Setting SYRIZA Straight, NYT Gets It Wrong on Debt

Yanis Varoufakis (photo: Angelos Tzortzinis/NYT)

The New York Times suggested that the Greek Finance minister does not understand the basic debt dynamics of his own country–and followed this up with an erroneous definition of a fiscal “primary surplus,” a crucial accounting concept for the Greek debt work-out.


Improbable as It May Seem to WaPo, Greek Voters Doubt Austerity Is Required

The Washington Post illustrates the victory of Greece's Syriza with a photo of marchers carrying the flag of an Italian neo-Communist party.  Caption: "Leftist victory could put Athens at odds with the rest of Europe." (photo: Petros Giannakouris/AP)

Warning Greece against a radical break with austerity has been a longstanding theme at the Washington Post. It’s worth emphasizing, though, that the creditors who “bailed out Greece” in reality didn’t bail out anyone but themselves.


‘Searing Memories of Defaults’–and Selective Memory at the New York Times

Argentina real GDP

It’s true that Mexico’s default on its debts in 1982 was followed by years of hard times. But Argentine and Russian memories of default are far less “searing”


ABC: European Elections Matter, Mostly to American 401(k)s

Parliamentary elections in Greece saw the conservative-leaning New Democracy party win a narrow victory over the left-wing anti-austerity Syriza coalition. This was good news for an array of major players who prefer Greece to stick to the current punishing bailout plan arranged by European countries. ABC World News showed which angle mattered most when anchor Diane Sawyer led a report (6/18/12) on the election results this way: And now we move on to your money and the momentary sigh of relief for every American with a 401(k). The voters of Greece this weekend decided to stay the course in Europe, […]


Media, Austerity and Bad Medicine

The election results in Greece and France sent a clearer message about austerity: Voters don’t like it. That sentiment isn’t hard to fathom; massive spending cuts and pay cuts aren’t fixing the problems in their economies–they’re making things worse. Media coverage seems to be clearer these days about what the public thinks of austerity. But the assumption that austerity is mostly “good” still seems firmly in place. Like this Washington Post lead (5/7/12): Voters in France and Greece redrew Europe’s political map Sunday in a powerful backlash against the German-led cure for the region’s debt crisis: painful austerity. It’s not […]


ABC Exclusive: Greek Fatcat Retirees Stealing From American Workers!

The November 1 broadcast of ABC World News couldn’t have been any clearer about what’s happening in Greece: Their pampered, early-retiring workforce is stealing from Americans. Anchor Diane Sawyer explained: If you were watching your stocks today, you saw a nosedive. The Dow down nearly 300 points, so, what changed? Well, blame it on the country of Greece, long criticized for being undisciplined, and now threatening American retirements. OK, since we probably were all “watching our stocks” on Tuesday–like any other day–why is Greece doing this to us? ABC correspondent Dan Harris explains how this all works by introducing us […]


WaPo: Greece, Don’t Be an Argentina!

Washington Post correspondent Juan Forero has a piece today (11/4/11) that attempts to compare the Greek economic crisis with other similar debt crises, particularly in Latin America. Unfortunately, he draws some misleading conclusions. Forero’s point is that there’s a lot about Greece’s problems that are reminiscent of troubles in Argentina and Uruguay just a few years ago. One country chose the right response, and the other is called Argentina: In a story that may provide a lesson for Europe, one country, Uruguay, that was on the edge of financial oblivion organized a fast, orderly and negotiated response that revived the […]


It’s All Greek to Them

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou’s call for a referendum on the EU bailout package seems to have prompted media outlets to rummage through their store of Greek cliches. The Washington Post’s editorial against “Mr. Papandreou’s ill-advised announcement of a referendum” led with a classical reference: Not since the night when soldiers emerged from the belly of a giant wooden horse in ancient Troy has Greece engineered a more stunning surprise. On the CBS Evening News (11/1/11), Mark Phillips weighed in with a culinary metaphor: This was supposed to be the week that world leaders gathered in France to chart the […]


The Iranian Threat to Eastern Crete

The New York Times had a story yesterday (5/21/09) about the test of an Iranian missile “that was capable of striking Israel and parts of Western Europe.” This was an important point in the article–reporters David E. Sanger and Nazila Fathi included it in their lead paragraph, and later listed it among “three technologies necessary to field an effective nuclear weapon”: “The second is developing a missile capable of reaching Israel and parts of Western Europe, and now the country has several likely candidates.” The article reported that the range of the missile is “believed to be more than 1,200 […]