The Recession That Never Happened

Neil Cavuto hosted Dan Gainor from the MRC’s Business & Media institute to talk about the recession that never happened.

More at Newsbusters.

Cavuto: Does the media flat out lie about the economy? I want you to meet a guy who says, “yeah, they do.” And what’s more, they do it all the time. Wait ’til you find out why and how. After this.

Well you’ve heard me say it before, my next guest is saying it again, this economy is strong, very strong. You’ll hear the President say it tomorrow night. But if this guy is right, you will never read about it in the papers on Wednesday or any day. This is Dan Gainor, Dan is the director of the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute. Why is that? We do have a strong economy, this isn’t a political viewpoint, we do.

Gainor: Well of course we do. But if you look at how the networks covered the economy last year, on average, almost every week they were either comparing or contrasting to a recession or the Great Depression. A couple of the network broadcasts actually used video tape of the Great Depression. You had people in soup lines and shilling newspaper headlines saying the Wall Street collapse. That’s not reflecting what’s going on.

Cavuto: Do you think it’s an agenda Dan?

Gainor: Absolutely. It’s an agenda. As long as there’s a conservative or a Republican in the White House then you’re going to overlook all the good economic new we’ve had. And I mean you can almost just pick whatever good news you want to choose from. We’ve had more than seven million new jobs created since the Bush Recovery in 2003. My Washington Post the other day had a headline on the business section that said, “Inflation at the lowest in 3 years”. You’ve got, despite the housing slowdown recently, in 2001 to 2005 you had more than 50 percent housing growth. You can just you look at people fighting over themselves trying to get PS3’s, iPhones, any sort of, X-Boxes.

Cavuto: Dan, maybe it’s, let’s take the political issue out of it for a second, is there just this cynicism on the part of most journalists to just report the bad? In other words, “If it bleeds, it leads”, that age old journalism axiom that good news doesn’t rate or sell, bad news does?

Gainor: I really wish it was that way. Because then, no matter who ends up in the White House, no matter who ends up in congress, you get the same kind of media coverage. That’s not the case. Going back a few years when Bush ran for re-election, we compared how the media’d covered that time with how they’d covered it when Clinton ran for re-election. Similar economic time periods – that’s Business Week claiming that, not me – and yet the media coverage for Clinton was so overwhelmingly positive.

Cavuto: Do you think that’s because most journalists are Democrat or liberal that they will even not known consciously, they will unconsciously, make these decisions to make it look good for the democrat?

Gainor: I think it’s a combination of both. There’s also a huge amount of economic ignorance in the media. I say this as a career journalist. Journalists do the quick hit, they don’t really understand all the components of a good economy, they don’t understand business. When you’re looking at something as broad as this, your natural biases are going to creep up.

Cavuto: What about the fact that there have been a lot of layoffs in the media industry and that that is what is affecting their view and they’re being parochial about it and taking it out on the rest of us?

Gainor: What did Tip O’Neill say, “all politics is local” and if you feel that your industry is in deep trouble, it’s going to be reflected in your reporting. So of course.

Cavuto: Dan, very interesting stuff, we don’t hear it all the time. Dan Gainor, Business and Media Institute. Good seeing you.

Gainor: Thank you.

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