Networks Cover New Harry Potter Book, Ignore ‘Disappointing’ Economic Growth Report

August 2nd, 2016 10:41 AM

The U.S. economy “sputtered” again in the second quarter, according to The Wall Street Journal. However, that “disappointing” economic news, coming on the heels of the Democratic National Convention, wasn’t reported by the broadcast evening news shows.

The Commerce Department announced July 29, that the economy grew at an annual rate of 1.2 percent annual in the second quarter. But ABC, CBS and NBC evening news programs said nothing about it that night or July 30 or 31. At least two of those three evening news shows found time to report on the brand new Harry Potter book released over the weekend.

The Journal reported on July 29, that “the figure was well below the 2.5% growth economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast.” Commerce also announced a downward revision to first quarter growth to 0.8 percent.

“Since the recession ended seven years ago, the expansion has failed to achieve the breakout growth seen in past recoveries. The average annual growth rate during the current business cycle remains the weakest of any expansion since at least 1949,” the Journal reported.

The weakness of the recovery was also the front page story on the Journal’s weekend edition (July 30-31).

Unfortunately, the evening shows have a habit of ignoring or glossing over bad news about the economy. MRC Business found that between Jan. 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016, 91 percent of economic news stories or briefs ignored six key economic indicators still showing weakness: GDP, labor force participation, hourly wages, median household income, poverty rates and number of people on food stamps.

During that time the networks often proclaimed “the economy is getting better,” and focused on “solid” or “healthy” economic signs, while often ignoring weakness.