Off the Money

Thanks to a reader for this one: Our latest entry in the always-popular unsupported lead contest comes from Dan Burns of Reuters, who yesterday wrote:

… U.S. stocks will rally if President Bush retains the White House and pull back modestly if Sen. John Kerry unseats him, according to analysts.

The evidence? James Fisher of Univest Corporation tells Burns: “Uncertainty is a big thing, and if President Bush is re-elected, the market will go up. If Kerry wins, it’s more uncertainty, and so we will see more of the same things. The overall trend in the market will be flat.”

So according to Fisher, a Kerry win will not cause the market to “pull back modestly.” Rather, the trend will be “flat.”

And that’s all we get. Burns does quote two other “analysts” on the issue, but neither of them tells him that the market will pull back in reaction to a Kerry win. Instead, both say the real worry is that Tuesday won’t produce a clear victor.

Not only does Burns fail to produce a single “analyst” to support the assertion made in the lead, the majority of the current available comment — much of it provided by Burns himself — suggests that the assertion is untrue.

Campaign Desk throws up its hands.

Zachary Roth

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Zachary Roth is a contributing editor to The Washington Monthly. He also has written for The Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, Slate, Salon, The Daily Beast, and Talking Points Memo, among other outlets.