THE WEEKLY STANDARD: An Epic Fail from the New York Times

Career College Central Summary:

  • New York governor Andrew Cuomo, not content with President Obama’s proposal to make junior colleges free, recently introduced his own plan for New York to essentially waive the first two years of student debt payments for college graduates living in the state.
  • As such plans go, this is par for the course — it wouldn't do a damn thing to make college more affordable for anyone, much like the president’s uninspired proposal to make junior college tuition free for all. Most of the benefits will go to the wealthy, once they figure out how to game the system.
  • But what’s most interesting about this initiative isn’t in the nuts and bolts of its implementation or the political prospects for its passage: It’s how the New York Times chose to cover it — unrelentingly positive, of course, capped with a profile of a recent college graduate meant to typify the plight of the debt-laden young professional.
  • Except that to most people, this person’s plight would be unexceptional and unworthy of any government subsidy at all. The person profiled — Robert Noonan, who, to his credit, seems like a pretty capable kid — has a monthly student loan payment of $95 and owes about $30,000 in total. Until recently, he had been working as a political organizer for a nonprofit, the New York Public Interest Research Group — the same one that helped start a young Barack Obama’s career as a community organizer.

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