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Associated Press File Photo / Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, the former vice president, is shown on a video framegrab image from MSNBC.

This presidential election, no matter which way it ends, is likely to be an exception to the theory that if the economy is improving the incumbent wins.

We say that because, even if President Donald Trump wins a second term, we believe the economy will be secondary or tertiary to the president himself and to the coronavirus.

According to a recent Hill-HarrisX poll, 53% of registered voters approve of the president's handling of the economy.

At this point, with more than half of the number of those who voted in 2016 already having voted early, the status of the economy — to use one of our least favorite expressions — is what it is.

But what if it had recovered fully from the forced virus lockdowns. Would we know?

Half of us might not.

In what is becoming less incredible with each instance, two left-leaning cable news networks, CNN and MSNBC, did not report on the record expansion of the economy — as announced by the Department of Commerce — on their Thursday prime-time shows.

The gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of goods and services produced across the U.S. economy, grew 33.1% in the three-month period from July through September.

That nearly doubled the previous post-World War II record, which was a 16.7% increase in 1950.

And the growth not only was a record, but it exceed Refinitiv predictions of the growth by 2.1%.

The country is not back to the pre-global pandemic humming economy, but it has made great strides.

However, if you wanted to base your vote on the economy, you wouldn't have learned about it on those networks' prime-time news shows.

Increasingly, those networks resemble the Russian news agency TASS at the height of the Cold War or the state-run [North] Korean Central News Agency. They will give their viewers what they want them to know, not what they need to know or what's current.

That should give pause to every American who tunes in one of these networks to find out what is going on in the country.

It's not news that these networks lean left, but the degree to which they attempt to manipulate what the public should hear has changed drastically.

We happened to spot a re-run on C-SPAN the other day of one of the 1988 debates between presidential candidates George Bush, then the vice president, and Michael Dukakis, then the governor of Massachusetts.

Right out of the box, CNN anchor Bernard Shaw asked Dukakis a tough question about a hypothetical situation in which his wife, Kitty, was raped and murdered. As it turned out, the governor's mechanical answer to the question turned off some voters. And the race — not just from that question — moved from a barn burner to a healthy win for Bush.

CNN was a different animal in those days.

But it's not just news on the economy today. Neither network aired the recent Senate vote confirming Amy Coney Barrett to a Supreme Court seat, which is usually standard fare no matter which party made the court nomination. Neither network gave much prime-time notice to the peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and none to late October deals with Bahrain and Sudan.

We believe without a doubt that in a Barack Obama administration or a possible Joe Biden administration, these networks would trumpet these stories as successes for the president.

And neither network seems willing to touch the growing controversy concerning Hunter Biden, son of the Democratic nominee, and his former business partner Tony Bobulinski, despite the multiple authentications of material related to the younger Biden's business dealings.

If any of Trump's children were so involved, would there be a news blackout? Or, taken another way, if a news story involving a child of Trump can possibly be spun in a negative light, would these networks not do that?

Could this situation grow eerily darker if Biden is elected? We believe it could.

With the heads of social networks basically lying in the face of Senate interrogators about their bias this week, and the cabal of ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC and NBC increasingly making their news choices based on their political leanings, how will we know if anything we hear during a potential Biden administration is accurate?

On this Halloween day, that might be the most scary prospect we've had to ponder in a long time.

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