The latest report on the United States’ economic growth is sparking questions about whether the country is in a recession or headed toward a downturn.
Several critics have noted that a traditional definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative gross domestic product (GDP).
However, President Joe Biden’s administration has argued that even though the U.S. just met that metric, it does not mean the country is in a recession because other economic measures are still strong.
Late-night host Stephen Colbert was not having any of the Biden administration’s “spin” on the definition of a recession.
Nor was he afraid to call out MSNBC and CNN for delivering “straight answers” on what defines a recession.
“Thankfully, we have cable news to cut through all the spin and give us some straight answers. CNN, we’ve had back-to-back quarters of negative growth. What does that mean historically?,” Colbert asked before playing a clip from the network.
CNN’s business reporter Matt Egan said, “Every single time since 1948 that you’ve had back-to-back quarters of negative growth, you’ve had a recession, every time.”
“So that’s the case this time?” Colbert asked before playing another clip where Egan said, “That may not necessarily be the case this time.”
Watch the video below:
They've even lost Stephen Colbert on the definition of recession pic.twitter.com/xlQrfLMNcv
— Alex Christy (@alexchristy17) July 29, 2022
The comedian then turned his attention to MSNBC as he asked, “Okay. Still, recession-wise, we should be able to use history as a guide, right, MSNBC?”
He then played a clip from that network where Financial Times editor-at-large Gillian Tett said, “We really don’t know how far we can or cannot use history as a guide.”
“Sure, but at the bare minimum, on the GDP next quarter, up or down?” Colbert asked.
He then showed a clip of CNN’s Christine Romans saying, “This is a number that could turn positive. It could turn more negative.”
And in a final dig, he asked, “Do you need any qualifications at all to go on TV and talk about the economy?”
He then showed a clip of Insider columnist Linette Lopez saying on MSNBC, “It’s really impossible to tell.”
Biden has said that he does not believe there will be a recession.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.