Spin Busting

SPIN BUSTING?….CJR’s Campaign Desk, in some kind weird effort to show evenhandedness, criticizes the New York Times today for printing a direct quote from John Kerry:

This morning’s account of Kerry’s campaign appearances in Chicago and New Mexico includes a line from the senator’s stump speech criticizing Bush’s economic policies: “Don’t tell us that two million lost jobs is the best we can do.”

The Times reprinted this without informing its readers that the total number of job lost since George Bush took office in January 2001 now stands at 1.2 million jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There have been 1.9 million private sector jobs lost in the same time, which is closer to Kerry’s assertion that 2 million jobs have been lost, but from reading The Times, you wouldn’t know that either.

This is spin busting? “1.9 million private sector jobs” is telegraphed into “2 million jobs” in a stump speech and that’s worth pointing out?

Give me a break. Considering the numbers Kerry could have used to compare Bush’s performance to every previous president’s (try these, for example), I’d say he’s being a paragon of honesty and moderation. On the spin Richter scale, this rates about a 0.1.

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