AP Coverage of Bernanke's 'I Have No Idea' Speech Similarly Clueless

When the Associated Press's Paul Wiseman and Martin Crutsinger team up for a report on the economy, there's no limit to the comic potential.

Today, in covering what the folks at Zero Hedge described as "Ben Bernanke's 'I Have No Idea Why The Economy Will Get Better But It Will' Speech" (transcript is at link), the AP pair may have set a new world record for most unused words one would expect to be employed in a report on the condition of the economy.

Readers will not find the following words, all of which bear at least somewhat on why the economy is currently failing to live up to expectations and to meaningfully rebound nearly two years after the official end of the recession, in the wire service's report:

  • "government spending"
  • "regulation"
  • "deficit"
  • "tax"
  • "budget"
  • "uncertainty"
  • "business"
  • "fiscal"
  • "ceiling"
  • "treasury"
  • "collections"
  • "receipts"
  • "recession"
  • "manufacturing"

It's no small accomplishment to avoid each and every one of the words or terms noted, but the AP pair pulled it off.

Gosh, the economy is so bad (how bad is it?) that even words ordinarily used to describe it are unemployed.

Wiseman and Crutsinger also "somehow" omitted the specifics about the Fed's unemployment expectations in the following paragraph:

The Fed cut its forecast for economic growth this year to a range of 2.7 percent to 2.9 percent from an April forecast of 3.1 percent to 3.3 percent. It also cut its forecast for next year to a range of 3.3 percent to 3.7 percent from an earlier 3.5 percent to 4.2 percent. The Fed also said unemployment would stay higher than it had expected earlier.

Geez guys, how much higher?

The answer (full details at Calculated Risk): 8.6% - 8.9% in the fourth quarter, up from April's forecast of 8.4% - 8.7%. In other words, the Fed thinks the rate won't drop by more than a half-point by the end of the year. The Fed also predicts that fourth quarter 2012 unemployment will be 7.8% - 8.2%.

Maybe the AP pair thinks if they don't tell us, no one will remember that no incumbent president since FDR has been reelected with unemployment rates that high.

Oh, and Barack Obama's name was mentioned three times, but not in connection with the impact his administration's policies might having on the anemic economy. No-no-no. All three uses of his name had to do with how the pathetic economic performance which the smartest people ever to walk the earth somehow can't explain might end up hurting Dear Leader's reelection prospects.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Bias by Omission Media Bias Debate Government Agencies Unemployment Business Coverage Banking/Finance Economy Congress Associated Press Wire Services/Media Companies Paul Wiseman Martin Crutsinger Ben Bernanke