Friday, January 06, 2006

Boo-Hoo Economics and Media Bias

With all the talk of Media bias of late and some people asking for specific links to polls and how the MSM repots on the economy I thought I'd combine the two and share some articles I've read recently.

The first is an article by Dan Gainor from the Washington Times

"The Christmas shopping season culminated a strong year for the U.S. economy. But instead of ringing out the old year and toasting the success, 43 percent of Americans think we're in a recession. And that's a crying shame"
According to the American Research Group, the public is split over the notion we're in a recession. It's no wonder almost half of the public thinks things are bad, because most people only know what they're told. For 43 percent of the population to believe something so wrongheaded, there can be only one culprit -- the major media.

Journalists describe the economy as "strong, but with serious weaknesses" when they are being positive or focus on the "housing bubble" bursting instead of dwelling on the 55 percent gains home prices have made since 2000. They've even discussed a possible recession.

This happens all the time one of our more left leaning papers or news broadcasts will headline a story like this: the GNP is up but you never know with the U.S. economy while another will say, about the same story, something like this: The GNP is up to 4.3% and expectations are high both headlines, while not exact quotes are what I remember hearing about a month ago on TV.

Dan went on to site:

"On Oct. 14, CNN's Lou Dobbs -- the network's own Howard Beale -- discussed the September CPI report, warning: "Tonight middle-class Americans and those who aspire to the middle class face a growing cost-of-living crisis. Inflation last month up at the fastest pace in 25 years, while wages are falling."
But when the Labor Department released numbers last week showing inflation declined by the greatest percentage in 56 years, Lou was nowhere to be found.

Now you know the true origin of the word "de-pressed" -- to have the media lament news about the economy. Only this isn't just the media version of the little boy who cried wolf. This is an ongoing, consistent attempt to depict a successful economy as a failure. It's time we put away our hankies, got mad and demanded the media do a better job.

Pouting Pundits of Pessimism is another great article for this kind of bias BRIAN S. WESBURY writes:

"It is amazing. Everything is negative. When bond yields rise, it is considered bad for the housing market and the consumer. But if bond yields fall and the yield curve narrows toward inversion, that is bad too, because an inverted yield curve could signal a recession.

If housing data weaken, as they did on Monday when existing home sales fell, well that is a sign of a bursting housing bubble. If housing data strengthen, as they did on Tuesday when new home sales rose, that is negative because the Fed may raise rates further. If foreigners buy our bonds, we are not saving for ourselves.

If foreigners do not buy our bonds, interest rates could rise. If wages go up, inflation is coming. If wages go down, the economy is in trouble.

This clearly shows how the presentation and choice of words or phrases slant or move people in a certain direction. Unfortunately most people listen or read the headline and first paragraph of a news story and then go on to the next one or tune out the meat or true facts of that story.

As truth tellers our journalists must be held to a certain code of conduct and self governing! Unfortunately this is not the case of late.

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