more from the sclm
The so-called "liberal media" strikes again, this time in a Washington Post puff piece about economists disagreeing with White House adviser Glenn Hubbard that deficites don't effect interest rates, in light of the fact that Hubbard himself contended they did in a recent textbook, and DeLong has called him on. While noting that the writer "space to tell his readers that Glenn Hubbard is "owlish," that Larry Lindsey's shirttail often hangs out, that Glenn Hubbard writes meticulous handouts and gives crisp Powerpoint presentations," Brad DeLong points out, utterly fails to go into the substance of the disagreement:
[T]his Washington Post reporter tells his readers absolutely nothing of why Paul [Krugman] and I are annoyed with Glenn. It's an outsiders-critical-of-administration-official story--which, in the context of Washington, is dog-bites-man: not news at all.
This is not a partisan point. The article is at least as unfair to Glenn Hubbard as it is to me. ...A reader knows no more about why Glenn believes that reductions in dividend taxes are a very good thing after reading the article than she did before she started reading it.
And so from Glenn's point of view as well as from my own, the article is a loss: it is a failed chance to educate Americans about what kinds of taxes are good and what kinds of taxes are bad, as well as a failed chance to educate Americans about why it would be much better to be running budget surpluses than budget deficits.
How do we create a press corps that will think that its business is to inform readers about economic policies and their effects rather than about the owlish visage, crisp Powerpoint presentations, and untucked shirttails of economic advisors? How do we create a press corps that will raise the level of the debate over economic policy in this country, rather than lower it?
God only knows. I certainly don't.