Saturday, February 25, 2006

Fake But Accurate Meet Accurate But Unfair

First we get the fake but accurate standard for journalism, now when Pat Curley at Brainster and Don Luskin catch Paul Krugman using technically correct, but completely misleading numbers, we get yet another standard for the truth. In the original story Krugman claimed that Democrats were not involved in the Abramoff scandal, by arguing that Indian tribe donations directed by Abramoff to Democrats were less after Abramoff came along, then before. This is true, however, only if you ignore the fact that the time periods were not the same, and the amount of the donations per year to Democrats were actually significantly increased after Abramoff was involved.

This is kind of like how Krugman was technically correct about how studies show Gore would have one the election only if you ignore all the studies that show Bush might have won the election. Or how Krugman is technically correct that it is good that the French have more time to spend with their families, only if you ignore that this is due to high unemployment caused by failed economic policy.

Anyway, so Don Luskin pointed out this dishonesty to New York Times public editor Barney Calame, who responded that he would not demand a correction, because although it was unfair, it was not technically incorrect. So I guess it doesn't matter how much Krugman misleads his readers, as long as he can find some technical way in which he is correct. Pretty shoddy standard for journalism if you ask me.