I was taught in junior high journalism that headlines are guides to the content of the article. If the reader skips the article, the headline constitutes the information that the reader takes away. The headline should strive to honestly capture what the article is about.
“Budget Cuts Raise Doubt On the Course of Recovery” (NYT, Business section, April 12) blatantly violate this basic rule. The headline warns that experts (not the writer) think that the $38 billion budget cut (and cuts to follow) will harm the recovery. “The budget deal is a bet by the Obama administration that the loss of $38 billion in federal spending will not be the straw that breaks the back of the fragile economic recovery.”
We then learn that the straw is lighter than the lightest of feathers. The $38 billion equals one quarter of one percent of GDP and “joins a growing list of minor problems impeding growth, economists said.” Whom is he quoting, I'd like to know.