April 03, 2022
I’m sure everyone remembers the 2014 Ebola crisis. A grand total of 4 people were diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, 11 were treated, and a total of 2 died. Ebola was a serious crisis in West Africa, but not in the United States.
Nonetheless CNN chose to make the threat to people in the United States a major topic of its news coverage, at least until the 2014 midterm elections. CNN ran 355 pieces on Ebola in the four weeks before the election. That number fell to just ten pieces in the two weeks after the election. (There is research showing that people who were fearful about Ebola were more likely to vote Republican.)
This history is worth remembering in the context of CNN’s all inflation, all the time coverage of the economy. On Friday, we got a jobs report for March that was outstanding in just about every respect. Nonetheless, CNN’s coverage of the report quickly turned to inflation. In its more general coverage of the economy, the jobs report — which tells us about the employment and earnings situation for more than 160 million people — was barely a blip.
CNN’s history with Ebola should be kept in mind in considering its endless hyping of inflation. We must remember also remember that CNN is a network whose president prepped a politician (former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo) for interviews on the network. In other words, it does not maintain the commitment to objective reporting that is expected of non-Fox news outlets.
This doesn’t mean that the network doesn’t have many outstanding reporters. Its coverage of the war in Ukraine has generally been outstanding, with many reporters stationed in war zones at great personal risk. Nonetheless, the network obviously feels comfortable pushing a political agenda, rather than trying to inform its audience about the economy.