- It Ain’t Easy Being John Boehner
“Uh, Mr. President, where are the jobs?” Speaker of the House John Boehner
“Right in front of your swollen red nose, Yellowboy,” President Obama
One reason I write for this blog is because Big Media seems to have no long-term memory from which to provide perspective. In that respect, it’s kind of like voters.
At MNPP, at least we try to get something like perspective out there, if only for less imaginative mainstream media hacks to have something fresh to colonize. Call it professional courtesy.
Witness Big Media’s reaction to the latest jobs report for March: the economy — we are told — created “only” 126,000 jobs, which the mainstream media was quick to use for their nightly broadcast and website email teasers as a lead-in, and which went something like: “OMG! The jobs report for March was ONLY 126,000!! The economy must be tanking again! We’re doomed, DOOMED!!! Let’s all crap our pants!!!”
Even the venerable New York Times couldn’t resist giving the report a long shadow — U.S. Economy Gained 126,000 Jobs in March, an Abrupt Slowdown in Hiring. It did attribute the downturn in new jobs creation to an economy impacted by horrible spring weather and chronically low gas prices. But it didn’t say that the slowdown was likely to be temporary until the twelfth graph when the feeble news-desk editor who cleared the story deigned to allow this little gem for the sake of adding some perspective:
“It was lower than expectations, without a doubt,” said Thomas E. Perez, the secretary of labor. “But I’ve always said that one month never makes a trend.”
Mr. Perez said that if someone told him last year, when the unemployment rate was 6.6 percent, that it would now be at 5.5 percent, “I would have said that’s an April Fool’s joke.”
Last year, the drop in the nation’s output that accompanied a harsh winter was followed by an unusually strong rebound in the spring. Job growth during that cold snap was also disappointing before surging ahead the rest of the year.
It’s that kind of 30,000 foot perspective that’s wanted in a story like this, but should be offered early, in the third or fourth graph, as opposed to a breathless, film-at-eleven dick teaser.
I know, I know. Adding balance and perspective to a news story which otherwise might be seen by the public as reflecting negatively on Obama, or the Democrats, or Godless Baby-killing Liberals (GBKL) in general, makes right-wing butt-hurt media trolls leap from their Barcalounger® Pegasus II™ 6-Position Recliners and scream, “Again with the liberal media bias! You f*kkers!” — a charge that, for inexplicable reasons, managing editors across the land seem to fear.
But why? Let’s remember that when Obama took office, there was a nationwide cadre of respected economists who said that the damage done to the economy was so severe it would take at least ten years to recover all the jobs lost and the Dow to once again top 11,000. And there was a lot of sentiment that with the enormous additional debt we’d incur trying to dig ourselves out of the hole we were in, the US could turn into a “zombie” economy alá Japan for another ten years after that. Instead, Obama’s policies created 12.1 million new private sector jobs in just 5 years and the Dow topped 11,000 on April 9, 2010, fully five years ago. The economy is growing at a healthy rate, maybe not gangbusters but the inflation rate is at 0%, the annual deficit has been cut by more than half, and real wages for American workers have begun to rise for the first time in decades.
Allz I’m sayin’ is there’s room for some perspective in the story, regardless of what a stringer of bushnesiac radcon coulter crackers have to say about it.