Patterico's Pontifications


Is the New York Times cheerleading for a bad economy?

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 9:53 am

[Posted by Karl]

Of course not.  However, given the NYT’s reputation, it is worth noting they had some of the most balanced coverage of Friday’s seemingly good unemployment report.

Quite a bit of the establishment media was unabashedly political in its coverage of the report, often right in the headlines. For the Washington Post, “Obama’s re-election case gets a boost from jobs report.” At AFP, an almost identical take: “Jobs data boosts Obama’s reelection argument.” For BusinessWeek, “Obama’s Re-Election Case Bolstered by February Employment Report.”  The verdict at the Wall Street Journal? “Jobs Report: Better News for Obama.”  And so on.

To be sure, the NYT editorial on the jobs report was overtly political, tossing in a “do-nothing Congress” meme as a chaser.  But the regular news coverage of the report did not get into the politics until paragraph 5, with a cautious tone:

Such improvement, if it continues, will most likely be a boost for President Obama as he makes a case to voters that his economic policies have been working. Republicans quickly criticized it as too little, too late. Still, the report coincided with other signs of strength, like a surge in consumer confidence and growing strength in manufacturing.

“There is no real cloud in the silver lining of this morning’s jobs report,” wrote Steven Blitz, chief economist of ITG Investment Research.

The big question was whether such improvement could be sustained, or even accelerate, as is necessary to significantly drive down the unemployment rate. Most projections call for slower economic growth in the first quarter of this year than the last quarter of 2011, and a second report on Friday further reduced expectations. The report, showing a higher-than-expected trade deficit, prompted firms like JPMorgan Chase and Macroeconomic Advisers to lower their growth forecasts for this quarter.

The focus, though, remained on more encouraging signs…

The NYT’s business reportage was even more subdued.  David Leonhardt wrote about “Why Job Growth Is Likely to Slow,” with the answer being that overall economic growth is expected to slow:

Why do economists expect growth to slow? The warm winter has probably pulled some spending forward into the last few months and will reduce spending in coming months, says Joshua Shapiro, an economist at MFR Inc. in New York. Rising oil prices also play a role. So does the continuing debt overhang, which makes a sustained recovery difficult.

Leonhardt linked to other similar pieces at the NYT, including a detailed piece by Binyamin Appelbaum which ran last December.

Why does any of this matter, aside from the novelty of the NYT providing balanced coverage?  It matters because if this widely expected slowdown occurs, the right will almost surely be accused of cheerleading for a bad economy for talking about it.  Conversely, even amid the good news, business outlets like CNBC and political outlets like National Journal will drop in complaints from the Economic Policy Institute, a blatantly left-wing, Big Labor think tank.  It is totally acceptable to badmouth the economy — as long as you are cheerleading for bigger government.  Take the NYT’s current coverage to your memory bank; you may want to cash it in later this year.


20 Responses to “Is the New York Times cheerleading for a bad economy?”

  1. Ding!

    Karl (6f7ecd)

  2. but… but… but orders for durable goods fell the most they had in the last 3 years. And employers will pull back on hiring in anticipation of even higher fuel prices.

    Colonel Haiku (30a10b)

  3. Nothin’ from nothin’, but my wife and I experienced the “generation gap” effect over in Carmel, Ca. on Thursday. As we left “Aw Shucks” seafood (awesome shrimp!), we were approached by a young womyn from Greenpeace, who greeted us with a “shalom”.

    I responded “malaka hi mekka hiney high” and the young Greenpeacer gave me a befuddled look.

    Go figure…

    Colonel Haiku (30a10b)

  4. “…his economic policies have been working.”

    Sure, they’re working. We’re becoming more socialistic by the day. Of course, eventually, that’s going to mean that we’re all going to be impoverished thralls of the almighty state (like folks in commie countries), but hey, you can’t honestly say they’re not having any success in sending us down that road.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  5. “Shalom” outside a seafood restaurant?

