“Some news writers may be joining their entertainment industry colleagues,” Boorstin said. “Five hundred unionized CBS Television and Radio writers are expected to vote to authorize a strike this Thursday. They’ve been working without a contract since April of 2005.”
CBS Correspondent Anthony Mason would probably call it the not-so-almighty dollar, and he’d be correct if U.S. economic health was viewed only through the narrow lens of currency exchanges.
“[T]he weak dollar is really wreaking havoc on investor confidence and in many ways, the impact is just beginning to be felt,” Mason said on CBS’s November 12 “The Early Show.” “The dollar, once the gold standard of currencies, is falling hard and fast around the world. At $1.46, the euro is up nearly 12 percent against the greenback. The yen traded at 110.38 per dollar, an 18-month high. And for the first time since 1976, the Canadian dollar has risen over 20 percent in value against the U.S. dollar at $1.06.” (Click here to see video.)
But while the dollar is lagging, some experts think the dollar is undervalued.
It’s a little odd when a reporter contradicts herself and discloses she doesn’t necessarily agree with what she’s reporting.
But that’s what happened this morning when CNBC’s Maria Bartimoro appeared on the November 12 “Today” to report the chances of a recession. “Today” host Meredith Vieira asked Bartiromo if she thought the economy was heading into a recession after Bartiromo delivered a report about economic fears.
“You know Meredith, I do not,” Bartiromo said. “My gut feeling tells me that we have strength around the world. Economies like China and India and Europe continue to grow and that certainly helps American companies that have operations there. I think that that growth will probably offset the weakness that we’re seeing in housing and of course this pressure from oil.”
That sounds like a weird question, but apparently CNN’s “American Morning” thinks eating your iPhone or earphone cord is a possibility.
In a segment with an on-screen caption – “IPOD & IPHONE DANGER – CAN THEY HURT YOU?” – CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta reported that the cord connecting the earbuds to your iPod contain phthalates, according to the litigious Center for Environmental Health.
Phthalates are a substance often used for increasing the flexibility of plastics, but according to an article on macnn.com, a Web site devoted to news on Apple products, phthalates “may hinder the sexual development of mammals.”
“No, he's not doing his job,” Cramer said to host Meredith Vieira, in his usual animated, over-the-top manner. “This is New York State. This is not the federal government. He is making it so that the very institutions we need right now to provide money for people are gun shy – Fannie Mae, Washington Mutual.”
Cramer, host of the CNBC’s “Mad Money” called liberal Democratic New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo as “communist” on CNBC’s November 7 “Street Signs.”
“[W]itness the fact that right now, the most important man in America for the stock market – the most important man and I mean it negatively is this guy Andrew Cuomo, the New York State Attorney General,” Cramer said. “I’m getting tired of the New York State Attorney General being the most important man in America.”
Housing, oil and inflation were all common themes during the broadcasts of last night’s “CBS Evening News” and “NBC Nightly News.” But, unless you watched last night’s ABC “World News with Charles Gibson” instead of the other two, you would not have known about the positive GDP growth the U.S. Commerce Department reported yesterday.
“On the broadcast tonight, the economy is our big story,” “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams said to begin the October 31 broadcast. “We’ll have the interest rate cut, oil prices are soaring, and still, what about housing?”
It was the same dour mind-set on “Evening News.”
“With the ailing housing market threatening to infect the entire economy, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke administered another shot of preventive medicine today, with a quarter-point rate cut,” CBS correspondent Anthony Mason said.
Over the last year, Angelo Mozilo, CEO of Countrywide (NYSE:CFC), decided to periodically sell some of the stock he owns in the company he co-founded 40 years ago and what is now the nation's largest mortgage lender – part of a prearranged measure known as a 10b5-1 trading plan. This was all done to prepare him for his December 2009 retirement date.
Despite his upcoming retirement, that drew the ire of some liberal pro-union groups and CBS’s Anthony Mason, whereas anyone defending his decision to sell his stock was not found in Mason’s report.
“I know that most people are very fearful of Hillary being elected,” Jim Cramer said to Matthews on the October 29 “Mad Money.”
“Well, they ought to be fearful,” Matthews responded. “Democrats raise taxes and Hillary already said she's going to repeal the Bush tax cuts. The Republicans start this election with their hole card, the ace showing – they’re going to keep taxes lower. That’s always a big plus for Republicans.”
The likely ousting of Merrill Lynch CEO Stanley O’Neal prompted CBS correspondent Randall Pinkston to tell viewers to expect the worst as far as the stock market goes.
“O'Neal's likely exit sets the stage for another rough ride on Wall Street this week with more dramatic peaks expected in crude oil prices which hit nearly $92 a barrel last week and further uncertainty in the housing market,” Pinkston said.
NBC Universal’s “Green is Universal” initiative is sending staff across the planet to either cover or cause global warming. That effort “takes an unprecedented look at Planet Earth.” Three members of the ‘Today’ crew – Matt Lauer, Ann Curry and Al Roker – will emit 24.9 tons of carbon to go to the ends of the earth to show viewers climate is affecting the planet. That number is more than three times what a typical American emits in a whole year. (See video here.)
“Well, the journey has begun,” “Today” co-host Matt Lauer said on the October 29 broadcast. “‘Today’ is going to the ends of the earth to report on the changing climate and examine the limits of human exploration in an unprecedented simultaneous broadcast from the top, the bottom and the middle of the world.”
“[T]he California wildfires are leveling entire communities, leaving homeowners with nothing,” CNN “American Morning” host Kiran Chetry said. “But, what the fires don’t take, the insurance companies just might. A bad and costly situation for homeowners may have just gotten much worse.”
Despite CNN “American Morning” anchor John Roberts asking tough questions about tax increases from liberal Democrat Rep. Charles Rangel’s tax bill, but an onscreen graphic read “Major Tax Reform,” suggesting the network viewed it differently.
If you thought doing your part in waging the war against global warming was as simple as attending one of Al Gore’s mid-summer “Live Earth” concerts, think again.
One of the authors of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Carbon Capture and Storage, Dr. Ken Caldeira, said on September 5 at the annual conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists there “would be an annual expense of perhaps $800 billion to capture carbon from centralized power plant,” as reported by Bud Ward, editor of The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media.
Caldeira said his 2005 IPCC Report estimated a cost of about $100 per ton of carbon (not just carbon dioxide) for carbon capture and storage costs in ideal locations.
“It’s almost embarrassing. I talk a lot to political scientists, and you go through the numbers and the polls. And it all boils down – almost everything else goes away, except for five words: ‘Southern whites started voting Republican.’ The backlash against the civil rights movement explains almost everything that’s happened in this country for the past 45 years,” Krugman said in an interview promoting his book on the left-wing Democracy Now! newscast on October 17 .
“Instead, trade between the two [United States and Venezuela] is soaring, with our exports tripling between 2003 and 2006,” Parade said. “Car sales to Venezuela grew from $9.3 million to $323.9 million, where exports of computers and related accessories rose more than 400% and organic chemicals increased 800%.”
The similarities are eerie. On Oct. 19, 1987, the day of the Black Monday stock market crash there was trouble from the Iranians, a two-term Republican president nearing the end of his term and a network TV news media voicing warnings the American economy might be doomed. Except this day in 1987, the stock market dropped 508 points.
“It’s a day that will be in bold print in history books – Black Monday, October 19th, 1987, when the stock market went into a freefall, losing more in one day than it did on Black Tuesday in 1929,” anchor Tom Brokaw said on the Oct. 19, 1987, NBC “Nightly News.” “And while conditions are much stronger now than they were then, today’s precipitous plunge struck fear in the hearts and pocketbooks of even Wall Street veterans.”
CNN even warned for the worst: “[N]ow some analysts argue that the stock market’s recent activity is heading for recession, if not depression in the 1990s,” said CNN correspondent Mark Left on the Oct. 19, 1987, CNN “PrimeNews.”
Sounds like liberal hogwash, doesn’t it? Well, that’s how CNN Senior Business Correspondent Ali Velshi reacted to a CNN-Opinion Research poll.
“Get this: 46 percent of Americans think the economy is in a recession – 46 percent. Nearly half of all Americans think that we're in a recession,” Velshi said on the October 18 “American Morning.”
However, Velshi told viewers the economy isn’t in recession by textbook definition.
“[T]his is interesting, because by official standards, we're not in a recession,” he said. “Recession is a sustained decline in economic growth. We haven't seen any decline in economic growth. We’ve seen some decline, but not a sustained decline.”
Who would have thought corporate “big water” would ever have the bulls-eye painted on it by the rabid environmentalists in the television media?
“Across the country cities are urging thirsty Americans to think outside the bottle,” said NBC’s Chief Environmental Affairs Correspondent Anne Thompson on the October 17 “Nightly News.” “From Austin to Boston, it's bottle versus tap in taste tests. They are talking about the ecological impact of bottled water in Portland.”
CBS Chief Investigative Correspondent Armen Keteyian neglected to mention that the “attorney” he interviewed for the October 17 “Evening News” was also running as a Democrat for Congress.
Keteyian piled on military food contractors by relying on a Democratic Congressional Candidate Alan Grayson as an expert when he reported on a federal fraud probe in the military's food-supply operations.
On October 11, Clinton told CNBC’s John Harwood she wasn’t going to jump the gun and scare people by addressing their Social Security concerns. “I think what I owe the American people is to tell them I will not spook them and sound the alarm over Social Security because that’s not merited,” Clinton said. “We have time to deal with this problem. I will deal with it in a responsible fashion.”
But, ABC correspondent David Wright reported data that would make you think otherwise.
“[T]he avalanche [Oct. 19, 1987 stock-market crash] was made worse by computer program trading, but the things that triggered it were overvalued stocks, a weak dollar, a period of extreme market volatility and a summer of worrying economic news,” Christoforous said on the October 14 broadcast. “Sound familiar? Some market strategists are warning investors now to strap in.”
There’s no doubt there is risk involved when investing in the stock market and historical data should play a role in smart investing. However, the comparisons of stock values from October 1987 to October 2007 aren’t accurate according to the October 15 Wall Street Journal.
It was only a matter of time before someone on CNBC took a shot at Fox Business Network and it came from CNBC’s resident loose cannon, “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer. (Video of the incident is available here.)
“I had the choice of watching a rival business channel or getting a root canal,” Cramer said on CNBC’s October 15 “Street Signs” “And I chose the root canal.”
Cramer appeared on his daily segment on the afternoon CNBC show with host Erin Burnett talking out of one side of his mouth analyzing several stocks. However, Cramer struggled with his speech during his analysis of the potential XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Radio merger and spit all over Burnett when he abruptly said something that sounded like “Fox” for an unknown reason.
“I’m having problems,” Cramer said. "I admit it ...”
If you’re on the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), you might be thinking Al Gore is hogging all the glory after they split the Nobel Peace Prize. But that could be a good thing because all the skepticism will be drawn to him also.
“From the outset, leading figures within the IPCC process have shared the conviction that anthropogenic [human-caused] global warming presents a threat which demands prompt and far-reaching action,” Henderson wrote in the October 11 Wall Street Journal. “Indeed, had they not held this belief, they would not have been appointed to their positions of influence.”
Harwood asked Clinton to respond to a comment made by GOP presidential nominee frontrunner Rudy Giuliani: “Hillary Clinton … wants to put a lid on us. She wants to put a lid on our growth. We want to give people freedom.”
“Jim Zappala says the federal crackdown is killing his business right in the middle of harvest,” CBS correspondent Seth Doane said on the October 10 broadcast. “His onion farm in western New York has been targeted by immigration officials twice in just six months. Workers have been deported. Others are too scared to return.”
Zappala is the owner of Zappala Farms and has openly admitted to hiring illegal immigrants. One solution Doane proposed to Zappala: pay more money and he could get American workers to do the jobs. “I don't think there's any amount of money that we could pay to get workers to come in and hand-clip these onions or help with the field work,” Zappala replied.
“[W]ell, we’re coming to you from the Ford Performing Arts Center,” co-moderator Maria Bartiromo said during the October 9 CNBC “Closing Bell.” “And there’s a lot of buzz and excitement around. We're just about an hour away from the debate and of course, this is the first national presidential debate focused only on economic issues. We'll be talking taxes, trade, housing, broad economy, foreign relations, protectionism.”
But it didn’t end up that way. While there were four questioners, co-moderator Chris Matthews was the most obvious in asking questions that had little to do with the economy. Out of his 49 questions, 28 were largely non-economic.