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Why Are So Many Americans Misinformed About The Economy?

It’s not just the media’s negativity, a Washington Post columnist insists, but the public’s attraction to bad news

Today’s Media Misses looks at a new Harris-Guardian poll showing that Americans are dramatically misinformed about the economy. They think it’s ailing when it’s actually healthy, even believing unemployment is at a 50-year-high when it’s actually under 4 percent and at nearly a 50-year low.

Is it the media’s fault? The Washington Post’s Catherine Rampell concedes that news outlets go negative because the public clicks on negative stories. In an election year, this is a real problem. Is it death for democracy by a thousand clicks? Media Misses pairs me with Mark Jacob, media critic and author of the outstanding “Stop the Presses” newsletter. Check it out if you haven’t already.

You can view the short conversation here:


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America, America
America, America
Audio recordings of regular posts, narrated by author and journalist Steven Beschloss, focused on democracy, justice, politics and society.