Networks Ignore Manufacturing 'Contraction'

Manufacturing activity dropped to its lowest pace in four years, according to The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing index for the month of May, released June 3. However, none of three broadcast networks’s evening shows made any mention of it that night.

According to the ISM, this is the first time that U.S. manufacturing has contracted since 2012, reaching 49.0, the lowest level since June 2009. The Washington Post attributed this drop in manufacturing to "slowing export growth and tight fiscal policy" causing "factories to slow production." The last time that the manufacturing index was under 50 was when the east coast was slammed by Hurricane Sandy in November 2012. Even then it only dropped to 49.9. Any number below 50 indicates “contraction” in the manufacturing sector.

The networks have repeatedly hyped economic optimism, but downplayed bad economic news. In January 2013, consumer confidence plummeted to a 14-month low, but the bad news got no mention on the evening network news programs that night. Instead ABC joyfully reported good news on the economy. The networks also hyped jobs gains during the Obama years, whileignoring bigger gains during the Bush years.

Mike Ciandella
Mike Ciandella
Mike Ciandella is a staff writer for the Media Research Center's Business & Media Institute.