CyberAlert -- 05/03/1996 -- Hooray for Hume

Hooray for Hume

One item today: Brit Hume provides information you wouldn't expect on network news.
On Thursday the Commerce Dept. reported GDP growth of 2.8 percent during the first quarter. All the networks reported the good news for Bill Clinton. On the CBS Evening News reporter Ray Brady concluded his story on why the hike occurred (more business investment, higher consumer spending spurred by tax refunds) by noting that "the prospect is for at least six good months ahead, and maybe more. Dan."
Dan Rather then announced: "Ray, that of course would take us right up to the November elections. And President Clinton was quick today to take some of the credit for an improving economy.
Still Wall Street is afraid a surging economy -- all of this good news -- could mean higher inflation and interest rates. The Dow Industrials plunged today more than 76 points." While Rather did make it clear that bad news could be ahead, neither CBS or NBC saw through the White House spin.
On ABC's World News Tonight, however, Brit Hume put White House claims of credit into context. Hume showed a clip of Laura Tyson, Director of the National Economic Council, saying "This is plain and simple good news for the American economy and more evidence that the President's economic strategy is paying off."
Hume then reported "Tyson went on to call this the second longest peacetime expansion since World War II, not mentioning that the longest was during the Reagan years, which the Clinton Administration prefers to call 'the decade of greed.' She also did not mention that this expansion includes the last part of the Bush Administration, a
time Mr. Clinton always claimed was a recession."
It's great to see one major reporter willing to cut through the White House's historical revisionism. -- Brent Baker