I had to point this one out to my readers, even though it has nothing to do with the Middle East.
I just received an e-mail news alert from the Washington Post. The headline reads: “News Alert: U.S. deficit to top $1 trillion for 4th year in a row.”
Sounds like that bungling president is not handling our economy very well, doesn’t it?
But then, I read the story.
It starts off by echoing the headline, but then comes to the relevant facts:
The federal budget deficit will top $1 trillion for a fourth straight year, congressional budget analysts said Tuesday in a report that predicts a nearly $1.1 trillion gap between government spending and tax collections for 2012.
That figure is the smallest – both in nominal terms and as a percentage of the economy – since the Great Recession began taking a heavy toll on the federal budget in 2009.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected that the deficit would continue to fall, dropping sharply in 2013 and throughout the remainder of the decade if policymakers follow through with major changes in both tax policy and government spending now on the books.
So, actually, Obama has been reducing the deficit despite the need for a massive amount of funds to bail out the many “too big to fail” financial institutions and for job creation. But to discover that rather pertinent fact, one has to read past both the headline and the first paragraph, something most readers don’t do.
The Washington Post has been steadily moving to the right for years, so this comes as no surprise. But as an object lesson in how mainstream media manages to report the facts, without lying, while at the same time completely misinforming its readers, I don’t think you’d find a starker example.
UPDATE: Turns out, the Post actually changed the lede in the article. It was reported on at the bsom blog here.