On Dec. 22, the networks calmly, briefly and quietly acknowledged the news that the government revised its economic-growth number for the third quarter downward, from 3.5 percent to a less impressive 2.2 percent. As 2009 comes to a close, the media elite are showing enormous patience with the pace of a recovery, without any troublesome talk of whether Barack Obama's dramatic expansion of government is helping or hurting the economy.
Back in 2004, when unemployment was 5.4 percent instead of the present-day 10 percent, these same networks were comparing George W. Bush to Herbert Hoover. The government announced 250,000 new jobs were created, but the anchormen talked incessantly about how Bush was losing unemployed voters in Ohio. The Business and Media Institute found 77 percent of reports on economic indicators on ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC (as well as The New York Times and The Washington Post) were negative that summer.
The economy can no longer be blamed on Bush. Obama has shaped it with his fiscal policies. He owns it. So when will his allies in the press ever acknowledge that the "jobs program" is a fiasco, and that Team Obama failed to match its own hyperbole on what the "stimulus" would accomplish?
Words mean something. Before he was even in office in January, Obama's economic advisers Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein issued a report on the economic situation. If nothing was done, they claimed, the unemployment rate would keep rising, reaching 9 percent in early 2010. But if the nation embarked on a fiscal stimulus of $787 billion, the unemployment rate was predicted to stay under 8 percent. So the Congress passed this massive spending plan, but instead, unemployment rose above the danger zone that these Obama advisers predicted if the spending plan did not pass. But you didn't see Katie Couric, Charlie Gibson and Brian Williams pointing accusatory fingers at the White House economists for their utterly incorrect projections. It's as if they have their fingers crossed -- hoping, hoping things somehow improve.
Worse yet, in December, the president announced his support for a second "stimulus," sneakily taking $150 billion in unused TARP funds for preserving the banks and pouring it down a liberal "recovery" rat hole. When at first you make a fiasco, try, try again?