Dow's Flirt with 14,000 Barely Noticed by Media

     The Dow Jones Industrial Average broke 14,000 on July 17. But you might have missed it altogether unless you watched NBC “Nightly News.”


     This historic bull run by the stock market was virtually ignored by the mainstream media. Katie Couric briefly mentioned it on the CBS “Evening News,” and ABC “World News” ignored it on July 17. The New York Times buried it on page 10 of the business section July 18.


     NBC “Nightly News” was the exception – leading its broadcast with the Wall Street story which included an admission that “a lot more people than you would think” are making money from the markets.


     “Earlier this afternoon, when the closing bell rang on the opposite coast on Wall Street in New York, the Dow Jones industrials hit an all-time high, up again more than 20 points, to close painfully close to that 14,000 mark, having briefly climbed above it earlier in the day,” said anchor Brian Williams.


     But media coverage of Dow milestones has been mostly pessimistic. Every time the Dow broke through a milestone – the 11,000 on Jan. 10, 2006 all the way up to its passing of the 13,000 mark on April 25, naysayers in the media cast doubt on the possibility of a continued climb.


     “It is a big shot of optimism, but the question I think on everyone's mind is, does the market continue to go up?” asked Charles Gibson on ABC’s “Good Morning America” when the Dow passed 11,000.


     On July 12, journalists downplayed the Dow largest jump in four years that sent it to another record close. Broadcasts on ABC, CBS and NBC that evening ignored any of the positive economic policies of the Bush Administration. Instead, provided “some worries” about gas prices and the housing market.


     “But, and there’s always a ‘but’ with the stock market,” said ABC correspondent Dan Harris on the July 12 “World News Tonight with Charles Gibson.” “If say gas goes to $4 a gallon or interest rates spike unexpectedly, all bets are off. As one investor today, the market is a lot like the weather in New England – if you don’t like it, just wait a day.”


     But on July 17, the media didn’t downplay it, spread pessimism about the economy or portray it as the rich getting richer – most just chose to ignore it, except for NBC.


     “Nightly News” even showed the market news was good news for more than just the rich.


     “While Wall Street benefits from all that growth, the average American is likely benefiting as well,” said CNBC correspondent Erin Burnett. “More than half of Americans are invested in the market, whether through a 401k plan, a mutual fund, or buying specific stocks.”


     Burnett also reported on “Nightly News” a CNBC survey of “people who manage a trillion dollars” indicated 80 percent of them think the market will end where it is now, at 14,000 or better by the end of the year.