Profiles in Really Bad Media Headlines: Pre-April Jobs Report Edition

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

The jobs report that was released today for the month of April was unquestionably bad, no matter how much of a rosy spin administration officials, including President Biden himself, tried to put on it.

Though reactions on social media to the report were mixed, with some on the left and in the media also doing their part to spin like tops, the one that pretty much said it all was from the CNBC crew that had the unenviable task of revealing the dismal numbers on live TV as they came in this morning. Watch:

With news on the disappointing April jobs report out of the way, the crew at CNS News did some digging and found some pretty fantastical, pre-jobs report headlines from mainstream media news outlets that were difficult to distinguish from an official White House press release. Here’s what they found:

Axios (5/3/21): “A Jobs report for the ages

Reuters (today, before the report was released): “U.S. economy likely created nearly a million jobs in April

CNBC (4/29/21): “April jobs expected to top 1 million as consumers boost the economy

MarketWatch (5/6/21): “A million new jobs? That’s how many Wall Street thinks the U.S. created in April

Barron’s (5/6/21): “Get Ready for a Blockbuster Jobs Report of 1 Million or More

New York Times (5/7/21): “Jobs Report Is Expected to Show a Big Gain: Live Updates

Bonus prediction:

NYT columnist Paul Krugman (5/6/21): “All indications are that we’re headed for the fastest year of growth since the ‘Morning in America’ boom of 1983-1984. What’s not to like?”

And though not related to the jobs report, this CNN “analysis” piece went live this morning, just a couple of hours before the jobs report was released. Not the best timing on this pro-Biden puff piece:

I have said it numerous times before and will say it yet again, because it bears repeating: Bad headline writing in American newsrooms is a HUGE contributor to the misinformation issues we have in this country. For all the talk from the media about how Facebook and Twitter need to crack down on websites that they believe operate in bad faith, supposedly “respectable” media outlets have their own host of issues to address, and that includes doing better regarding the type of headlines they use to frame a story.

Every headline mentioned above should have included “forecasters/economists predict” or something along those lines (excepting Paul Krugman who, unbelievably, is a Nobel prize-winning economist). Instead, the way the stories were framed made it look like the news was a done deal when it wasn’t.

It doesn’t take someone with a fancy journalism degree to understand that, so why can’t the actual experts who run the shows at these places see it? It’s either sloppy reporting, lazy journalism, deliberate, or some combination of the three. There’s just no other plausible explanation.

Related: Here’s an Update for Joe Biden on How Those Fully Open ‘Neanderthal’ States Are Doing