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Laura Ingraham reports on the economic boom following Trump’s election and its benefits to blue-collar workers. However, the credit goes to more than just Trump’s cabinet. The results of this boom are beginning to show, and it’s not all good news.
Laura Ingraham is a television and radio show host. She often contributes regularly to FOX on a few shows, including FOX and Friends, Special Report, and her own show, The Ingraham Angle. This show is a FOX show where Laura Ingraham discusses current news, namely political stories. The show aims “aims to cut through the Washington chatter to speak directly with unexpected voices and the actual people who are impacted by the news of the day” (FOX).
In November 2017, Ingraham released a story titled “The good news they’re not telling you” discussing the recent economy boom. The story focuses on how “America is back!” and the rise in trade’s pay and success. What Ingraham Isn’t Telling You Furthermore, Ingraham targets her audience to get the message across. She’s not necessarily looking for new viewers here; She wants her established audience to listen to familiar information. According to Ingraham, the current administration has worked tirelessly to secure the United States economy after “President Obama’s anemic non-recovery recovery”. This work has secured the economy and created a boom in trade industries. Ingraham uses a statement from Robert Lighthizer and other statistics to back up her statements. Overall, she’s supporting the current administration and criticized Obama’s administration.
Ingraham does a good job laying out the foundation of her statements, but it’s not so black and white. When she makes her statements, she doesn’t cite any sources. She shows images of percentages with no indication where she’s getting the numbers from. Moreover, the few sources she does use are from herself. When she uses herself as a source, it proves some level of discredit. For example, she uses her interview with Robert Lighthizer as a source for her statement. If Ingraham had used another source to back up her claims (such as another interview or article outside of FOX), it could have worked in her favor. However, it’s the only source she uses to defend the rise in the economy. When researching other sources, it’s clear that it’s not all one sided. One PBS article states: “Economists generally acknowledge that growth has accelerated this year compared with 2016 and 2017, and most of them partly credit last year’s tax cuts for fueling more consumer and business spending. The economy is on pace to grow at a 3 percent or faster pace in 2018, which would be the first time since 2005 it would reach that mark.”
However, when reading further, this is no different than what occurred through Obama’s administration. In the previous administration, the economy grew 2.9% in 2015. This year, it’s projected for only 0.1% more than 2015. While it shows a growth in the economy, it’s not a rapid rise as Ingraham states (Rugaber) In addition, Ingraham begins to speak of white house cuts and the number of staffers the first lady has without mentioning the future of the economy outside of blue-collar employees. It causes a form of omission, as she mentions one side of the economy without speaking of the other.
What’s the future of the economy? Potentially, not much. Bloomberg’s article, The U.S. Has Chosen Slow Economic Growth, showcases how the United States is on track to be back at its 1995 boom, but are held back by the Federal Reserve. It’s keeping the inflation rate at a steady 2% but keeping at this percentage may cause dire consequences in the future. It’s also a form of a veiled variable, without the numbers always being there. As stated in Carl Hausman’s How to Think About Information: A Journalist’s Guide to Critical Thinking, “Note that what is left out of a figure is at least as important as what is put in.” It’s important to note how the economy may also not be improving during this time. We don’t know with 100% certainty what is causing the boom until we look back at history later on, as many different sources could report on different ways, just as Ingraham is reporting it from her perspective.
“With the unemployment rate at generational lows, employers are increasingly complaining about labor shortages. A dwindling pool of labor slack combined with above-trend economic growth typically means that faster wage growth and inflation are coming, the types of conditions that lead the Fed to hike interest rates faster” It could create the 1995 boom all over again, but with inflation left steady and wages not rising, we’ll remain stagnant and fall behind other countries adopting their own changes. This shows another side to Ingraham’s argument; She’s valid with her ideas for an economic boom, but we must keep in mind the future of said boom. Even with the boom under control, this doesn’t always mean it’s for the best for employment. In a recent Bloomberg article titled Underemployment is the New Unemployment, we learn the effects of our new economy. In Western countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany, we’re seeing an enormous boom of job growth. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment in August 2018 was a low 3.9%. This number is low, but the jobs provided are not necessarily up to par with one’s skill set. The blue-collar jobs opening up don’t always show the whole picture, just like Ingraham isn’t showing how those in these positions could be underemployed. This change from unemployed to underemployed impacts every single field. From blue collar to white collar and everything in between, someone is not being paid enough or given the benefits needed for all qualifications they may have.
When considering all the facts presented, it’s clear that Ingraham’s overall goal is to have people understand her politics and accept them. In most political news shows like Ingraham’s, the host wants their viewers to know what they’re saying is right. This is a common issue found in both left and right leaning political shows. Both sides want to recruit but only show what’s bad about the other side instead of showing an unbiased opinion. When looking closer, it’s likely to show that the current administration is better than Obama’s administration. In the video, Ingraham shows the drastic change between Obama and Trump’s administrations. Ever since Trump came into office, many right leaning politicians and supporters have ‘come out’. In the past, Trump’s statements would be seen as something worthy of removal from office. However, his statements are harsh without any real punishment besides disapproval on social media. Ingraham is one small part of a long history of media bias. While it has been more exaggerated in recent years, the media has always leaned one way or the other. Michele Rotunda, a history and government professor at Union County College, discusses various forms of media bias in her classes. Regarding bias, she stated the bias has always existed since the beginning of the country: “If you look at the media even in the early elections of this country, newspaper used to be partisan newspaper. There were federalist newspapers and democratic-republican newspapers. There really was no unbiased media from the beginning of the country.” When digging a little deeper, it could be because of money. For Ingraham, her sponsors support her show because they see that people are watching. The more people that watch her show, the more she can charge companies for slots during commercial breaks. At the end of the day, it always comes down to money and how to make a profit off of anything and everything. Media is no exception to this.
In conclusion, Laura Ingraham has done well with captivating her audience. She ensures everyone who watches knows where she stands and what she believes in. It’s no surprise that she’s well watched on FOX News. However, with great power comes great responsibility. As a member of the press, she must attempt to show both sides. She proclaims herself as a news source, but with the underlying bias and thoughts on the economy’s rise, it comes off more an opinion piece.
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