Priorities

PRIORITIES….Here’s the first graf of today’s LA Times story on the economy:

Consumer prices took another sharp jump last month with high energy prices fueling a 0.8% monthly increase — nearly double analysts’ predictions — and chalked up a 12-month inflation rate of 5.6%, the highest since 1991, the Labor Department reported today.

ZOMG! Inflation is out of control! Now, here’s the seventh (i.e., nearly last) graf of the story:

Joel Naroff of Naroff Economic Advisors said that other economic indicators released today were equally worrisome. The Labor Department also reported that workers’ average weekly earnings declined by 0.8% in July and 3.1% over the last year, even after adjusted for inflation.

Yawn. People are making less money than before. Whatevs.

Question for the folks who populate our newsrooms: Why is it that a 0.8% rise in inflation, the biggest since 1991, is huge, headline news, while a 0.8% decline in wages, the biggest since 1990, is only barely worth mentioning? In a newsroom with some connection to the normal world, wouldn’t it be the other way around?

But I guess I should be grateful. The Wall Street Journal put the earnings news in the 15th paragraph of their story, the Washington Post relegated it to literally the very last paragraph of theirs, and the New York Times didn’t bother to mention it at all. So on second thought, good job, LA Times. Yippee.

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