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April 21, 2006

MSM Wonders Why GOP Gets No Credit For Strong Economy

Could it be -- stay with me on this; it's kind of tenuous and complicated -- that it's because the MSM keeps insisting to the public that the economy is actually very weak?

Nah, it couldn't be that.

After exploring a host of possible reasons for a lack of public confidence in the economy -- while studiously ignoring the most obvious one -- and quoting John Zogby, of all people, along the way, the article offers:

For months, the Republicans have held a losing hand on the array of issues facing the nation, and even on their strongest issue, terrorism, often the best they can do is muster a tie with the Democrats in polls. But on the economy, at least, the White House is hopeful that better use of the bully pulpit can boost public confidence.

"The advantage the White House has on this issue, which they don't on other issues, is the reality really is good," says Mr. Ayres. "The truth may not set them free, but it might improve public perception. So someone with an ability to articulate the good economic news in a compelling and memorable way day after day after day could have an effect on public perception."

Yes, and maybe if spin in a circle really, really fast I can burrow down through the street and into the subway tubes.

The media was determined to get the message out -- really OUT -- that the economy was strong under Clinton. It's all about imagery and tone -- how many times did you see that montage of cash registers beeping and snapping open and printing presses rolling off crisp new $100 bills whenever a story about Clinton's economy was introduced? Hundreds of times, I'll bet, if you were watching the network news in the 90's.

It's a powerful visual cue. Playing "Happy Days Are Here Again" with it would hardly add to the effect. When people see that, they know the economy is strong, there is money to be made, and if they're not out there scrambling and hustling to get a piece of the new wealth, they're falling behind.

Have you ever seen that visual cue for the Bush economy? Not once, I'll bet, and not just because you don't watch the nets anymore.

The economy is based on a lot of factors, but one important component is public confidence. A confident public spends, invests, takes financial risks that will probably increase the net wealth of the nation. An public without confidence in the economy does not spend, avoids investment, and refuses financial risks.

The media is making damn sure that, however good the economy is based on numbers, it is completely sabotaged at the critical human-psychology level.

Repeating myself: We will always have to pay a "Republican tax" on the economy when a Republican is President, because the media's determination to sabotage public confidence will always reduce the economy's strength by a half-percentage point or more.

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posted by Ace at 01:22 PM

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