Why the media just can’t help itself

As Palmer Report has repeatedly warned, beware mainstream media’s intentionally misleading headlines for profits. It’s not just right-wing media either. On NPR last week, in anticipation of the new jobs report, Marketplace’s host emphatically admonished listeners to bear in mind that the 187,000 expected new jobs has a margin of error of 100,000, in either direction.

Then, on Friday when the jobs report was released, in response to the staggering 517,000 new jobs created, 330,000 more than predicted, while calling the U.S. job market “indefatigable,” the Marketplace host remained unapologetically silent about the cautionary “100,000 margin of error.” On the contrary, he tried to tamp down optimism about the stellar jobs report by pointing out that wages did not rise by as large a margin. Refreshingly, in a follow-up question to his guest, the FHN Financial Chief Economist, Christopher Low gave an honest answer, saying the modest rise in wages was the only thing economists got right.

Then on Monday, we saw a flurry of negative media spin against Biden. There was a Washington Post headline, “Biden economy keeps defying predictions. Will it last?” Ugh. Also, a new poll claimed 41% of Americans said they are worse off since Biden took office. The same poll found that if the election were held today, 48% would support Trump, over 44% for Biden, so it’s already fatally flawed. Buried at the bottom of the of the article, ABC News admitted, “Biden’s approval rating is vastly lower among worse-off Americans than others – unsurprising given the disproportionate number of Republicans in their ranks.” The poll questioned 26-25-40 percent Democrats-Republicans-independents.

I’m not an economist, but neither are the Marketplace hosts, with degrees in history and journalism. Speaking of journalism, this pervasive negative spin by mainstream media to generate clicks, viewers, and listeners is dangerous. They shamefully refuse to highlight Biden’s unprecedented accomplishments, or to differentiate between Democrats, who have defended our democracy and international diplomacy by remaining dignified, and upholding the rule of law, and treasonous Republicans.

Is the Fourth Estate really willing to continue lying with dogs for profits? Or will they return to the belief in a positive reciprocal relationship between the free press and the processes of democracy?