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"Recession is media myth" meme echoed all over FOX

Reported by Chrish - April 5, 2008 -

Neil Cavuto's "recession is media myth" segment yesterday was a continutation of the talking point presented by John Lott Jr. on FOX and Friends First Thursday (video below), which was an affirmation of an article by him which appeared on FOXNews.com April1, appropriately. The article leads off with debunked pro-Bush (anti-Clinton) spin. While impressively credentialled, a little Googling reveals Mr. Lott's right-wing bent and some troubling accusations of dishonesty.

Lott declares that

"During the 2000 election, with Bill Clinton as president, the economy was viewed through rose-colored glasses. According to polls, voters didn’t realize that the country was in a recession. Although the economy started shrinking in July 2000, most Americans through the entire year thought that the economy was fine."
But the US Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that the recession was in 2001. While it lasted "only" eight months, those months were from March 2001-November 2001.

He goes on, in the article, to use fuzzy math and vague references (no hyperlinks provided) to back up his claim that the media is harsher on Republican administrations that Democratic ones. I just want to point out that his findings of more articles found on a topic in 2007 than in 2000 is to be expected, due to the huge increase in writings available on the Internets.

On FOX and Friends he presented the same argument. Host Alisyn Camerota parroted his talking point that people are "nostalgic" about the 1990s as seen through our rose-colored glasses, and he proceeded to compare numbers: averages from the Clinton years and Bush years. The graphic stated (in two places) a current unemployment figure of 4.8%; the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts it at 5.1%. Lott verbally reiterated that incorrect number moments later.

The interview was basically a smug rehash of the article, although at one point Camerota threw him off track when she inserted that even Fed head Bernanke has said that the US may be headed for a recession. Basically Lott blamed the media for reporting what economists have been predicting for some time, saying it has had an effect on consumer confidence. Comment: When people's income goes up by a measly % and their budget numbers go up considerably more - gas, groceries, utilities - they don't need the media to tell them times are getting tougher.
People are having to get rid of their pets, for chrissake, because they can't afford them.

The interview ended awkwardly. FOX's cries grow more desperate as the Bush administration's failure at guiding the economy becomes more apparent. They continue to blame the "liberal media" for reporting the truth rather than protecting Bush.