Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? ("Mainstream" Department)
Kash Mansouri's Job Market Update

Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (Yet Another Washington Post Edition)

Dean Baker is unhappy with Michael Abramowitz and Lori Montgomery of the Washington Post:

Beat the Press: I apply the strict "net gain" standard to budget reporting.... [A] typical reader should be better informed about the budget and tax/spending priorities after reading the piece than before they started. The Post's article on President Bush's request for another $245 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan does not meet the net gain standard.... [H]ow about telling [readers] that the 2008 request is equal to approximately 5 percent of total spending, or maybe $2,000 for a family of four? The article then tells readers that President Bush is proposing a 1 percent increase in non-defense discretionary spending. There are probably about 50 budget wonks that can assign any meaning to this information....

Since I'm on the topic of beating up on the Post's budget reporting, let me also call attention to a bit of excessive gullibility in Friday's story on the Senate's minimum wage bill ("Senate Adds Tax Breaks to Minimum Wage Bill," 2-1-07;A1 [sorry, no links, the Post's website is not being cooperative]). This article reported that the tax breaks would help "businesses that would be hardest hit by the minimum-wage increase." Some qualifications would have been in order here like "businesses that Republicans claim would be hardest hit by the minimum-wage increase." I haven't studied the tax breaks closely, but according to the article, one of the tax breaks is an accelerated depreciation schedule for investments by small businesses. That does not seem obviously designed to help businesses that would be affected by the higher minimum wage...

It's been a long time since I've run into any economist willing to argue that the Washington Post ought to survive.