The executive summary:
- Former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin has an upcoming speech in which she criticizes a plan to institute ‘[quantitative*] easing,’ which is in this case basically the practice of creating money via buying our own debt (this particular example of the practice is usually called ‘QE2’ by the papers, apparently because the term is more confusing to people than simply calling it ‘[quantitative] easing’). Palin makes the fairly obvious point that this encourages inflation, and in the process mentions that food prices have significantly gone up recently.
- “A-ha!” shouts Sudeep Reddy of the Wall Street Journal. “The CPI says that they have not! Silly Sarah Palin!” (I summarize.)
- Sarah Palin raises an eyebrow, as her source for that claim was apparently… the Wall Street Journal, which reported last week that food prices had significantly gone up recently. It also derives that conclusion from an examination of the CPI, which suggests that if Reddy has an issue with the methodology, then Reddy should probably take it up with his own newspaper.
- As Palin put it: “Now I realize I’m just a former governor and current housewife from Alaska, but even humble folks like me can read the newspaper. I’m surprised a prestigious reporter for the Wall Street Journal doesn’t.”
Agreed, but I’d go one step further: it’s fascinating to see what an editor for the media will let pass through. Statement that food prices are rising? Smart! Sarah Palin agreeing with your statement that food prices are rising? Dumb!
And they wonder why even their own reporters don’t read the papers anymore.
Moe Lane (crosspost)