Here's an example of lazy AP journalism. In a story about the wildly optimistic new budget projections from the White House, the AP buries any critical perspective until this passage at the end of the story:
CBO Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former economist at the Bush White House, warns that it is too early to predict whether the improvements seen recently will be long lasting and that in any event, the looming retirement of the Baby Boom generation presents intractable long-term problems that can only be fixed by curbing the growth in government benefit programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
Democrats -- even before the new numbers were released -- urged caution and warned that the long-term deficit picture is not as rosy as the White House projects since it leaves out the long-term costs of occupying Iraq and Afghanistan and relies on cuts in programs annually appropriated by Congress that may prove unrealistic.
"We should not be lulled into complacency," said Rep. John M. Spratt Jr., D-S.C. "Over the last three years, the Bush administration has posted the three worst deficits in history and though the deficit for 2005 has improved, it remains among the largest on record."
OMB's omission of costs for Iraq and Afghanistan is not a partisan opinion; it's a fact, and they've been doing it for years. But the AP's attribution of that fact to Democrats makes it seem like spin. "He said"/"she said" journalism sucks.
(For more on the problems with OMB's Mid-Session Review, see the analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.)