Nets Keep Rooting for Recession, Tout Dems ‘Seizing the Moment’

Listen to the Article!

On Monday, all three network morning shows kept rooting for recession as a way to harm President Trump’s 2020 reelection chances. Hosts and correspondents dismissed the White House “attempting to downplay growing concerns that the U.S. economy could be headed for a recession” while touting Democrats “seizing the moment.”

“Pushing back. President Trump downplays fears the economy is on the slide,” co-host Savannah Guthrie announced at the top of NBC’s Today show. Minutes later, fellow co-host Craig Melvin introduced a report by proclaiming: “President Trump is attempting to downplay growing concerns that the U.S. economy could be headed for a recession.”

 

 

Chief White House correspondent Hallie Jackson repeated the mantra: “Yeah, a lot of eyes watching to see how Wall Street does this week, but even in the face of some economic warning signs, the President and his top aides are now brushing off fears of a recession down the road.” She continued: “The President projecting positivity after a week on Wall Street that was anything but....He’s downplaying a key indicator that often signals an economic downturn, with the stock market on shaky ground, in part because of the trade war with China.”

Later in the segment, Jackson made it clear where she was getting her talking points from: “The President’s hoping a healthy economy will help him win come Election Day, but some Democrats, hoping to replace him, argue it’s Americans getting hurt by his policies.” A soundbite ran of South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg complaining: “He is completely out of touch with the impact it’s going to have on the prices we pay for our goods as a result of a trade war in which both sides will lose.”

Leading off ABC’s Good Morning America, fill-in co-host Cecilia Vega declared: “Also this morning, recession and re-election. President Trump insisting he has no concerns about the economy after that 800-point plunge. As his 2020 opponents fire back, saying the President is terrible for business.”

Teeing up the report minutes later, fellow co-host George Stephanopoulos announced: “We’re going to go to the White House, where President Trump and his economic team are trying to tamp down talk of a possible recession after a volatile week on Wall Street and an escalating trade war with China.”

Correspondent Terry Moran eagerly portrayed the President being on “defense” over the supposed economic warning signs: “And as you know, presidents get the credit when the economy is good, they get the blame when the economy’s bad. And right now, with some signs of economic weakness and the markets growing anxious, President Trump is playing defense.”

The reporter hyped: “For Trump, the political stakes couldn’t be higher. His campaign’s main argument is how well he’s managed the economy.” He then turned to 2020 Democrats who “now sense the President may be vulnerable on his signature issue.” Clips followed of Beto O’Rourke and Pete Buttigieg pretending the economy was in recession already. “We have got to replace him in office if we’re going to get this economy back on track,” O’Rourke claimed. Buttigieg asserted: “Pretty much nothing the Trump administration says turns out to be true. So if they’re saying the economy’s in great shape, I would be very, very worried.”

As an afterthought, Moran acknowledged: “Now, it’s important to note there’s still plenty of good news on the economy. It’s still growing, it’s producing jobs, consumers are spending.” Though he still warned: “But politically for President Trump, this is the whole ball game. And so, any clouds on the horizon are worrisome for him and his campaign.”

CBS This Morning was more measured in its coverage, with correspondent Chip Reid pointing out: “The U.S. economy has been a bright spot for Donald Trump’s presidency. He’s overseen a flourishing job market, with a nearly 50-year-low unemployment rate and a generally strong stock market.” However, he then worried: “But last week, the Dow plunged 800 points in one day, the biggest single-day drop of the year, as investors forecast concerns with the global economy. The White House is now working to project calm.”

If the economy is “flourishing,” why would the White House need to “project calm”?

On Thursday, CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer appeared on the Today show and lectured his colleagues in the media to “dial back the hysteria” in their economic coverage. On CBS This Morning that same day, co-founder and co-executive chairman of The Carlye Group, David Rubenstein, similarly urged journalists not to panic, prompting co-host Gayle King to demand: “When should we start panicking?”

Despite the mountain of evidence that the media, echoing Democrats, have been rooting for a recession over the past few days, on Sunday, the New York Times rejected the President’s criticism of the pessimistic press coverage as a conspiracy theory.

