Fortunately, the news media has leading intellectual Barney Frank to answer that question. After successfully using his position as Financial Services Committee Chairman to pressure GM into keeping a facility in his district open that was slated to be closed, Rep. Frank explained to the news media, that his position as an influential government official had nothing to do with GM’s response to his pressure. And, he helpfully added, there was no reason to believe that GM would be unduly influenced to make decisions that are not in their economic interest by government officials such as himself. As far as the new media are concerned Q.E.D. Story over.
Perhaps three or 10 years from now, we can look forward to news reports with the theme “we should have seen this coming”.