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
June 29, 2011, 9:49 AM EDT

The United States is in debt up to its eyeballs - or more realistically the Statue of Liberty's eyeballs. On May 16, America hit the debt ceiling. which is slightly less than $14.3 trillion. That works out to about $46,000 for every man, woman and child in the nation.

Despite those staggering numbers, the broadcast networks have relegated their coverage primarily to the politics involved, rather than the economics. Reporters have complained about the "partisan sniping" over spending cuts or tax hikes, but have barely included any economists in their coverage.

CNNMoney.com described the debt ceiling as "a cap set by Congress on the amount of debt the federal government can legally borrow." The Obama administration wanted a "clean" (read unconditional) vote on raising the debt limit and got its wish on May 31, when the House voted down such a debt limit increase with a large bipartisan majority (318 nays, 97 yeas).

June 16, 2011, 10:41 AM EDT

It is no longer a secret that President Obama's administration is willing to allow electricity prices to "necessarily skyrocket," in order to accomplish his green energy agenda.

Although he has so far been unsuccessful at instituting cap-and-trade, Obama's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is hard at work running coal companies and consumers into the ground. Not that you'd know it from ABC, NBC and CBS news coverage.

According to Paul Bedard's June 8 Washington Whispers column in US News & World Report, "two new EPA pollution regulations will slam the coal industry so hard that hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost, and electric rates will skyrocket 11 percent to over 23 percent, according to a new study based on government data."

The Hill reported that the EPA is attempting to "impose new regulations aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants including mercury and arsenic."

June 3, 2011, 10:32 AM EDT

CNBC panelists and guests always make predictions in the minutes leading up to the Labor Department's release of the jobs report and June 3 was no exception.

While economists Diane Swonk and Mark Zandi and CNBC's own Steve Liesman all made predictions of job gains between 100,000 and 150,000 - Rick Santelli threw his own lower prediction in just seconds before the announcement: 55,000. (Video available here)

May 26, 2011, 2:07 PM EDT

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., has admitted that he “helped his ex-lover land a lucrative post with Fannie Mae in the early 1990s while the Newton Democrat was on a committee that regulated the lending giant,” the Boston Herald reported on May 26.

Frank dismissed questions about the “potential ethical conflict,” of regulating Fannie Mae while Herb Moses, whom Frank has called his “spouse,” worked there from 1991 through 1998.

The New York Times reporter Gretchen Morgensen was the first to report Frank’s role in helping Moses get the job at Fannie Mae, according to the Herald. The Boston paper also reported that in a May 24, radio interview on WBUR’s “Fresh Air,” Morgensen said Fannie Mae “rolled out the red carpet” for Moses to “curry favor with Frank and other members of the Financial Services Committee."

May 24, 2011, 10:26 AM EDT
The cause for the end of the world has been imagined by screenwriters to include everything from giant insects and malevolent robots to asteroids the size of Texas. But five year ago in May 2006, Hollywood found a new menace: carbon dioxide. This scenario was different in another respect. It was supposedly true.

The documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" wasn't intended to be the blockbuster end-of-the-world tale that "Armageddon" was, but it was intended to frighten. The new film was full of disaster footage and catastrophic predictions about climate change. Its leading man: former vice president Al Gore.

The apocalyptic warning earned nearly $50 million worldwide and turned Gore into a "movie star," according to the fawning networks. Gore won accolades, including an Oscar and a Nobel Peace Prize. Reporters and anchors on ABC, CBS and NBC also made a hero of Apocalypse Al, embracing his views and bringing on guests with the same views including one who said Gore had been busy "saving the planet - literally."

Gore received almost entirely uncritical coverage from the network morning and evening shows over global warming, despite plenty of evidence - scientific evidence - that would have discredited him and his film. Since the movie's release, nearly 98 percent of those stories have excluded criticism of the so-called "science" of the film.
May 6, 2011, 10:45 AM EDT

The April jobs report showed 244,000 job gains, “surprisingly strong” numbers according to the Kansas City Star. Many national news outlets reported that jobs number as well as the rise in unemployment rate back to 9 percent in their headlines immediately reacting to the news.

