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Editorials as Counterindicators

By Matthew Yglesias on October 19, 2009 at 10:44 am

"Editorials as Counterindicators"

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There’s a report out there that I’ve seen linked to by a few people alleging that one element of the cash for clunkers program has allowed people to purchase federally subsidized golf carts. I find this somewhat plausible and, frankly, was never personally well-disposed to the “cash for clunkers” concept in the first place—I think we already do plenty to subsidize automobile use and automobile ownership. That said, the report in question appeared on The Wall Street Journal editorial page and thus if anything I think my current belief level that such a provision exists should be lower than it was before I read about it.

The Washington Post’s opinion sections haven’t quite gotten to that level. But I do find it noteworthy that not only do they publish dumb editorials about PATRIOT Act reauthorization, but when they follow them up with critical letters to the editor they force the letter writers to softpedal their criticism and moderate their rhetoric. So it’s not as if it’s impossible for the Post opinion pages to exercise editorial judgment, they just choose not to do so when, for example, George Will wants to tell a bunch of lies.

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