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NBC Host: 'We're Managing Expectations' on Economy, 'Especially for the White House'

Filling in for co-host Matt Lauer on Friday's NBC Today, CNBC's Carl Quintanilla seemed to suggest the media was helping the Obama administration shape public perception of the economy: "...we're in a situation where we're sort of managing expectations, especially for the White House."

Quintanilla followed that admission by asking CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer about the upcoming jobs report: "Data's been pretty good. If it's not so good today, does that mean we're suddenly once again going in the wrong direction?" Cramer replied: "I don't want to think that. I think that there are many good forces at work."

In his first question to Cramer, Quintanilla spun a decrease in jobless claims as the latest in a string of good economic figures: "Let's talk first about another number we got this week, jobless claims for unemployment awfully close to a three-year low. Do you think the good news is going to continue today?"

Quintanilla made no mention of the real unemployment rate being over 15%, when you include those who have given up looking for work.

Here is part of Quintanilla's March 9 exchange with Cramer:

7:02AM ET

QUINTANILLA: We begin this morning with the economy and what we can expect from this morning's jobs number. Jim Cramer is the host of CNBC's Mad Money. Jim, good morning as always.

JIM CRAMER: Good morning, Carl.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs; Unemployment Numbers Released Today]

QUINTANILLA: Let's talk first about another number we got this week, jobless claims for unemployment awfully close to a three-year low. Do you think the good news is going to continue today?

CRAMER: Yes, I do. All of the data indicates that the firings have been coming down, the hirings going up. That's what we need to be able to see a good number today.

QUINTANILLA: And now we're in a situation where we're sort of managing expectations, especially for the White House. Data's been pretty good. If it's not so good today, does that mean we're suddenly once again going in the wrong direction?

CRAMER: I don't want to think that. I think that there are many good forces at work. Lots of hiring in automobile, lots of hiring in oil and gas, lots of hiring in retail. That should continue the pace all year. And don't forget, housing could be getting better for once.

QUINTANILLA: I was going to stay, the strong spots have been largely in energy and oil and gas. Where has it not kept pace? Where is the jobs – where are jobs weakest in this country?

CRAMER: Government hiring and services, particularly the banks, which are continuing to lay off people.

(...)

-- Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow Kyle Drennen on Twitter.