Nets Lead w/ ‘Awful’ Economic News, Not So Excited About Job Gains

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on November 14, 2007

When the Labor Department on [Nov. 2] announced a strong gain of 166,000 jobs during October, double [the] expectations, ABC and CBS gave it a few seconds while NBC ignored the good news, but on Wednesday night [Nov. 7] NBC, as well as ABC and CBS, led with a bad day on Wall Street they painted as a harbinger of impending economic doom. NBC anchor Brian Williams piled on the bad news as he insisted he took “no pleasure” in highlighting it. With “DANGER” signs on screen, Williams announced: “Good evening. The following sounds pretty awful — and we take no pleasure in reporting it — but today Wall Street fell, the U.S. dollar fell, GM is in bad shape and the housing market continues to be in big trouble.”

CBS displayed “MARKET TURMOIL” on screen as Katie Couric opened with how “investors were carrying a world of worries on their shoulders today” because of “the falling dollar, record high oil prices, the mortgage mess, the housing slump, and a possible economic slowdown. And they responded by dumping stocks. That sent the Dow plummeting more than 300 points for the second time in a week.” Over on ABC, Charles Gibson teased his top story: “Tonight, oil gushes and Wall Street plunges.” Gibson cutely led: “Wall Street today took a nose dive sharp enough to make investors’ ears pop.”

On Friday, November 2, however, the CBS Evening News gave the good news on unemployment less than ten seconds as Couric reported: “The markets got a boost today from the unemployment report. It held steady in October at 4.7 percent and job creation was strong with 166,00 jobs.” The positive news earned only a few more seconds from ABC’s Gibson on World News: “Wall Street ended a volatile week with stocks recovering a little, after yesterday’s big losses, thanks to a strong jobs report that cooled fears of a recession. 166,000 new jobs were added last month, twice what was expected and unemployment held steady.”

NBC Nightly News didn’t consider the jobs gain newsworthy at all. …… 

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