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From the December 1988 MediaWatch

CBS Says Thanks for Nothing

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Page Six

Thanksgiving provided CBS with an opportunity to offer a verdict on what eight years of Reaganomics has meant to America.

Reporter Bob McNamara began an Evening News story: "Seattle: the Pacific Northwest's most polished, prosperous city. With the rich bounty of its nearby waters, and its orchids, on the face of it these seem the best of times. But here, as elsewhere, times could hardly be worse for thousands. Today, soup kitchens feed more people than ever, and sadly, more families, more children."

McNamara acknowledged 16 million new jobs have been "created across the country in this decade, but," he cautioned, "there's a cruel hitch. A recent Senate Committee report says that of those new jobs, half of them pay wages below the poverty level for a family of four."

The report he accepted at face value, McNamara failed to note, was prepared by the Democratic staff of the Senate Budget Committee which had to use statistics going back to 1979 to make its case. The same Census Bureau Current Population Survey figures the Democrats used show just the opposite after eliminating the Carter years from the average. Since 1982, 61 percent of new jobs pay $20,800 a year or higher, twice the poverty level for a family of four.

Ignoring this fact, McNamara concluded that "for more and more young families," on Thanksgiving Day 1988, there is "little to be thankful for."









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