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Networks Ignore Higher Than Expected GDP Growth

     With a half hour every evening, the competitive evening newscasts – ABC “World News with Charles Gibson,” “CBS Evening News” and “NBC Nightly News” – have to make the most of their broadcasts to give viewers the most news possible.

 

     Apparently that does not include the positive news about 4 percent economic growth.

 

    On August 30, “World News” featured a segment about the lie detector of the future. “Nightly News” waxed nostalgic about Princess Diana. “Evening News” took a critical look at soon-to-announce presidential candidate Fred Thompson.

 

     All that was considered more important than taking time to mention that U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) increased 4 percent during the second quarter of 2007. That shattered the 3.4 percent prediction by the U.S. Commerce Department. It was also a huge surge past the 0.6 percent growth in the first quarter of the year.

 

     The Wall Street Journal did report the GDP increase, but with a negative outlook on the highest GDP numbers since the first quarter of 2006.

 

     “The U.S. economy grew at a much faster pace in the second quarter than previously estimated, but tepid consumer spending, weakening housing activity and credit-market turmoil suggested growth will slow significantly into next year,” wrote Sudeep Reddy in the August 31 Wall Street Journal.

     This is just the latest example of how the media distorts a good economy by ignoring or downplaying positive news, as shown by the Business & Media Institute in its Bad News Bears report.