A maestro

Economist Dean Baker comes out with a weekly Economics Reporting Review which just nails all the recent falsehoods and half-truths in reports from our papers of record. Take Baker's simple and straightforward takedown of the NYT's Sheryl Gay Stolberg's piece on the Federal Reserve Board in his latest:


This article reports on the small amount of attention that many senators appear to have given to Benjamin Bernanke as they about to vote on him to replace Alan Greenspan as Federal Reserve Board chairman. At one point the article asserts that the major ideological battles on monetary policy have long been resolved.
This is not true. Until 1996, the vast majority of economists believed that the unemployment rate could not fall below 6.0 percent without triggering inflation. Only a small group of progressive economists disputed this view. The subsequent history showed that the progressive economists were right and the bulk of the profession was wrong. This fact has barely been mentioned in the discussion of the Greenspan transition, largely because the economists who were proven wrong continue to be the dominant, if not only, sources for news stories.
There is also an ongoing debate over whether the Fed should intervene to prevent the development of financial bubbles, such as the stock market bubble or the housing bubble. The Fed under Greenspan has taken the position that it is not appropriate for it to intervene, but many economists differ with this position.
"This is not true." Clear, simple, concise American prose. Can't beat it.

Unlike a lot of media critics out there, Baker's critiques are actually read by the business and economics reporting community -- so I've heard out of the mouths of mainstream reporters.

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