"There may be an economic cure for the nation's obesity," the Washington Post's Peter Whoriskey exulted as he opened his page A17 story in today's edition. "Hike the price of food," with a tax on calories. "Raising the price of a calorie for home consumption by 10 percent might lower the percentage of body fat in youths about 8 or 9 percent," Whoriskey noted, citing "new research from the National Bureau of Economic Research." [The deceptively named organization, by the way, is in fact a "private, nonprofit" outfit.]
Of course, "taxing calories might push the price of staples beyond the reach of the destitute," Whoriskey noted, but he buried that fact in the 15th paragraph of the 16-paragraph story. Additionally, Whoriskey failed to consult any critics of calorie taxes who view such a move as an intrusive nanny-state pipe dream. And then there's the fact that taxes are supposed to exist for the purpose of raising revenue, not engineering society to politically correct ends.
The nation’s leading newspapers really didn’t want to highlight the unemployment rate going back up to 7.9 percent. On the front of Saturday’s Washington Post, the headline was “Report shows Oct. job growth.” The New York Times wouldn’t even put the news on the front page. Up front was a tiny headline, “Job Growth Tops Estimates.”
The Times shifted the story to B-1 with the headline “U.S. Adds 171,000 Jobs, More Than Estimated.” Online, the headline was “Latest Jobs Report Shows Persistent Economic Growth.” You couldn’t even find this story by Catherine Rampell on the Times home page on Saturday, despite its happy pro-Obama tone:
Imagine if you will that President Bush were in the Oval Office now, facing reelection with unemployment above 8 percent and gas prices as high as they are right now. Now also imagine that the Bush Energy Department granted a $10 million award to the maker of a $50 LED light bulb, because, as Bush's energy secretary gushed, it's "affordable for American families."
The media would, predictably and quite reasonably, be apoplectic. But alas, this is happening under President Obama's watch, as the Washington Post's Peter Whoriskey reported today. Oh, and did I mention that the winning bulb competes against muchcheaper LED light bulbs than the one that won the government's affordability award?:
Steven Rattner, a former New York Times reporter whose short tenure as Obama's so-called car czar "came under a cloud in April when details of alleged influence-peddling surfaced," announced his resignation yesterday, the Washington Post's Peter Whoriskey and Tomoeh Murakami Tse reported today.
Yet despite President Obama's penchant for naming numerous policy czars, news of the resignation was shuffled off to page A11 rather than trumpeted on the front page. Curiously, the Post did find space below the fold on page A1 for a story that basically boils down to how the stress of being U.S. Attorney General is wearing on Eric Holder.
What's more, the Rattner story itself is front-loaded with praise for Rattner from Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Obama-approved GM chief Fritz Henderson, while less savory details about the influence-peddling investigation were buried towards the end of the 18-paragraph article.