It’s the Media, Stupid?

by Victor Davis Hanson

Romney’s great hurdle will be the media’s role as interpreter of the economy. A few examples: In 1992, GDP growth would end up averaging 3.4 percent under George H.W. Bush; however, Bill Clinton and the media were able to persuade Americans by November that such growth was tantamount to a near-depression, and we heard that “it’s the economy, stupid!,” and that we were in the worse economic shape than at any time since the Great Depression. Last year GDP growth averaged 1.7 percent. John Kerry ran on widely circulated media reports of a “jobless recovery”, although the unemployment rate for 2004 would end up at 5.4 percent (the most recent quarterly figure for 2012 is 8.2 percent.) In August 2008 Obama tagged George W. Bush as “unpatriotic” for running up the debt, apparently because in the prior year the U.S. ran a $162 billion annual deficit; in 2011, the last full year before this November’s election, Obama’s annual deficit was $1.3 trillion. And on and on. . .

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