Fox News, Too, Crowdsources Stimulus Bill

Megan recently wrote about The Huffington Post “crowdsourcing” its analysis of the stimulus bill and how that effort has worked out (pretty well, actually). Fox News, too, is calling on its readers to pore over the hundreds of pages of the bill (both versions) and send feedback, flag things of note, and the like.

So: How do you entice your readers into doing this for/with you? It’s all in the pitch.

Huffington Post:

Please take a look through the bill and let us know if you find anything noteworthy or surprising. Specifically, search for anything a little out of the ordinary, such as the section on page 14 that makes sure no money goes directly to Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. That provision was introduced earlier as an amendment and it has made it into the final bill.

Or read through the oversight sections and the authority (and money) given to Government Accountability Office. Is it real oversight or are there wide loopholes?

John Maynard Keynes famously said that burying bottles of cash under ground would be a suitable — if not ideal — way of reducing unemployment. One person’s bottle-burying earmark is another’s job-creation project.

Fox News:

“House and Senate ‘Spendulus’ Bills: Hunt for the Bacon!

At more than 1,500 pages, the House and Senate versions of the economic stimulus bill aren’t exactly a light read.

That’s why we’re counting on our FOX Forum audience to help us all get through it.

Join our challenge to find what’s right — and maybe not so right — with the working versions of the $850 billion plan, which will have to be mashed together into one piece of legislation before it goes to President Obama for his signature.

Tell us what you’ve found … We’ll publish a sampling of your comments and observations over the coming days, and take a closer look at some of the more interesting discoveries.

If the comments section is any indication (and maybe it’s not), the “discoveries” from Fox’s “Hunt” have been few and far between.

Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.