Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Jobs? Who cares?

Although polling shows the public is much more concerned about unemployment than deficits, the mainstream press has dutifully fallen into line with the GOP's Beltway-driven deficit-hysterics agenda in their coverage of the issues.

From Derek Thompson at The Atlantic:
Articles mentioning unemployment have plummeted nearly 70 percent since last summer, while articles mentioning the deficit have doubled over the same time, according to a National Journal report.

Is this pernicious Beltway loopism? Maybe. But more likely it's the inevitable result of an election that punished stimulus-happy Democrats and opened the doors wide for Republicans who promised to focus with maniacal intensity on the deficit. The 2010 election reshaped Congress, the Congress reshaped the jobs-and-deficit debate, and press coverage shifted to the deficit.

Meanwhile, remember how we have 9 percent unemployment? It's true. We have 9 percent unemployment, according to the most conservative definition of unemployment, and tens of millions of Americans are stuck on the outside of the job market looking in.
 Here's the chart, showing press coverage tracking the concerns of Washington over those of Main Street: