According to the American Fire Safety Council (AFSC), flame-retardant chemicals save a lot of lives. But you would never know that from watching the May 19 "CBS Evening News" because correspondent Wyatt Andrews hyped the danger of such chemicals.
Andrews report featured a liberal politician who wants to ban the chemicals in Maine, and has made it one of her pet causes.
"You know, it makes me angry that I could have a child in the next couple years who would be impacted by these chemicals in my body," Democratic Maine State Rep. Hannah Pingree said on CBS May 19. Pingree is also the House majority leader in the Maine legislature according to "Evening News."
"Oh, he's so down to earth," Phillips said. "He just seems like a very genuine, real person you could have a great time with. And he's a Democrat, right? I'm curious. Did he talk to you about who he is backing?"
Just when you thought every possible gas price angle had been explored by the media, they found another fresh angle - gas prices are forcing cutbacks within the Louisville, Ky. municipal government, including swimming pools that little girls will be deprived of.
"When we arrived in Louisville [Ky.], we headed straight for the Breslin Park pool," CBS correspondent Nancy Cordes said on the May 15 "Evening News." "Half the city's public pools will be padlocked this summer leaving these little girls high and dry."
Cordes's "CBS Evening News" story was a part of its "Eye on the Road" series - an effort to show how people are affected by gas prices throughout the country. For the series two reporters have been driving across the country in opposite directions, one in a Toyota Prius and the other in a Ford Fusion.
"You are staring into the face of one thing scientists say you can do to fight climate change," ABC correspondent Dan Harris said as the face of a cow filled the screen. "Leave this cow alone and eat less beef. According to the United Nations, 18 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions comes from sending beef and dairy products to your kitchen table."
"Of course, real life never matches up exactly with the theory's assumptions. But they represent, economists say, a useful way of making sense of a complex world," Lynch wrote.
"To Soros, the conventional approach is rubbish. Instead of a world of near-identical actors, coolly assessing their economic interests and acting with clear-eyed precision, he sees a world (and markets) governed by passion, bias and self-reinforcing errors," Lynch wrote. "Because fallible human beings are both involved in, and trying to make sense of, this world, they inevitably make mistakes. Those mistakes then feed on themselves in ‘reflexive' ways that, when taken to extremes, result in situations such as the now-deflating U.S. housing bubble."
It's not unusual for journalists to attempt to distance themselves from the appearance of political ties, especially when trying not to be perceived as biased. But saying you do and actually doing are two separate things.
U.S. News & World Report Editor-in-Chief and chairman of Boston Properties (NYSE:BXP) Mort Zuckerman was asked about donating money to Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton's fading campaign by Huffington Post blogger and MSNBC "Morning Joe" regular John Ridley on the May 9 "Morning Joe."
"I wish I could make a contribution, but I'm in the world of journalism and I can't, but thank you for the offer," Zuckerman said.
How many times will The New York Times publish a disreputable reporter's work before it learns its lesson?
Perhaps the third time will be the charm. Alexei Barrionuevo has under come under fire for plagiarism on two separate occasions, but the Times printed a story March 27 ("Salmon Virus Indicts Chile's Fishing Methods") by Barrionuevo anyway, prompting a response from the salmon industry.
Barrionuevo quotes Adolfo Flores in his article, identifying him as Port Director of Castro, Chiloe Island. But in a letter to the Times May 2, Eric McErlain, writing on behalf of Salmon of the Americas Inc (an industry group), pointed out major problems with the report.
"In actuality, Mr. Flores is simply a security guard who works for a third party contractor," McErlain wrote. "I've enclosed an English translation of a letter from Patricio Cuello, the general manager of the Port of Puerto Montt, which administers Castro, confirming this."
The broadcast featured Maricopa, Ariz., a community near Phoenix where one in 10 homes is for sale.
"While existing homes go begging for buyers, builders continued putting up new houses," said ABC correspondent Brian Rooney. "As many as one in 10 of the homes in Maricopa are for sale right now, as builders, banks, homeowners with mortgages they can't afford all compete to sell at lower prices."
Another celebrity has seen Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" and found green religion.
Supermodel-turned-mommy Cindy Crawford, now a blogger for Vanity Fair's Web site, appeared on ABC's May 7 "Good Morning America" to tell viewers they can save the environment by buying a $20 water bottle.
