ABC News Anchor Charles Gibson
On Monday night Charles Gibson continued doing his tough job of spinning for the Obama administration. After starting with Jake Tapper’s report on the health care debate, anchor Gibson did what he has done time and time again: spin horrible economic news positively for the Obama administration. On the October 12th World News Tonight, Gibson said this:
Most economists say the recession is over and a recovery is underway. That’s the view of 80 percent of experts in a survey by the National Association for Business Economics.
Then Gibson immediately moved on to other news. As so often seems the case, Mr Gibson only reported the shred of data that could conceivably look good for Obama: the fact that 80 percent felt that the recession is over. Given that this is a survey done by an organization that has been around for fifty years, one would expect that they would ask more than one question, perhaps gleening more than one simple data point. Lo and behold, that does appear to be the case!
First, look at this graph, drawn from the results of the survey’s question asking when the jobs would return:
Note that only a total of 7.7 percent of the economists surveyed believed that we would recover the lost jobs by the end of 2011, more than two years from now! I am just a programmer who spent 10 minutes doing internet research to find this data but I would argue that it is highly pertinent to the intentionally shallow story peddled by Mr. Gibson about the rosy end of the recession.
A cynical person could safely assume that Mr. Gibson simply cherry-picked the news that was good for President Obama and left out the parts that were not good for Mr. Obama. In fact, it would take an exceedingly gullible person to believe that Mr. Gibson was not being intentionally deceitful in his reporting of this story (par for the course for Charlie). It would seem that those people still under the spell of the Obama personality cult think that defending him serves some higher purpose.
In Gibson’s defense, he may just be a talking head who reads from the teleprompter (sound familiar?) and may not be responsible for the content that he repeats. It seems apparent that Jake Tapper and Nick Schifrin do all the real journalism on that network, freeing up people like Charlie Gibson to be advocates for the Left.
This reminded me of a good report at Newsbusters a couple of weeks ago. In case you are under the impression that this is an isolated incident of Gibson’s advocacy journalism, take a look at the following video which compares the reporting of a 9.4 percent unemployment rate under Obama to that same number under President Reagan in 1983. Conveniently enough, it is the same so-called journalist (Charlie Gibson) doing both stories!
1982 – President Reagan (R) – 9.4% unemployment
” There really isn’t any good news in the statistics, all of the numbers are bad” … “450,000 more people are unemployed than were a month ago. For Democrats it’s an issue ready-made.” — Charles Gibson
2009 – President Obama (D)- 9.4% unemployment
“In the current economic environment, sometimes the bad jobs report can look good. 345,000 American workers lost their jobs in May. A big number to be sure, traumatic if you are one of the 345,000, but the number was smaller than economists had predicted, and that’s good news.” — Charles Gibson
Newsbusters published a report on this oddly different reporting of the same jobs numbers, relying on a report from the Business and Media Institute. Some of their conclusions:
Network Reports 13 Times More Negative Under Reagan than Under Obama: An overwhelming majority of stories mentioning the Reagan administration were negative 91 percent (20 out of 22) while only 7 percent (1 out of 15) of Obama administration mentions were negative. Additionally, Obama mentions were favorable 87 percent of the time, but there were zero positive mentions of Reagan.
Networks Connect Reagan White House to Negative Jobs Numbers Almost Twice as Often as Obama: Unemployment stories in 1982 mentioned the Reagan administration 71 percent of the time (22 out of 31), but 2009 stories mentioned the Obama administration only 40 percent of the time (14 out of 35).
Charles Gibson: 9.4% Unemployment ‘Good News’ (Obama) and also ‘All’ Bad (Reagan): The unemployment rate reached 9.4 percent under Reagan and Obama. But ABC’s Charles Gibson covered the identical rate very differently in 1982 than in 2009. Gibson told viewers May 7, 1982, “[T]here really isn’t any good news in the statistics. All the numbers are bad.” But by 2009, Gibson had turned into an optimist citing “good news” June 5 and “hope the economy may be finally turning the corner” Aug. 7.
I think that Charlie Gibson gets that same thrill running up his leg that Chris Matthews has so embarrassingly described. Both men are nothing more than partisan hacks, but at least Matthews is not taken seriously as a journalist.