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Reporters Surprised by Anemic Obama Recovery

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:59 pm - May 29, 2011.
Filed under: Economy,Media Bias,Obamania

Puttering around the apartment this morning beginning my day, I wondered how, without Lexis/Nexis I could test a particular theory of mine, that many economic reporters always seem to find a silver lining in the somewhat dark clouds hovering over our economy in this brave new Obama era while in the previous administration, they always found a dark lining in those silver economic clouds.

Then, just moments later, while munching on my cereal and reading Instapundit (often the first blog over than this one I check every morning), I find this link to one of my favorite pundits exploring another aspect of media bias on the economy;

MICHAEL BARONE: Pro-Obama media always shocked by bad economic news. “I’m confident that any comparison of economic coverage in the Bush years and the coverage now would show far fewer variants of the word ‘unexpectedly’ in stories suggesting economic doldrums. It’s obviously going to be hard to achieve the unacknowledged goal of many mainstream journalists — the president’s re-election — if the economic slump continues. So they characterize economic setbacks as unexpected, with the implication that there’s still every reason to believe that, in Herbert Hoover’s phrase, prosperity is just around the corner. . . . We tend to hire presidents who we think can foresee the future effect of their policies. No one does so perfectly. But if the best sympathetic observers can say about the results is that they are ‘unexpected,’ voters may decide someone else can do better.”

Read the whole thing.  It’s not exactly the post I had in mind, but does address the biased coverage of the economy.  Maybe with a little legwork, I’ll be able to track down economic reporting which puts a positive gloss on negative economic numbers.  Do recall the Anchoress did some posts on how economic coverage in the Bush years skewed negative even before the economic downturn that followed (by a year) the election of a Democratic Congress in 2006  – at a time when the economy was growing, jobs were being created and unemployment remained low.  (Here’s one of her posts on the matter.)

RELATED:  VIDEO: ECONOMIC REPORTING – THEN AND NOW

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19 Comments

  1. Try RushLimbaugh.com. He’s pointed out several times how the “experts” are always surprised that jobs or economic numbers are always higher/lower than expected. He always wonders why the media doesn’t get new “experts” since their track record seems to suck consistently.

    Comment by TGC — May 29, 2011 @ 4:36 pm - May 29, 2011

  2. So, reporters are surprised that after Democrats declared private enterprise to be the enemy of the people and piled on tons of health care mandates, financial regulations, and environmental regulations… and threatening higher taxes and even more Draconian environmental mandates… the economy has not bounced back to pre-Democrat levels.

    Reporters are dumb.

    Comment by V the K — May 29, 2011 @ 4:51 pm - May 29, 2011

  3. As far as links to old articles about the economy under Bush, Dr. Sanity and The Anchoress often had good pieces about it during the previous administration, so you might look there for some contrasts with current reporting.

    Comment by Kurt — May 29, 2011 @ 5:25 pm - May 29, 2011

  4. The experts are the ones who got us into this mess; therefore, the experts have no credibility to me. I look at Secretary of Treasury, Tim Geithner, but see a corrupt tax cheater & Obama stooge of the first order. He’s just an extension of Obama who turns everything he touches into &%*!.

    Until the experts get their heads out of their asses, I don’t listen to them.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — May 29, 2011 @ 7:24 pm - May 29, 2011

  5. ***
    And the final few sentences of the article should read, “Most reporters underestimated just how much economic damage that George Bush really caused and left to President Obama to fix! After all–Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
    ***
    And in unrelated news, “Reporters underestimated how hard it is to win a dance contest when you keep shooting yourself (and our economy) in the foot!
    ***
    John Bibb
    ***

    Comment by John Bibb — May 29, 2011 @ 7:40 pm - May 29, 2011

  6. And the final few sentences of the article should read…

    Problem is that Dan’s not as dumb as a turd fly to believe that kind of manufactured bullshit created for the chronically (and pathetically) gullible. They pay you in them taters?

    Comment by TGC — May 30, 2011 @ 4:40 am - May 30, 2011

  7. What miffs me is that liberals have never missed an opportunity to talk the economy down so that they can win the White House by bloating the misery and pointing the finger of blame.

    On the other hand, conservatives what a strong, robust economy and the last thing a conservative would do is try to talk a weak economy down in order to attain power.

