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Adventures in Cable News

It's hard out there for a ... talking head? Bruce Bartlett explains:

[A] friend of mine, economist Richard Rahn, recently had a segment on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer canceled. In this case, however, it wasn't because he had the wrong point of view, but because the show found a better guest to say the same thing. Again, this is part of the game. Policy wonks all know that if a producer can bag a congressman or senator to make his point he is going to get bumped. No problem.

What is funny about Richard's experience is that he wasn't bumped for a bigger name, but for another economist prepared to make his points in the form of rap. I'm not making this up. For a segment on the economics of John Maynard Keynes, this news program found someone who apparently has produced a rap video on the subject. Here is the relevant portion of the e-mail Richard got canceling his appearance:

"We just learned that Russ Roberts, a professor of economics at George Mason University, who was our second choice for the anti-Keynes position, is shooting a rap video about Keynes and Hayek next week in New York. He has written the lyrics (they are quite good), hired rappers and musicians, and tapped professional music video producers -- there will be bling, babes, limos, the works."

By Ezra Klein  |  October 14, 2009; 2:39 PM ET
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At least the Rap School of Economics can't be any further removed from reality than the Neoclassical School (and it's got a better beat).

Posted by: alex50 | October 14, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

style over substance always for TV. Where is the talk show for URPE economists?

Posted by: srw3 | October 14, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Um...isn't the News Hour on PBS and thus not on Cable at all?

Posted by: y2josh_us | October 14, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

How is PBS cable news?

Posted by: gonzosnose | October 14, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Apologies for the OT comment, and if you've addressed this, but I just wanted to make sure you'd seen it - opportunity for comment on regulations governing whether "natural" label can be used for meat & poultry:

Posted by: JaneG | October 14, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Does the NewsHour also have a policy on only asking on economists with alliterative names?

Posted by: Mike_Russo | October 14, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

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