The liberal media were at it again in 2018, continuing to misreport, exaggerate, censor and spin business and economic news.
Some moments were laughable, such as when a New York Times reporter implied America no longer uses coal for energy. Others, such as the warning of a “climate genocide,” were no laughing matter.
One big change the media made (for the worse) this year was changing from barely reporting on liberal billionaire George Soros to lauding him and his “values” — rather than reporting on him honestly and objectively. On Dec. 19, Financial Times named him its “Person of the Year.”
Here are just 10 of the worst examples of spin, censorship and misreporting on business and economics from the past year.
1) Networks Minimize Good Economy — Including More Than 2.2 Million New Jobs
With a Republican in the White House, the media hate to admit good news. Take job growth. The American labor market has been particularly strong in 2018, but the networks minimized this great news for job seekers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics data showed the U.S. added more than 2.2 million jobs in the first 11 months of 2018. The unemployment rate also fell from 4.1 percent to 3.7 percent in that time, even as job openings hit record highs.
For example, when the “great” June report came out showing more than 200,000 jobs added in the “booming economy,” ABC’s World News Tonight ignored the story. CBS Evening News gave it just 17 seconds.
Jobs wasn’t the only economic indicator the networks skimped on. Consumer confidence and economic growth also struggled for airtime on ABC, CBS and NBC.
Unsurprisingly, the evening shows obscured economic news as the midterm elections neared, in spite of the economy being one of the top issues for voters. There was scant economic coverage on the evening news shows the week before Election Day, with two of the three shows spending less than a minute on the economy between Oct. 29 and Nov. 2.
2. Media Shift from Hiding Soros to Promoting Him and His ‘Values’
George Soros used to be the best-kept secret in the news media. Journalists trained to “follow the money” wouldn’t find the millions he gave lefty causes with map and a compass.
Now, however, they’ve decided the left’s top backer is someone to be celebrated with flattering profiles. The media defended Soros against critics and attacked those who pointed out where his money goes. Financial Times even named Soros “Person of the Year” on Dec. 19, for the “values he represents.” FT called him the “standard bearer for liberal democracy.”
The New York Times ran at least 11 news reports and 7 columns or editorials attacking Facebook after learning that the company commissioned research about Soros. Soros had called for regulations on the company, yet the Times found this act controversial and worthy of condemnation.
Soros jumped into the limelight this year, granting interviews and saying, “Everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong” from Trump’s election, to Brexit and other geopolitics.
He commited to “redouble” his efforts — which already total roughly $900 million per year in donations to groups around the world and spent at least $15 million helping the left in the 2018 midterm elections.
Soros definitely can afford his own PR operation, but why pay for something he can get for free.
3. Socialism and Socialists All the Rage in 2018 — for the Liberal Media
Progressives imagine they’re immune to the lessons of history. For proof, just look at how the media greeted the resurging popularity of a historically disastrous economic system.
From promoting a rapper’s take on economics, to mocking people afraid of socialism, to celebrating New York’s newly elected socialist Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the media handled socialism like a shiny new toy in 2018.
It wasn’t just history they ignored, it was current events too. Venezuelans this year were suffering under the hip ideology and literally “dying of hunger,” trying to survive the scarcity of medicine and other goods. Those who can were leaving the country. The Washington Post reported in February that the economic collapse in Venezuela is leading parents to abandon their children in orphanages because they cannot feed them.
The media pushed to turn absurdities into news, when Sen. Bernie Sanders, D- Vt., tweeted out support for rapper Cardi B’s economic views. The rapper had praised FDR and urged the protection of Social Security. Sanders told the internet she was right and soon Newsweek, the Cut and Billboard were swooning over the interaction between the duo. Billboard even floated the idea of a tandem Sanders/Cardi presidential ticket.
Huffington Post also tried to dissuade baby boomers from their paranoia about socialism with a piece “Socialism is Good Now.” The author told boomers to “relax” and attacked their attitudes as “Cold War brain baggage.”
Ocasio-Cortez was also heralded by the media even before she officially won the Congressional race. Vanity Fair listed her as one of “The Ground-Breakers” on its annual “New Establishment list. In an interview with VF, Ocasio-Cortez called the right “insane people holding the country hostage” and said the left “can’t compromise where we’re going.”
