The big news Thursday was that America’s economy shrank during the first quarter of 2014, its worst performance in three years — but reporting that news apparently didn’t sit well with several major media outlets.
“U.S. economy shrinks, but it’s not a big deal,” read a headline on CNNMoney.com.
“Blame Old Man Winter: economy contracts for first time in three years,” NBC News tweeted.
The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis revised the numbers downward from prior estimates to show the nation’s GDP contracted at an annual rate of negative 1 percent. It was the first negative quarter since 2011, and one more three-month stretch in the red would put the U.S. is back in recession. But nightly newscasts sought to present the data as a blip, blaming it on the weather — if they mentioned it at all.
“All that snow and ice froze business, but most economists believe it sets the economy up for rebound this quarter and there are some encouraging signs in the numbers,” CBS News’ Anthony Mason reported.
Neither ABC nor NBC reported the disappointing numbers at all. The preliminary quarterly estimate from the U.S. Department of Commerce had been that the economy grew at a modest 0.1 percent rate.