Defending AIG From Stephen Colbert's Angry, Pitchfork-Wielding Mob (Or Not)

Not a tough call.


By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

I blogged yesterday about various ways to deal with the AIG "bonus babies"—fire them (thus obviating retention bonuses), make them sue for their millions of dollars. If you haven't seen it, I commend to you today's Opinion section cartoon, which I think nicely captures the inanity of the AIG bonuses through the prism of the madness of March.

AIG has become one of those wonderful unifying Washington causes, where the main division between Democrats and Republicans is which side is angrier about the bonuses (a recent press release: "Boehner Expresses Outrage at Obama Administration's Handling of AIG Bonuses").

But in the interest of balance, I am compelled to note that not everyone shares the anti-AIG anger. For example my colleague Jim Pethokoukis has a couple of blog posts today assailing the "AIG Bonus Witch Hunt," (actually, dunking AIG CEO Edward Liddy when he testifies before Congress tomorrow might not be a bad idea, though burning him at the stake would probably be a bit much) and the "Phony AIG Bonus Scandal Outrage" (ah, if only the bonuses were phony).

As for me, I'm still sharpening my pitch-fork and preparing to join Stephen Colbert's angry anti-AIG mob (video after the jump):

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c


The real fun will begin Wednesday when, as I mentioned, Liddy testifies in front of the House Financial Services Committee. There are few sights as entertaining, in a grotesque political way, as watching members of Congress outdo each other in moral outrage and high dudgeon.

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  • Corrected on : Corrected on 3/18/09: An earlier version of this blog post misspelled the acronym for the American International Group. It is AIG.