Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Friday, October 31, 2003  

For those of you who have been dying to see the Memo, you need look no further. "Notes on the Atrocities," your Deep Throat to FOX News, brings you a copy of the Memo*.

FOX News
October 30th, 2003

Turns out Clinton was right about something after all: it is the economy, stupid. And today more than ever. Late yesterday evening, we received the Q3 numbers for the quarter: 7.2% growth. Sound high? It is--the strongest growth since 1984, when the Gipper was at the helm. Clearly, a stunning triumph of the President's tax relief measures. You may be feeling overly chipper about this news today--and why not? It's great news, so let the people see how you feel.

The story couldn't be clearer: the Dow's up, house sales up, productivity strong, durable goods, consumer confidence, orders of manufactured goods--all up, up, UP! Still, the story can get bogged down in details. Stories that are bogged down in details aren't peppy--show too many details and people are reaching for the clicker. So in reporting the story, a couple of key points.

One way to help communicate the story is to stick with clear, consistent language. The package of economic stimulus the President proposed included a lot more than tax cuts--so don't fall into the trap of using that phrase. Far better is "tax relief." Officially, the President has been calling his economic plan the "Jobs and Growth Package." We're really talking about growth today, folks, so let's just stick with "tax relief." Sure, it's more accurate to use the President's language, but the word "jobs" introduces a new topic that can only be addressed through details. It's messy and it's misleading and it's unfair to the President.

Another issue best left aside is the deficits. Again, those are unnecessary details. Flip that lens and look at stimulus: with growth like this, it's difficult to say what the deficits--if indeed any remain--might be. Groping in the dark to figure out what the deficits are isn't sound journalism: as with global warming, we just don't know.

Finally, just a thought. When one thinks about all the months of nay-saying we've had to endure about the economy, all the dour Sallies, it makes you want to laugh. It goes to show that the major media has been in major spin mode. Fortunately, we've managed to keep our eyes on the ball, and knew we'd find vindication after all was said and done. As you report some of the other stories of the day--the "Mission Accomplished" flap, the situation in Iraq--remember that. The liberal media will have their say, and they'll be the same dour Sallies they always are. But here at Fox, it's our commitment to Fair and Balanced journalism that keeps us from sliding into that false, negative space. That ugly echo chamber. Just something to think about.

All right folks, let's go show 'em what good journalism really is!

*As context, I'd like you to keep in mind what day it is. You've been warned.

posted by Jeff | 12:20 PM |
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