Ring in the Gloom Year: Today's Top 2006 Stories - Job Woes, White-Collar Crime

Ring in the gloom year!

Imagine you're a guest on the Today show on New Year's Day, and the host asks you to predict the top stories for the year to come.

What are the odds you choose as your two top stories for 2006: job-loss anxiety among white-collar workers, and white-collar crime?

Yet that is precisely what Marcus Mabry, Newsweek's Chief of Correspondents [pictured here], did in his just-completed interview with host Lester Holt.

While acknowledging that the economy is showing signs of strength, Mabry led with unemployment anxiety among white-collar workers as his #1 story for the year to come. He insisted that:

"the confidence of the American worker is at its lowest point in a very long time, particularly white-collar workers. We see anxiety we have not seen since the days of the dot.com bust. What you see is many Americans filled with job insecurity, who are worried about whether they're going to have a job a year from now. We see greater insecurity than in decades."

Someone ought to remind Mabry that unemployment is at its lowest levels in years. In a vibrant economy there will always be layoffs as capital shifts to new, promising endeavors, but that is the best guarantee that workers losing one job will find another, often better, one.

Mabry then seemed to be trying to play the class card. He transitioned to a spiel about the fact that "we will also see a number of important trials that will really highlight the differences between Americans who are affluent . . ." He seemed on the verge of adding something to the effect "and those that are not affluent" when Holt cut him off.

Mabry nevertheless persisted, mentioning that in January former Enron execs Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling will be going on trial, charged with numerous felonies for assorted financial skulduggery.

Holt than raised the continuing story of Katrina, and Today 'helpfully' had prepared some of Newsweek's most inflammatory cover stories from the past year. We were treated to a full-screen Newsweek cover showing a crying black infant and lefty Jonathan Alter's cover story: "Poverty, Race & Katrina: Lessons of a National Shame."

Hey, we're supposed to be looking ahead to 2006, but there's no reason the MSM can't look back to the good 'ol days when President Bush was being accused of both racism and incompetence.

As to Mabry's take on the news: are white-collar crime and white-collar unemployment the top two stories for 2006 in many places other than the fevered minds of some in the liberal media who want to spread the gloom so long as the Republicans rule the White House and Congress?

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.