Spin spun

Spin spun
: I mentioned disappointing job results below and the comments starting spitting and sputtering at me. (Amazing how when I post in favor of the war in Iraq, I’m a right-wing kook and when I kvetch about the state of the economy, I’m a left-wing nut.)

Anyway, I took the criticism in the comments to heart and went looking for the jobs spin in the press.

The difference is so obvious you’d think the writers of the stories and headlines would see it.

Here’s the Wall Street Journal’s take on today’s jobs report under the online headline “Payrolls Grow by 112,000 Jobs As Unemployment Rate Drops”:

Payrolls grew in January at the fastest clip in three years but fell short of expectations.

Nonfarm businesses added 112,000 jobs in January. It was the largest gain since December 2000, when companies added 124,000 positions, and was well above the revised 16,000 gain in jobs seen at the end of last year. December’s gain had initially been estimated at 1,000 jobs.

However, January’s number was far below the 160,000 jobs economists had been expecting, according to a survey by Dow Jones Newswires and CNBC.

And here’s the Reuters report picked up by the NY Times report:

The U.S. economy created just 112,000 new jobs in January, far fewer than expected, government data showed on Friday in a disappointing report that will likely weigh on President Bush’s re-election campaign.

And the AP in the Washington Post:

Civilian unemployment dropped to 5.6 percent in January to the lowest level in more than two years as companies added 112,000 new jobs, fewer than expected but still providing fresh signs the prolonged hiring slump may be ending.

The NY Times/Reuters combo took it as a Bush blow (and that’s where I happened to get the news before I posted what I posted below and continued the spin). But the Washington Post editor picked a far more upbeat AP story. Same report. Same numbers. Different spin. Different agenda?