Have you noticed a change in the economic news over the past year or so? It’s a deliberately ambiguous question: The actual news has gotten worse, but the coverage of it has changed in tone. Today, reporters are eagerly looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. A year ago, and for a long time before that, they couldn’t wait to get into the tunnel.
The media, as Glenn put it, seem to be desperately seeking silver linings in dismal economic news yet during the eight years preceding January 20, 2009, they seem to have aggressively been seeking dark clouds despite robust economic performance for the better part of that period.
It seems that media coverage of the economy–and economic policies–of the incumbent President may have prolonged his honeymoon and perhaps even inflated his poll numbers. By contrast, their coverage of his precessor may have helped keep his favorables down while explaining why he regularly got mediocre marks on the economy even as it grew and unemployment remained at–or below–the levels of the 1990s.
I wonder how much worse the incumbent’s numbers on the economy if the MSM did as the conservative media and blogosphere is doing, showing the amount debt which will accrue with Obama’s policies–and contrasting the unemployment figures projected by the Administration when they pushed passage of the “stimulus” and those we see today.
Makes me wonder if media coverage of the economy affects the way we perceive the economy. That is, if the media is always looking for dark clouds amidst general good numbers, do we perceive the economy to be worse than it is? Similarly, if they’re always looking for a silver lining, do we become more optimistic about an imminent recovery?
While I certainly castigate the gloom and doom coverage, I don’t fault them for the optimism, indeed, see it as a good thing. I just wonder that they wouldn’t want to give us hope of continued prosperity when a Republican is in the White House.