Nets Shun Positive Economic News to Kick Off Election Year

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Thursday was the U.S. stock market’s first day of trading for the 2020 election year and as Fox News Channel anchor Bret Baier said on Special Report, “stock markets picked up the new year where they left off in 2019” by setting new record highs, yet again. It was a great way to kick off the new year but as they’ve done with much of the positive economic news since President Trump took office, the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) completely ignored it during their evening newscasts.

“The Dow surging 330-point today to another record close. Just 131 points shy of another huge milestone, 29,000,” Baier reported. “The S&P 500 gained 27. The NASDAQ jumped 120. All three indices hitting record highs in this, the of the first day of trading in 2020.”

Later on the program, Baier interviewed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and cited other encouraging economic indicators including a 50-year low in unemployment:

BAIER: We've talked about the markets earlier. If you look over the past year, it's pretty stunning to see the graph of where the markets have been, where they’ve really accelerated. And then you look at the economy overall, the changes since the President took office, GDP growth currently at 2.1 percent. That's a little down but employment, 3.5 percent, consumer confidence is up significantly, as are average hourly earnings.

 

 

Instead of reporting on the strong economic signs and record highs at the start of 2020, ABC’s World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News decided to decide to hype the estimated record high for returned Christmas gifts.

NBC’s silence was particularly disappointing because their sister network, CNBC had an online report written up on the day’s surge. “Stocks rose to all-time highs on Thursday, led by tech shares, as the strong rally in 2019 continued in the first trading day of the new year,” reported stock market reporter Fred Imbert.

On Tuesday, the stock market finished one of its best years of the decade, with the Dow rising a whopping 5,000 points (22%), and the Nasdaq rising an even more impressive 35%. But ABC and CBS had barely any time for the good news (11 seconds and 24 seconds, respectively), while NBC Nightly News skipped it altogether.

The downplaying of good financial news was also present during the run-up to the Christmas season just last month. As NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck reported in early December, CBS and NBC barely covered the massive jobs report that Baier cited on Thursday. Each network only gave the low unemployment rate 21 seconds of airtime.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

Fox News Channel’s Special Report
January 2, 2020
6:11:52 p.m. Eastern

BRET BAIER: Stock markets picked up the new year where they left off in 2019. The Dow surging 330-point today to another record close. Just 131 points shy of another huge milestone, 29,000. The S&P 500 gained 27. The NASDAQ jumped 120. All three indices hitting record highs in this, the of the first day of trading in 2020.

(…)

6:28:01 p.m. Eastern

BAIER: We've talked about the markets earlier. If you look over the past year, it's pretty stunning to see the graph of where the markets have been, where they’ve really accelerated. And then you look at the economy overall, the changes since the President took office, GDP growth currently at 2.1 percent. That's a little down but employment, 3.5 percent, consumer confidence is up significantly, as are average hourly earnings. We put that up often to talk about the economy.

(…)

NB Daily Economy Business Coverage Stock Market Unemployment Wages & Prices Bias by Omission Broadcast Television ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Cable Television Fox News Channel Special Report Video Bret Baier

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