Away from the heady turmoil of the financial markets, CNBC's Carl Quintanilla (at the tail of the Bartiromo videostream) examined whether the underlying economy is in trouble. When the Commerce Department revised its estimate of the growth of the Gross Domestic Product downwards, Quintanilla called real estate the "main culprit." He outlined the "nightmare scenario--home values plummet; more Americans default on their mortgages; and stop spending."
Both NBC and CBS balanced their coverage of wealth with those at the very bottom of the income scale. The federal Housing Department published an estimate that 754,000 people are homeless nationwide. CBS Cynthia Bowers visited a shelter in Chicago to flesh out the plight of homeless children. NBC's John Yang dramatized gaps in the Medicaid system with the gruesome tale of a twelve-year-old Maryland boy who did not have a dentist. A toothache turned to abscesses that turned to a brain infection that killed him. Yang noted that even more employers fail to offer workers dental coverage than fail to offer regular healthcare. "This tragedy might have been prevented if a dentist had pulled his bad teeth."
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