"But my kids go to a school in Malibu and it's super-environmentally conscious," Crawford said. "We do beach clean ups, try to use less plastic as a school. And so, that kind of made me think what can I do? And, I teamed up with PUR, which is a water filtration company. They do the things you can attach to your faucets, as well as those pitchers and we came up with a reusable water bottle."
"And as we're talking today, Terry, the death count in Myanmar from the cyclone that hit there yesterday has been rising from 15,000 to way on up there to much higher numbers now being speculated," Gore said. "And last year a catastrophic storm from last fall hit Bangladesh. The year before, the strongest cyclone in more than 50 years hit China - and we're seeing consequences that scientists have long predicted might be associated with continued global warming."
"On a global basis, world sea ice in April 2008 reached levels that were ‘unprecedented' for the month of April in over 25 years," Steve McIntyre wrote on Climateaudit.org on May 4. "Levels are the third highest (for April) since the commencement of records in 1979, exceeded only by levels in 1979 and 1982."
That data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) suggests the effects of global warming aren't as dire as some media reports would have you believe. A segment on ABC's March 28 "Good Morning America" warned melting sea ice is endangering the global warming alarmists' favorite mascot, the polar bear.
"Actually, you know what I think - the more I think of it, John McCain should not be allowed to hold sharp scissors," Huffington said. "[Y]ou know he wants to make the tax cuts permanent. He wants bigger corporate tax cuts. You know, it's an endless process. You know it's basically, exactly what this country does not need. It's expanding and deepening the last eight years."
Government meddling with the free-market forces can have ill consequences. Just look at how government mandates for corn-based ethanol have affected the global food supply.
According to CNN senior business correspondent Ali Velshi, CNN viewers rate the economy as the most important issue and named gas prices as their number one concern. "AOL Money Coach" Hilary Kramer agreed with viewers, but regarded Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama's proposal as "valuable" when matched with alternative energy legislation.
"Absolutely right," Kramer said on CNN's May 5 "Issue #1." "That's why Barack Obama with a $150 billion package that he wants to jumpstart an entire industry alternative energy and clean technology could be very valuable, especially matching that up with legislation to force the use of alternative energy."
Although the economy is showing only a slow rate of growth, consumer spending actually showed an increase for the month of March. But, don't be fooled - that's a bad sign, according to "CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric.
"[T]he government reported today that consumer spending in March shot up twice as much as economists were expecting, and it's not because we're buying more - it's because the prices are so much higher, especially food," Couric said on the May 1 broadcast.
Want to see how the mainstream media views Fox News? Look no further than Newsweek's Howard Fineman and the way he thinks the Bush administration uses the network.
Fineman, who is Newsweek magazine's senior Washington correspondent and a regular on MSNBC, told an audience at the Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C. on May 1 that if you want to know what the Bush administration has in store for Iran, keep your eye on Fox News.
"Now about Iran," Fineman said. "I think there's no doubt they're [the Bush administration] looking to see what can be done there and I would recommend Fox News to you. I can' believe I'm saying this, but if you want to know what's being thrown out there, what balloons are being floated - that's the place to look, okay. That's why you've got to scan all the media."
"[I] split my time between The Weather Channel and this think tank in Princeton and one of the things we've been trying to do is work with Google Earth essentially. And for me, coming from The Weather Channel, the most powerful tool that exists is Weather.com and you type in your zip code and you get a forecast out five days."
Talk about finding every reason to push the war on climate change. National Public Radio President Kevin Klose found a way to get at the sensibilities of southern California commuters - by telling them global warming will make driving even worse.
Klose was a panelist at the forum "Covering a Changing Climate: The Media Challenge" held at Harvard University in Boston, Mass., on April 30. He said the effects of climate change will include migration from the south and cause a U.S. population boom of 100 million people. Klose told the audience this would be the subject of a series on NPR.
"We're going to do a unique one-week series called ‘The Next Hundred Million,' because in the next 30 years, absent of anything else, there will be another hundred million people living inside the United States of America," Klose said.
“The government started sending out those tax rebate checks today, but they may not do all that much to stimulate the economy because a lot of the money will be used to pay for basic necessities like energy,” “CBS Evening News” anchor Katie Couric said on the April 28 broadcast. “The price of oil approached $120 a barrel today before closing at a record $118.75.”
Despite some receiving checks between $300 and $1,200 and an extra $300 per child, Couric deemed the rebate checks as “shrinking” because of high gas prices.
