Corporate media economics reporters’ knee-jerk repetition of the “free trade” moniker has pushed things to the absurd point that Dean Baker is forced to ask (10/30/08) on his Beat the Press blog, “What Does It Mean to Support ‘Free Market’ Economics?”:
New York Times readers no doubt asked this question when they saw that Charlie McCreevy, the European internal market commissioner, was identified as “a supporter of free-market economics.” What does this mean? Did Mr. McCreevy oppose the bank bailouts? Is he opposed to copyright and patent protection? Or did the NYT just mean to tell us that, like almost everyone else, he is not a supporter of Soviet-style central planning?
Baker thinks “it would be useful if reporters could get beyond clichés and try to ensure that their characterizations of individuals actually provide information to readers.”