After New York lost bids to host the Olympics, a disappointed Mayor Michael Bloomberg called hosting the Olympics, “an incredible opportunity to build infrastructure, create jobs, and attract new visitors and business." Politicians always make such claims when suckering taxpayers into paying for grand public projects like lavish sports stadiums.
Politicians always make this foolish claim when suckering taxpayers into paying for lavish sports stadium.
Now the media is praising South Africa for hosting the World Cup, and rightly so. Many of the predicted calamities did not occur, and the games were a success. The LA Times declared South Africa the World Cup's big winner. But as Radley Balko explains, South Africa will have little to show for its huge financial investment:
South Africa’s ability to pull it all together for six weeks doesn’t mean the World Cup will be a net benefit to the country in the long term. As the ESPN video below explains, South Africa’s government spent $6 billion on the tournament. Tournament-related revenues are expected to fall well short of that figure. Some of the hundred million dollar stadiums built for the tournament won’t get much use now that the games are over. The video points to one stadium built for the tournament which will likely remain vacant—it sits over over slums that lack running water.
Fond memories of the month South Africa performed marvelously on the world stage are nice. But $6 billion is a lot to pay for a memory. These spectacles—the World Cup and the Olympics—are nearly always money losers. They’re a lousy investment in wealthy countries. They’re particularly garrish in countries that aren’t as affluent.
Such spectacles are garish in affluent America too.
ESPN video referenced by Balko here.
This Week's Show -- July 10, 2014
CENSORSHIP AT CBS: Investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson has a similar story. She explains why she left CBS after it became "harder and harder to get stories on television" that criticized this government and "any powers that be."
IS STOSSEL BIASED?: Years ago, journalist Howard Kurtz criticized me for not being objective. I said it's impossible for any journalist to be completely objective. Now that Howard Kurtz is on Fox, we debate again.
THE OBJECTIVITY MYTH: Andrew Kirell of Mediaite.com says, "every journalist has a point of view and they don't just magically check it the minute they walk in the newsroom door."
NEW MEDIA: Reason TV's Remy Munasifi uses music videos and parodies to complain about things like politicians' spending. One of his latest parodies highlights the scandal surrounding the VA hospitals. Munasifi discusses his videos, which have gone viral on YouTube.
RETRO REPORT: It's great there's a new media organization called Retro Report, which reveals media hype of the past ("crack babies," America's landfill "crisis," the "superpredator," etc.) and corrects stories everyone in the media got wrong. I discuss the new show with its executive producer, Kyra Darnton.
REAL OR FAKE?: Sometimes people in the media say things that are so bizarre, you'd think they were made up. Kennedy of The Independents quizzes FoxBusiness.com's Kate Rogers, Fox Business host Charles Payne and me to see if any of us can tell which quotes are real, and which were made up by my staff.
MY TAKE: I used to report on lots of scares. CBS even ran an ad for me where someone called me a "guardian angel."
That's bunk. The only guardian angel is a free and open society. That's what allows innovation, gives people longer lives, and lifts billions out of poverty. But these gradual improvements aren't newsworthy. Scares and disaster make the news.
News is broken not just because we're biased but because most good and important news happens slowly.
9PM ET on Fox Business Network