Shocker: Former Clinton-boosting U.S. Newser Takes Dem PR Job

Back in the days of our MediaWatch newsletter, we used to have a feature called "Revolving Door" to note reporters swapping their jobs for political appointments or political appointees swapping their jobs for reporting gigs. (See the NB Revolving Door topic for more recent updates.) The Minneapolis Star Tribune announced that its editorial writer Dave Hage is leaving "to become communications director for first-term Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. Hage, 52, will take over Klobuchar's fledgling press operation," which has already lost its top press aide. Hage, a Minneapolis native, was an economics correspondent for for U.S. News & World Report magazine in Washington from 1991 to 1995, where he drew our attention as he repeatedly attacked Reaganomics and boosted Clintonomics. So the new Democrat job isn’t a shocker.

From our Notable Quotables in March 1993, the myth that health socialism-pushing Clinton would have a "healthy respect" for free enterprise:

"But this action-oriented President, who seems to be thrusting Washington headlong into new policy arenas every day, insists he is not for Big Government in the traditional sense. In fact, Clinton's gusto for government has been restrained by grim fiscal realities and what appears to be a healthy respect for the free market."
-- U.S. News & World Report writers Jim Impoco and David Hage, March 8, 1993.

Hage (and other U.S. News writers) won our "Janet Cooke Award" for slanted reporting in January 1995:

Hage teamed with Senior Editor Robert F. Black for an article titled "The Repackaging of Reaganomics: Republican tax cuts could well boost the deficit." The duo recycled almost every liberal argument against supply-side economics, which they wrote "never actually appears in Newt Gingrich's `Contract with America'.... [but] has rallied Washington Republicans like a lost battle cry."

Among the menu of charges, Hage and Black claimed: "Unfortunately, when the supply-side doctrine was tested in the early 1980s, the Treasury Department lost $644 billion in foregone revenues, the federal debt doubled in size, and there was no special burst of worker productivity or investment activity."

...U.S. News also brandished a chart headlined "Budget-buster" over a picture of Ronald Reagan, using a CBO chart of individual income tax revenue as a percentage of gross domestic product. Text accompanying the chart read: "During the early Reagan years, income tax rates were slashed, and the tax cuts contributed to a dramatic rise in the budget deficit."

Back then, I asked Hage if his critiques of Reaganomics didn't prove a liberal bias, Hage replied: "You can say I'm liberal, and my friends at the AFL-CIO and the Economic Policy Institute can say I'm conservative." I'm guessing the new job working for a liberal Democrat would help nail that question down.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis