'Evening News' Pulls Out 'Great Depression' Comparison

     Recession skeptics on the evening news are becoming as rare as global warming skeptics. They just aren’t getting any face time.

     The January 15 “CBS Evening News” was no exception. CBS correspondent Anthony Mason gave a very grim assessment of the U.S. economy. He even compared U.S. banking problems to the Great Depression.

     “For America’s financial giants, it’s the worst period since the Great Depression,” Mason said. “Citigroup, the country’s largest bank, lost nearly $10 billion in the last three months of last year.”

     Mason’s report presented one outside expert – an economist who deemed a recession a foregone conclusion and expressed his dismay for “lax” U.S. banking practices.

     “Those banking practices are responsible for the subprime meltdown, lagging consumption and the recession,” Peter Morici, economist at the University of Maryland said. “This recession wasn't created on Main Street, it was manufactured on Wall Street.”

     Recent reports in The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg indicated economists think the likelihood of a recession is less than 50 percent. The Wall Street Journal reported economists thought the economy had a 42-percent chance of experiencing a recession, and the Bloomberg survey of economists put the likelihood of a recession at only 40 percent.

     Dismal reporting has plagued newscasts about the economy and the possibility of a recession. There has been very little balanced reporting.

     Mason’s reporting on the economy has also been less than balanced time after time. In July, when the stock market was doing well, Mason downplayed a record day to peddle doom and gloom about the housing market. In September, Mason touted a liberal group’s efforts to win handouts from lenders for people who didn’t pay their mortgages.