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Ramesh Ponnuru

Go Ahead, Bash the Fed

The press tends to think the Federal Reserve is above criticism. That's a dangerous notion.
Have at it.

Have at it.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

"Bash" is a useful word for journalists looking to stack the deck. We criticize; the people we disagree with "bash." The bashing may take the form of criticism, but the choice of words has primed readers to regard the criticism as stupid and vulgar.

Even Robert Samuelson of the Washington Post, usually as fair-minded as they come, isn't above this temptation. He opened a recent column with the news that "Fed-bashing -- strident criticism of the Federal Reserve -- is back in style." (We're passionate, you're strident.) Whether or not it's in style, severe criticism of the Fed is warranted, and so is a reduction in its power.