On Thursday, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported that the United States’ Gross Domestic Product contracted by 1.4 percent in the first quarter of 2022, a full 2.4 percent off from economists' expectations.
After ignoring the latest round of bad economic news for the Biden administration, ABC’s World News Tonight and CBS Evening News attempted to bury the disastrous numbers by briefly reporting on the GDP report in the latter half of their broadcasts.
When they did finally get around to the shrinking economy, they gave a paltry twenty-two and eighteen seconds to the news respectively. NBC Nightly News was only slightly better with the network giving their report earlier in the broadcast and spending two minutes and twenty seconds on the story.
On World News Tonight, fill-in anchor Whit Johnson gave his brief report in between segments on the FDA looking to ban menthol cigarettes and the arrest of three prison guards in Florida:
And reversal for the pandemic recovery. The economy contracted in the first quarter of 2022, after a year of rapid growth. The nation's output of goods and services, the GDP, fell 1.4 percent, the weakest showing since the early days of COVID. The report fueling fears of a possible recession, though consumer spending and business investment remain high.
Things weren’t much better over on CBS with anchor Norah O’Donnell taking a break from covering the news of the menthol cigarette ban, and the lack of diversity among public school teachers to report the economic news that affects every single American:
There was some disappointing news today on the U.S. Economy. The country's G.D.P. unexpectedly shrank at a pace of 1.4 percent. That's the worst three-month stretch in two years. Back-to-back quarterly losses would signal a recession but some economists expect a rebound as hiring and wage gains pick up speed.
While NBC Nightly News did manage to spend more time on the GDP report and cared enough not to push it off toward the end of the newscast, anchor Lester Holt and correspondent Tom Costello made excuses for the terrible numbers, joining their friends on CNN by offering bad economic takes.
Costello tried to convince viewers that the economy is a mixed bag with some good and bad news and that the GDP numbers are more “evidence of the economic paradox Americans are living with every day.”
Pretending that the government didn’t just pump trillions of dollars into the economy, Costello claimed inflation is skyrocketing because of “strong consumer demand.”
Only after airing President Biden’s excuses (without any GOP response) that the Omicron wave was to blame for the struggling economy, did Costello claim that the economy shrunk because “the government cut back on pandemic-related spending” as if everything would be fine if the government kept recklessly spending.
This latest example of the leftist news networks covering for the Biden administration was made possible by Progressive on ABC, Liberty Mutual on CBS, and Ford Motor Company on NBC. Their information is linked.
To read the transcripts of each segment click “expand”:
ABC’s World News Tonight
6:46:34 p.m. Eastern
WHIT JOHNSON: And reversal for the pandemic recovery. The economy contracted in the first quarter of 2022, after a year of rapid growth. The nation's output of goods and services, the GDP, fell 1.4 percent, the weakest showing since the early days of COVID. The report fueling fears of a possible recession, though consumer spending and business investment remain high.
CBS Evening News
6:49:53 p.m. Eastern
NORAH O’DONNELL: There was some disappointing news today on the U.S. Economy. The country's G.D.P. unexpectedly shrank at a pace of 1.4 percent. That's the worst three-month stretch in two years. Back-to-back quarterly losses would signal a recession but some economists expect a rebound as hiring and wage gains pick up speed.
NBC Nightly News
7:10:13 p.m. Eastern
LESTER HOLT: A rally on Wall Street. The Dow, S&P, and NASDAQ all up. But it comes on the heels of some surprising economic news. New data showing the U.S. economy shrank in the first quarter after strong growth at the end of 2021. It's the weakest performance since the start of the pandemic. Tom Costello on what's behind it.
TOM COSTELLO: Tonight, further evidence of the economic paradox Americans are living with every day. Strong consumer demand is sending prices skyrocketing for everything from groceries to gas to cars to travel. And unemployment is at 50-year lows with plenty of jobs available. Still, the economy actually shrank 1.4 percent in the first three months of the year. The President insists the January Omicron surge played a big role.
PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: What you're seeing is enormous growth in the country that was affected by everything from COVID and the COVID blockages that we incurred along the way.
COSTELLO: Analysts say the economy unexpectedly contracted because the government cut back on pandemic-related spending and the U.S. imported more goods than it exported. America buying more than it sells overseas. Meanwhile, the war in Ukraine and China's new COVID lockdowns are worsening the global supply chain crisis. In South Carolina, Nephron pharmaceuticals is now building its own production plants since it can't get enough supplies from overseas. It also has hundreds of job openings but must offer high wages and very flexible hours to attract workers.
LOU KENNEDY (CEO, NEPHRON PHARMACEUTICALS): Come whenever you want, stay as long as you can or short as you can, and we try to pay even at the end of the shift.
COSTELLO: The fear tonight, with higher prices, higher housing costs, higher wages, and the Fed poised to raise rates again, the country could be pushed into a recession.
DIANE SWONK (CHIEF ECONOMIST, GRANT THORNTON): You've got workers that finally got out of the cold and into the warmth of rising wages, and now they're getting burned by inflation. Having to take on an extra job to make ends meet.
HOLT: So Tom, given today's economic news, does that change expectations that the Fed will raise interest rates next week?
COSTELLO: Analysts generally still believe the Fed will raise rates by half a point next week and continue raising rates this year because it needs to get inflation under control. But higher rates mean new loans, mortgages, rents, and credit cards will get more expensive as well, Lester.