The U.S. economy by most markers is performing admirably. According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, we have had 49 consecutive months of job growth. Unemployment is at a historic low of 4.7 percent, the average number of jobs created is holding steady at around 100,000 per month and real after-tax personal income has increased by 12.5 percent. Yet, according to a CNN poll, half of Americans think the country is in a recession. As Larry Elder writes today at TownHall.com, the reason can be found in the way that the media portray the economy. And that portrayal differs dramatically when a Republican is in office as opposed to a Democrat. Elder writes,
What, then, accounts for the pessimism? Well, take a look at the mainstream media. Two professors, John Lott, economist and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and Kevin A. Hassett, the Institute's director of economic policy studies, looked at newspaper articles on the economy. They wrote, "We found that newspaper headlines reporting economic news on unemployment, gross domestic product (GDP), retail sales and durable goods tended to be much more frequently negative when a Republican was in the White House. And this was true even after accounting for the economic numbers on which the stories were based and how those numbers were changing over time." So bad economic news becomes less bad economic news with a Democrat sitting in the White House. With a Republican in the White House, however, good economic news becomes less good, and bad becomes even worse.
This should come as no surprise to anyone who follows the way that the media react to Republican versus Democratic Administrations. Remember how the media played up the Clinton economy, although it was confined much more to the high-tech sector than the Reagan economy of the 1980s? Remember how the campaign mantra was 'it's the economy, stupid'? Yet when the economy really is doing well, the media can't be bothered to report it. Like so much else occurring under this Administration, the media cannot or will not report the good news, whether it be the dramatic drop in violence in Iraq, the success in bringing North Korea back to the bargaining table, the lack of attacks against this country since September 11, 2001 and the booming economy. The media, like much of the Democratic Party, has invested too much into the defeat of this Administration and the election of a Democrat to the White House to allow anything that might upset that program to see the light of newsprint. We can only hope that American voters can become responsible enough to search out the facts, rather than relying on the partisan propaganda organs that claim to be 'news providers'. However, one bright spot is that despite the media's determined negativity, 51 percent of Americans still know the truth. Cross-posted on StoneHeads