GDP Growth Missed by CBS, Downplayed by NBC

    The “meltdown in subprime mortgages,” “rising cost of oil” and “inflationary worries” have become catchphrases in negative media reports about the economy. After the Federal Reserve cut rates on October 31, journalists were at it again – ignoring positive economic news in favor of troubles.


     “On the broadcast tonight, the economy is our big story,” “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams said to begin the October 31 broadcast. “We’ll have the interest rate cut, oil prices are soaring, and still, what about housing?”


     It was the same woeful song on the October 31 “CBS Evening News.”


     “With 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,” CBS correspondent Anthony Mason said.


     And downbeat portrait of the economy wouldn’t be complete unless inflationary worries in the wake of the Fed’s cut were mentioned.


     “They may start to wonder, ‘maybe it’s [the rate cut] too much and maybe we have to worry about inflation after all,’” Bill Dunkleberg, Chief Economist for the National Federation of Independent Business, said on “Nightly News.”


     Despite those two gloomy stories, there was really positive news announced the same day.


     According to Associated Press, the economy grew at “a brisk 3.9 percent pace” over the summer, “the fastest in 1 1/2 years and an impressive performance.”


     But with the exception of CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo casual mention of “a much stronger than expected economic growth report,” the news was virtually unnoticed by CBS and NBC.


     However, ABC “World News Tonight with Charles Gibson” did include the "surprisingly" good news in its October 31 broadcast. 

    “[T]he economy grew by nearly 4 percent between July and September, the biggest jump in a year and a half,” ABC correspondent Barbara Pinto said. “Driving those gains – 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.”