Evolving Media Narrative

Blog, Peter McCaffrey (historic), Politics (historic), Uncategorized

Here’s an interesting article on the incredible evolving media narrative about the US economy ever since Barack Obama won re-election.

Before the election, when good economic news helps the incumbent:

In fact, one month before the election, the Times ran a story touting all the “signs of growing economic strength” and boasting how the country was in the midst of a “steadier recovery than previously thought.”

That same day, a USA Today story prominently quoted a source as saying “the economy is finally beginning to build some momentum.”

In mid-October, AP reported that new retail sales figures showed that “consumers were shaking off high unemployment” and this “would help the economy emerge from the malaise that clouded the spring.”

Then, just days before the election, the press paraded a consumer confidence survey that showed a strong uptick in the index. AP claimed it was a sign the economy was beginning “to make steady improvement.”

After the election, when bad economic news helps the President pass more spending bills:

According to the New York Times, the administration’s argument is that “the sluggish economy requires a shot in the arm.”And, indeed, the Times paints a rather grim picture of the current economic situation.

Data show “the recovery once again sputtering,” it reported Tuesday, adding that the “underlying rate of growth (is) too slow to bring down the unemployment rate by much.” Manufacturing and exports are lagging, it noted, while consumers and businesses are “holding back” and “wage growth is weak.”

What’s more, the Times says, economic data have “come in surprisingly weak,” and forecasters have “slashed their estimates of growth in the fourth quarter.” Macroeconomic Advisers thinks annualized GDP growth will be just 0.8% this quarter.