The Master of Doublespeak

Take a look at these headlines from two different news sources, reporting on the exact same speech by Alan Greenspan that he made today:

From CBSMarketwatch: “Inflation no worry yet, Greenspan says… Greenspan remains unconcerned about inflation, suggesting that he is not in a hurry to raise interest rates from the current 46-year low of 1 percent. ”

And from CNN/Money: “Greenspan paves way for higher rates. The nation’s economy is stronger and interest rates must rise eventually to keep inflation in check, Alan Greenspan said Wednesday…”

Yes, I realize that the two articles are not exactly contradictory, but each news source spun his speech in exactly opposite ways, and would leave readers with exactly the opposite impressions about the speech.

You know you’re a master of ambiguity, and of treading the fine line between sounding vacuous and actually providing new information, when stories about your speech can read so differently. My conclusion? 17 years of experience seem to have given Greenspan the magical ability to say whatever the listener wants to hear.