The Dow is down 370 points (2.5%) while the NASDAQ and S&P500 make similar terrible plunges, unemployment shot up the most since 1986, oil hit $138 and gasoline costs $4.50 a gallon at the start of summer, teen-age unemployment hasn’t been this bad since 1948, the housing collapse is really just beginning, foreclosures are at another new record high, even 3.5% of “prime” mortgages are now heading into default, and the dollar is worth a mumbled “Fuck you” in French. Things are looking up!We've all heard or read virtually the same list of catastrophes repeatedly in the last day, but somehow this one nails it. Except for the text in blue, this could be straight from AP. We talk about what makes fake news (now a phrase with a very specific meaning) so much more effective than MSM reporting. They are usually reporting straight news with starker juxtapositions of information and the occasional, well-placed twist, like above. Of course, Wonkette doesn't even claim to be fake news but a kind of faux gossip column.
“I don’t think we’re in a recession and the data suggests that we’re not,” Treasury Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy Phillip Swagel said in a press briefing today.
But this morning, after thinking the administration had saddled some flunky assistant secretary with making himself the sacrificial goat for saying the stupidest thing imaginable, the NYT runs a quip from Swagel's boss:
President Bush … held out hope that $100 billion in tax rebates now being distributed to American households would spur spending and generate jobs. "We’re beginning to see the signs that the stimulus may be working … ."My god.
We'll get back to linguistics here in a bit.