Grinchy AP Headline: ‘Despite Economy, Malls and Stores Jammed’

*****Critical update at end of post: Yahoo switched articles inside the link about to be discussed!

Was there a directive at the Associated Press on Friday for business writers to do their darnedest to bash the economy?

After publishing a truly disgraceful column Saturday practically predicting a depression as a result of the current credit crunch, the AP offered readers an article about the start of the holiday shopping season disgustingly entitled "Despite Economy, Malls and Stores Jammed."

Despite economy? Aren't strong holiday sales typically the result of a strong economy?

Yet, that was just the beginning (emphasis added, h/t NB reader Ken Jones):

Malls and stores were jammed for pre-dawn discounts on everything from TVs to toys on the official start of Christmas shopping as consumers shrugged off worries about rising gas prices and falling home values.


With the economy relying heavily on the consumer, however, it's crucial that the Black Friday euphoria lasts throughout the season, expected to be the weakest in five years.

"I'm really looking for the bargains this year because I'm losing my job; they're moving our plant to Mexico after the first of the year, so I have to be careful," said Tina Dillow of New Richmond, Ohio, who camped out at a Best Buy store near Cincinnati at 3 a.m. because of a great deal on a laptop.

Now think about it: if you were losing your job in five weeks, but you were still buying a laptop for either yourself or somebody else, what would that say about either your current financial condition, or what you thought your prospects of finding another job were?

Such logic eluded the multiple contributors to this piece:

"The tougher economic conditions are driving more shoppers to take advantage of early bird specials," said C. Britt Beemer, chairman of America's Research Group.

Tougher economic conditions, Britt? Like 24 consecutive quarters of uninterrupted growth in the Gross Domestic Product, along with back to back quarters of almost four percent gains?

Or how about personal income rising by 6.8 percent in the twelve months ending September 30, Britt? Think that's a sign of tougher economic conditions?

Alas, maybe he got the same memo the folks at the AP did.

*****Critical update: Those that have clicked on the link in paragraph two certainly noticed a different headline, as well as a more bullish article (h/t NBer Jer). Boston still has the original AP piece addressed.

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