CNBC initially suggested that the unemployment rate “ticked” up because of higher participation in the labor force, but a CNBC.com story a bit later said “nothing in the data suggests that. The labor participation rate for April, in  fact, stood unchanged at 64.2 percent.”

In another CNBC.com story they also said “the numbers suggested that a good portion of the boost came from McDonald’s, which moved to hire 50,000 workers last month.” While encouraging signs, don’t expect the news media to advertise that April was still the 27th month in which the unemployment rate was above 8 percent.

April 25, 2011, 10:20 AM EDT

The average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline hit $3.86 on April 25, more than $1-a-gallon higher than a year earlier and less than 25 cents away from the record high price of gasoline set in July 2008.

In fact, per gallon prices are more than $2 higher than when Obama took office Jan. 20, 2009. Yet the president has been nearly exempt from criticism on the issue of rising prices, despite a six-month drilling moratorium and more regulatory hurdles for industry.

The Business & Media Institute found that out of the 280 oil price stories the network evening shows have aired since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, only 1 percent (3 stories) mentioned Obama’s drilling ban or other anti-oil actions in connection with gasoline prices.

April 20, 2011, 9:58 AM EDT

On April 20, 2010, a horrific oil spill took place in the Gulf of Mexico on British Petroleum's (BP) Deepwater Horizon rig. Since that day, gas prices have risen nearly $1-a-gallon to $3.83 per gallon. President Barack Obama's anti-oil policies, including a drilling moratorium are at least part of the reason for that dramatic spike. But you will rarely hear that from the mainstream media.

It certainly isn't the story the network evening news shows have told their viewers since the oil spill. Out of 280 oil price stories since the disastrous pill, just 1 percent (3 out of 280) mentioned any connection between Obama's anti-oil efforts, such as the drilling moratorium, and rapidly rising gas prices.

April 8, 2011, 10:36 AM EDT

If you think it has gotten pricey to fill up your car's gas tank, imagine having to fill the 50,000 gallon or larger tank on a 747. Jet fuel costs 51.4 percent more than it did a year ago, according to IATA and that is taking a huge toll on the airlines.

 

But when the airlines raise prices or ad fees to make up for the increased cost of flying, the network news media respond with charges of gouging or "nickel and diming" passengers. Some reporters even go to extremes to find as many fees as possible, in order to stoke viewer anger against the industry, other ignore the many airline bankruptcies and billions in losses in the recent years.

March 22, 2011, 10:28 AM EDT

The massive earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan on March 11 claimed many lives and knocked the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant offline reviving decades-old fears as well as liberal media bias about nuclear power.

The news media have promoted anti-nuclear positions since the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, although that incident did not injure or kill anyone and no long-term health impacts have been proven. At that time though, the frightening network coverage was "eerily similar" to the fictional Hollywood account of a nuclear disaster in a film released just days earlier: "The China Syndrome."

Three Mile Island was no "China Syndrome," yet some press outlets specifically sent reporters who had seen the film to cover the Harrisburg, Pa. nuclear accident, according to a PBS program aired in 1999.

March 7, 2011, 10:58 AM EST

The unemployment rate finally dropped below 9 percent in February 2011, after 21 months at that rate or higher. The Labor Department reported March 4 that the rate had dropped 0.1 percent to 8.9 percent. The New York Times called it a “notable” improvement, but in 1983, the Times was downbeat about better jobs news.

“The economic waiting game may soon be over, as businesses signal that they are finally willing to resume widespread hiring,” the March 5, 2011, story by Catherine Rampell began.

In that report, Rampell also emphasized that the 192,000 jobs added that month were the most for job growth in almost a year. Her Times report suggested the rate “could rise temporarily in the next few months, as stronger job growth lures some discouraged workers to look for jobs again.”

The last time the unemployment rate dropped below 9 percent after a long period above that marker was in 1983 under President Reagan. Back then the Times was much less encouraged by the jobs report, despite a monthly drop that was five times the size of this year’s.

