It certainly is no surprise the stock market's big decline on Friday would be the lead story for evening news programs.
But, citing an economic study from an organization with direct and verifiable ties to Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as simply a "consumer group" while not even mentioning the liberal leaning of the think-tank seemed pretty absurd even for NBC.
Yet, that's what occurred Friday evening as the NBC "Nightly News" began its broadcast:
LESTER HOLT, anchor: On this leap day, we begin with the stock market's big leap backwards and broader worries about the state of the US economy. The Dow retreated more than 315 points to finish down 2 1/2 percent for the day. But it's not just one day's losses, but a downward trend since late last year that is rattling investors tonight. This is the fourth straight monthly drop for the Dow Jones average, shedding 7 1/2 percent since the beginning of the year.
Erin, good evening.
ERIN BURNETT reporting: Good evening to you, Lester, and amazing when you saw the market today. Two big reasons: the economy. We had a report on manufacturing showing recessionary territory, negative headlines there. And also on the credit front. The biggest insurer in the world said, yes, subprime the problem, and that caused them to have their first loss ever. But it isn't a credit problem that is just affecting Wall Street anymore. Right now the credit problem is affecting regular Americans, too.
Thirty-four-year-old Jack Zentino and his wife, Betty, found themselves with severe financial problems after the housing crisis hit northern Nevada late last year. Betty, a real estate agent, was bringing little home, and Jack lost his job. With no savings to draw on, they began using their credit cards to pay for daily expenses, to the tune of $30,000. Jack says he knew they were in big trouble when they broke the $20,000 mark early on.
The Zentinos are not alone. More and more Americans are saying charge it, using their credit cards to pay rents and mortgages, surging fuel and food costs, as well as daily expenses. A report released this month by the consumer group Center for American Progress claims banks have made it harder to get a mortgage now than any time in the past 17 years, while at the same time pushing credit cards to make up for the lost business.
The Consumer Group? My goodness, even CAP is honest enough to profess its political leanings at its website (emphasis added):
The Center for American Progress is a progressive think-tank dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through ideas and action.
We are creating a long-term, progressive vision for America—a vision that policy makers, thought-leaders and activists can use to shape the national debate and pass laws that make a difference.
The Center for American Progress is headed by John D. Podesta, former chief of staff to President William J. Clinton and a professor at Georgetown University Center of Law.
As NewsBusters reported last June, besides Podesta, this organization is largely comprised of former Clinton administration staffers:
- The Executive Vice President for Management is Sarah Rosen, who was also a member of the Clinton administration.
- Senior Vice President for Development Debbie Goldberg worked for the Clinton campaign.
- Senior Vice President and Director David Halperin was a speech writer for President Clinton.
- Vice President of Communications Jennifer Palmieri was Clinton’s White House Deputy Press Secretary.
- Senior Vice President for External Affairs Winnie Stachelberg worked at the Office of Management and Budget under Clinton.
- Vice President of Finance and Operations Brad Kiley worked for the Clinton administration.
- Ditto Peter Rundlet, Anna Soellner, Debbie Fine, and Michelle Jolin.
In reality, the staff and Senior Fellows listing of this Center reads like a Clinton administration Who’s Who.
Even the Clintons aren't ashamed of their ties to this group, for Hillary proudly told YearlyKos attendees last August that she "helped start" and supports CAP (video available here).
And NBC had the nerve to present this organization to its viewers as simply a "consumer group?"