WSJ: ‘Elizabeth Warren Made About $2 Million for Legal Work Over Three Decades’

Am I reading this headline wrong? My take is that the emphasis is on “Elizabeth Warren Made $2 Million” — which to my ears implies an angle of “See, she’s made a lot of money too”. But $2 million really isn’t that much money. And in the world of corporate law, it seems only a pittance. Let’s round “three decades” to 30 years — that’s only $67,000 a year. If the WSJ ran a story on the 40-year career of, say, a public school teacher who averaged, say, $50,000 in salary over that span, I highly doubt they’d start with a headline like “Public School Teacher Earned $2 Million Over Four Decades”.

“Elizabeth Warren Averaged $67,000 Per Year in Legal Work Over Three Decades” gives the exact same story a very different slant.

Update: Holy hell The Washington Post is even worse than the Journal, running its story under the headline “Sen. Elizabeth Warren Earned Nearly $2 Million Consulting for Corporations and Financial Firms, Records Show” — with no timeline whatsoever for the period over which she earned the money, which clearly leads the reader to assume it was over a brief period of time before she became a senator. This framing is genuinely outrageous.

This whole thing where the news media is trying to gin up controversy over what is not a lot of money recalls Dr. Evil’s “One million dollars” blackmail threat. Except Dr. Evil was just a character in a silly comedy and Elizabeth Warren is a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination whom her opponents are trying to stick with the tag that she’s a hypocrite. 2016’s endless “but her emails” bullshit proves that when the straight news media plays along with these narratives, they stick, with disastrous results.

Monday, 9 December 2019