Dear Mr. Shields,
Growing up in the '80s, my parents were nightly watchers of The News Hour. When it came time for you to spar with Paul Gigot, and later David Brooks, my father was always quick to point out that you were a voice of reason in a world of political acrimony. Unfortunately, with your recent comments on the president's so called Deficit Commission, that is clearly no longer the case. Economists such as Paul Krugman, Marc Thoma, J. Bradford Delong and Dean Baker, among many others have condemned the disastrous plan the commission heads have laid out. You see, as economists, they understand that the massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich over the past 30 years has had a terrible impact on the socioeconomic stability of this once great nation. And they understand that the recommendations by the committee chairs will only accelerate this trend.
If you had read the recommendations, you would have quite easily understood that the numbers simply do not add up. Capping revenues is antithetical to paying down debt. Furthermore, attacking Social Security will do nothing for the long term solvency of the United States: it is the cost of health care that can and will bankrupt us. In fact, the economics are not particularly difficult, especially when you consider that the commission is at least partially funded by anti-entitlement conservatives. I will not spend any further time debunking the simplistic, hypocritical and disingenuous report; a simple Google search would lead you to critiques more qualified than mine.
But most Americans have neither the time nor the inclination to plow through the details of the report. My parents used to be some of those Americans, prior to retirement. They would depend on the few pundits they could trust to help them understand. You have now turned on them, and millions others. You have told them that they need to sacrifice for the foibles of an unregulated, amoral financial sector. You have lied to them.
In an era of 24 hour "news" networks doing the biddings of corporate overlords, The News Hour is supposed to be an oasis. In a media full of blow hards with explicit agendas, you are supposed to be a speaker of truth. The News Hour and you have abdicated your responsibility on one of the greatest issues of our time. If the eulogy of TV news had not yet been written, perhaps this is it.