The Washington Post can't be bothered with facts

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

The Washington Post's write-up of the President's proposal to freeze pay for federal workers devotes three full paragraphs to the allegation that federal workers get paid more than their private sector counterparts -- without ever once including a single fact that would help readers assess whether that is the case. Here's the closest the Post comes to shedding light on the topic:

For months, administration officials and critics have battled over whether federal workers, on average, make more than their private sector counterparts. Government officials defend public-sector pay and say that the way critics have calculated averages is misleading.

So, basically: One side says something; the other side says something else. Useful!

The Post appears to be allergic to helping their readers understand whether this claim is true: On October 18, the paper devoted nearly 2,000 words to public opinion about government workers, again presenting the debate over their compensation as a he-said/she-said situation.

The Post's Ezra Klein has noted an Economic Policy Institute briefing paper which concludes "public employees are compensated 2-7% less than equivalent private sector employees" -- but that data has been absent from the Post's news reports on the topic. In other words, Washington Post readers who want actual facts about government employee compensation should skip the Post's "news" pages and head for Klein's "opinionated blog." Meanwhile, those who are content with opinion can get their fix from the Post's news reports. It's all a bit confusing.

Posted In
Economy, Jobs, Wages, & Unemployment
The Washington Post
Ed O'Keefe, Ezra Klein, Perry Bacon Jr., Lisa Rein
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