All three networks on Tuesday and Wednesday touted a new report showing the gap between the wealthiest one percent of Americans and everyone else has grown to its widest level since the Great Depression. Yet, none of them mentioned that Barack Obama was president for the last five years, the time in which the disparity grew so large. In contrast, ABC, NBC and CBS hammered Mitt Romney in 2012 for supposedly being out of touch with average Americans.
On Tuesday, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams apocalyptically hyped the new study by a group of international economists: "We learned today that a dangerous, devastating, and paralyzing trend in the U.S. economy, the wealth gap, is getting worse." [MP3 audio here.] He added, "...The richest Americans, the top one percent, made nearly 20 percent of all the available income in America last year." If this is a "devastating" problem, it should be pointed out that Williams's yearly salary is $13 million and the journalist has a net worth of $40 million (according to CelebrityNetWorth.com).
An onscreen graphic for Wednesday's Today fretted, "Income Inequality; Rich Getting Richer." Natalie Morales explained, "The very wealthiest Americans earned more than 19% of the country's total household income last year. That's the biggest share in 85 years."
On Good Morning America, Amy Robach revealed, "New figures show 95 percent of the income gains in the last three years ended up in the pockets of the wealthiest one percent of Americans."
CBS This Morning anchor Charlie Rose noted, "The other 99 percent saw a growth of just four-tenths of one percent."
In 2012, journalists skewered Romney as a tool for the "wealthiest one percent." As the gap widens, would seem only fair to point out who has been President for the last five years.
The news brief from the September 10 Nightly News is below:
BRIAN WILLIAMS: We learned today that a dangerous, devastating, and paralyzing trend in the U.S. economy, the wealth gap, is getting worse. A new analysis shows the richest Americans, the top 1%, made nearly 20% of all the available income in America last year. That is the widest income gap since the Roaring 20s. Economists say the threshold for qualifying as a member of the top 1% is now a gross income of $394,000 or more.
-- Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.