Low gas prices are a boost to the economy and a reason for Americans to give thanks this holiday, but they’re bad for environmentalists who want government mandates for alternative energy, according to Business & Media Institute Assistant Editor Nathan Burchfiel.
“[T]hese prices are good for the American people, they’re good for the American economy, but they’re bad for environmentalists who want to use the government to make these cheaper, more efficient forms of energy more expensive so that the more expensive, less efficient forms of alternative energy are more appealing,” Burchfiel said on CBN “Newswatch” Nov. 25. “And that’s government manipulation of markets and it’s just not what we need right now in an economy that’s struggling.”
The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline was $1.89 Nov. 25. It was down more than 50 percent from an all-time high of $4.11 in mid-July, and about 40 percent from the Nov. 2007 average of $3.09.
Are some in the media enjoying the down Dow? It certainly seemed that "Good Morning America" co-anchor Chris Cuomo was embracing a bit of schadenfreude during the Oct. 24 show - seemingly relieved he could find "some comfort" that other nations are undergoing economic problems just like the United States.
As the markets were beginning a very downbeat start, reporter Bianna Golodryga detailed the latest financial turmoil, including problems abroad.
"Another example came out this morning," she said. "We hear from the U.K., where they said that the GDP, the economic growth in that country, has slowed dramatically. And they are, in fact, probably entering a recession right now."
It's all about leadership. Business & Media Institute columnist and businessman Dan Kennedy looks at the candidates the way the media should. Who is the best leader?
Kennedy cites former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who created a stir when she said none of the candidates were CEO material. He then fills in the gaps in the leadership record of all four people on the tickets.
Sen. Barack Obama has zero experience running anything but his presidential campaign - which has the most bloated staff and largest budget of any, is out-spending his opponent by a wide margin but failing to gain proportionate market share. His wife mentioned that Barack would be surprised at the amount of money she spends on their children's activities, so he's obviously not running their household or its budget.
When the Dow hit below 8,000, the media went nuts, crying the economy was on the brink of collapse. But a lot of that same economy is still doing quite well, despite the mainstream media. Businessman Dan Kennedy, a new columnist with the Business & Media Institute, shows how skewed the standard view really is.
Between 91 and 94 percent of all home mortgages in the United States are current, not teetering at foreclosure. The overwhelming number of banks, particularly community banks, have been managed responsibly and are not on the brink of collapse. The vast majority of public corporations with stock values depressed by 20 or 30 percent are in no way connected to the mortgage meltdown, Wall Street's house of cards or the collapsing auto industry. They are well-managed companies and their fundamentals are sound. And there are still productive, successful, optimistic people.
Kennedy ought to know. He is a successful entrepreneur, consultant, speaker and the author of 13 books. Kennedy is especially known for his seven "No BS" books and that is the title of his new BMI column. Kennedy reaches well over 1-million independent business owners annually with newsletters, speaking engagements and meetings around the country.
Wrong again! It must stink being a network global warming alarmist. They just can't seem to get their stories straight.
It's only been a couple months when the networks were screaming about Arctic ice disappearing this summer. And, no surprise, they were entirely wrong. By 1.74 million square miles.
As Maxwell Smart used to say: "Missed it by that much."
Less than three months ago, NBC's Anne Thompson was warning ominously of ice loss. "But this summer, some scientists say that ice could retreat so dramatically that open water covers the North Pole, so much so that you could sail across it."
NSIDC reported ice loss was less than in 2007. "On September 12, 2008, sea ice extent dropped to 4.52 million square kilometers (1.74 million square miles). This appears to have been the lowest point of the year, as sea has now begun its annual cycle of growth in response to autumn cooling," according to the organization.
So much for that Ted Kennedy love fest in Denver. CNN's "American Morning" today showcased former President Jimmy Carter who is still obviously bitter about the divided Democratic convention of 1980.
Carter told anchor John Roberts that he is "probably the world's foremost expert on split parties" after that experience.
