The February 2018 stock market correction was painful to watch, but the news media exaggerated the situation — piling on panic and blame with descriptions like “crash” and “freefall” — after ignoring most previous records.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by over 1,000 points by Thursday's closing and the folks at ABC News were eager to place the blame on someone during World News Tonight. That someone, of course, was President Trump and the much welcomed GOP tax cuts, which were responsible for generous bonuses and wage increases across the country.
When the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down nearly 1,200 points on Monday, the three major network news outlets (ABC, CBS, and NBC) dedicated nearly 10 minutes of combined coverage to the drop when they began their evening broadcasts. 24 hours later, the market bounced back and closed with a 500-point rebound, but the networks spent roughly half as much time on the positive news.
Throughout the day on Tuesday, MSNBC’s anchors and correspondents lectured President Trump on the perils of touting a surging stock market, in the wake of Monday’s losses. However, all of the journalists at the liberal cable channel seemed to forget how often Barack Obama similarly took credit for stocks being on the rise during his administration.
While the early February market pullback has spooked some investors and already gained plenty of media attention, it illustrated all too well the broadcast networks’ tendency to cover bad economic news more than good. The networks skipped the vast majority of records as the market climbed throughout 2017 and the beginning of 2018.
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell on Tuesday instructed journalists that if they are really going to hammer Donald Trump for Monday’s stock market, then these reporters need to credit the economy’s roaring success as well.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed Monday roughly 1,100 points down after dropping by nearly 1,600. The percentage lost was not record-setting, but that didn’t stop the liberal media from slapping President Trump with it since he often touted the markets as a sign his policies were working. The Big Three networks led their evening newscasts with the story. NBC’s stood out as the most panicked and while CBS aimed to quell fears, they also knocked Trump for not noting it in a speech about tax cuts.
All three networks on Monday broke in with special reports that the stock market plummeted over 1000 points. Yet, it was ABC that spun the bad news as time for Donald Trump to take ownership of the stock market. NBC, which hasn’t exactly promoted the idea that Trump had anything to do with last year’s gains, chided, “In the past, presidents have tried to shy away for taking too much credit for stock market games because on the flip side there's the possibility you own the losses too.”
With the Dow Jones Industrial Average taking another nosedive on Monday, the MRC’s Rich Noyes joined Neil Cavuto’s eponymous Fox Business Network program to discuss the findings of a study by MRC Business’s Julia Seymour that found a massive double standard from the major broadcast networks on stock market increases vs. tumbles.
When the Dow Jones Industrial Average “nosedived” by nearly 666 points on Feb. 2, it got plenty of network attention. In fact, it got more coverage than the two huge Dow milestones that preceded it — combined.
Although that one-day selloff was a 2.5 percent drop which followed huge gains, the networks emphasized the “worst week for stocks in two years.” ABC World News Tonight with David Muir, NBC Nightly News and CBS Evening News spent a combined 251 seconds on Feb. 2, covering the markets. Those same three shows spent about 33 percent more time on the selloff than on two major milestones during the prolonged stock market rally.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 26,000 for the first time on Wednesday. When it first jumped the 26,000 hurdle during Tuesday's trading, only to fall back at the close, CNN's Christine Romans somewhat surprisingly noted it. But as she did, she positively and erroneously spun the market's awful pre-presidential election history in a way that even some conservatives have ignorantly come to accept.
Speaking on the Friday edition of the Fox News Channel’s Your World, MRC President Brent Bozell came out swinging against the liberal media and their refusal to cover stories of economic growth under President Trump, telling fill-in host Trish Regan they “loathe him” so much that “if he finds a cure for cancer, they'll attack him for not curing AIDS.”