The FT’s very peculiar news judgment

By Felix Salmon
October 8, 2009
other is headlined "Obama under fire over falling dollar".

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There are two big, above-the-fold stories on the front page of today’s FT. One is the fact that, yes, Santander’s IPO of its Brazilian operations went according to schedule. And the other is headlined “Obama under fire over falling dollar”.

What fire is this? A Sarah Palin Facebook update. Here’s how the story starts:

The falling US dollar is giving ammunition to the critics of the Obama administration and fuelling broader concerns about the potential erosion of America’s reserve currency status.

Republican politicians have highlighted the dollar’s slide as evidence of waning US power.

Sarah Palin, the former vice-presidential Republican candidate, on Wednesday sought to link the dollar decline to rising US indebtedness and dependence on foreign oil. “We can see the effect of this in the price of gold, which hit a record high today in response to fears about the weakened dollar,” she wrote on her Facebook page.

The crazy thing is that the note wasn’t even particularly about the dollar. “Bottom line:,” she concluded, “let’s stop digging ourselves into debt and start drilling for energy independence.”

Since when does an utterly predictable and unoriginal Facebook update justify front-page “Obama under fire” headlines in the FT? Do the editors think that if there isn’t any news they have to invent it?

Update: It’s worth noting that Palin’s Facebook note doesn’t even make sense. Not that that’s much of a surprise, but still.


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I just joined Facebook. I spent a fair amount of time yesterday looking for a list of who has rejected me as a friend. There isn’t one! Now, I can’t remember if I sent some people a request and they rejected me or not. Plus, I want to see who rejects me. I’m pretty sure Kevin Drum did. What’s the deal? It’s not like I’m being rejected by the only woman that I’ve ever loved. Why don’t they let you know?

Plus, as a commenter, it’s one way that I can get feedback.

Don, that’s not a bug, it’s a feature. Facebook never tells you if someone rejects your friend request – nor do they tell you if someone later “un-friends” you. This is supposed to prevent hurt feelings, I guess.

Posted by Nate | Report as abusive




This truly marks the death of the FT as a serious publication. Since when does this sort of thing constitute real journalism?

Posted by Kramer | Report as abusive

Edward Luce has plenty of past form. You’d think the FT could find someone stronger to be their lead person in Washington.

Think all this shows how desperate the Neo-cons are to grasp on to anything that’s anti-Obama, even if it means looking to a quitter hockey-mom for financial advice. Also, her post was about oil/energy dependence, not really about the USD… she was concerned the USD falling was all about oil. /golfclap

Posted by the Shah | Report as abusive

Yeah Sarah Palin is where I go for all my trusted high finance advice and energy market predictions. LOL!! Oh and beauty tips as well. Face it the news is packaged and sold by big businesses. If you dont believe it watch the “Fox news Monsanto” video on you tube. Nothing goes out on the airwaves without being aproved by the financial overlords.

Posted by richard | Report as abusive