The wages of youth being served: Does presidential candidate Donald J. Trump favor raising the minimum wage?
That's what Lauren Fox is reporting at TPM. A generous person could even say her statement is technically accurate.
That said, because her statement is highly misleading, we don't know why she would say it. Unless we actually do.
Does Trump favor raising the minimum wage? Last Sunday, in one of his blusterbomb episodes, he ended up saying that he doesn't favor raising the federal minimum wage.
That point is fairly significant, in that Trump is running for federal office. On Meet the Press, he said he favored letting the states raise their various minimum wages if they want to do so. This is fine, but it isn't something he would be doing as president.
Why did Fox say what she said at TPM? Hold that thought! First, let's consider a second place where we read, or may perhaps have thought that we read, the statement that Trump wants to raise the minimum wage.
We refer to this front-page report by Jose DelReal in yesterday's Washington Post. On line, the report appears beneath this headline: "How Donald Trump is running to the left of Hillary Clinton."
Trump isn't running to the left of Clinton. (Regarding the federal minimum wage, to cite one example, she favors $12, he favors $7.25.) In that rather basic sense, DelReal's report is quite weak. In this piece at Slate, Isaac Chotiner has challenged its various claims one by one, though even Chotiner seems to have been misled by a murky report about the minimum wage.
Yesterday morning, in real time, we were struck by the weakness of DelReal's front-page report. "Who is Jose DelReal?" we incomparably wondered.
Incomparably, we checked him out, acquiring a type of answer:
DelReal is quite young, and inexperienced. So is Lauren Fox.
How young is DelReal? This young: he graduated from Harvard in 2013. He's in his third year out.
Lauren Fox is also rather young. She graduated from Oregon in 2011. Later, she spent two years at Johns Hopkins getting a master's degree—in creative writing.
As Ben Rhodes noted in Sunday's New York Times profile, the modern press corps is crawling with young, inexperienced reporters. Mainly, this represents a way for ownership to cut labor costs and pocket additional money.
Josh Marshall makes extra bucks by hiring a young creative writer like Fox. In the process, Marshall's readers get a bit dumber, and Donald J. Trump worms his way a bit closer to the White House.
In fairness to Fox, she isn't the only TPM writer who has been saying that Candidate Trump favors raising the minimum wage. On Sunday, Sara Jerde said it, or may have been taken to say it, in this unhelpful report.
(Hapless headline: "Donald Trump Reverses Stance On Raising Minimum Wage." We don't know who wrote it.)
Who is Sara Jerde? She graduated from college last June! It's great for Marshall's bottom line, bad for everything else.
More from Jose DelReal: When we read the passage shown below, we thought it might be a typo.
Maybe that's what it was! That said, thirty-six hours have passed, and it hasn't been corrected:
DELREAL (5/10/16): Sanders and Trump have both blasted Clinton for her 2003 vote in favor of the Iraq War, for her ties to wealthy Wall Street donors and over her qualifications to be president. Both also now criticize her for the 2011 military intervention in Libya, although Trump was a strong supporter of it at the time.What follows isn't our point. But just for the record, the vote to which DelReal refers was actually a vote on the war resolution, not on the war itself. (There was no vote on the war itself. The war resolution was being sold as the best way to avoid war.)
We Dems and liberals were always too dumb to insist on that distinction. That said, here's our actual point:
The vote to which DelReal refers took place in October 2002. DelReal would have been maybe ten at the time, so he may not remember.
No, it doesn't actually matter. That said, how smart is it to have young inexperienced scribes writing the front page of the Washington Post at a juncture like this?
It's very good for the Post's bottom line. Is it good for anyone else?