NBC Drives Recession Fears with R.V. Story

The Robin Williams movie "R.V." may be obnoxious but it was nothing compared to an "NBC Nightly News" story last night. Tailgating the New York Times, "Nightly News" worried on December 3 that America is traveling down the road to recession, because R.V. sales are projected to decline by about 5 percent in 2008. "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams honked his horn saying, "when R.V. sales go down, the U.S. economy often follows."Correspondent Lee Cowan explained "that Wall Street has been tailgating [the R.V. industry] for signs of a possible recession."Cowan profiled the Newtons, who were hoping to upgrade their R.V. but were turned off by "oil flirting with 100 bucks a barrel." While oil did flirt with $100-a-barrel, Cowan didn't say that on that very day, oil was trading $12 lower -- under $88 a barrel -- and the retail price of gasoline was little more than $3 a gallon. Despite, NBC's claim that R.V. sales are slipping "driven by rising fuel prices," gasoline prices have dropped six cents since November 15.The thrust of Cowan's report was that recession is coming. The NBC correspondent said that over the last 30 years, every time there has been a decline in R.V. sales it's been followed by a decline in the U.S. economy, before citing forecasts that RV sales will drop 10% this year and 5% next year.But that would mean that the decline in sales will be smaller in 2008, although Cowan didn't say that.The media have also used sweater sales and Starbucks coffee to say recession is coming.