Will MSNBC Continue to Shill for the Great Betrayal? By William K. Black 12 Nov 2012 The austerity component of the Grand Bargain was economically illiterate. Within the administration, it was the product of refusing to listen to its economists and listening instead to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Geithner is not an economist. Geithner hated Obama's stimulus program and embraced austerity. He convinced Obama to embrace an austerity deal that would have inflicted a gratuitous second recession on America and doom Obama's chance of re-election. Geithner had a powerful ally in convincing Obama to adopt such a program. Obama had decided to signal his fidelity to Wall Street by appointing William Daley as his Chief of Staff. Daley was from JP Morgan Chase. He came from (and has returned to) The Third Way - a Wall Street front group dedicated to pushing austerity and trying to further enrich Wall Street by privatizing Social Security. Daley's Third Way bio emphasizes his roles: "As Special Counsel to President Clinton in 1993, Daley coordinated the successful campaign to pass the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). He was co-chair of the US Chamber of Commerce Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness." "Capital markets competitiveness" is code for pushing the deregulation of finance... Obama had the great luck that House Tea Party fanatics ultimately caused Boehner not to consummate the Faustian bargain... Logic would compel MSNBC to oppose the deal. But MSNBC has a warring imperative -- its hosts worship Obama and are awash in endorphins as a result of his re-election... Every host, every journalist, and every guest on the programs who discussed the issue took it as a given that it was essential and urgent that Obama and Boehner agree to austerity and severe cuts in the safety net. There was no discussion of the merits. It was treated as obvious. The consistent message was that it was essential that we support our President unreservedly.