The April 23 "CBS Evening News" found a way to twist the turmoil in the housing markets into something that's stretch even for them - a rise in the homeless population.
"The Anticos are leaving their Bradenton, Fla. home because they have to," CBS correspondent Kelly Cobiella said. "The bank foreclosed on it in February after Sharon lost her job and fell behind on the mortgage. For the first time in her life, she and her kids are homeless."
The true culprit behind the Antico's loss wasn't a bad mortgage or lost home value; it wasn't an adjusted rate that put the payment out of reach. It was that Sharon Antico lost her job and the family could no longer afford the mortgage.
“Tonight, $3.51 – that’s the average price nationwide of a single gallon of regular unleaded gasoline. That means a 15-gallon tank now costs more than $50 to fill. As a little reference point, the week George W. Bush was sworn in as president, the price of a gallon of gas was $1.47.”
Update at end of post: did ABC get these numbers from the DNC?
Time magazine Managing Editor Richard Stengel continued to defend the magazine's doctoring of the iconic Iwo Jima flag-raising photo in a speech April 21 - calling it a "point of view." But perhaps one of the most appalling revelations to come out of Stengel's defense of the photo is his idea of the role of objectivity in running a legitimate news magazine.
"I didn't go to journalism school," Stengel said. "But this notion that journalism is objective, or must be objective is something that has always bothered me - because the notion about objectivity is in some ways a fantasy. I don't know that there is as such a thing as objectivity."
Long-time White House correspondent turned loose-cannon Helen Thomas hasn't been sold on Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama like many of her colleagues in the mainstream media.
Thomas, now a columnist for Hearst Newspapers, told a Bethesda, Md. audience the race between Obama and Clinton has gotten mean-spirited. She attacked the role of bloggers in the news cycle, but that wasn't before she had some very harsh criticisms of Obama's rise in popularity.
"We're in the midst of a presidential campaign which is really getting rotten - down and dirty between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama," Thomas said. "The Democratic candidates - Obama has the edge, he's a rock star. He's galvanized the youth vote of this country, but I have yet to see what he has done to take the highest office in the land. He is no Martin Luther King and his campaign, like all others, is backed by people with deep pockets."
Although the cover of the April 21 Time magazine has gotten widespread complaints from the veterans and has been scrutinized by the media, a spokesman from Time offered no apology. The magazine had changed for their decision to use the iconic image of the Iwo Jima flagraising to promote global warming activism.
"TIME has the utmost respect for our nation's veterans and we well understand the power of the iconic image of the raising of the flag over Iwo Jima," Daniel Kile, associate director of public relations at Time, said in an e-mail to the Business & Media Institute (BMI). "We believe this is a respectful use of this symbol of American valor and courage and serves to highlight another great challenge facing our nation."
The magazine's cover replaced removed the flag in the famous photo and replaced it with a tree.
"It's become part of the American landscape - synthetic turf, durable and soft," ABC correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi said. "It's everywhere, from stadiums to neighborhood soccer fields. But now, questions over whether those fields are safe. Health officials in New Jersey randomly tested synthetic turf fields across the state. Two of the fields had lead levels so high they closed them."
The Time cover story by Bryan Walsh calls green "the new red, white and blue." But Donald Mates, an Iwo Jima veteran, said this goes a little too far. He told the Business & Media Institute on April 17 that using the famous Iwo Jima flag-planting photograph for the global warming cause was a "disgrace."
"It's an absolute disgrace," Mates said. "Whoever did it is going to hell. That's a mortal sin. God forbid he runs into a Marine that was an Iwo Jima survivor."
If you didn't know any better, you might think ABC correspondent Lisa Stark has a personal vendetta against airline mergers.
For the second consecutive night, Stark gave viewers every reason to oppose a merger between Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) and Northwest Airlines (NYSE:NWA) on the April 15 "World News with Charles Gibson." This time it came in the form of opposition on Capitol Hill.
"But there was swift opposition," ABC correspondent Lisa Stark said. "A powerful lawmaker from Minnesota, where Northwest is based, called it one of the worst developments in aviation history."
"The biggest tab for taxpayers is defense," CBS correspondent Bob Orr reported. "The average American household is paying $2,761 in 2007 - or put another way, enough to cover 12 car payments for a new Honda Accord. Social security is nearly as expensive, $2,663 - enough to heat and cool a home for a year. In total, the average tax bill this year tops $13,000 and most taxpayers have no idea what the government is doing with their cash."