A few days back, I cooked dinner for my brother and his wife.
Now, my sister-in-law is pretty bright and has a high-flying well-paid job with an insurance giant.
But apparantly, the media is to blame for the perilous state of the economy.
The financial press had been hyping up 'rumours' concerning the financial health of her employer, I was told, which for a time hit its share price considerably.
Her bosses even raised a scenario of a share price collapse and the company ceasing trading, etc, just like the UK banking system was said to be hours away from collapse a few months back.
So there we have it. The media is to blame for the credit crunch. The media is to blame for slumping production in what is left of British manufacturing, and all the joblosses we see on the tv news every night, not to mention the collapse in the value of the pound.
Now, even Gordon Brown won't go that far, even if the BBC has been fingered as the most gloomy. I think my sister-in-law is being a little crazy. The problems out there are real and the media is just reporting them.
Nonetheless, I do accept however that the media can affect the mood or confidence of a country. It can even influence elections.
Indeed, we must never forget how the media conspired to take a simple community organiser and son of a humble Kenyan goat farmer and turn him into the greatest living president and Messiah ever to live at 1600 Pensylvania Avenue!