What are they learning at the Columbia Journalism School?
Yesterday, The Boston Globe unloosed a superb piece of accountability reporting, writing that the Bush administration decided to move* the assets of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation heavily into stocks last year in what can be only described as boneheaded at best.
Which was it, "excellent" or "superb"? C'mon, even though a million people including Mr. Chittum, jumped to the wrong conclusion and came away believing that the asset shift had already been *implemented*, not simply decided upon? Even though the reporter overlooked Congressional testimony from Oct 24, 2008 in which the PGBC director specifically claimed that the re-allocation had not yet been implemented? (Hey, maybe they were buying the lows last month...)
Mr. Chittum admits to his own confusion in describing the "superb" reporting:
So Mr. Chittum couldn't tell from the Globe 'coverage" what PBGC was already doing, he couldn't tell what they had done in the past, and he couldn't tell whether the new plan had been implemented. Excellent!
I can suggest an explanation for the breathless coverage - the piece was excellent because it was a Bush basher. Sorry, "accountability reporting".
As to the PBGC strategy, I can rationalize it, although I am not sure I subscribe to it.