July 28, 2012

AP Headline: ‘Unemployment Could Stay High’; Opening Sentence: ‘High Unemployment Isn’t Going Away’

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, believes there are two primary kinds of users of its output: those who only read headlines and those who read on or click through. It often dresses up the headlines with inaccuracies, omissions, and occasional downright falsehoods, which more often than not are respectively rendered properly, included, and stated truthfully (or at least sort of close) in the actual content.

It’s hard to find a more stark example of a contradiction between an AP headline and its underlying content than Martin Crutsinger’s late afternoon report Friday following that morning’s Gross Domestic Product report:

APheadlineAndFirstGrafOnUnemployment072712at556pm

In the headline, unemployment “could” stay high; this conveniently keeps those who don’t read further in the dark. The first paragraph makes it clear that “could” is really “will,” barring an almost miraculous turn of events almost no one currently sees coming.

Later in the report, Crutsinger applies his own spin to what might have a chance of turning the situation around:

The lackluster economy is raising pressure on President Barack Obama in his re-election fight with Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. But few think the Fed, the White House or Congress can or will do anything soon that might rejuvenate the economy quickly. Many lawmakers, for example, refuse to increase federal spending in light of historically large budget deficits.

There’s a word for this type of thinking in the face of contradictory reality: “dunce” (“a person incapable of learning”). I’m not saying Crutsinger is one, but I am saying that in this passage he writes as if he is.

Annual federal spending has increased from about $2.7 trillion in fiscal 2007 to a rate of about $3.6 trillion during the current and previous fiscal years. We’ve had three years of a historically weak recovery. Yet you clearly still believes that it would be logical to spend even more you can’t make this up, and that Congress is a problem for not opening the spending spigots even further.

Such mindless Obama-echoing is why the AP richly deserves to be called the Administration’s Press.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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