Next stop, Caracas.
4. Nets Hide Cause as Climate Tax Spurs French Riots
The media love reporting on climate change protests, when the protesters call for action to fix climate change. Not so much when people riot over the impact of climate policy on their livelihoods.
France’s “yellow vest” protests began as a reaction to an attempt by the government to look like it was addressing climate change. But the networks hid the climate change connection to the French outrage in two-thirds of its reports on the riots.
Those French protests, which turned violent over time, began as grassroots, working-class opposition to a fuel tax hike the French government planned for the sake of the climate.That fuel tax was a part of a “carbon tax designed to improve” the nation’s environmental credentials. The protests later “morphed into wider discontent” about the cost of living and the French economy.
ABC, CBS and NBC were aware of the climate policy link, but failed to mention it in 66 percent of morning and evening news show stories about the French protests between Nov. 17, and Dec. 4.
Other media told the story the networks should have been telling. The Washington Post bluntly noted that “France’s climate change commitments trigger rising diesel prices and street protests.” The Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote that a “fault line runs between anti-carbon policies and economic growth, and France is a test for the political future of emissions restrictions.”
Opponents of carbon taxes and other similar means of forcing carbon reduction have pointed out for years that these would harm the economy and hurt the poor the most. That hasn’t stopped the U.N. calling for carbon taxes or liberal media from promoting it as a “cheap, proven fix” or something that “we should do.”
The French government is paying the price for climate efforts. Other U.N. members should pay attention.
5. Tom who? Censoring Liberal’s $120 Million Impeach Trump Effort
If a conservative billionaire had launched an impeachment effort against a liberal president and spent millions on it, you can bet it would have gotten attention. But when a liberal billionaire did just that in 2018, the networks ignored it.
Liberal billionaire Tom Steyer spent 2018 advocating President Trump’s impeachment by signing up voters, building get-out-the-vote efforts and trying to give Democrats a majority. ABC, CBS and NBC evening news shows censored his $120 million campaign.
His efforts garnered more than 6 million petition signers and led to many rumors Steyer himself will run for office in 2020 as a Democrat. Steyer took a victory lap after Democrats won a majority in the House of Representatives in November, giving the left the power to investigate and try to impeach Trump if they choose to. Although NBC Nightly News acknowledged those “huge” stakes on election night, all three networks’ evening shows ignored or covered up Steyer’s spending and influence throughout the year.
Just one of the 32 stories on ABC, CBS and NBC evening news shows that mentioned impeachment from Oct. 20, 2017, and Nov. 10, 2018, referenced Steyer at all.
That means in more than a year, there was not a single clear story about the left-wing donor’s $120 million efforts. No wonder The Atlantic labeled Steyer’s organizations “the biggest political machine you’ve never heard of.”
The networks kept it a secret.
6. Media Warn of ‘Climate Genocide’ and Economic Threat of Climate Change
The only religion the media knows or cares much about is climate change. And every time a another flawed or dishonest prediction is handed down, journalists treat it as holy revelation.
Like street corner prophets, the liberal media continued hyping climate Armageddon in 2018, with warnings of a future worse than “climate genocide,” and by taking outlier claims seriously rather than admitting they were unusually extreme estimates.
New York Magazine was one of the worst as columnist David Wallace-Wells actually gave people “permission to freak out” and warned “What has been called a genocidal level of warming is already our inevitable future ... The question is how much worse than that it will get.” He urged avoiding the “climate hell” “at all costs,” and argued that a $5,000 per ton carbon tax that grows to $27,000 per ton is “only a spark to action, not action itself.” The Daily Caller reported that would mean gasoline costs of $49 per gallon going up to $240 per gallon by 2100.
Speaking of absurd math, the networks promoted some outrageous economic claims about climate change in November. Many shows, including all three networks, panicked over a U.S. government report which claimed “climate change could strip away 10 percent” of U.S. GDP by 2100.
