Julia A. Seymour is the Assistant Managing Editor for the MRC Business where she analyzes and exposes media bias on a range of economic and business issues. She has written Special Reports including Global Warming Censored, UnCritical Condition, Networks Hide the Decline in Credibility of Climate Change Science and Obama the Tax Cutter.

Seymour has also appeared on Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network and the Christian Broadcasting Network and has been an in-studio guest on the G. Gordon Liddy Show. She has also done hundreds of radio interviews on a wide-range of topics with stations in more than 35 states as well as many nationally syndicated programs. Her work has appeared or been mentioned by radio host Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, The Drudge Report, WorldNetDaily, USA Today, CNBC.com, Motley Fool and “Ted, White and Blue” by Ted Nugent. Prior to joining BMI in 2006, she was a staff writer for Accuracy in Academia where she wrote  about bias in lower and higher education and contributed to the book “The Real MLA Stylebook.” She holds a B.S. in Mass Communications: Print Journalism from Liberty University.

Latest from Julia A. Seymour
July 25, 2008, 4:47 PM EDT

The media were quick to jump on the story of an emergency airplane landing in Manila, Philippines due to a hole in the fuselage of a Qantas flight. And they were quick to sensationalize the story without mentioning Qantas' impressive safety record.

"Well, nobody's saying that we should be covering up a huge hole in the side of an airplane. But it's important for the media to not sensationalize cases like this, which they are already doing," Business & Media Institute Assistant Editor Nathan Burchfiel told Fox Business Network host Stuart Varney on the July 25 "Fox Business."

Burchfiel noted that British tabloids have already speculated that a bomb in the cargo hold may have blown a hole in the fuselage, even though there was no indication that's the case.

"This morning in the American media on ABC, David Muir said that the plane ‘instantly plummeted' 20,000 feet, which is not true," Burchfiel said. "The pilot descended 20,000 feet, rather sharply, but that was his decision, he did it under full control to normalize cabin pressure."

July 14, 2008, 9:51 AM EDT

The environmental movement stands to lose many supporters if it works against people's economic prosperity, said energy security expert Gal Luft on July 11.Luft, executive director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, warned attendees of the fourth "Integrity in Science" conference in Washington, D.C. that as economic prosperity declines, apathy about climate change issues increases."They [poor people] could not give a damn about climate change because they want 24 hours a day light," said Luft. He cited the example of people living in slums outside Bangalore, India. (Audio is available here)"In India alone, 600 million people are not connected even to the [power] grid," said Luft. "When you talk to these people all you ahve to do is drive 10 minutes from the center of Bangalore to the slums there and ask them about climate change. And they'll tell you: 'We want electricity, we want it today, we want it cheap, we don't care how you make it.'"

July 9, 2008, 3:40 PM EDT

Whether you are a Starbucks patron or not, no doubt you've heard that the Seattle-based coffee chain plans to close 600 "underperforming" stores and cut about seven percent of its workforce.

Job loss is certainly not something to cheer about, yet Reuters found a unique story to tell on July 6, 2008. No, this wasn't the sad tale of roughly 12,000 soon-to-be unemployed baristas. It was a morbid report about coffee snobs who take "grim delight in Starbucks woes."

Reuters' unbalanced report quoted eight critics of the global coffee seller, including those who are "happy" about the store closures.

"I'm so happy. I'm so not a Starbucks person,' said Melinda Vegliotti, sipping iced coffee at the Irving Farm Coffee House in New York. 'I believe in supporting small businesses. Starbucks, bye-bye,'" she told Reuters.

Only one "defender" of Starbucks was included in that story, and the meager praise he offered was that it is "convenient."

May 21, 2008, 4:59 PM EDT

Dan Gainor, Vice President for the Business & Media Institute, blamed part of people's gloomy perception of the economy on the "constant drumbeat" of negativity coming from the news media. Gainor appeared on Fox Business Network's "Cavuto" May 20.

"Almost 23 million people watch evening news every night. That has an affect and that's almost 1/10 of the American population. Those are people who are shoppers, who are buyers. It affects people and just the constant drumbeat of negativity here from the mainstream media affects people even at high incomes," said Gainor.

The show's host Neil Cavuto seemed to agree, "If this continues and this perception becomes reality, we've got hell to pay to here."

May 5, 2008, 10:35 AM EDT
When it comes to the economy, "it's not good. Not good," according to Jon Stewart. "But don't take my word for it. Seriously, I'm actually doing very well."

On May 1, "The Daily Show" host was introducing a segment that made light of doom-and-gloom economic reporting on network and cable news.

April 24, 2008, 9:14 AM EDT

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wants to ‘abolish’ carbon usage and sees a direct comparison to the end of slavery.

According to Kennedy, “industry and government warnings” about avoiding “economic ruin” should not be heeded because abolishing slavery did not cripple the British economy as was predicted “Instead of collapsing, as slavery’s proponents had predicted, Britain’s economy accelerated,” he argued. Here's how he put it:
December 13, 2007, 4:06 PM EST

That's right folks, it's that time of year. There was plenty of economic bias in 2007 and the Business & Media Institute had a hard time whittling it down to just a top 10 list, but we did it.10. Airlines are solely to blame for the unfriendly skies.

Media myth: Blame the airlines for all those flight delays; never mind the obsolete government-run agency creating the gridlock.

9. Consumer spending is the be-all, end-all of the economy.

Media myth: Without excessive consumer spending - especially at Christmastime - the U.S. economy will collapse.

8. The stock market is trouble, whether it goes up or down.

Media myth: One day the stock market can't sustain growth; the next, we're just one drop away from another crash.
November 28, 2007, 10:11 AM EST

CNN's senior business correspondent Ali Velshi had an interesting question for viewers this morning.

