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Is This Bias?


The Associated Press reports gives this headline to today’s release of State employment statistics:

July unemployment dips in 17 states, rises in 26

Unemployment is up in over half the States, but AP puts that after the comma, in a position of reduced importance. The ordinary reader will walk away with a notion that unemployment has dipped.

A more honest headline might be, “State unemployment data mixed.” Or, “Some States see unemployment dip.” Those alternatives don’t help sell optimism. Perhaps it was unintentional, and it might even be subtle, but this isn’t reporting, it’s marketing.

The body of the story is a neutral list of facts from the government data. (Although there is a quote from a bureaucrat crediting the “good” news to Obama and the spendulous bill)