And this was something of a bipartisan affair. Clinton, while hardly pushing the anti-government agenda like Bush, played a major role in gutting financial regulation (and staffed the government with the usual party hacks and cronies, rebuffing Cassandras like James L. Bothwell and Brooksley Born and leaving derivatives to the Wild West (sans marshal), ending Glass-Steagall, and renominating Ayn Rand acolyte Alan Greenspan as Fed chairman.

If you’re in power and you think government can’t possibly work and you actively seek to undermine its efficacy, you can’t feign surprise at your self-fulfilling prophecy.

If you’re in the press, you shouldn’t ignore that while using misleading headlines to get traffic.

Hey, maybe it works:

Ad Pages, Revenue Swell at The Atlantic

But this is the 153-year-old Atlantic, not The Huffington Post.

(ADDING: For non-journalists, the TK in my headline is journo-speak for “to come.” In other words, it’s a placeholder until you figure out what to write in there.)

Further Reading:

Audit Interview: James L. Bothwell. The author of a definitive ‘94 GAO derivatives report talks about industry pushback and financial-press complacency.

Angelides, The Audit, and Unfair Lending: An ex-regulator’s testimony to the commission needs examining.

Gensler, Derivatives, and the Causes of the Crisis: Several critical points for coverage of Wall Street and reform.

Letting Sleeping Watchdogs Lie: The business press rediscovers regulators.

Spitzer’s Ghost: The public record on lending hangs over the business press

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.