However, that 10 percent claim was based on the Earth warming by 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
University of Colorado political scientists Roger Pielke, Jr., criticized it as “silly season” since the 15 degree model was “2x most extreme value reported elsewhere in the report” and was the most extreme forecast. How extreme?
The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which issues annual warnings and forecasts about climate change says more than 4 degrees of warming by that time is “unlikely.” The overdramatic forecast was also traced back to research funded by liberal foundations run by Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg.
7. Stock Market Swings Also Reveal Media’s Preference for Bad Economic News
Rooting for failure? Even before major losses in the end of 2018, the media were looking for stock market problems more than successes and it showed.
Between Jan 1, 2017, and Jan. 26, 2018, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at record highs a whopping 82 nights and including milestones of 21K, 22K, 23K, 24K, 25K, and 26K. ABC, CBS and NBC evening news shows ignored 75 percent of the records (62 of 82). But they did focus on big declines in February.
The networks did the same thing in October, when volatility led to some “major” falls for the Dow. ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News proved once again they preferred reporting the bad economic news. On Oct. 10, all three aired negative market reports and all three ignored the previously Dow record high — set on Oct. 3.
8. NYT Correspondent Claims We ‘Don’t Use Coal,’ She’s So Wrong
Much to the chagrin of climate alarmists — and many climate reporters — the U.S. is still coal-powered. But one New York Times correspondent got that fact very wrong in a CBS interview in October 2018.
CBS This Morning brought Times international correspondent Somini Sengupta on to talk about the latest “dire” climate warning from the United Nations. In the midst of those warnings, Sengupta insisted “hard” things must be done, like “weaning off things like using coal for electricity.”
While coal isn’t as widely used in the U.S. as it used to be, it still makes up a significant portion of American energy including roughly 30 percent of electricity production, according to the Energy Information Administration.
When Sengupta plugs in her Prius, an awful lot of that juice is coming from coal.
9. Media Minimize Tax Bill Windfall, Use Stock Slump to Bash Tax Cuts and More
Benjamin Franklin once wrote that, “... in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” There is a third nearly as certain — that the liberal media will attack tax cuts and promote tax hikes.
It was certainly true in 2018.
In late 2017, the GOP majority passed a tax reform bill and it was signed by President Donald Trump. It was a huge economic story and by mid-January 65 companies had already announced bonuses, wage hikes or other benefits they were implementing because of lower tax rates. (The number of companies eventually turned into many hundreds). The network evening news shows practically ignored the tax bill’s boon for workers in early January with just two stories mentioning it.
Media also panicked as stock markets fell in February, blaming the “hollow” tax cuts and suggesting they were “backfiring on Wall Street.” The Washington Post also attacked the tax cuts and Trump in April, using the same argument about stocks.
Proving that the media prefer tax hikes, New York Times tech columnist Farhad Manjoo urged Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to use his money and influence to “push for nobody to get as rich as Jeff Bezos” and found an author who said Bezos should become a “traitor to his class.”
10. Hating Larry Kudlow
President Donald Trump appointed economist, former anchor and CNBC contributor and Larry Kudlow to a top economic position in 2018, provoking jeers and insults from liberal media outlets. MSNBC co-anchor Stephanie Ruhle even dissed his faith with a grimace after Kudlow credited God with the appointment. She tweeted an apology after Kudlow called her out on it on her remarks.
Kudlow, a vocal free trade and supply-side economics proponent, was labeled an “insufferable Wall Street Hack” by Slate, derided as a man who “may have been more wrong about the economy than anyone alive,” by Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank and called “perpetually wrong” by Vanity Fair.
One of the things they attacked him for was failing to anticipate the 2008 financial crisis — a cheap shot since Wharton Business School says many bankers, regulators, the Fed, politicians, journalists and economists did that too.
But ultimately much of the animosity came down to disagreeing with Kudlow’s attitude on economic policy, especially what Slate called “regressive tax cuts.” Bloomberg media complained that the pick meant the “GOP has little to offer beyond tax cuts for high earners,” and Business Insider (BI) whined about the promotion of “eternal tax cuts.” BI also claimed the right has “been deaf to decades of evidence that their trickle-down policy Gospel doesn’t work.”