Friday, September 07, 2012

Piling on the Associated Press

I suspect that the associated press's "fact check" of Bill Clinton's speech will end up as famous as lying Ryans Lying speech (whih means both will soon be forgotten except by political junkies).  It seems to me to be the epitome of both sides have a point journalism.

Of course the most famous example (which will certainly be famous for a while) is the assertion that Bill Clinton's accurate quotation of a Republican is contradicted by the fact that Lewinsky blew him

CLINTON: "Their campaign pollster said, 'We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.' Now that is true. I couldn't have said it better myself — I just hope you remember that every time you see the ad."
THE FACTS: Clinton, who famously finger-wagged a denial on national television about his sexual relationship with intern Monica Lewinsky and was subsequently impeached in the House on a perjury charge, has had his own uncomfortable moments over telling the truth.
I don't think that can be matched.  "your another" isn't fact checking.

But there is also this claim

THE FACTS: Clinton is counting on voters to recall the 1990s wistfully and to cast a vote for Obama in hopes of replicating those days in a second term. But Clinton leaves out the abrupt downward turn the economy took near the end of his own second term and the role his policies played in the setting the stage for the historic financial meltdown of 2008.

The part after "and" is odd as the idea is that people won't trust Obama who re-regulated Wall Street because Bill Clinton (and the Republican Congress) deregulated Wall Street helping  makethe disaster of 2008 possible.  But my main interest is the immediately preceding claim in a paragraph headed "THE FACTS"  The phrase "the economy" isn't precise but, without modification if it is meant to refer to a number which can move up or down it is almost always used used to refer to GDP

So here is GDP in Clinton's second term.  See the abrupt downturn ?

update: graph corrected thanks to aaron.  Also a closer focus on the end of that second term 


Aaron said...

Extend the graph through 2000Q4 (doesn't change conclusion)

Robert said...

The graph extends through 2000q4 Fred graphs are weird. I will make another graph which makes this clear.

Robert said...

Actually it looks pretty clear to me already. Note the last point on the graph is halfway between 2000q3 and 2001q1 that is, it is 2000q4.

Anyway this for this graph of a shorter interval FRED doesn't drop half of the time tags on the x axis.

Robert said...

Oh sorry I posted the wrong graph. Thanks for correcting me.

Robert said...

I don't get it the graph on blogger does not correspond to the graph wth that name on my hard disk. I don't know quite what happened.