Even as the network coverage briefly noted how strong the economy actually is, the melodramatic tone of the reporting would make viewers think an economic collapse is imminent.

Here is a transcript of the August 19 coverage on NBC’s Today show:

7:03 AM ET SEGMENT

CRAIG MELVIN: Also this morning, President Trump is attempting to downplay growing concerns that the U.S. economy could be headed for a recession. But the economy isn’t the only issue that he is facing as he returns to Washington follow a vacation. We have two reports this morning, starting with NBC’s chief White House correspondent Hallie Jackson. Hallie, good to you.

HALLIE JACKSON: Hey, Craig, good morning. Yeah, a lot of eyes watching to see how Wall Street does this week, but even in the face of some economic warning signs, the President and his top aides are now brushing off fears of a recession down the road.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Trump Pushes Back Against Recession Fears; Touts Strong Economy While Defending Trade War]

The President projecting positivity after a week on Wall Street that was anything but.

TRUMP: I don’t see a recession.

JACKSON: He’s downplaying a key indicator that often signals an economic downturn, with the stock market on shaky ground, in part because of the trade war with China.

(...)

JACKSON: Top White House advisers point to the relatively low unemployment rate and solid retail sales.

LARRY KUDLOW: We’re doing pretty darn well in my judgment. Let’s not be afraid of optimism. I think there’s a very optimistic economy going on out there.

JACKSON: The President’s hoping a healthy economy will help him win come Election Day, but some Democrats, hoping to replace him, argue it’s Americans getting hurt by his policies.

PETE BUTTIGIEG:  He is completely out of touch with the impact it’s going to have on the prices we pay for our goods as a result of a trade war in which both sides will lose.

(...)

Here is a transcript of the coverage on ABC’s GMA:

7:05 AM ET

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS:  We’re going to go to the White House, where President Trump and his economic team are trying to tamp down talk of a possible recession after a volatile week on Wall Street and an escalating trade war with China. The Democrats trying to take down Trump also seizing the moment. And ABC’s Terry Moran is tracking it all from the White House. Good morning, Terry.

TERRY MORAN: Good morning, George. And as you know, presidents get the credit when the economy is good, they get the blame when the economy’s bad. And right now, with some signs
of economic weakness and the markets growing anxious, President Trump is playing defense.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Recession Fears; White House Says the Economy is Strong Despite Warning Signs]

President Trump, wrapping up his New Jersey vacation, returned to the White House facing a stark question: Is his trade war with China tanking the U.S. economy?

TRUMP: I don’t see a recession. I mean, the world is in a recession right now, and – although that’s too big a statement, but if you look at China, China is doing very, very poorly.

MORAN: But this is a critical moment for the President. Last week, markets reeled. The Dow plunging 800 points in one day, then rallied. All the turbulence linked, in part, to Trump’s trade war he keeps insisting the U.S. is winning.

(...)

MORAN: For Trump, the political stakes couldn’t be higher. His campaign’s main argument is how well he’s managed the economy.

TRUMP: You have no choice but to vote for me because your 401ks, down the tubes. Everything’s going to be down the tubes.

MORAN: But with more signs pointing to economic weakness, Democrats now sense the President may be vulnerable on his signature issue.

BETO O’ROURKE: We have got to replace him in office if we’re going to get this economy back on track.

PETE BUTTIGIEG: Pretty much nothing the Trump administration says turns out to be true. So if they’re saying the economy’s in great shape, I would be very, very worried.  

MORAN: Now, it’s important to note there’s still plenty of good news on the economy. It’s still growing, it’s producing jobs, consumers are spending. But politically for President Trump, this is the whole ball game. And so, any clouds on the horizon are worrisome for him and his campaign.

STEPHANOPOULOS: No question about that.

(...)

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential Economy Recession ABC Good Morning America CBS CBS This Morning NBC Today Video Hallie Jackson Terry Moran Chip Reid Donald Trump

Sponsored Links