May 29, 2011

MICHAEL BARONE: Pro-Obama media always shocked by bad economic news. “I’m confident that any comparison of economic coverage in the Bush years and the coverage now would show far fewer variants of the word ‘unexpectedly’ in stories suggesting economic doldrums. It’s obviously going to be hard to achieve the unacknowledged goal of many mainstream journalists — the president’s re-election — if the economic slump continues. So they characterize economic setbacks as unexpected, with the implication that there’s still every reason to believe that, in Herbert Hoover’s phrase, prosperity is just around the corner. . . . We tend to hire presidents who we think can foresee the future effect of their policies. No one does so perfectly. But if the best sympathetic observers can say about the results is that they are ‘unexpected,’ voters may decide someone else can do better.”

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