The economy is not in good shape right now, but the economic reporting by the “mainstream” media is abysmal. For instance, this article from CNNMoney.com shows the writer working hard to present the positive data are really being gloomy.
The opening sentence sets the table for the writer’s theme:
Stores and online merchants were busier this weekend than they were a year ago, according to figures out Sunday, but signs persist that holiday shopping will suffer in the weakest economic climate in decades.
Unfortunately, facts are stubborn things (my editing):
The National Retail Federation (NRF), an industry trade group, said shoppers spent $41 billion in the 4-day Thanksgiving weekend. The average shopper spent $372.57, up 7.2% from the $347.55 spent last year.
To underscore its caution, the NRF reiterated its forecast that 2008 holiday spending will rise just 2.2%, to $470.4 billion, the smallest gain in six years.
Online, initial results showed a 2% gain in combined Thanksgiving Day-Black Friday sales from last year, according to figures from research firm comScore released Sunday.
The article presents the good data with dark predictions. This type of doomsday reporting bothers me. I personally think it creates an unneeded panic amongst uninformed people. If I didn’t know better, I would think these reporters are hoping for terrible economic news.
I often wonder what would happen if reporters just reported the news without injecting their own themes. Perhaps consumers would be concerned, but not panicked about the economy.