Even Colbert Mocks CNN And MSNBC’s Recession Spin

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A broken clock is right two times a day and on Thursday, CBS The Late Show host Stephen Colbert was that clock. Even Colbert could recognize the spin from CNN and MSNBC when it came to those networks doing everything they could to avoid claiming the economy has entered a recession after two quarters of negative GDP growth.

Colbert was sarcastically grateful that CNN was there to help viewers cut through the White House’s own spin on the matter, “So, we’re in a recession. Or are we? According to the White House, two consecutive quarters of economic contraction does not, in and of itself, constitute a recession. Thankfully, we have cable news to cut through all the spin and give us some straight answers. CNN, we’ve had back-to-back quarters of negative growth. What does that mean historically?”

A video of CNN business reporter Matt Egan on At This Hour was then showed with Egan explaining, “Every single time since 1948 that you’ve had back-to-back quarters of negative growth, you’ve had a recession, every time.”

That led Colbert to ask, “So, that’s the case this time?” In response, Egan was shown claiming, “That may not necessarily be the case this time.”

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Turning to MSNBC, Colbert asked, “Okay. Still, recession-wise, we should be able to use history as a guide, right, MSNBC?”

Gillian Tett, U.S. editor-at-large of Financial Times, was then shown on Andrea Mitchell Reports, asserting that, “We really don’t know how far we can or cannot use history as a guide.”

Sticking with GDP, Colbert wondered, “Sure. But at the bare minimum, on the GDP next quarter, up or down?”

CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans on New Day was the next target singled out for ridicule as she proclaimed, “This is a number that could turn positive, it could turn more negative.”

Concluding, Colbert asked, “Okay. Last question: do you need any qualifications at all to go on TV and talk about the economy?”

Insider columnist Linette Lopez’s MSNBC Reports segment on predicting the economic future of the country was basis for the final clip, where she claimed “It’s really impossible to tell.” 

The media’s spin on behalf of the Biden economy has been so transparent even liberal comedians cannot avoid it. There is a lesson in there for both.

This segment was sponsored by Progressive.

Here is a transcript for the July 28 show:

CBS The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

7/28/2022

11:42 PM ET

STEPHEN COLBERT: So, we’re in a recession. Or are we? According to the White House, two consecutive quarters of economic contraction does not, in and of itself, constitute a recession. Thankfully, we have cable news to cut through all the spin and give us some straight answers. CNN, we’ve had back-to-back quarters of negative growth. What does that mean historically?

MATT EGAN: Every single time since 1948 that you’ve had back-to-back quarters of negative growth, you’ve had a recession, every time. 

COLBERT: So, that’s the case this time? 

EGAN: That may not necessarily be the case this time. 

COLBERT: Okay. Still, recession-wise, we should be able to use history as a guide, right, MSNBC? 

GILLIAN TETT: We really don’t know how far we can or cannot use history as a guide. 

COLBERT: Sure. But at the bare minimum, on the GDP next quarter, up or down? 

CHRISTNE ROMANS: This is a number that could turn positive, it could turn more negative. 

COLBERT: Okay. Last question: do you need any qualifications at all to go on TV and talk about the economy? 

LINETTE LOPEZ: It’s really impossible to tell.

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