In one of the more shameless attempts to spin away bad news for conservatives, Noel Sheppard uses a Jan. 30 NewsBusters post to claim that because the gross domestic product declined slightly less than what was predicted, media reports of a severe recession are overblown.
The Gross Domestic Product declined by 3.8 percent in the final quarter of 2008.
It was bad, but nowhere near as bad as expected.
Is it possible that all the hysterical gloom and doom emanating from the media is way overdone, and that things are not close to as apocalyptic as we've been told the past five months?
After all, this 3.8 percent decline is only the 13th worst since the Commerce Department began doing quarterly reports in 1947. This means that there's been twelve worse quarters since 1946, and none of them signalled the end of the world nor required the kind of government spending now being discussed in Washington.
Sheppard also baselessly asserts that this may very well be the bottom of the recession: "To be sure, the fourth quarter of 2008 might not be the worst of this recession. Nobody knows. However, isn't it just as possible that this will be the low point?"
Um, has Sheppard not been paying attention to the news? Has he not noticed the wholesale slashing of jobs and retail failures in the past couple of weeks alone? Indeed, actual economists not wedded to tarting up right-wing doctrine have pointed out:
Although analysts initially anticipated the economy would take its worst hits in the fourth quarter, they are now predicting the economy will contract even more in the first half of 2009 as the few remaining pillars of growth give way. Exports are expected to remain weak and commercial construction activity, which had been growing until earlier this year, is sputtering and likely to grind to a near halt this year as financing for new projects dries up.
How can Sheppard be so oblivious to such unavoidable warning signs about the economy? It's because he thinks it's a big conspiracy to help Obama, that's how:
Isn't it also possible that Obama-loving media are hyping the hysteria because they want his stimulus package to be passed?
After all, it was indeed the economic gloom and doom that began in September which basically handed this election to Obama as McCain-Palin had briefly taken a lead in the polls after the Republican National Convention and just before Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy on September 15.
Yes, Sheppard is channeling hateful conspiracy-monger Cliff Kincaid. Is channeling Kincaid really how NewsBusters wants to move forward in the Obama era?