ABC Touts 'Huge Impact' of Spending and Credits Stock Up Tick to Housing Plan

Two weeks after ABC championed how the “stimulus” would enable mayors to create many jobs, World News on Wednesday night trumpeted how “the government is now ready to start writing the checks to get people working again in states and cities across the land.” Reporter David Muir touted how “with hundreds of millions of dollars in the pipeline from Washington, contractors are hiring now” and so “in the quiet college town of North Manchester, Indiana, 26 people are expected to be hired to build a water treatment plant. Economists say 26 people in a small town of 6,400 can have a huge impact.” Muir's one and only expert, economist Stephen Leeb, then saw a beneficial ripple effect: 
It's not just 26 people. It's 26 people that are getting more money. Those people are spending money at, say, the corner store, the corner drugstore, maybe buying an extra shirt for their kids; and the people that are receiving that money, in the stores, are also going to spend their money. So you have this kind of ripple effect that can spill all the way through the town.
At the top of the newscast, anchor Charles Gibson, unlike CBS's Katie Couric and NBC's Brian Williams, credited President Obama's home mortgage bailout plan with causing a stock market up tick, citing a “ray of hope: The government outlines how it will help nine million homeowners avoid foreclosure. And the stock market responds positively.”

My February 17 item, “ABC Champions How 'Stimulus' Will Enable Mayors to Create Jobs.”

Gibson teased the Wednesday, March 4 World News:
Welcome to World News. In the headlines, ray of hope: The government outlines how it will help nine million homeowners avoid foreclosure. And the stock market responds positively.
Gibson opened:
Good evening. If you live in your house and are struggling with your mortgage, the government has got a $75 billion plan for you. And maybe, just maybe those $75 billion will bring stability to everyone's home price. The announcement of details of how the program will work seemed to hearten the stock markets today. The Dow industrials rose 150 points, and the NASDAQ was up 33.
The MRC's Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed-captioning against the video to provide this transcripts of the story on the benefits of all the spending:
GIBSON: And the mortgage program, of course, is just one part of the President's overall economic plan, which is centered on the giant stimulus package he signed two weeks ago. Well, the government is now ready to start writing the checks to get people working again in states and cities across the land, and they're more than ready to cash them. They have plenty of projects ready to go. Here's David Muir.

DAVID MUIR: In cities and towns across this country, in order to be shovel ready, they're getting the workers ready.

BRIAN MAY, INDUSTRY PEOPLE GROUP: They can create a job alert.

MUIR:  Brian May posts jobs online for contractors across Iowa. With hundreds of millions of dollars in the pipeline from Washington, contractors are hiring now.

MAY: One company, in particular, will be looking for 30 to 40 workers this year. And those could be anyone from flaggers to laborers, crane operators, dump truck drivers, foremen.

MUIR: In just the five weeks they've been posting jobs, they've already heard from 60 contractors, all looking to hire. In Iowa alone, they normally spend $550 million a year on road projects. They’re now banking on an additional $380 million. In Silver Spring, Maryland, this construction company has called back 59 people in just the last two weeks, 59 workers who’d been let go. They're hoping to call back nearly 300 more. Their first project, repairing this Maryland road. It's been 17 years since anything's been done to fix it. In the quiet college town of North Manchester, Indiana, 26 people are expected to be hired to build a water treatment plant. Economists say 26 people in a small town of 6,400 can have a huge impact.

STEPHEN LEEB, ECONOMIC ANALYST: It's not just 26 people. It's 26 people that are getting more money. Those people are spending money at, say, the corner store, the corner drugstore, maybe buying an extra shirt for their kids; and the people that are receiving that money, in the stores, are also going to spend their money. So you have this kind of ripple effect that can spill all the way through the town.

MUIR: In Elkhart, Indiana, home to one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, the mayor confirmed today that he knows of $9 million in road work already on the way. This worker told us he'd take anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I'm not particular about what I do.

MUIR: And in Columbus, Ohio, 27 police recruits cut just days before they joined the force will now report to work.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: We start work this Sunday, Sunday evening. I specifically start Sunday evening.

MUIR:  Back to work, in days. Tonight, the Department of Transportation in Washington says in just the past two days, it’s greenlighted $1.5 billion in road work across 20 states. They've got $25 billion more for roads and bridges, and, Charlie, they’re poring through requests from governors across the nation tonight.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center