Thursday, September 20, 2007

Questionable News Reporting

President Bush speaking about the US economy at a news conference on Thursday said that inflation is down, markets are steady, unemployment is relatively low, exports are up and corporate profits seem to be healthy. "I say that the fundamentals of our nation's economy are strong," he told reporters at the White House.

Later, he was asked about concerns by some economists that the housing slump and higher mortgage costs could lead to a recession even in spite of action earlier this week by the Federal Reserve to cut short-term interest rates by a half-percentage point. Bush responded that "[t]here is no question that there is some unsettling times in the housing market and credits associated with the housing market," but said he didn't see that spreading to the broader economy.

So, President Bush believes our economy is strong, even though the housing market has seen some recent isolated difficulty. Fair enough.

But guess how the Associated Press headlined a story by Terence Hunt about Bush’s comments?

Bush: “Unsettling Times” for Economy

That headline is clearly misleading; it is not what the President said.

Is that fallacious headline the result of incompetence, or of bias?

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