Earlier this week, China’s Central bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan suggested the need for a “super-sovereign reserve currency,” a move most passed off as China trying to “flex some muscle.” And yet, within days, Fox News’ Major Garrett was demanding whether President Obama supported a “global currency.”
So how did a story that has effectively no basis in reality — and has nothing to do with a global currency — end up as one of the few questions posed to President Obama last night? It started with a blaring banner on the instigator of conservative and media memes, the Drudge Report:
Within hours, right-wing fanatic Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) was demanding that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke pledge to never adopt a “global currency.” Soon, Fox News’ resident conspiracy theorist Glenn Beck was ranting that a U.N.-imposed global currency was the first step toward world government:
— BACHMANN: I’m wondering, would you categorically renounce the United States moving away from the dollar and going to a global currency?
— BECK: And now the U.N. is saying, you know what, we should have a global currency. It’s also a movement to tie the entire globe together into one big government.
The circle was complete when, three hours after Beck’s show, Fox News’ White House Correspondent Major Garrett asked the president whether he supported a move to a “global currency.” Watch a compilation:
Of course, the relatively benign idea of a new reserve currency is very different than a “global currency.” Though some conservative outlets are hyperventilating over this morning’s comments from Geithner signaling that he was “open” to considering China’s comments, Geithner “add[ed] several forceful promises” that the U.S. would not move to any sort of “global currency,” and emphasized that he did not foresee a change in the dollar’s credibility.