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Monday, December 1, 2008
Sheppard's Double Standard on Obama-Linked Economic News
Topic: NewsBusters

As we've noted, NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard was quick to blame Barack Obama's victory for a stock market drop immediately following the Nov. 4 election -- "there's no question this represented Wall Street's vote of no confidence in Obama's economic plans for the future" -- and refusing to acknowledge that there was economic news that even the Fox Business Channel agrees played a decisive factor in the decline.

So when ABC's George Stephanopoulos credited last week's increase in the Dow to Obama's pick of Tim Geithner as treasury secretaryand announcing other members of his economic team, what does Sheppard do? That's right -- spend a Nov. 30 NewsBusters item detailing the economic data that purportedly better explains the increase, something he couldn't be bothered to do in blaming Obama for a market drop:

What also eluded Stephanopoulos were other key events that happened last week which were likely more the cause of the rally continuing. For instance, the announcement Monday morning that ailing Citicorp was going to get more funds from the government as well as guarantees on all their troubled loans sparked a huge rally in financial stocks which provided much-needed confidence that the banking system wasn't in imminent danger of a total collapse.

Beyond this, mortgage rates plummeted last week suggesting that the credit markets are finally beginning to ease, and that financial institutions, after almost three months of inactivity, were more interested in lending. The impact such a thawing could have on all industries is huge, and was a big factor in last week's stock explosion.

Lest we not forget that the shares of GM and Ford more than doubled last week as investors became more confident there would be some federal moneys going to the ailing auto makers.

But the market is still down from where it was on election day, and that, according to Sheppard, can only be Obama's fault:

None of this was addressed by Stephanopoulos Sunday, nor was the fact that the market is still down eleven percent since Election Day. The worst post-presidential election performance (through the end of the same calendar year) since 1900 is down 15.8 percent in 1920; the average since 1900 is a 2.7 percent gain.

Again, Sheppard fails to note the immediate post-election economic data that non-biased economic analysts have acknowledged are responsible for that drop.

Sheppard concludes with his funhouse-mirror interpretation of things:

Sadly, you better get used to this kind of nonsense, for it seems a metaphysical certitude that anything good that happens anywhere in the world once Obama is inaugurated will be somehow connected to him just as anything bad that happened anywhere in the world during the past eight years was blamed on President Bush.

Sheppard, needless to say, will be doing precisely the opposite. Funny how that works, isn't it?

UPDATE: Michael M. Bates follows in Sheppard's footsteps, calling USA Today's noting that Obama's actions perked up the stock market one of the "mainstream media-manufactured verities" and claiming the immediate post-election drop was Obama's fault while not citing the economic data behind that drop.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:23 AM EST
Updated: Monday, December 1, 2008 2:46 PM EST

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