Friday, May 06, 2005

One Economy, Two Spins

Here is an indepth study on how the media portrayed the economy under both the Clinton and Bush administrations. It is a very damning report on media bias. You can see all the facts, figures and charts right here.Here is an exerpt from the report.

Mandel, author of “Rational Exuberance: Silencing the Enemies of Growth,” listed several variables – unemployment rate, inflation, consumer confidence, housing affordability and unemployment claims – as similar for both incumbents. Financial columnist and author James K. Glassman followed with a September 2 piece for Tech Central Station that agreed with Mandel’s assessment and added that Bush “was dealt an extremely miserable hand by his predecessor.” Glassman pointed out that the tech stock bubble was “deflating,” gross domestic product (GDP) and employment growth were slowing and the corporate scandals of Enron, WorldCom and others all occurred under Clinton. “And, then, of course, there was 9/11,” he added.
Take a look at how ABC and NBC cover the same unemployment and job creation news on September 3, 2004. On ABC’s World News Tonight, Peter Jennings claimed the results didn’t live up to expectations. “The government said today that the economy added 144,000 jobs in August. That was better than the previous two months, when job growth essentially stalled. But it fell short of the 200,000 jobs per month that most economists consider the minimum for strong employment growth.”

Of course, Jennings didn’t mention that the report also included an adjustment of 73,000 in those “essentially stalled” months. The overall total of jobs reported that month was 217,000 – 17,000 higher than the number he had cited.

Compare that to NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. “Unemployment and job creation numbers for August came out today, something candidates for both political parties are watching very closely. Payrolls expanded by 144,000, that is a bit less than economists had forecast. But the numbers for June and July were revised upward. The unemployment rate ticked down 1/10 of a point to 5.4 percent.”

CBS Evening News employed a similar strategy to NBC with a June 4, 2004 story. The Department of Labor announced the good economic news that the unemployment rate stayed even at 5.6 percent in May. About 248,000 new jobs were created and earlier job growth numbers were revised upward. CBS Evening News delivered this news by focusing on an Ohio company that was laying off employees.

This report has numerous graphs and side bars. You should take the link, be warned that it may be a slow load. Please do link back to this post, I think it is important that as many as possible see this report. - Sailor

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