    To put it simply, liberals will enhance the evil in order to achieve their ends and conservatives are always stuck carrying the load and working for improvement.

    We are in the midst of a financial crisis and we can not even begin to have the debate over balancing the books. The liberals want more money and no program cuts. Then they want to demagogue saving every little nickel and dime boondoggle while cutting waivers for pals from the crushing weight of Obamacare.

    The national debt clock is blowing fuses and the liberals want it to run even faster.

    Comment by Heliotrope — May 30, 2011 @ 1:15 pm - May 30, 2011

  8. I agree with your main point, but:

    …even before the economic downturn that followed (by a year) the election of a Democratic Congress in 2006…

    An MSM-quality insinuation. Good grief.

    Comment by gs — May 30, 2011 @ 3:08 pm - May 30, 2011

  9. Hey, Thanks for the link! I was wondering why those old pieces were showing up! Appreciate it!

    Comment by Elizabeth Scalia — May 30, 2011 @ 3:29 pm - May 30, 2011

  10. There is a published academic paper on this topic.

    Comment by Greg Ransom — May 30, 2011 @ 3:43 pm - May 30, 2011

  11. Over two years since Obama took office, and they’re still saying it’s Bush’s Fault. Losers. Incompetents.

    Comment by Nate Whilk — May 30, 2011 @ 4:31 pm - May 30, 2011

  12. Barone’s thesis appears testable with the right type of “experiment”.

    Do a quantitative literature search using the terms “economic unexpected*” and “economic unexpected*”, filter them by administration, then divide by the same searches without the “unexpected*” tags. For consistency (and sanity) sake you might restrict the searches to say the top ten highest circulation newspapers or news outlets present during the two administrations.

    That would give you relative ratios of “unexpected” economic developments, as reported in the two administrations.

    If I had access to Lexis Nexis, I’d actually try this. Anyone know of any other literature search engines that could work here?

    It would take quite a bit more work to generate, but a potentially even more fun and informative way to do the analysis would be to tabulate a chart with number of articles with the words “unexpected* and “economic” on the Y-axis, and months on the X-axis, say, going back 20 years. That would REALLY tell us when these “unexpected economic” developments were happening, and under which administrations’ watch!

    Comment by looking closely — May 30, 2011 @ 5:10 pm - May 30, 2011

  13. What I love is the old media implying that Barack is unbeatable and the Rep field is a joke when his approval is 46% or worse, his handling of the economy is horrific, (it’s the economy stupid) and supposedly the Republican field is soooo weak. If a dummy like Obama is unbeatable with 9-10% unemployment and GDP growth of 1.8% I’m a monkeys uncle. This with a 98% sympathic media.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — May 30, 2011 @ 5:31 pm - May 30, 2011

  14. We had a financial meltdown in 2008 and it spooked the country into electing a Marxist fool as president. Now two and a half years later people are wondering why we have 9% unemployment, a jobless recovery, and trillion dollar deficits. Elections have consequences.

    Comment by nohype — May 30, 2011 @ 6:20 pm - May 30, 2011

  15. Remember the mantra JFKerry kept on repeating in the spring and summer of 2004? Bush was to be the first President since Herbert Hoover to have ushered a net loss over his first term. “Unexpectedly”, the press seems to forgotten that narrative now that it is a much more real possibility.

    Comment by bains — May 30, 2011 @ 6:50 pm - May 30, 2011

  16. Job loss that is…

    Comment by bains — May 30, 2011 @ 6:54 pm - May 30, 2011

  17. I recall discussions with libs in the 2004 election cycle in which they claimed that 5.5% unemployment was definitive proof that Bush was a lousy president and needed replacing. I bet those same people aren’t applying that benchmark to president Nero.

    Comment by commander_vimes — May 30, 2011 @ 7:14 pm - May 30, 2011

  18. Modern American political “journalism” is basically a pathetic joke. If anybody doesn’t understand that, don’t worry, they are still working hard to convince you.

    Comment by Buck O'Fama — May 30, 2011 @ 8:00 pm - May 30, 2011

  19. [...] Funny thing is, reporters always seem ‘surprised’ by the anaemic recovery. [...]

    Pingback by The Fairfacts Media Show » Blog Archive » “We are on the very of a great, great depression” :Back to the issues that matter !! — June 1, 2011 @ 12:53 pm - June 1, 2011

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