Posted Friday, July 6, 2012, at 12:35 PM
This is the line:
It is important not to read too much into any one monthly report.
When Christina Romer worked for the administration, the line came with her byline. After Austan Goolsbee took over the crow-eating duties, he added an acknowledgment that "the Administration always stresses" that you shouldn't "read too much" into one report. When Alan Krueger took over, he tweaked that to read "as the Administration stresses every month." If there's a little bit of Jonah Lehrer-ism going on here, it's at least acknowledged.
The broken record effect was first noticed, I think, by the Romney campaign site ObamaIsn'tWorking. But the jobs report response is always an unusually rich piece of verbiage. Last month, for example, the White House stopped using the word "recover" to describe the weak second quarter growth numbers. Better to stick with something like a warning not to "read too much" into one report -- which is always true, of every report ever published, in any language.