Which Kind of Trader Needs Quotation Marks?

Today’s Washington Post (11/14/08) explains that Obama’s economic advisers “span the policy spectrum:”

They include free traders and “fair traders,” deficit hawks, Wall Street executives, corporate moguls and labor advocates.

Why the different typographical treatment of free trade and fair trade? The implication is that “free trade” really is free, whereas “fair trade” is just what its supporters call it. This treatment of so-called “free trade,” as economist Dean Baker has long explained, “reflects deeply held biases in the media. The most important point, which I unfortunately have to keep repeating, is that these are not free trade agreements. They do not free all trade and, in fact, increase some forms of protectionist barriers.” But in the corporate media, “free trade” does not generally require any sort of qualifier or explanation.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.