More than it should. Economies are based on psychology more than anything else.
The job and housing market can easily be made to seem worse or better by people who believe what they hear on the news and don't bother looking up statistics; Fox News is infamous for distorting graphs and making up numbers to make it seem like unemployment has remained unchanged or has even gone up, etc.
Gasoline prices, though, are the turf of the government and oil companies. I don't think the media influences them. I do, however, think that the media emphasising how much they've gone up contributes more to a negative attitude toward the health of the economy and a decrease in consumer spending than if they didn't talk about it at all.