Released on Thursday (instead of Friday due to the Fourth of July weekend), the June jobs report shattered expectations with 4.8 million added jobs and the unemployment rate falling to 11.1 percent. Predictably, the broadcast network evening newscasts were distraught, so they resorted to implying the report was illegitimate due to recent spikes across the country in coronavirus cases.
ABC, CBS, and NBC tag-teamed to boast of a “reality check” because the report came “with a big catch” because “the latest tally was taken before the recent spike in coronavirus cases” and that meant “the economy could take another hit.”
In other words, they want us to wait for future reports that’ll better reflect their wishes to tank the President’s reelection bid.
The CBS Evening News was the most overt. Fill-in anchor Margaret Brennan trumpeted: “The President celebrates as the economy adds nearly five million jobs, but will that work dry up as businesses are forced to shut down again?”
At the start of two segments totaling just over three minutes dismissing the findings, Brennan boasted “that good news comes with a big catch.”
That sentiment was echoed by correspondent Adriana Diaz, who warned that the “welcome news” came with “a catch” since “[t]he numbers were taken before many of the states were pushed to relapse” in coronavirus cases.
She later noted that the Black and Hispanic unemployment rates were much higher than the national average at 14.5 percent and “over 15 percent” (15.4 percent) respectively.
Virulently anti-Trump White House correspondent Weijia Jiang poured gasoline on the fire. Along with also calling into question the report’s legitimacy, she cheered Joe Biden for having “blasted the President’s optimism” (click “expand”):
BRENNAN: Despite warnings that the economy could take another hit, President Trump hailed today's numbers as evidence that the pandemic is under control, and he's going forward with plans for a large event Friday at Mount Rushmore. CBS’s Weijia Jiang reports from the White House.
JIANG: President Trump wasted no time calling reporters to the White House Briefing Room to celebrate the jobs report an hour after its release.
TRUMP: This is the largest monthly jobs gain in the history of our country. [SCREEN WIPE] Today's announcement proves that our economy is roaring back.
JIANG: But latest employment survey was taken before the new wave of COVID-19 cases. The president abruptly left without taking a single question. Later, he acknowledged the spike in numbers one day after claiming the virus would disappear.
TRUMP: This is coming back, and we haven't totally succeeded yet. We’ll soon, but we haven’t killed all of the virus yet.
JIANG: Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who outraised Mr. Trump in June for the second month in a row, blasted the President's optimism.
BIDEN: There's no victory to be celebrated. [SCREEN WIPE] Trump wants to declare his health crisis over and unemployment solved.
Right behind CBS in spin mode was NBC Nightly News. Anchor Lester Holt dismissed the gains in a tease by saying “the record number” was “not telling the whole story.”
“But as President Trump hailed the news, there were concerns the economy would take another hit as COVID cases soar in many states,” Holt later added in tossing to White House correspondent Peter Alexander.
Alexander huffed that while the numbers claimed Americans were “returning to work faster than expected,” they also showed “[m]any of today's hires are not new jobs but furloughed workers getting their old jobs back and the latest tally was taken before the recent spike in coronavirus cases that forced some states to scale back the reopening plans.”
Seeing as how the liberal media were dismayed with this positive number, Alexander joined Jiang in giving high marks to Biden for having “delivered a scathing rebuke of the President.”
In part, Biden complained that “Trump has spiked the ball and made this about him.”
“While today's report is good news, many economists are warning the country could easily fall back as more states reverse their reopening,” Alexander later concluded.
Finally, ABC’s World News Tonight ran this unhappy chyron during the opening teases: “Recovery Reality Check.”
Weekend anchor Tom Llamas warned that while it was “good news” and Trump was pleased, “[c]ritics” were “cautious...with 19 states either reversing course on reopening or hitting the brakes[.]”
Chief business correspondent Rebecca Jarvis was slightly more even-handed than CBS and NBC (click “expand”):
JARVIS: Tonight, three out of 10 Americans who lost their jobs during the shutdowns now back at work. The President eager to relay a those record-breaking jobs numbers to the American people.
TRUMP: Today's announcement proves that our economy is roaring back. It's coming back extremely strong.
JARVIS: But critics, like presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, were quick to point out that many states have started rolling back or pausing plans to reopen parts of their economies this month, too.
BIDEN: This report measures job gains as of June the 12th. In the days since, we've seen cases spiking around the country. Some businesses closed down again.
JARVIS: Layoffs persistently high. For the 15th straight week, more than 1 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits. We saw long lines at this unemployment office in Oklahoma today. But Tom, given that record rehiring, analysts expect the White House will allow the $600 added weekly unemployment benefit to expire at the end of this month, though they say some additional stimulus is necessary for the American people, given those persistent layoffs and sky high unemployment.
These dismissals of the June jobs report were made possible by advertisers such as IBM (on ABC), Capital One (on CBS), and Liberty Mutual (on NBC). The relevant contact information can be found in the hyperlinks.