Spinning the Numbers When Conservatives in Charge: During the year leading up to the 2005-06 mid-term elections, the economy was strong and unemployment never went above 5 percent. That wasn’t how the media reported it. Negative reports and stories spun negatively accounted for 58 percent of the stories (38 out of 65).
Spinning the Numbers When Left in Charge: Despite the near 10 percent unemployment throughout the year leading to the 2009-10 elections, positive reports and stories spun positively accounted for 52 percent of the stories (46 out of 88).
Just days before the mid-term elections and jobs remain the major campaign issue. Unemployment stands at 9.6 percent with nearly 15 million people out of work. Gallup’s analysis argues things are even worse, with unemployment hitting 10 percent again – a number voters wouldn’t see until the Friday after the election. As Gallup explained, it’s “up sharply from 9.4% in mid-September and 9.3% at the end of August.” That means heartache and struggle across the United States.
That’s not the story being told this election. What voters are left with are false impressions from the broadcast news shows – that somehow the worst unemployment in 25 years is not that bad. CNBC’s Steve Liesman called it “self-sustaining job growth,” on NBC’s April 2, 2010 “Nightly News.”That’s also exactly the opposite of how those same networks handled low unemployment during the last mid-term election. Then, with a Republican in the White House, journalists worked hard at undermining the positive news with the possibility that bad things might occur.