The former president then told the other side of the Massachusetts senator and showed how he hasn't let go animosity after 28 years. "In 1980, we were never able to heal the wounds between me and Ted Kennedy, who never did endorse me. He wouldn't even shake my hand on the platform the night I got the nomination," Carter told Roberts.
Carter used his tale to segue into a claim that the party will leave Denver united. But Roberts pointed out Carter's own objection to Obama with a clip from the Nov. 30, 2006, "Charlie Rose Show," where the former president had this to say about his would-be successor: "He's got yet to prove substance or experience to be the president."
Carter told Roberts that was understandable since it occurred so long before Obama became a candidate. "So that was a normal thing to say, you know, two years before he ever announced that he was going to be candidate." However, Carter's timeline was wildly flawed. His appearance on the "Charlie Rose Show" came less than two months, not two years before Obama announced January 16, 2007.
When is an increase in consumer confidence bad news? When ABC reports it.
Network anchor George Stephanopoulos led off the news cast with this gloom-and-doom teaser: "Terrible Tuesday. Inflation surges. Stocks dive. And consumer confidence nears a record low."
But Stephanopoulos left out a key detail: consumer confidence increased according to the network's own measure. "U.S. overall consumer confidence rose last week, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Tuesday," the August 19 Dow Jones Newswires reported. ABC never mentioned that in its report.
Now that the government has signed off on a $25-billion bailout of home mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the obvious question is: What next?
Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine, thinks breaking up is hard to do, but necessary. "The Bush Administration should vigorously push to have Fannie and Freddie recapitalized and broken up into 10 to 12 companies, with their ties to the government completely severed," as he explained in the August 11 edition.
According to Forbes, getting 10 to 12 smaller private companies involved in mortgages "will help revive and reinvigorate that sector."
Keeping with the tone of the political campaign, the media are in full Britney Spears mode. To quote the pop tart, "Oops, they did it again." It, this time, is the economy. The mainstream media continue to be wrong about the U.S. economy.
The 2nd Quarter Gross Domestic Product numbers came out Thursday morning and the economy continued to grow, this time at a stronger pace than last quarter - 1.9 percent.
As many pundits point out, the economy has to actually recess for there to be a recession. That hasn't stopped the media, who have in many ways never stopped talking recession since we escaped the last one.
This year it has been worse, with regular references to "recession" or even "depression." These days, "depression" may be how journalists feel about their own industry. But they continue to be wrong about the economy.
I hate to say I told you so, but what the heck. We did. The Business & Media Institute warned that Fannie Mae was a looming taxpayer-backed disaster - in 2005. Only the network news shows didn't like to tell you about it. An op-ed I wrote appeared in The New York Post under the headline: "The $30B Scandal That TV Forgot." I think $30 billion is small potatoes now. $100 billion is the number being used now.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are Government-Sponsored Entities, which means they are publicly listed yet still backed by taxpayers. They have also been mismanaged and embroiled in accounting fiascos. Fannie was run by prominent Democrats like former Chief Executive Officer Franklin Raines and former Vice Chairman Jamie Gorelick - both instrumental figures in the Clinton administration.
A Dec. 23, 2004, Washington Post article explained that Franklin Raines "was a director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Clinton administration, and his name was mentioned as a possible Treasury Secretary had Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) been elected president."
Leave it to radio star Martha Zoller to sum up the need for radio independence this Independence Day. Zoller, writing a timely piece for the Business & Media Institute, gives a brief history of the rise of talk radio and a true free market of ideas.
Thanks to the left and people like Nancy Pelosi, our ability to have media outlets give other than the liberal party line is jeopardized. It is one of the greatest threats to our freedom this July 4th.
The debate over a gas tax holiday has caught the attention of all three presidential candidates as well as the media. Last night, CBS "Evening News" said 150 economists had signed a petition against the cut and quoted one saying "it isn't sound economic policy."
But that list includes several prominent liberal economists, some who have also opposed the Bush tax cuts and pushed for a higher minimum wage in other petitions. The list featured economists from liberal groups such at the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, as well as several former Clinton staffers.
