And of course, this wouldn’t have been news all the time while Barack Obama kept claiming that these “shovel ready jobs” had prosperity just around the corner, right? Brooks says that the admission came in an off-the-record session with the President, which kept him from reporting it. I wonder if Brooks or anyone else would have been that particular had George Bush admitted “off the record” that he knew Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction in 2003 or 2004, while continuing to make the argument that the war was necessary because of them. What happened to sourcing as “a senior administration official”? Did it not occur to Brooks that Obama was lying about these jobs over the past year to defend his economic policies, and that Brooks might have had a responsibility to make that known? Good to know that the New York Times prints all the news that fits — its agenda.
Click on the image to watch the RCP video:
DAVID BROOKS, NYT: Yes. Well, I shouldn’t have confessed this. He said this to me off the record about a year ago. But it hasn’t…
JIM LEHRER: Off the record? So, then you can’t talk about it.
DAVID BROOKS: Yes, because Peter Baker is a better journalist than I am, because I couldn’t get him to go on the record with that thing.
JIM LEHRER: He said this to you a year ago?
DAVID BROOKS: It was obvious. I mean, you are trying to build a stimulus package. And when they were trying to build it, believe me, they would have loved to have filled it with infrastructure jobs. But the projects just didn’t exist. They couldn’t do it. They couldn’t find them.
When can we expect the media to run with “Obama lied and the economy died”? The Boss Emeritus has more thoughts on this as well.
By the way, here’s the administration still claiming progress through shovel-ready jobs on June 17, 2010, and on the first anniversary of Porkulus. In December 2009, Obama insisted that he was ensuring that shovel-ready jobs were actually shovel-ready:
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. Thank you. Please be seated. We want to make sure we get in as much discussion as possible in the remaining time that we have.
I hope everybody enjoyed the breakout sessions. I had the opportunity to attend two of them for quite some time and enjoyed some terrific conversation and some great ideas.
I heard a great deal of challenges this afternoon about — or a great deal this afternoon about the challenges that we’re all facing, for businesses large and small, when it comes to trying to create jobs. There’s no question that it is difficult out there right now. But we also heard some exciting ideas and proposals for how we can spur hiring today and lay the groundwork for sustainable economic growth in the future. In other words, ideas that help us in the short term but also point us in the direction of rebuilding the country.
I attended two of the sessions — one on infrastructure, where there was broad agreement that the infrastructure in America is not where it needs to be and we’ve got enormous investments to make. We got some good, hardheaded feedback from people like Doug Holtz-Eakin and others about how we have to do this more effectively — how can we measure the costs and benefits of infrastructure investment; how can we make sure that shovel ready actually means shovel ready; how can there be more effective coordination between federal, state, and local governments in order to maximize the benefits of our infrastructure spending. And there was considerable amount of discussion about how we can leverage the private sector to boost our infrastructure spending.
Sounds as though Brooks’ information shows that the administration has lied all along. But at the Times, that’s not news.