Over at Equitable Growth: As best as I have been able to determine, the thinking among the executives and editors of the Washington Post who commissioned and published this piece back in September 2008 was roughly: "We need to publish an economy-is-actually-in-good-shape piece so that the McCain campaign and the Republicans won't be made at us". Whether the piece was true, whether the numbers quoted in it were accurate or representative, or even whether the author had a conceptually and analytically interesting perspective did not enter their thinking at all. For none of those conditions were satisfied.
I have been waiting ever since for somebody in the Washington Post to decide that they need to commission somebody to do a deep dive about how and why this piece got commissioned and published, and how they drifted so very very far away from the idea that a newspaper exists to inform its readers about the world.
I suppose I am going to have to keep waiting, and when the last piece of newsprint spins through the Washington Post presses and the last update is posted to the Washington Post servers, it will still not have dared to come clean with its readers about what went so wrong.
For your pleasure:
Donald Luskin (2008): Quit Doling Out That Bad-Economy Line | The Washington Post: "'It was the worst of times, and it was the worst of times'... READ MOAR