Reporter Priya David didn't mention any political affiliations or leanings for those opposed to the gas tax holiday. "But last week some 150 economists signed a petition saying it's a bad idea," she said.
On the Feb. 17 "American Morning," Veronica De La Cruz showed how two Web sites, operated by "the same owner," sold products to the shooters in both the Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University tragedies. She said it was "pretty shocking to figure this out." Anchor Kiran Chetry agreed, calling it an "eerie connection."
But De La Cruz was just getting started. She was even upset at the sympathy banners on the site because they were near banners that still advertised the company's business. "I want to show you the strange juxtaposition if you move down the page. Here's the NIU shooting and then ‘Save big on rifles and handguns' right underneath. You know, something that kind of turns your stomach, if you will," she added.
It's unfair to say all lawyers are greedy scum robbing our nation of needed wealth and destroying the things that made America great. OK, not all the lawyers. But USA Today gives a good place to start with its front-page piece on the money sought by trial lawyers and "victims" of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
According to the paper, there were 247 individual filings against the Army Corps of Engineers for more than $1 billion. "One claim alone seeks $3 quadrillion in damages," wrote Brad Heath. You heard that right. That's "a 3 followed by 15 zeros - about 250 times the nation's gross domestic product." That even tops John Edwards' kind of money.
From that headline alone you can see part one of CNN's ballyhooed "Planet in Peril" program was a mixed bag. More than an hour of the first night focused on the extinction of rare species as a preface to global disaster. Forty-five minutes into the program, I began to envy some of the creatures and wondered what poacher would put me out of my misery and save me from a "planet under assault."
The photography was good, not Discovery Channel quality, but above average and the locales were exotic. But the first hour moved with almost glacial tedium. Only when hour two got going did it get more interesting - exploring Chinese pollution and Anderson Cooper's bloodstream.
The special, called by the network "the story the world can't afford to ignore," was led by Cooper, and also featured Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Animal Planet's Jeff Corwin. As the program went on, it got more interesting. Gupta whipped out typical Malthusian claims of global overpopulation saying there simply aren't enough natural resources to support everyone.
Want to know the fate of humanity? Why pick up a copy of Rolling Stone, of course. There you'll find the latest eco-extremist prediction designed to scare the world into global warming action. Gaia theory creator James Lovelock is in the latest issue predicting mankind will almost be wiped out by 2100 from global warming.
Lovelock told Rolling Stone that predictions of the earth's warming will be "nearly double the likeliest predictions of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change." Rolling Stone summed it up by saying "The human race is doomed," in a story posted on its site October 17. Only as few as 500 million will survive "with most of the survivors living in the far latitudes - Canada, Iceland, Scandinavia, the Arctic Basin."
I'd love to spare you the Gore-y details about his plans for higher taxes, new global regulations billions of dollars in new spending or the devastation of the American economy, but that's what he's got in store for us all.
But ABC's "World News with Charles Gibson" led its broadcast with the Energy Information Administration's report by saying "Tonight, news of a cold wind a coming that promises to have a chilling effect on the American pocketbook," and continued to sing a different tune than Couric, professing that "the average American homeowner will pay 10% more for heating during what will be, generally, a colder winter."
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told a group at the 2007 Washington, D.C., conference on October 4 one of the things that made the SPJ great is its Code of Ethics. But the code didn't come into play during the hour-long October 5 program at the convention entitled "Climate Change Affects Every Beat."
The event had three panelists: Larry Evans, managing editor of Daily Environmental Report; Judi Greenwald, director of innovative solutions at the Pew Center on Climate Change; and Michelle Moore, vice president for policy and public affairs at the U.S. Green Building Council.
I wonder how the media will pretend this is bad news? The latest employment numbers are in and not only are they solid, but last month wasn't the catastrophe first reported.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced 110,000 jobs were created in September and 89,000 were created in August. The August number replaces the 4,000 jobs lost that were first reported. If you flash back to last month, you'll remember how much the media screamed about this. ABC was declaring the August numbers a sign of "new fears this morning about the state of our economy," said Bill Weir on September 8. That's how he lead off a downbeat "Good Morning America" story entitled "Road to Recession? Bleak Signals from Job Report."
