PBS Clinton Documentary Lies About the Economy


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Public Television touted the Bill Clinton documentary as a long-awaited warts-and-all piece. USA Today called the two-parter a “solid and even-handed account … of a remarkably skillful politician with an immense intellect.” While calling it “tedious and predictable,” The Washington Post described the documentary as “honest.”

In the first hour, the documentary stumbled out of the gate. If it were a racehorse, they’d have to put it down. The whopper we get hit with right away and again and again is this: Clinton inherited a recession — not an economy that long ago came out of a recession. Never mind that 1993 — 19 years ago — is within the living memory of many Americans. Yet we are repeatedly told that Clinton entered office under a full-on economic meltdown.

The narrator says: “Heading into the fall (of l992) … with the economy still faltering. …”

The narrator later says, “As Clinton took office in the winter of 1993, the economic crisis that had propelled him into office showed few signs of abating.”

Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin adds: “We had had a recession. We had high unemployment. And it was a lot of uncertainty about whether the United States was going to get on its feet again or whether we could be in for a prolonged period of real difficulty. So he came into a very difficult environment.”

Journalist Joe Klein describes Clinton’s first budget battle, in the late summer of ’93, as a gamble “in the midst of a recession.”

And midway through the piece, the narrator informs us that “by the fall of 1994, the economy was growing again.”

This is simply extraordinary, mind-boggling.

Whether Bill Clinton was a good president, whether he deserves the credit for balanced budgets and projected surpluses or whether he should have been impeached are matters about which reasonable people can and do disagree. But whether Bill Clinton entered office “in the midst of a recession” and whether, in the fall of ’92 and the winter of ’93, the economy was “still faltering” and “showed few signs of abating” — these are matters of fact.

The National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Mass., is the official keeper of the U.S. business cycle. It defines a recession as “a period of diminishing (economic) activity.” It tracks when recessions begin (a “peak” — the month when a period of economic growth ends and a downturn begins) and when recessions end (a “trough” — the month when the downturn bottoms out and the economy begins to grow again).

Bill Clinton entered office in January 1993.

According to the NBER, did he inherit a recession? Not even close. The recession began in July 1990 and ended eight months later, in March 1991 — a full 19 months before Clinton was even elected.

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  • mrbean

    What do you expect from PBS, they all have their tongues so far up the Clintons' A$$es that they all have embedded Clinton dingleberries in their chins. Like one reporter said, " For Bill I'll bring my own knee pads!"

  • Rifleman

    The msm kept saying we were in a recession, even though we were in a recovery, then 8 years later when the incumbent dp VP was running, they claimed the economy was humming right along, when in fact, we were in a recession. The msm is private, but pbs is just a taxpayer funded arm of the dp. Time to end their free ride and make the dp support their own little pr firm..

  • mrbean

    Bill Clinton is a rapist thug, a draft dodger, a traitor, a bribery taker and a phony. It has been documented in affidavits that he brutally assaulted and raped Juanita Broderick and threatened her if she told. In 1968 as a student at Oxford who rarely attended any classes and he led anti American pro North Vietnamese protests in London as a marshal sponsored by the British Communist Party. He also evaded the draft and should have been prosecuted – but Senator Fullbright intervened. When Norway joined NATO he traveled to Oslo, Norway paid for by the British Communist Party to protest NATO and Norway's joining during the the height of the cold war with the USSR. From Norway he traveled to the Moscow in the Soviet Union and to Prague Czechoslovakia with all his expenses paid for by the Chezch Communist Party. Then there was the dropping off of suitcases of cash at the whitehouse bey Johnny Cheung a Chinese Army Agent in 1996. When he left office he sold pardons for millions of dollars deposited to his so called library fund (a money laundering operation).

  • Billiam

    Remember, Michelle Obama said we'd need to 'change our history.." Looks like PBS got the message. Off topic, kind of. I watched NOVA on PBS last nite. It was paid for, in part, by a donation from… wait for it… The David Koch Foundation.

  • xios

    The same PBS that last year wouldn't admit that George McClellan ran against Lincoln in 1864 as a Democrat- they called him the "Peace Party" candidate. Defund the greedy left.

  • theleastthreat

    I remember during the time of the Soviet Union, I read that the Russian people had a saying,"there's no news in Isvestia and no truth to Pravda". As you probably know, isveatia is Russian for news and pravda means truth.

