Madoff scandal exposes media double standard

Notice the difference in the way the political pundit press, especially those filling the conservative radio airwaves, is treating the stories of Bernard Madoff and the national mortgage collapse.

Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, which cost investors billions, is full of high-profile “victims” such as actor Kevin Bacon and many, many more. I have yet to hear one of Madoff’s “victims” be criticized for getting in over their heads or getting involved with a scheme that seemed too good to be true.

In short, they are never told it’s their own fault for being suckered or unsophisticated.

Not so the poor schlubs who dared to dream of home ownership and were lured into a contract that had more moving parts than a pole dancer. The Limbaugh Nation of radio talkers invariably refers to them as unwise people who deserve what they got because they either weren’t smart enough to read the fine print or were just flat-out foolish.

This is an excellent example of class-ism in the American media. The press is quick to coddle the upper classes, which get their own section of the newspaper. It’s usually called “Business.”

The press is just as quick to report crime stories, which occur more often in poor and dysfunctional neighborhoods. Often when a murder happens in a neighborhood of substance, there’s a followup article on how the neighbors feel about the incident.

It’s a story you’ll rarely see following a shooting in a poor neighborhood. It’s almost as if the poor, like soldiers in some endless war, should be used to all the violence by now.

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