    MayBee (081489)

  6. It’s also okay to avoid cheerleading for the economy if you want to lower expectations and provide cover for Obama in the coming months.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  7. ‘ That would be yes, for a 1,000, Alex’

    narciso (87e966)

  8. “Shalom” outside a seafood restaurant?

    Comment by MayBee

    naw, about a half block away, but I still thought it took some chutzpah.

    Colonel Haiku (1f8994)

  9. triple guarantee
    from the Times, economy
    is booming, you proles!

    Colonel Haiku (1f8994)

  10. “Is the New York Times cheerleading for a bad economy?”

    I doubt that. When you get right down to it, the only thing that’s likely to hurt Obama at the polls is a bad economy, and I’m pretty sure that’s not what most folks at the NYT want.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  11. A mild winter should mean people spend less on utility bills for heating oil and natural gas. There should be more disposable income. ANd yet orders for durable goods are way down. What are these new job holders producing if such orders are way down? Further, oil prices despite lower demand are up anyway. At the same time as per today’s papers food prices are up, with inflation creeping into grocery prices. Antecdotally I can never recall this many people being unemployed or underemployed. Nor this many “for rent” office and retail spaces.

    Underemploment may be a huge underreported story. A part-time or seasonal job is not the same as a full time position. And there is a lot of that going on.

    All Adminstrations play with the stats. It’s idiocy that food and fuel are not part of CPI. Yet Obama to heights that would make Soviet bureaucrats envious in their days of ridiculous Five Year Plans.

    Bugg (ea1809)

  12. Comment by Dave Surls — 3/11/2012 @ 10:36 am

    We’ll pretend to work, and they’ll pretend to pay us.

    AD-RtR/OS! (e2c82b)

  13. With the 60%+ haircut that Greek bondholders are taking, that will have to be passed on in earnings reports in U.S. Banks holding those bonds.
    Energy prices will, through the Summer, continue to climb the face of Half-Dome, which will be reflected in the prices of everything transported and delivered by trucks across America.
    My last fill up of the trusty Astro van cost $91 at ARCO at $3.899/gl. The next visit to the pumps will cost me a C-note+.
    When that pricing hits the Plains, and the Mid-West, there will be political Hell to pay.
    This will be the most “interesting” election held in America in the last 60-years.

    AD-RtR/OS! (e2c82b)

  14. bondholders taking
    Devil’s Haircut in my mind
    it’s all Greek to me

    Colonel Haiku (1f8994)

  15. when talking about NYT cheerleadings it helps to keep this chart Mr P found in mind I think

    that’s just cheerleading to the choir cause hardly anybody subscribes to the New York Times’ obamawhore propagandas anymore

    just old rich white people – it’s just like NPR

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  16. zerohedge has been following Golman Sachs’ cheerleading the bad economy for months now hoping for QE3.

    Unfortunately the utility of more printing has petered out and even Helicopter Ben seems afraid of the next step–and its potential for total ineffectiveness.

    Banks are awash in cash but neither stocks nor bonds figure to earn them a return.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  17. Happy times are here again, CNBC and Cramer are onboard with the meme. Is another Summer of Recovery is on tap? Only Joe Biddy knows.

    Westie (ece8d5)

  18. a 7% increase in sales tax revenues here in the PRC (4th Qtr 2011 vs. 2010) is being touted as proof the state economy is improving…

    of course, the fact that inflation is driving up the cost of purchases couldn’t possibly be the source of the “unexpected” revenue. 8)

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  19. WAR!: In “Dangerous Liaisons”, the Glenn Close character is being bullied into sexual submission by the one played by John Malkovitch. She DOES NOT roll over and take it. She DOES NOT compromise. A three-prong battle strategy to counter the elite media and Obama’s minions is provided at the link. We are in TOTAL WAR.

    Mutnodjmet (c4995d)

  20. when you find yourself getting bullied into sexual submission by John Malkovitch you have to ask yourself, why does my agent hate me?

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

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