Category Archives: Media

Slow News Day

It’s the typical election-year July lull here in Washington. Here’s a small taste of newshounds’ suffering:

Obama meets with Jerry Springer

Obama likes Thin Mints best

Slow News Day

Politico: Hillary Clinton wears cat-eye sunglasses

Why Opinion Pages Are Insipid

Benjamin Constant, in 1815, presciently describes nearly every U.S. newspaper’s editorial page two centuries later, from David Brooks on the right to E.J. Dionne on the left:

The ambition of the writers of the day is at all times to seem more convinced than anyone else of the reigning opinion. They watch which way the crowd is rushing. They dash as fast as they can to overtake it. They think thereby to acquire glory for providing an inspiration they actually got from others.”

-Benjaimin Constant, Principles of Politics Applicable to All Governments, p.4.

As opposed to, say, thinking for oneself and consistently applying the basic principles one believes in.

“Politics Is Weird. And Creepy.”

I have little love for Fox News, or for cable news in general. But Shepard Smith is both hilarious and spot-on in this 30-second clip. Click here if the embedded video doesn’t work.

On the Radio – Job Creation

Just wrapped up a 20-minute interview on Jim Kearney’s Financial Spectrum show on WKXL 1450 in Concord, New Hampshire. We talked about job creation — more specifically, CEI’s 10-point job creation plan. I’ll post or link to an mp3 if I can get one.

This Is Surprising

Report: Obama top recipient of News Corp. donations

Eager to hear how partisans on both sides will spin this one.

The Deflating Quality of Economic Journalism

Cato’s Jagadeesh Gokhale with an example of the current state of economic journalism:

[NPR reporter Adam] Davidson: “Ladies and gentlemen, I have an amazing investment opportunity for you. Give me $100, just a hundred, and in one year I promise it will be worth 93 bucks. We call it the deflation special.”

My reaction: No, sir! Under deflation, $100 today would increase in value to $107 (assuming your implicit rate of deflation). Help! Stop the car! …Wait, I’m the one driving…what just happened?

Davidson: “All right, seriously, nobody is giving anybody a hundred bucks just so they can lose seven.”

My reaction: No, no, please, please take my money! I’d give you a million dollars if I had that amount. I really would!

It gets worse from there. Davidson completely misunderstands the effects of deflation — and thousands of listeners take him at his word. No wonder public understanding of economics is so poor.

People spend little time learning about economics in the first place because of rational ignorance. Compounding the problem is that in the little time they do spend learning — usually from economically untrained journalists — they get incorrect information from people who know not of what they speak.

I previously wrote about the troubled relationship between economics and journalism here and here.