Because people like Michael Shear don't do any work at all.
My guess is that there are at least 50,000 people in Washington DC who could have written a story that did more to inform readers if you had (a) sent them to Lawrence Summers's press briefing Friday afternoon, (b) given them copies of Cantor's press release and the Romer, Goolsbee, and Rice [ARRA Report](My guess is that there are at least 50,000 people in Washington DC who could have written a story that was more interesting, contained more meat, and did more to inform readers if you had (a) sent them to Summers's press briefing Friday afternoon, (b) given them copies of Cantor's press release and the Romer, Goolsbee, and Rice ARRA Report, and (c) given them a computer, a telephone, and two hours to write.
Yet somehow it is Michael Shear who gets the assignment, and whom the readers of the Washington Post get to read. Phrases like "he said-she said," "opinions of shape of earth differ," and "stenography" somehow seem inadequate: stenographers are trained professionals who get a lot of information down reliably in a very short time under tight pressure...
Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?
Michael Shear: Obama Team to Take Credit for Signs of Recovery: A top economic adviser to President Obama began a concerted White House effort on Friday to claim credit for the improving economy, declaring that the turnaround is "not, in our judgment, an accident." Previewing a speech that Obama will give on Wall Street Monday, Lawrence H. Summers compared the government's actions to a successful but evolving response to a natural disaster. "We are making a clear transition from rescue as the priority of public policy to sustained recovery," he told reporters in a briefing Friday afternoon. "We have moved back from the brink of financial catastrophe."
Summers said the Obama administration can "take real satisfaction" from what he said is movement toward recovery but quickly added that the White House recognizes the depth of economic hardship that remains a legacy of last year's collapse. "The level of unemployment is unacceptably high," he said. "We will not make the mistake of prematurely declaring victory or prematurely withdrawing public support for the flow of credit.... It is a mistake that we must not make today."
Even as Obama ratchets up the fight over health care, administration officials are eager to keep the country's focus on the modest improvements in the economy: The stock market is up more than 15 percent since the beginning of the year, interest rates have fallen and banks are at less risk of default. On Thursday, the White House credited its $787 billion stimulus package with saving or creating more than 1 million jobs since its passage in February.
Republicans have increased their rhetorical attacks on the administration as the unemployment rate has continued to rise and the promise of economic growth has failed to materialize. House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) issued a statement on Thursday criticizing the president and his aides for offering happy-talk about the economy while many people still suffer. "The American people don't understand why the Administration continues to praise itself while workers keep losing their jobs," Cantor said. "Since President Obama took office, over 3 million Americans have lost their jobs, including 2.5 million people since the President signed his stimulus bill"...