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News comparison: The Crustmaster is leaving the White House - The LAMP

News comparison: The Crustmaster is leaving the White House

By March 20, 2014 News No Comments
Yosses desserts

Bill Yosses is leaving the White House. Why? Depends on what you read. Photo from NY Times by Kevin Dietsch.

The White House is losing its executive pastry chef, Bill Yosses, because he’s through with “demoniz[ing] cream, butter, sugar and eggs” for Michelle Obama. Or it’s because he’s been at the White House since 2007, and wants to return to New York to be with his husband and start a new venture promoting healthy and delicious foods. It all depends on whether you read this article from the New York Times, or this article from the Daily Mail.

Remarkably, both pieces use the exact same quotes from Yosses to tell two entirely different tales of his departure. In one case, this is just another example of an overbearing First Lady and her determination to tell us all how to eat and cook. In another, Yosses is ready to move on for personal and professional reasons, and has been inspired by learning how to cook healthier versions of classic desserts for the Obama family. The comparison stands as a useful lesson in news literacy, and how even a story as seemingly innocuous as a change in the White House kitchen staff can be politicized and spun, and all based on the same primary source of information. Just about the only bit of information both pieces agree on is that Yosses makes a heck of a pie, and is called The Crustmaster by the President.

Hat tip to our friend Alejandra Ramos for catching this and sharing it with us. If you’ve got examples of two opposite news stories spun from the same information, we want to hear about it! Email the links to info@thelampnyc.org and we might feature your insight here on the blog.