Unexpected? Again?

Unexpected? Again? January 21, 2010

They keep using this word, “unexpectedly”.

The number of newly-laid off workers seeking jobless benefits unexpectedly rose last week, as the economy recovers at a slow and uneven pace.


Everything is “unexpected” with these people, unless the President has an R after his name, at which point, no good economic news will go unpunished, and no bad economic news will be “unexpected.”

Layoffs have slowed and the economy began to grow in last year’s third quarter, but companies are reluctant to hire new workers. The unemployment rate is 10 percent and many economists expect it to increase in the coming months.

That’s “recovery.”


Ed Morrissey wonders if someone can find the press a new adverb.

Instapundit writes: But how can it be “unexpected” if it’s just due to an administrative backlog?

I wonder what Chesterton would say about such unimaginative reportage, and such overused words?

The curse of all journalism, but especially of that yellow journalism which is the shame of our profession, is that we think ourselves cleverer than the people for whom we write, whereas, in fact, we are generally even stupider. But this insolence has its Nemesis; and that Nemesis is well illustrated in this matter of reporting.

For the journalist, having grown accustomed to talking down to the public, commonly talks too low at last, and becomes merely barbaric and unintelligible. By his very efforts to be obvious he becomes obscure.

Then again, Chesterton did not put on airs.

At the end of a lecture in America, an admirer of Gilbert Keith Chesterton, astonished by his vast knowledge, asked how he came to know so much. “Madam”, he replied, “I know nothing. I am a journalist”.

Meanwhile, here is something “unexpected” – at least to to Mort Zuckerman, but here is the money quote:

He’s improved America’s image in the world. He absolutely did. But you have to translate that into something. Let me tell you what a major leader said to me recently. “We are convinced,” he said, “that he is not strong enough to confront his enemy. We are concerned,” he said “that he is not strong to support his friends.”

What? How incoherent is that? How can he have “improved America’s image” in the world -unless you mean on a very superficial and empty level- when the world is saying, essentially, “he’s a weak and rather fickle horse.”

I’m glad I don’t live in Zuckerman’s world ,where one must reconcile conflicting information, everyday, into something that both validates a narrative, and invalidates it, simultaneously.

Moe Lane: grouses

Melissa Clouthier on something else the press finds “unexpected”. Beautiful child.

Now THIS is unexpected!

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