Green Room

The New York Times — Then and Now

posted at 3:48 pm on August 24, 2009 by

James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal’s “Best of the Web Today” column takes a stoll down memory lane into the morgue of the nation’s newspaper of record to see how it covered an event back in 2001 and the same event eight years later. The event in question was/is the sitting president’s first summer vacation.

First the 2001 version:

On Friday, as new unemployment figures painted a newly troubling portrait of the American economy, Mr. Bush placed himself in the same scenes — golfing and fishing in a New England paradise — that once caused his father electoral grief.

Simply amazing.

And what, pray tell, was the unemployment rate at that time? Why, 4.5 percent, “five-tenths of a percentage point higher than the average for 2000.”

Now for the 2009 version. First, to set the stage, the current rate of unemployment rate is 9.4% — more than twice the rate during the summer of 2001. So, does the Times urge the current president to scrap his vacation plans and scurry back to the Oval Office post-haste to attend to this crisis? Not exactly. Let’s go to the film:

Mr. Obama, whom aides described as being amused by all of the gloom-and-doom prognosticating over his health care agenda, did not even consider skipping his vacation. Last year, he talked about the importance of taking a break to avoid “making mistakes.”

And there you have it. As James Taranto himself would say, “two newspapers in one.”

Co-posted at Zombie Contentions

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Can you imagine what Obama’s approval ratings would be if the MSM treated him the same way they treated Bush?

Daggett on August 24, 2009 at 4:20 PM

Don,t know about the rest of you ..but i,m really..really worried we may not recover in time.

ATEXAN on August 24, 2009 at 6:15 PM

Even when Bush “vacationed” a his Texas home it was deemed irresponsible and uncaring…imagine if he hightailed it with his sunglasses clad celebrity family to Martha’s Vineyard? I wonder if the NE paradise mentined for Bush was his dad’s house in MAine

clnurnberg on August 24, 2009 at 7:13 PM

First, I think the article is appropriate, as I think with that last quote, James would rather Ovomit take a vacation to prevent him from making more “mistakes”

WoosterOh on August 24, 2009 at 7:36 PM

A vacation once a decade is fine, but more than that is just laziness.

Jeff from WI on August 24, 2009 at 8:32 PM