'Evening News' Blames U.S. Economy for Reno's 'Tent City'
Dozens of media reports have compared current economic conditions to the Great Depression. But the Oct. 1 broadcast of âCBS Evening Newsâ didnât just say there were similarities; it conjured up images of Depression-era Hoovervilles with a report on a tent city.
The âOther Americaâ series segment â which included the release of a new CBS News opinion poll showing downbeat views on the economy â interviewed people residing in tents outside
Katie Couric introduced the segment with dismal poll numbers showing pessimism about the economy.
âFinally tonight, it may come as no surprise but our new CBS News poll finds Americans more pessimistic about the economy than theyâve been in many years,â Couric said. âOnly one in 10 thinks itâs in good condition, the lowest number since we first asked the question more than two decades ago. And, for the first time ever, the majority thinks itâs in very bad shape. For a small but growing number, the economy has hit bottom.â
But the setting for CBS correspondent Seth Doaneâs report was Nevada â a state with 7.1 percent unemployment â a 23-year high â and one of the highest in the country. Doane painted a depressing picture for viewers.
âIn the shadows of the high-rise casinos, one community in
Doane interviewed one couple that moved from
âJust last Christmas the couple lived in a rented house in
Though the economy has shown weakness during the first half of 2008, the current unemployment rate of 6.1 percent is nowhere near the Depression-era rate of 24.9 percent â a time when shack communities called Hoovervilles sprung up throughout the
Doane has showcased the worst of these hardship stories with his âOther Americaâ series, blaming the American economy as the root cause. In July, Doane reported that inflation was taking a bite out of the purchasing power of food stamps, hurting the people dependent on them.
According to the
Tom Brokaw declared that social programs âsuffered under Reagan,â in a voice-over of a video of homeless people. Newsweek gave the â80s a thumbs down summing up the decade: âGreedy Yuppies screwed homeless,â according to the MRC study.