ABC Talks Up Non-Existent 'Recession' Eight Times in Three Days

The U.S. is not in a recession, but viewers wouldn't know it from watching "Good Morning America." In the span of three days, the ABC program has eight times proposed cures in its "Recession Rescue" segment. On June 24 alone, GMA fretted about the "recession" five times. This is despite the fact that America hasn't had one quarter of negative growth, let alone the two necessary for there to be a recession.

On Tuesday, teasing a story on how bad credit can keep people from getting a job, co-host Robin Roberts previewed "important tips in our Recession Rescue." At the top of 7:30 half hour, she again told audiences to stay tuned for "important tips in this morning's Recession Rescue." Ten minutes later, news anchor Chris Cuomo promised "our Recession Rescue" would give credit advice designed to keep viewers from not missing out on a job. Later in the show, he touted another story on how to save for retirement and labeled it as, that's right, "a good Recession Rescue." Now, certainly, the economy has been struggling and many people are having difficulty, but do words not mean things to the reporters and producers at GMA? Or would they simply shrug their shoulders and say, "Close enough?"

Even mundane segments received the inaccurate tag. On Monday, Roberts promoted an upcoming segment by awkwardly announcing, "In this morning's Recession Rescue, used car sales are booming. But how do you find a good one and avoid buying somebody else's problem?"

The non-"Recession Rescue" segments on GMA this week have also been hyperbolic. On Wednesday's show, an ABC graphic fretted, "Paying the Bills: How to Survive Economic Crisis." So, the country is dealing with a non-existent "recession" and a crisis? On Monday, Roberts discussed older Americans working longer. That segment contained a graphic that fearfully asked, "No More Retirement? Economy Holds Couple Back?" No more retirement? Even if more Americans are working longer, isn't that phrase a bit of an exaggeration?

CBS's "Early Show" on Tuesday provided similar over-the-top coverage. Co-host Julie Chen worried, "Completing this perfect storm of economic woes, the devastating floods in the Midwest and how they will directly impact food prices."

A transcript of the various teases, segment set-ups and graphics from June 23 to the 25, follows:

6/25/08

7:41am

CHRIS CUOMO: All right. We have the Recession Rescue for you this morning. We keep on talking to you about gas prices. Everyone's trying to sell their SUV. Want to get into one of these new jobs. You know, the smart car. The hybrid. The high mileage type vehicles.

6/24/08

7:21am

ROBIN ROBERTS: And could bad credit cost you a good job? Why what you do in your personal life could impact your professional life. Important tips in our Recession Rescue.

7:30am tease

CHRIS CUOMO: Also, this morning, bad credit. No question if you have bad credit it's gonna hurt you with your credit cards, gonna hurt you with getting a loan. But what about keeping you from getting a job?

ROBIN ROBERTS: That's right. A job? We have important tips in this morning's Recession Rescue.

7:40am

CHRIS CUOMO: When we come back, this woman was on the verge of getting a good job until they found out she had bad credit. How to keep this from happening to you in our Recession Rescue.

7:43am

ABC GRAPHIC: Recession Rescue: Your Job and Your Credit

ROBIN ROBERTS: And now GMA's Recession Rescue. You know that having bad credit makes it hard to do things like buying a home or get a loan. But did you also know it could also cost you a job?

8am tease

CHRIS CUOMO: Listen to this really sad statistic, fewer than 20 percent of people in this country believe they'll have enough money to retire. So, they're going to have to keep working, older and older, it's happening, people are going way past 65. So, today we're going to give you some tips to prepare for your retirement and what you can do if you're already at that age. So, it's a good Recession Rescue.

6/23/08

7:42am

ROBIN ROBERTS: And coming up next, our Recession Rescue. Why buying a used car may not be the secret to saving money. We'll talk about it next.

7:45am

ROBERTS: In this morning's Recession Rescue, used car sales are booming. But how do you find a good one and avoid buying somebody else's problem?

ABC GRAPHIC: Recession Rescue: Getting the Best Deal on Wheels

6/25/08

7:07am

CHRIS CUOMO: No question that bad news for our pocket books is easy to find. Solutions, not as apparent.

ABC GRAPHIC: Paying the Bills: How to Survive Economic Crisis

6/24/08

8:35

ABC Graphic: No More Retirement? Economy Holds Couple Back?

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org