hurt temporarily and some permanently by this event. Throughout the build-up to the sequester the media should have had broad coverage on economic truths on the effect of the sequester in particular and the effect of austerity in general.

  • Americans should have been informed as Ben Bernanke expressed in Bernanke speak to Congress that America’s short term budget problem is neither an emergency nor is it out of control. Moreover, attempting to cut the budget substantially would likely increase the deficit and depress the economy.
  • American should have been informed that the austerity measures being demanded by Republicans are the same that have been attempted in United Kingdom and other European states. They all failed and depressed their respective economies. This is exactly the results most intelligent economists like Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz predicted would occur.
  • Americans should have been informed that the life path of a large percentage of the 70,000 children that will be forced out of Head Start, will be permanently and negatively changed since its proven that development in a child's formative years is a predictor of future success.
  • Americans should have been informed that inasmuch as the direct job losses might affect 750,000 people around the country, the cumulative job losses is much more as the economy is depressed from the lack of spending of the laid off workers.

One could go on and on with the effects that the sequester in general will have on the economy. “The Impact of the Sequester on Communities Across America” details much of this impact.

Two years ago I wrote the article “Middle Class Held Hostage”. Re-reading the article proves that nothing has changed. Nothing has changed with the type of coverage the media is providing necessary to educate the American citizens on the issues. Absent that education, gridlock and polarization will persist as Americans continue to send politicians that work against the interest of the middle class and the poor.

America deserves better news. It is time to sequester the façade masquerading as news. It is time to sequester Pope like coverage and cover the sequester in detail as well as the destructive policies the Republican leadership is effecting on Americans. An educated population will ultimately make good decisions.

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Originally posted to ProgressiveLiberal on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 12:02 PM PST.

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