GDP Growth Missed by CBS, Downplayed by NBC
The âmeltdown in subprime mortgages,â ârising cost of oilâ and âinflationary worriesâ have become catchphrases in negative media reports about the economy. After the Federal Reserve cut rates on October 31, journalists were at it again â ignoring positive economic news in favor of troubles.
âOn the broadcast tonight, the economy is our big story,â âNBC Nightly Newsâ anchor Brian Williams said to begin the October 31 broadcast. âWeâll have the interest rate cut, oil prices are soaring, and still, what about housing?â
It was the same woeful song on the October 31 âCBS Evening News.â
âWith the ailing housing market threatening to infect the entire economy, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke administered another shot of preventive medicine today, with a quarter-point rate cut,â CBS correspondent Anthony Mason said.
And downbeat portrait of the economy wouldnât be complete unless inflationary worries in the wake of the Fedâs cut were mentioned.
âThey may start to wonder, âmaybe itâs [the rate cut] too much and maybe we have to worry about inflation after all,ââ Bill Dunkleberg, Chief Economist for the National Federation of Independent Business, said on âNightly News.â
Despite those two gloomy stories, there was really positive news announced the same day.
But with the exception of CNBCâs Maria Bartiromo casual mention of âa much stronger than expected economic growth report,â the news was virtually unnoticed by CBS and NBC.
However, ABC âWorld News Tonight with Charles Gibsonâ did include the "surprisingly" good news in its October 31 broadcast.
â[T]he economy grew by nearly 4 percent between July and September, the biggest jump in a year and a half,â ABC correspondent Barbara Pinto said. âDriving those gains â consumers, whose spending grew at more than twice what it did in previous months. The weakened dollar is providing a boost for American companies doing business overseas. American exports shot up more than 16 percent last quarter, the largest increase in four years.â