It only got worse. "And now many are asking whether the disappointing employment figures, coupled with the housing crisis, may head us, have us headed for a serious economic downturn or even recession," worried Weir.
How dare CNN Meteorologist Rob Marciano say Al Gore was wrong in his movie "An Inconvenient Truth?" Apparently, his comments from yesterday that "There are definitely some inaccuracies" in the film generated a lot of controversy and e-mails for the network.
Today was Round Two. And Marciano excelled by showing both sides of a debate Gore says doesn't exist and by pointing out even more of what Gore got wrong. First the wrong: "He does talk about tornados, implying that there's an increase in tornados from global warming, that's not necessarily true," said Marciano.
Then Marciano interviewed two climate experts from opposite sides of the battle, including "science and operations officer of the National Hurricane Center, a big time researcher named Chris Landsea." Landsea explained the limits of the Gorean hype machine. Read on for details and full transcript.
After conquering space, where he spends his days and nights, wacky dictator Hugo Chavez has decided to conquer time itself. According to the August 21 New York Times, no less, Chavez is changing the clocks starting in 2008 as part of his plan to move to a six-hour workday.
The left's second-favorite dictator, after Castro, "claims that it will help the metabolism and productivity of his fellow citizens," wrote the Times in a bizarre brief.
During his lengthy Sunday TV show, Chavez was joined by Héctor Navarro, the minister of science and technology. The Times quoted him saying: "This is about the metabolic effect, where the human brain is conditioned by sunlight."
Next up, the "passionate," "dignified," and "intelligent" Chavez, as Barbara Walters called him March 16, says he wants to help America's poor and then raises the price of oil again.
You read that right (or left), Baker says the heck with the 5th Amendment protection against being "deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." If someone borrowed too much or won't pay the mortgage, that's OK with Baker, the co-director of the left-wing economic think tank the Center for Economic and Policy Research.
The culprit is, of course, global warming. Dingell heads the House Energy and Commerce Committee and has been looking for ways to appease the Gore wing of the party without hurting the auto manufacturers Dingell represents. "In order to address the issue of climate change, we must address the issue of consumption," he said in the article.
Talk about Catch-22. The two major left-wing causes going head-to-head - global warming and whales. Call it Save the Whales vs. Save Al Gore's Career.
According to the August 14 Washington Post, there's a sea storm brewing over proposed new regulations that would require "ships reduce speed to avoid collisions with the endangered North Atlantic right whale."
Liberals are outraged that the government hasn't instituted the new rules. But the rules won't just cost business $100 million to $150 million a year. Part of that cost is due to "increased fuel consumption."
I am more than happy to come to Josette's aid (not that she needs it) because I worked directly with her in my time at the Times. We haven't spoken in years, but Josette was great to work for and both gave me some big responsibilities and treated me with respect.
Josette now has the audacity to be the United Nations World Food Program's executive director and simultaneously come from the "most conservative wing of the Bush administration," according to the Times.
The media have found their new poster boy to rail against the coal industry.
MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann," but with Allison Stewart filling in for an absent Olbermann, had anti-coal liberal Jeff Goodell, author of "Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America's Energy Future" on the show.
Unsurprisingly, he criticized the company involved in the Utah mine collapse, as well as its CEO, Chairman of Murray Energy Corp. Bob Murray.
"He is a sort of embodiment of a sort of 19th century kind of coal baron kind of guy," Goodell said and pointed out Murray is "a big donor to the Republican Party" and "sort of notorious with journalists."
Goodell also doubted Murray's claim that the collapse was caused by an earthquake.
The call from the Ivory Tower just wasn't strong enough to stop media mogul Rupert Murdoch from buying Dow Jones & Company. But, it came really close.
"Murdoch also said the media's harsh coverage of him during negotiations with the Bancroft family, which controls Dow Jones, almost squashed the deal," wrote New York Post reporter Peter Lauria in the August 9 New York Post.