My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

Census Bureau + Huffington Post = A partisan match made in heaven

Yesterday Census Bureau Communications Director Steve Jost criticized my headline and tried to censor me, so now I’m going to air out the dirty laundry. Just as he pretended to mourn the loss of census workers, Mr. Jost became the newest blogger for the Huffington Post. He urges me to be compassionate, yet he never mentions these deaths or the worker safety that is apparently on the minds of Census Bureau management at all times. (We’ll get a direct quote about this from Census Bureau Director Robert M. Groves when the transcript of yesterday’s press conference becomes available.)

So, if Jost is now blogging for the Huffington Post, is the Census Bureau a non-partisan institution? Probably not. While I have no problem with elected leaders blogging for partisan web sites, people in non-partisan positions like “Communications Director” shouldn’t be doing this, as it’s beyond the scope of their responsibilities…

*Note: As I don’t want to link to Jost’s blog, here are some screen captures:

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3 Responses to “Census Bureau + Huffington Post = A partisan match made in heaven”

  1. Stephen Buckner Says:

    The Census Bureau has been involved in a broad non-partisan effort to educate every resident in the nation about the 2010 Census, which recently entered a new phase requiring census takers to go door to door to follow up with households that failed to mail back their census forms. In addition to a news release and operational press briefing to raise awareness levels about this operation, we also pitched a “guest blog” by Mr. Jost to a full political spectrum of news organizations and leading social media to reach those who will be visited by a census taker.

  2. sg Says:

    Y’know, this blog is interesting to those of us working on the Census. From my point of view, the articles about Census software (in particular, the links within the articles) are especially worthwhile. Census upper management really screwed the pooch when they let the contracts for the trash they got. By now, this is not exactly news to anybody working with the stuff — around it, really.

    That said, your post about the enumerator traffic fatalities was flat-out idiotic on many, many levels. At a minimum, you might have considered the accident rate for a comparably-sized population putting in similar mileage driving. It took me all of five seconds to google up NTHSA fatality stats. They aren’t directly comparable, but a back of the envelope extrapolation from them suggests that Census is doing pretty damn well in the traffic safety department — at least no worse than national norms. You’re indulging in sloppy, uninformed grandstanding about this, nothing more.

    You don’t exactly enhance your reputation by taking on Jost in the manner you’ve chosen. I haven’t read his piece, but it’s hard to see how publishing it in the Huffington Post is in any way different from, say, a Secretary of State or a Republican party chair contributing an op-ed piece to the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. That’s been going on for decades. Strangely, the republic has more or less endured. Your lame complaint here makes you look like a self-indulgent clown looking for something, anything, to bitch about.

  3. Yet Another Enumerator Says:

    I have to say that I agree with most of the reply immediately above this, at least regarding the level of journalism on this site. While you (S.R. Morse) have taken on a subject worthy of the kind of attention a site like this can pay to it, I find your writing and your whole approach a little on the amateurish side. I mean, “Even though spin doctor Steve Jost, tried to Jost-ify the Census Bureau’s failure to pay its employees properly”: is that really how you want to come off, like someone writing for a high-school newspaper? Ad hominem attacks like that don’t make you look good.

    I’d also like to point out that this site was recommended to my crew during training (NRFU) by our crew leader, so there are many good people working for the Census.