Editing Ben Bernanke

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


I blanked out yesterday on Ben Bernanke’s congressional testimony because it didn’t seem like anything interesting had happened. Just the usual “ready and able to step in if needed” stuff that he says every time. But today’s New York Times summary has a fine little tidbit that I’m sorry I missed. Republicans, as usual, pounded the table and insisted that Bernanke not so much as consider the possibility of easier monetary policy:

Democrats made no similar effort to convince Mr. Bernanke that he should take additional action. They congratulated the Fed chairman in the manner of people confident that they are speaking with an ally. “I want to thank you for your steadfast commitment to taking action as you deem appropriate,” said Representative Michael E. Capuano, Democrat of Massachusetts. “Thank you for not giving up.”

Representative John Carney, Democrat of Delaware, went one step further. “The Fed is doing everything it can to address the unemployment part of your mandate, is that correct?” he asked Mr. Bernanke.

Mr. Bernanke, momentarily startled, responded that the Fed could do more, and was considering whether it should.

Oh, wait. That’s from Scott Sumner’s blog. However, an editor at the Times apparently couldn’t handle the truth, and that last line now reads:

Mr. Bernanke paused a moment before responding that the Fed “certainly” could do more, and was considering whether it should.

I liked the original better, and I’ll bet it’s more accurate. Bernanke knows perfectly well that he’s doing nowhere near all he could. It must indeed be startling to him that an awful lot of Democrats don’t seem to understand that.

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate