AP Math: 0.6% Rise is ‘Feeble’, 0.6% Decline is ‘Plunge’

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on April 9, 2008

(from the NewsBusters.org post):
Want an even clearer picture of how media are intentionally reporting economic data in a way that makes the public feel things are much worse than they are?Go to NewsBusters.com for the original posting. 

Consider the different adjectives the good folks at the Associated Press use to describe a 0.6 percent change depending on whether or not it’s an increase or a decrease.

As reported by NewsBusters two weeks ago, when the Commerce Department announced that retail sales for February had declined by 0.6 percent, the Associated Press declared that a “plunge.”

Yet, when the Gross Domestic Product grows by a similar amount, the AP reports it as “feeble” (emphasis added, h/t NB reader Matthew Noll):

The Commerce Department reported Thursday that gross domestic product increased at a feeble 0.6 percent annual rate in the October-to-December quarter. The reading — unchanged from a previous estimate a month ago — provided stark evidence of just how much the economy has weakened. In the prior quarter, the economy clocked in at a sizzling 4.9 percent growth rate.