By: Mark Glennon*
Yesterday, Bloomberg ran a syndicated story under its headline, “New Jersey Tops Illinois as State With Worst-Off Pension System.” The story covers what you would expect — how horrible the problem is for both states, how it’s crowding out other spending, causing credit downgrades and so on.
But Crain’s published that Bloomberg story under this headline: “Illinois’ pension woes are not so bad after all.” No, the story said no such thing!
As we’ve said from the start on this site, when the books are written about Illinois’ collapse, whole chapters will be devoted to media incompetence. Denial and ignorance are the hallmarks of how the Illinois press covers our state and local fiscal crises. Though most Illinoisans now realize we have a serious problem, they don’t know the full scope of it and our media bear much of the blame. They were asleep at the switch for years and most still are.
Crain’s is among the worst. The problem derives mostly from political reporters trying to cover fiscal matters. They just don’t know what they are talking about. Many are politically biased and happy to spin the story the way the deniers want, which is that our problems are nothing a tax increase couldn’t solve. In this case, it was apparently some editor who knows full well that many readers never get past the headline.
*Mark Glennon is founder of WirePoints. Opinions expressed are his own.