CNN anchor Campbell Brown began her No Bias, No Bull program Friday evening with only part of a major story.
Reporting on Barack Obama's stimulus plan "saving" 25 police jobs in
Columbus, Ohio, she overlooked an essential fact: the jobs Obama took
bows for yesterday may well not be permanent. She started her
CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, everyone.
On a day when the number of Americans out of work reached a 25- year
high, President Obama made a visit to a place where he could show just
how in fact his stimulus plan really is saving jobs.
Bullet point number one tonight: the president in Columbus, Ohio,
where two dozen police cadets whose jobs were saved as a result of the
stimulus were sworn in as officers today. It's a story we have been
following for some time now. The president insists today the nation is
now on the right track.
Later, Brown invited CNN political analyst Roland Martin to expand on the narrative:
BROWN: Our political analyst Roland Martin first
brought the Columbus story to our attention and he's joining us tonight
from Milwaukee to talk about it.
And, Roland, you heard about the situation from the mayor of Columbus himself. What did he tell you?
ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I was in Columbus for several
speeches over the court of three weeks. And he called me and he said --
he said, Roland, we're hurting. He said, and we're having to lay off
I was listen to the morning radio. And they were talking about the
police class. But also what he talked about -- and this is very
important -- that Columbus is a diversified economy. It's the state
capital of Ohio. The Ohio State University is there.
But also they have a city income tax. So, when you lose jobs,
they're losing their biggest source of revenue. So, he said, hey, we
had to cut all kinds of different police. And so the police class was
so important because you have to maintain public safety to give
confidence in companies why they should continue investing.
And so it's a very difficult issue they had to confront that many other cities are confronting as well.
BROWN: Today's announcement, though, Roland, it saves 25 jobs. And I
don't mean to undercut that because for those 25 families this is huge.
It's great news for Columbus as well.
But for the president to go all the whole way to Columbus to tout 25
jobs, I mean, there are a lot of people who are going to say that's
just a drop in the bucket.
MARTIN: Well, here is the deal. Whenever I talk to folks around the
country and talk about how to save money, I say, look, you can't save a
million bucks unless you start saving $1. And you can't get to 100
bucks unless you get to $10.
So the reality is the only way we're going to build this economy if
you build it job by job, one by one. The 25 jobs, frankly, represents a
microcosm in terms of how cities are being affected by this economy.
And so to say that, look, the stimulus package was able to affect
these 25 jobs, here's what it means with public safety, here's what it
means with building confidence, and so it's frankly giving you the
Whenever the president does these things, it's all a matter of
saying here is an example of what happens when the government does
something and has a much broader meaning. So, you are right, it is 25
jobs, but I will tell, you we can't replace any of those jobs unless we
build it one by one. And so it may sound small, but in the long term,
it all adds up.
Neither Brown nor Martin reported how much Obama's obvious PR stunt
cost taxpayers. If he starts showing up to showcase every two dozen
jobs he's "saved," he'll soon have a bigger carbon footprint than Al
More significantly, neither Brown nor Martin pointed out that the police jobs may well not be permanent. According to the Associated Press:
The recruits were rehired using money from the Edward
Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program. The stimulus bill
included $2 billion for that program, and the money is being delivered
to local departments by a predetermined formula.
Breann Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for Rep. Pat Tiberi, one of eight
Ohio Republicans who voted against the stimulus, noted that the money
that saved the recruits' job will run out next year. (Mayor Michael)
Coleman hasn't said how he'll pay the officers' salaries after that.
No doubt the mayor will look to Washington for more tax dollars when
the time comes. Maybe Obama can fly back to Columbus to take credit
for that joyous example of all the jobs he's "saving."
In the meantime, Campbell Brown and her maternity leave replacement
Roland Martin might want to amend their newscast's name. "No Bias, No
Bull, Just Obama Talking Points" seems about right.