ProPublica’s False Balance on Economic Myths

ProPublica‘s factcheck of seven economic myths facing the country makes some good points: Taxes aren’t going up, for instance. Some of the “myths” are a bit muddled: “The stimulus has been full of/free of fraud, waste and abuse.” Is someone really saying the latter? But overall the piece tries vainly to balance myths that will please both the right and the left. For instance, Myth #3 doesn’t appear to be a myth at all, but a difference of opinion between economists. But labeling it a myth serves the conservative perspective: The stimulus should have been bigger. This is a red […]


NYT Has No Space to Tell You It’s an Oil Industry Group Saying That Spills Aren’t So Bad

The formula for “contrarian” journalism was aptly summed up by Wonkette (1/6/09): Take a widely accepted belief (e.g., “Dogs make good pets”) and write a cool 600 words arguing why its opposite is SECRETLY truer (“Why all dogs should die”). Of course, it helps if the upside-down world you’re proposing turns out to be one that is surprisingly cozy to powerful corporate interests. Thus the piece that appeared on the front page of the New York Times today (4/4/10) arguing that maybe we’re all a little too worried about that oil spill in the Gulf. To back up this counterintuitive […]