Before telling viewers that consumer confidence is at the lowest level in two years, Velshi asked if the media have anything to do with it.

"Do you think we're feeding this thing? Do you think we're fueling this sort of misery?" asked Velshi on "American Morning" November 28.

A question for Newsbusters readers: How would you answer Velshi's question?

The Business & Media Institute has found that the media certainly don't reinforce the soundness of the economy when things are going well. BMI's "Bad News Bears" study that looked at one year of reporting, found that 62 percent of network (ABC, CBS, NBC) economic stories focused on negative news. Those stories were also given more airtime.

Other BMI research has shown that the media have emphasized the possibility of recession since the economic recovery began in August 2003.

November 16, 2007, 3:12 PM EST

Los Angeles city councilwoman Jan Perry wants district residents to eat their carrots, instead of fast food.

November 15, 2007, 12:05 PM EST

It seems like every day, the media complain about high gas prices. But it is not often that you hear that someone was so angry about pump prices they sent a death threat to an oil CEO.

According to CNN's November 15 "American Morning" Shell president John Hofmeister has not just gotten hate mail.

“Pretty brave that you decided to do this, you know you were heading out on tour, you didn’t just get hate mail, but you actually received a death threat at one point?” asked co-host Kiran Chetry.
November 8, 2007, 2:40 PM EST

Christmas is still nearly seven weeks away, and already the media are offering a “Bah, Humbug” for retail sales and the U.S. economy.

CNN shoveled coal at the positive economic news on November 2 and immediately moved into full Grinch mode.

November 2, 2007, 5:25 PM EDT

Well, viewers are in for a treat on NBC this coming week. Okay, maybe not.

NBC is taking a “green” gamble to boost sagging ratings as sweeps month begins, by weaving environmental plotlines throughout its programming lineup including many primetime shows throughout “Green Week,” November 4-9.

Eco-programming will kickoff, literally, as “Football Night in America” goes dark for the final minute on November 4. Yes, because turning off those studio lights for one minute will somehow remedy the stadium lights that will burn brightly over the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles game for the next three hours.

November 1, 2007, 12:50 PM EDT

Like the latest runway trend, "green is the new black" according to the media. At least where business is concerned. But it turns out that companies are finding "going green" is an easy way to put themselves in the red.

Back in 2003 FedEx announced it would begin switching to hybrid trucks and won an award from the Environmental Protection Agency, but at $70,000 more per truck the costs got in the way. Four years later, the company has fewer than 100 hybrid trucks, according to the October 29 BusinessWeek.

Other companies like PepsiCo and Caterpillar could face problems with the bottom line because of their support for more government regulation, said Steve Milloy on CNBC's "Street Signs" October 12.

Video: Clip (52 secs): Windows Media (3.9 Mb) or MP3 audio (409 Kb)

October 17, 2007, 4:55 PM EDT

This week marks the unhappy milestone of Black Monday for Wall Street, which had some journalists warning “it could” happen again. Even if it doesn’t, the media hammered home the prospect of a possible recession.

October 3, 2007, 2:51 PM EDT

According to the media's parade of children who need government assistance for insurance, President Bush must really just hate children. After all, he vetoed a bill today that would have expanded the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

Leading up to the October 3 veto, the media couldn’t resist scripting it as a vote against children.

August 29, 2007, 4:00 PM EDT

According to the networks, the skies have been unfriendly to fly this summer and the airlines are to blame.

Journalists have been quick to point the finger at business when the problems can easily be pegged to an outmoded computer system – owned and operated by the U.S. government.

“One of the knocks on JetBlue following this Valentine’s Day situation was that the airline had grown too big too fast,” Matt Lauer said to JetBlue’s CEO on August 20 “Today.”

August 16, 2007, 12:22 PM EDT

Nervy Market"Good Morning America" asked "What is going on?" with the stock market on August 16. Anchor Chris Cuomo asked Bianna Golodryga if the market drop is a correction or a recession.

"There seem to be two schools of thought here, those involved in all this sophisticated mortgage lending are saying this is the beginning of the end. But stock analysts are saying it is just a correction. Where are people's heads down there today?" said Cuomo

An on-screen graphic read, "Very Nervy Wall Street Correction Or Recession?"

Golodryga replied:

August 15, 2007, 5:52 PM EDT

As the stock market went up and down over the past few weeks, media coverage also bounced from end-of-the-world rhetoric to rational analysis.CNBC’s Jim Cramer went on an impassioned rant August 6 calling for the Fed to reduce interest rates.

“Bernanke needs to open the discount window. That is how bad things are out there … in the fixed income markets we have Armageddon,” said Cramer on “Stop Trading!” Following Cramers’ rant, NBC brought him on “Today” to analyze the economy August 10.

NBC’s Meredith Vieira asked “Are the markets about to crash?” on the August 10 “Today” show.Contrast that with CNN's Ali Velshi on August 13:

August 13, 2007, 3:12 PM EDT

“Crashing” stock market? “Legalized gambling”? ABC’s “Good Morning America” berated the stock market for trampling on a supposed individual right to a mortgage.Chris Cuomo’s August 13 story on a couple who had their mortgage pulled due the recent “drama on Wall Street” started like this:

August 9, 2007, 12:44 PM EDT

Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) earned the scorn of "The Daily Show" on August 7. Show reporter Jason Jones mocked the senator's opposition to a wind farm off Nantucket Sound.

With typical "Daily Show" sarcasm and melodrama Jones remarked:

"It looked bad for the native population, until one man stood up ... Yes. Ted Kennedy noted man from Nantucket and co-sponsor of dozens of renewable energy bills took a stand—against the wind farms."

Video can be found at the end of the post.