This morning’s account of Kerry’s campaign appearances in Chicago and New Mexico includes a line from the senator’s stump speech criticizing Bush’s economic policies: “Don’t tell us that two million lost jobs is the best we can do.”
The Times reprinted this without informing its readers that the total number of job lost since George Bush took office in January 2001 now stands at 1.2 million jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There have been 1.9 million private sector jobs lost in the same time, which is closer to Kerry’s assertion that 2 million jobs have been lost, but from reading The Times, you wouldn’t know that either.
While campaigns spend millions of dollars on advertising to get their (sometimes misleading) message out to the public, they often depend on sloppy reporting like this to supplement their ad pitches. In this case, with The Times’ weekday circulation of 1.1 million readers and a daily online readership of 1.2 million readers, the Kerry campaign hit the jackpot.