March 1, 2011, 11:05 AM EST

As gas prices rose in 2008, network reporters mentioned President Bush in 15 times as many stories than they brought up President Obama in a similar period in 2011.

Bush drew gallons of coverage in 2008. Comparing a 20-day span of rising gas prices in 2008 to 24 days of rising prices in February 2011, the Business & Media Institute found the networks did more than 2 ½ times as many stories during the Bush years versus Obama.

February 23, 2011, 10:18 AM EST

For roughly a week, a battle has been raging in Madison, Wis. Evening news programs on the three broadcast networks framed these as "citizen uprisings" over pay cuts and "eliminating unions' collective bargaining powers to negotiate wages and benefits."

Reporters also portrayed this as a national union issue, but mostly failed to point out the national problem of pension underfunding.

Actually, the battle is the result of Republican Gov. Scott Walker's attempts to balance the state budget by asking roughly 300,000 state employees to contribute more to their pension funds and health insurance and give up the ability to negotiate more than their wages. According to CNNMoney, the state faces a $3.6 billion budget deficit.

Only 1 out of 24 network evening stories about the Wisconsin "feud" since Feb. 16, reported a critical number relating to union pensions: $1 trillion. That's the huge deficit facing public workers' pensions in America and the reason Walker and other state governors are facing tough choices including demanding public workers contribute more.

February 21, 2011, 10:56 AM EST

When conservatives gather behind closed doors, the left plans protests and counter events. When the left plans a closed-door meeting, it gets almost no attention at all.

Politico reported briefly on Feb. 16, that Democratic operatives will gather in early March for a private strategy conference. That has gotten little attention or criticism, yet when conservatives gather at the semiannual Koch conference the left mounts elaborate protests.

“Participants include Obama campaign pollsters Joel Benenson and Paul Harstad, the 2010 executive directors of the DSCC, DCCC, and DGA, Organizing for America deputy director Jeremy Bird, SEIU political director Jon Youngdahl, and current DSCC executive director Guy Cecil,” Politico’s Ben Smith said.

When the latest “semiannual confab of conservative activists” hosted by Charles and David Koch took place, people on the left from environmentalists to unions held a counter-meeting called “Uncloaking the Kochs.” The Los Angeles Times covered the protests and even linked to streaming video of the lefties’ event, but didn’t quote a single conservative in that story.

February 14, 2011, 4:37 PM EST

Infidelity. Adultery. Those aren't exactly words that come on typical candy conversation hearts. Valentine's Day is after all a traditional holiday of love and romance, not of cheating and betrayal.

Yet, Bloomberg Businessweek used the holiday to highlight AshleyMadison.com a website that helps married people (7 out of 10 on the site are men) have affairs. The company's motto is "Life is short. Have an affair."

Like Ashley Madison, Bloomberg Businessweek must be counting on the idea that "sex sells." The magazine's offensively sexed-up cover design showed a woman's spread, fishnet-clad legs and was clearly an attempt to grab readers. On the newsstand copy those legs take up a little more than a quarter of the page, but an image on the BusinessWeek website shows a much larger image of legs taking up the entire cover.

February 11, 2011, 10:42 AM EST

The coal industry not only gets attacked by the media for being a "dirty" fossil fuel, it rarely gets positive coverage because the networks focus on disasters. Since January 1, 2010, nearly 80 percent of the broadcast network stories about coal were related to tragic mining accidents. Only 14 percent of stories mentioned coal in any context other than a mine disaster or natural disaster that affected mining.

On January 13, 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency took the unprecedented step of revoking a water permit from Arch Coal's Spruce Mine No. 1. That was in line with President Obama's threats to "bankrupt" the coal industry and a "virtual moratorium" on coal permitting, yet the networks didn't mention it in a single story.

With the recent unrest in Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere in the Mideast, there is reason to be concerned about energy security and rising prices right now. If turmoil were to spread in the oil-rich region, energy prices could spike further.

