Your takeaway from this that if PRISM existed during colonial times we might be singing “God Bless the Queen” during sporting events and spelling the colour grey funny.
The Governor really has no great positions here. The electorate of the people’s Republic of New Jersey will demand a moderate (knowing full well that it is the Governor’s prerogative to nominate an interim Senator of his own party to replace the recently deceased Frank Lautenberg). The batshit insane wing of his own party will take such a move as tantamount to treason, and would all but torpedo Christie’s chances in 2016. If he nominates a full-blown wingnut not only will said presumptive nominee get massacred in the special election (and it’s not like appointees do particularly well anyway), but the stink of failure and the insane rhetoric sure to flow from that candidate will stick to Christie and ruin all that bipartisan good will and love he gets from the blue and purple electorate in the northeast and mid-Atlantic.
Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
Murdoch’s emphasis from the beginning of his WSJ acquisition was for scoops versus investigative (longform) journalism. What we are seeing is an intended feature and not a bug. The lack of Pulitzer prizes for the WSJ team is reflective of editorial priorities. It remains to be seen if it is sustainable.
The problem with that is ‘scoops’ maps to pageviews whereas longform maps to time-on-site and engagement. The advertising environment favors the later and not the former. I guess there is also something to be said about the ease of measuring quantity of clicks versus the messy problem of asserting journalistic quality, and the even tougher job of mapping the above to key performance indicators for the news business.
Some of Murdoch’s properties – the NY Post particularly – did especially horrible regarding ‘scoops’ regarding the Boston Marathon – mostly in reporting straight from the police scanner at best or from the internet mob-sourced information which repeatedly fingered the wrong suspects or anyone brown with a backpack.
The old internet world (and old media world of cable tv) favored being first over being best. I’m not so sure if that is true anymore.
The Twitters are full of discussion about something called “Reinhart-Rogoff”.
From the NYTimes:
An influential 2010 economics paper by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff showed that countries with high levels of debt experienced significantly slower rates of growth – and became a justification for many countries to adopt austerity budgets to hold down their debt loads. Now a provocative new paper is arguing that the paper was seriously flawed, in part because of basic calculation errors in a spreadsheet.
The Next New Deal points out how it has been used:
This has been one of the most cited stats in the public debate during the Great Recession. Paul Ryan’s Path to Prosperity budget states their study “found conclusive empirical evidence that [debt] exceeding 90 percent of the economy has a significant negative effect on economic growth.” The Washington Post editorial board takes it as an economic consensus view, stating that ”debt-to-GDP could keep rising — and stick dangerously near the 90 percent mark that economists regard as a threat to sustainable economic growth.”
Quartz links to several instances of how Reinhart-Rogoff has influenced the austerity debate:
“[I]t is widely acknowledged, based on serious research, that when public debt levels rise about 90% they tend to have a negative economic dynamism, which translates into low growth for many years.” — European Commissioner Olli Rehn.
“Economists who have studied sovereign debt tell us that letting total debt rise above 90 percent of GDP creates a drag on economic growth and intensifies the risk of a debt-fueled economic crisis.” — House Budget Committee Chairman and former Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan.
“It’s an excellent study, although in some ways what you’ve summarized understates the risks.”— Former US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.
“[W]e would soon get to a situation in which a debt-to-GDP ratio would be 100%. As economists such as Reinhart and Rogoff have argued, that is the level at which the overall stock of debt becomes dangerous for the long-term growth of an economy. They would argue that that is why Japan has had such a bad time for such a long period. If deficits really solved long-term economic growth, Japan would not have been stranded in the situation in which it has been for such a long time.” Lord Lamont of Lerwick, former UK chancellor and sometime adviser to current chancellor George Osborne.
“The debt hurts the economy already. The canonical work of Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff and its successors carry a clear message: countries that have gross government debt in excess of 90% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are in the debt danger zone. Entering the zone means slower economic growth.”— Doug Holtz-Eakin, Chairman of the American Action Forum.
Austerity has caused much more suffering globally than promised relief. One of the contributing factors? Microsoft Excel.
This error is needed to get the results they published, and it would go a long way to explaining why it has been impossible for others to replicate these results. If this error turns out to be an actual mistake Reinhart-Rogoff made, well, all I can hope is that future historians note that one of the core empirical points providing the intellectual foundation for the global move to austerity in the early 2010s was based on someone accidentally not updating a row formula in Excel.