America is five days away from the presidential election, and the NBC and CBS morning news shows censored an astounding recovery in U.S. GDP growth. The ABC morning news show coverage of the news was a weak micro-mention.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released it’s long-expected third quarter GDP estimates at 8:30 a.m., and the results were jaw-dropping. Actual GDP growth in the third quarter was 7.4 percent, which the New York Post said was a “record-setting rebound.”
That is an understatement. On an annualized basis, the GDP growth went from falling an atrocious 31.4 percent in the second quarter to skyrocketing to a 33.1 percent rate this quarter, erasing its second quarter annualized rate loss. CNBC noted that economists surveyed by Dow Jones were expecting a 32 percent annual rate increase, meaning that the actual BEA estimates beat expectations by a comfortable 1.1 percent. If that wasn’t enough, CNBC noted that this was U.S. GDP’s “fastest growth ever.” [Emphasis added.]
This astonishing increase bolsters President Donald Trump’s optimism about a potential “V-shaped” recovery going into the election. But, in a gross display of negligence by journalists, NBC’s Today (including Today’s third hour broadcast) and CBS This Morning censored the GDP growth news during their morning shows. ABC’s Good Morning America (GMA) suppressed the news.
The New York Times reported on just how significant this increase is, making the censorship by the NBC and CBS morning news shows, and the suppression by ABC’s GMA all the more egregious:
Gross domestic product grew 7.4 percent in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said Thursday. The gain, the equivalent of 33.1 percent on an annualized basis, was by far the biggest since reliable statistics began after World War II; the previous record was a 3.9 percent quarterly increase in 1950, [emphasis added].
GMA’s only note of the new GDP numbers was a pathetic mention in the moving bottom chyron that was twisted to criticize Trump. It first appeared during a meaningless 224-second segment on Halloween decorations in the minutes after the 8:30 a.m., BEA release. That chyron repeated throughout the broadcast without ever updating or giving viewers specifics on the GDP numbers. The chyron read: “Trump to tout new GDP growth numbers this morning despite stock market jitters.” That’s funny, given that ABC News reported earlier in August that the stock market was “divorced” from the pandemic-afflicted economy. Apparently ABC decided to reconcile the stock market and the economy in the bottom chyron when it suited the outlet’s anti-Trump narrative.
NBC’s Today, NBC’s 3rd Hour of Today and CBS This Morning ignored the story completely.
NBC’s Today did find the time to spend 175 seconds of meaningless coverage on NBC News Correspondent Joe Fryer’s experience through a haunted drive-thru toward the end of the broadcast.
Near the end of its hour-long broadcast, NBC’s 3rd Hour of Today spent a whopping 305 seconds promoting the history of the castles that inspired the stories of fictional monsters Dracula and the Frankenstein Monster. Perhaps a tiny portion of that time could have been spent by the hosts reporting the latest GDP numbers to viewers.
Immediately following the 8:30 a.m. BEA report drop, CBS This Morning spent 71 seconds of useless coverage promoting the success of actor Sacha Baron Cohen’s new anti-GOP movie Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm (2020).
This isn’t the first time the Big Three morning news shows censored important economic news.
When the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released a report September 4 showing that the unemployment rate dipped nearly 2 percentage points to 8.4 percent in August from 10.2 percent in June, all three morning news networks ignored reporting the story.