After Hyping Recession Fears, ABC Find Americans Fear Recession

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On Tuesday, ABC’s Good Morning America eagerly touted the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll showing a “dramatic drop in the President’s approval rating” that “seems to be fueled by real concerns about the economy.” Following weeks of the media rooting for a recession to hurt Trump’s reelection chances, the ABC morning show appeared thrilled that tactic was working with some of its viewers.

“And our brand-new poll with The Washington Post released just moments ago showing a dramatic drop in the President’s approval rating, now 38%....this latest drop seems to be fueled by real concerns about the economy,” announced co-host George Stephanopoulos. Chief White House correspondent Jon Karl noted: “The poll shows that a solid majority of Americans, George, still feel positively about the economy, but really worry about the future.”

 

 

In fact, the poll found that 56% said the economy was “excellent” or “good.” However, that number was never specifically highlighted on GMA.

Instead, Karl hyped: “Take a look at this number: 60% of Americans fear a recession in the coming year. That’s bad news for President Trump.” Not only has ABC repeatedly stoked panic over a possible future recession, but the poll question itself led respondents in the direction of worrying about an economic downturn:

As you may know, periods of economic growth are followed by periods of recession. Do you think a recession over the next year is very likely, somewhat likely, somewhat unlikely or very unlikely?

Karl continued to use the poll to sound the alarm: “But even worse is this next set of numbers: 43% believe that the President’s policies will increase the chance of that recession, 34% believe they’ll make no difference, and only 16% of Americans in our poll say that the President’s policies would help head off a recession.”

Of course a more accurate way to describe those findings would be that 50% of Americans did not think that the President’s policies were increasing the likelihood of a recession, 57% if one includes the 7% who had “no opinion” on the matter.

Karl concluded: “The bottom line, you have a big majority fearing a recession and far more thinking that the President’s policies will make things worse than make them better.”

Repeating the story in the 8:00 a.m. ET hour, Karl proclaimed: “So some real warning signs there for the President on what really is his strongest re-election talking point, the economy.” Stephanopoulos touted how “the economy will be a big issue in Thursday night’s Democratic debate” that he will be co-moderating on ABC.

A Media Research Center Business study found that the media engaged in recession fearmongering every single day throughout June and July. In fact, it got so bad that financial journalists began warning about the negative economic implications of such reckless reporting. Appearing on NBC’s Today show on August 15, CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer told his colleagues in the press to “dial back the hysteria.” On September 8, Cramer took to CNBC’s Squawk Box point out: “The only people talking about a recession are us.” On August 26, Fox News host Maria Bartiromo told MediaBuzz’s Howard Kurtz that “Yes, you can actually have the media talking us into a recession.”

The media are well aware of their potential impact on how people perceive the economy and seem intent on talking the country into a recession in order to damage Trump and help 2020 Democrats.

Here is a transcript of the September 10 coverage on GMA:

7:09 AM ET

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We’re going to move to the latest now on President Trump. And our brand-new poll with The Washington Post released just moments ago showing a dramatic drop in the President’s approval rating, now 38%. A six-point fall since July. No president in modern times has sustained such low approval ratings for so long. Our chief White House correspondent Jon Karl in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where the President held a rally last night. And John, this latest drop seems to be fueled by real concerns about the economy.

KARL: The poll shows that a solid majority of Americans, George, still feel positively about the economy, but really worry about the future. Take a look at this number: 60% of Americans fear a recession in the coming year. That’s bad news for President Trump. But even worse is this next set of numbers: 43% believe that the President’s policies will increase the chance of that recession, 34% believe they’ll make no difference, and only 16% of Americans in our poll say that the President’s policies would help head off a recession. The bottom line, you have a big majority fearing a recession and far more thinking that the President’s policies will make things worse than make them better.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah, a lot of concern about that trade war with China.

(...)

8:03 AM ET

STEPHANOPOULOS: We’re gonna move on now to President Trump and our new ABC News/Washington Post poll which shows a pretty dramatic drop in his approval rating, down to 38% over concerns on the economy. Our chief White House correspondent Jon Karl is in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where the President held a rally last night, good morning, Jon.

KARL: Good morning, George. Our poll shows that a solid majority of Americans still feel good about the economy, but they’re worried about the future. Take a look at this, 60% in our poll say they fear a recession in the coming year. And perhaps more troubling for President Trump is the effect of his policies: 43% believe that his policies would increase the chance of a recession, 34% say they would have no difference, and only 16% of Americans in our poll say they believe that President Trump’s policies would make a recession less likely. So some real warning signs there for the President on what really is his strongest re-election talking point, the economy.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And of course – Jon, thanks very much – the economy will be a big issue in Thursday night’s Democratic debate. I’ll be headed to Houston for the debate. That’s Thursday night at 8:00 Eastern, right here on ABC.

NB Daily Economy Recession Polling Conservatives & Republicans ABC Good Morning America Video George Stephanopoulos Jonathan Karl Donald Trump

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