NYT Makes 'Yes, But' Economic Reporting an Art Form

November 30th, 2005 1:25 AM

You've come to Newsbusters because you want to see a concrete example of liberal bias. Who delivers that better than the New York Times?

This is reality. We're 4 years out from the worst attack since Pearl Harbor, post dot-com crash, we've had more hurricanes than any year since some old man first started keeping track, and we just about had a major U.S. city -- an economically important city -- wiped off the face of the planet. The hurricanes took out oil infrastructure at a time when we can ill afford a disruption in supply.

And yet the economy is, quite simply, running hot.

That would be great, except for the fact that a religious conservative is sitting in the White House. Will the powerful New York Times stand for this? After all, there has been so much invested in making Bush look like a religious idiot.

The article starts by calling out the obvious.

By most measures, the economy appears to be doing just fine. No, scratch that, it appears to be booming.

Now without reading ahead, pause here. What do you think the next word in this article is going to be?
But as always with the United States economy, it is not quite that simple.

No, as always it is never that simple. Of course it was so simple when Clinton was running that he [meaning Carville] even coined the phrase "it's the economy, stupid" but that was a Democrat.

Consumer confidence is bouncing back from what was arguably some of its worst readings in years. Gasoline prices-the national average is now $2.15, according to the Energy Information Administration- have fallen because higher prices tamped down demand and supplies in the Gulf Coast have been slowly restored. The latest read on home sales, released today, contradicts virtually every other recent measure of housing activity that generally indicate a slowdown. And yes, manufacturers' fortunes are on the mend, but few besides airplane makers are celebrating.

The word you're looking for here is begrudgingly. The reason the New York Times doesn't podcast is because if the reporter actually had to read that paragraph, his tongue would catch on fire.

It all means that the economy is likely to end the year with a splash, but that does not mean the broad economic picture next year will be even better.
It means we're sorry, we tried everything we could to write ourselves into a recession to wreck this President, we didn't do it this year, but we will try harder next year. Your continued subscription will help us in this endeavor, and we appreciate you patronizing our advertisers, now please place a classified ad.
Americans have taken advantage of historically low mortgage rates to buy homes, refinance existing loans and borrow money for renovations or other household needs, all of which have been an important and substantial boost to spending, Mr. Shapiro said. While neither he nor others expect that activity to dry up, even a modest tapering off could knock growth down a peg or two. Mr. Shapiro, for one, says growth could drop from 3.5 percent in 2005 to 3.2 percent in 2006.
The worst outlook they could find only has us taking a 0.3% hit in growth. Shouldn't that be cause for celebration?
The Commerce Department said today that new home sales jumped 13 percent in October, to an annual pace of 1.42 million, a record.
What do you think the next word in the article is going to be? Don't read ahead, no cheating. I know you can't guess it, can you?
But that contradicted earlier data that shows existing home sales slowing, construction activity easing, falling mortgage applications and declining confidence among home builders. "I basically have a wait-and-see attitude with some healthy suspicion about this report," said David Seiders, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders. "Either there is something that all of those other reports are not telling us, or this will get revised."
Yes, there must be something Dick Cheney has hidden under his desk that will blow the lid right off this conspiracy. We must indict Dick Cheney and impound his desk NOW.
In another seemingly upbeat report, the Conference Board showed consumer confidence jumped 16 percent.
It would be pure hubris to use "but" again, don't you think?
Still, that is below the level before Hurricane Katrina tore up the Gulf Coast last summer. And the Commerce Department said orders for durable goods - big-ticket items that last more than three years - jumped 3.4 percent,
What do you think? It's been 4 sentences since they used "but".
but most of that increase was concentrated in military and commercial planes.
Oh yeah, for you who are not liberioconomicists, planes don't count as durable goods. We'd appreciate it if the Commerce Department would just leave those out for us next time. Do we know yet if this economy is headed for the toilet?
So far the evidence is inconclusive.
Yes, inconclusive. The economy is doing quite well right now, and there is no indication that it going to change, but one can always hope.
After adding an average of 202,000 jobs a month for the first seven months of the year, companies hit a slow patch late this summer. In August, businesses created just 148,000 jobs followed by a decline of 8,000 in September after Katrina. And just when economists expected a big bounce back in October, the Labor Department reported a net increase of just 56,000 jobs.
Note to the NY Times: Instead of saying "just 56,000 jobs", next time you could say "This did not positively impact 99.9999% of Americans." I'm just trying to help.
But they worry that new-job creation may turn out to be disappointing because of deep-rooted concerns about thinning profit margins, due to, among other things, high energy costs.

If you get one of the newly created jobs, are you going to be disappointed?

This, Newsbusters, is a biased article. Or as Arthur Sulzberger Jr. would say, an "urban" article.

Thank God for the suburbs.