CBS, NBC Fawn Over Obama, Ignore GPD Boost

     It’s hard to squeeze in air time for positive economic news when it doesn’t fit the agenda of the Democratic presidential candidate you’re busy fawning over.

     On the night Sen. Barack Obama accepted his party’s nomination in front of an adoring crowd of some 80,000 Democrats in Denver, reporters for CBS and NBC news shows didn’t find any time to report the higher than anticipated revision of gross domestic product (GDP) for the second quarter of 2008.

     The Commerce Department initially reported a 1.9-percent increase in gross domestic product (GDP) for the second quarter of 2008, below expectations of around 2.3 percent. But on August 28, the agency announced that GDP actually grew at 3.3 percent in the quarter, far exceeding economists’ expectations.

     But “CBS Evening News” and “NBC Nightly News” couldn’t make room in their half-hour broadcasts to mention the economic surge. It didn’t mesh with one of the themes expressed in Obama’s acceptance speech: economic turmoil.

     “We meet at one of those defining moments – a moment when our nation is at war, our economy in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more,” Obama said, adding later that America “cannot turn back … not with an economy to fix.”

     “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams, however, did have time to encourage viewers to start eating peppers again. He said, “the salmonella outbreak … appears now to be over and with that a warning to avoid eating raw peppers from Mexico has now been lifted.”

     While CBS and NBC were busy ignoring the good news, ABC’s Charles Gibson did mention it during “World News.” But Gibson made sure to remind viewers that the U.S. dollar has weakened in recent months – although he didn’t mention the Federal Reserve’s role in its decline.

     “Other news, a surprisingly strong reading on the economy,” Gibson said. “The gross domestic product grew at a rate of 3.3 percent in the second quarter, helped by those government stimulus checks and a jump in exports because the dollar is so weak.”