The Excluded Option

Media Matters documents the fact that the view that the Obama administration’s stimulus package might have been too small was almost entirely excluded from TV news coverage of the debate, even though this was an opinion held by a large number of widely respected people. Indeed, subsequent news coverage has made it clear that people in the White House took this view very seriously but thought it was the better part of valor to avoid provoking too much sticker shock.

Unfortunately, this kind of thing can become a self-fulfilling prophesy. If the opinion that $800 billion wasn’t enough had been in wider circulation, then it might have been more possible for the White House’s apparent strategy of hoping that the congressional process would push the total size up to actually work.