During the first week of February, oil prices rose to the highest level since October 2008 because of Egypt concerns, according to Platts.com. In the U.S., the national average for unleaded gasoline has been above $3-a-gallon since late December (Dec. 23). Egypt produces 660,000 barrels of oil per day according to the Energy Information Agency (EIA), and 4.5 percent of the world's oil travels through its Suez Canal.

February 4, 2011, 10:35 AM EST

Jobs are heading up and down at the same time. The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced the morning of Feb. 4 that only 36,000 jobs were added in the month of January, but the unemployment rate dropped from 9.4 percent to 9.0 percent.

The mainstream news media will likely latch on to the dropping unemployment rate, despite job gains that were less than one-fourth of the consensus estimate of 148,000 jobs added. One of the CNBC panelists noted that the increase was "way below consensus."

CNBC's Rick Santelli even lashed out at some of the CNBC "Squawk Box" panel that were discussing the latest jobs report. (VIDEO BELOW FOLD)

January 17, 2011, 10:37 AM EST

- Since Obama took office, only 16 percent of health care stories mentioning the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) included any criticism of their accounting, despite criticism from many conservative and libertarian experts as well as the former head of CBO.

- Networks reporters and guests emphasized the CBO's integrity calling them "non-partisan," "independent" and the "referee" or "arbiter" of legislation costs. CBS's Nancy Cordes even declared them to be "trusted by both parties as the authority on budget matters."


The new majority in the House of Representatives has made it clear that voting on a full repeal of ObamaCare is its top priority, something a majority of Americans support. But their resolution, H.R. 2, has come under fire from the left and the liberal news media over the deficit.

Democrats, including Rep. Rob Andrews, D-N.J., claimed that House Republicans "are breaking their first promise in their first week" because the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said that repealing the health care bill would add $230 billion to the deficit over 10 years.

CBS's Katie Couric called it "new ammunition" for Democrats on Jan 6, 2011, and on the network news that proved to be the case.

That "ammunition" used to portray the GOP as fiscal hypocrites has also been criticized as "nonsense," not that you'd know it from the network news media.

January 7, 2011, 11:46 AM EST

A sharp drop in the unemployment rate from 9.8 percent to 9.4 percent "surprised" analysts on Jan. 7, but Mesirow Financial's chief economist Diane Swonk warned CNBC viewers that it was an "anomaly."

The drop in unemployment rate confused some because in the same report the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported only 103,000 overall nonfarm payroll gains in December 2010.

CNBC's "Squawk Box" panel reacted to the falling unemployment rate by calling it "sort of a fluke," an "anomaly" and predicting it would rise again. CNBC's Rick Santelli suggested the rate dropped "because people are disenchanted' and dropping out of the labor force."

January 6, 2011, 10:30 AM EST

The 112th Congress took office Jan. 5 and the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives planned to immediately tackle the unpopular health care legislation signed into law in 2010.

The Washington Post reported that House Republicans intend to vote on a repeal of ObamaCare Jan. 12, just one week into the new congressional session.

"ObamaCare is a job-killer for businesses small and large, and the top priority for House Republicans is going to be to cut spending and grow the economy and jobs," Brad Dayspring, spokesman for incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., was quoted by the Post.

That attempt to repeal has been mentioned in many network reports lately, but the public's dislike of the legislation has been missing from most ABC, CBS and NBC news stories between Dec. 5 and Jan. 4.

According to Rasmussen Reports, 60 percent of likely voters favor repeal of the health care law - for the second week in a row. Since the first week of December the percentage favoring repeal has not dropped below 55 percent, and has been between 50 and 63 percent since March of 2010. Those polls were not mentioned in any of the network stories referencing the "controversial" health care legislation.

Only four, out of 63 network stories mentioning ObamaCare legislation in the past month said anything about public opinion of the bill. Only two of those stories, both by ABC, cited any polling data on the issue. In both of those mentions, reporters for ABC admitted that the bill is at "its lowest level of popularity ever" and cited an ABC News/Washington Post poll that found 52 percent of people oppose the bill.