Accuracy in Media

In what apparently was an indictment on President Donald Trump’s handling of the U.S. economy, CNN’s stock market analysis fell flat. The analysis, headlined, “From Reagan to Trump: Here’s how stocks performed under each president,” compared the Standard & Poors 500 (known as S&P 500) stock performance from President Ronald Reagan to Trump.

Specifically, the CNN analysis looked at the first 645 trading days of Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Trump. The analysis measured the stock market net gains or net losses.

Of the presidents on their list, only George W. Bush had a negative net gain of -26%, which is due to the Great Recession and the collapse of the housing market. Reagan had a 23% gain, George H.W. Bush a 36% gain, Clinton a 29% gain, Obama netted 46% gain, and Trump had a 29% gain.

CNN’s analysis of Obama’s economy noted the Wall Street meltdown early into his presidency, but admitted that he oversaw the “longest bull market in American history” and it “was a long and slow process” with slow annual GDP growth never topping 3% during his two terms as president. Then, the summary pointed out how although the stock market grew during his time as president, it “also contributed to wealth inequality and populism.” In other words, despite the eye-popping number of 46% gains, Obama’s economic legacy is not great in the eyes of CNN.

In their summary about Trump’s handling of the economy, CNN admitted that his “upset victory” in 2016 “fueled a breathtaking rally in the stock market.” Although tariffs have taken a bite out of economic growth, CNN pointed out that “the upward trend remains intact.”

CNN tried to criticize Trump’s handling of the economy, but instead admitted that Obama’s economy was not as great as advertised and that Trump has done a solid job in maintaining the economy.

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