“Growth nonetheless!” That was the spin this morning on the new report of stagnant 8.2% unemployment in June by American Public Media‘s Marketplace program, which airs on public radio stations nationwide. The government reported that the economy only added 80,000 new jobs last month, which was somewhat behind most economists’ expectations. So Marketplace looked for the best possible way to report the disappointment.
The mainstream media, having learned from months of failure, has learned to downplay expectations of better unemployment figures, so that it can put the best possible face on Obama’s disastrous performance.
Last month, when unemployment actually rose, National Public Radio (which is separate from American Public Media, though many NPR stations carry APM programming) temporarily lost its composure, calling the May jobs report: “Horrid. Lousy. Awful.” Higher payroll numbers had encouraged some speculation that the June report would be better, but NPR was careful to avoid rose projections that might be regretted the next day.
The logical conclusion of unemployment that has stayed above 8 percent for several years–despite promises by the Obama administration that it would never reach that level–would be that President Barack Obama has failed to improve the American economy (at the very least), or that his policies have in fact held the economy back. But that would require the mainstream media, and public radio in particular, to accept a paradigm shift that conflicts fundamentally with their political agenda. So they will continue to spin, and toggle expectations.