  • mrbean

    Whenever I see the Clinton, I think of Ross Perot, who in 1992 said: "I wouldn't hire Bill Clinton as an assistant dishwasher on the third shift in a greasy spoon joint in the worst part of town." but Perot managed to take 23% of the vote (away from Bush the elder) so instead of going back to Arkansas we got 8 years of this pervert creep and his post menopausal hag wife and we got the Somolia cut and run with Osama bin Laden, the phoney Bosnian war, the1993 attacks on the World Trade Center, the 1995 and 1996 bombings in Saudi Arabia, the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, false intelligence on WMDs in Iraq, and the 9/11 terrorism because all the pilot training, planning and setup was done on his watch.

  • MethanP

    The day after the election, Chris Mathews, thats right, Mr. tingly leg himself, was complaining that Bush 41 had gotten no credit in the media for the economic recovery, which had begun a few months before the election. I thought even then, you self righteous SOB, I didn't hear you say anything. The MSM will give whatever cover these liberals need.

  • trickyblain

    Still obsessing about the last really successful Presidency. Sad.

    Get over it. You don't see many articles whining about Bush entering office in a slight recession and exiting, 8 years later, in the midst of the worst economy since the Depression and surpluses turned into record deficits.

    • reader

      The Clinton surplus you're talking about is a myth. He never had any surplus either. All he gets credit for was what the Republican Congress forced him to agree to and for the internet boom, while Bush had to deal with the internet bubble bust and 9-11 at the get go.

      • Mark T

        I believe the correct statement of the matter is that Clinton's "surplus" is there if you count the Social Security Trust Fund against the rest of the budget;. As an honest accountant will tell you, this would be illegal if a private corporation did it, that pension money is committed to be paid out later and it's fraud to count it as current income.

        • reader

          SSTF is essentual to illustrate Democrat statists at work. They always insist that there is the Social Security Trust Fund, in the proverbial "locked box", yet they always treat it as a general fund.

    • mrbean

      Tell me about the 15 major successful terrorist acts under Clinton's watch. 9/11 is really his too. There were zero terrorist act successful on American soil under W.Bush. Tell me about the soldiers killed on American soil under clandestine Muslim Obama. Not a single terrorist has been tried and sentenced under the clandestine Muslim Obama. Trickybrain is brain-damaged!

    • PDK

      tricky, like all liberals you prefer illusion to the truth of objective reality. I will help you mature with this first easy epiphany. You have cherry picked facts that lead undenyably to your targeted conclusion of illusion. You do this at the expense of the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the whole truth, and therefore the truth of objective reality.
      You have chosen not to mature, shirking your personal responsibilty to do so and sloughing off on our culture the price that must be paid for your cheat in the human game of social chess.
      Unfortunately, all Americans must pay for your refusal to grow up. Please try to mature. Thank you.

  • intrcptr2

    OK, Larry, your comments had me before I finished the 1st paragraph.

    Wouldn't a predictable Clinton documentary be dishonest, in contradiction of the Wash. Post's insights?

  • PDK

    I used to like PBS very much. Then as the 90s wore on I began to notice the liberalism they always injected into their programs. At first it was a little irratating, then, as more time passed, it became more and more of an irratation, eventually they elicited my outright anger.

    If PBS came clean and said, this is not the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the whole truth, but rather our illusion we prefer to see as if it were the truth, I would feel better about PBS.

    Of course I would not watch them then as who cares about BS pretending to be truth. Neither though would their liberal customers, therefore the need for both hairy faced, and bald faced, lies.

    PBS is always sticking its hand out for dough. I used to think if I ever do well I shall give them some, however some 5 or 10 years ago, I came to the conclusion that I would never give them a cent as long as they are part of the liberal spin machine, and obviously, per Larrys post, they are still part of the liberal spin machine, therefore I still will never give them a dime. ( to be continued )

  • PDK

    I remember the early 90s as being good business years. PBS must have confused those years with the early 80s were Reagan inherited Carters finacial mess, handleing it with trickle down economics, the policy the liberals attacked hard and often.

    Liberalism is the refusal to mature. Lying, many times reflects immaturity cheating reality yet again. Can America survive its infection of liberalism?

    One and done. Nobama 2012, vote republican. Thank you.

  • http://RussP.us Russ P.

    Unfortunately, far more people will see the PBS propaganda than will read this article.