The federal tax filing deadline has arrived. Tax season, when H&R Block commercials are as inescapable as news how-to segments about filing taxes, is nearly over.
But there’s one big tax story the broadcast networks practically ignored this year: the Obamacare taxes that just took effect. The network evening news shows have aired 40 stories or news briefs that mentioned “Obamacare” or the “Affordable Care Act” between Jan. 1, 2014, and April 13, 2014. But 87.5 percent (35 of 40) of those ignored the taxes associated with the legislation by failing to mention any taxes or penalties related to Obamacare. (Video is available after the break)
In a huge victory for the second-largest U.S. oil company, a U.S. district judge ruled March 4, that a $9.5 billion award against Chevron by an Ecuadorean court was “obtained by corrupt means.” The massive figure had been lowered by Ecuador’s highest court in 2013 after an earlier decision against Chevron of $19 billion.
The broadcast networks took no notice of the decision and failed to mention it on their evening news programming March 4. They found time to mention that Niagara Falls had once again frozen, report a trash problem on Mount Everest, say that rain didn’t stop the Mardi Gras party in New Orleans, and to show how people can make money with their home recipes.
The limited government, anti-bailout Tea Party movement party turned five years old on Feb. 27. They marked the occasion with an event in Washington, D.C. including speakers Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. Sen. Rand Paul, R- Ky., and Sen.Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
But after the five years of the media painting tea partiers as “wingnuts” and “racist” time and again, ABC, CBS and NBC went virtually silent on the matter that day.
The Tea Party is now five years old. On Tax Day 2009, one CNN correspondent went off on Tea Party protesters. Here is the blog I posted on Newsbusters that day: April 15, 2009, about CNN's report from Chicago.
CNN is finally covering the tea parties - by attacking the participants. After anchor Anderson Cooper made an obscene sexual joke about attendees, CNN correspondent Susan Roesgen rudely interrupted one of the protestors and slammed the event for being "anti-government," "anti-CNN," and "not really family viewing."
Chipotle says it’s all about “food with integrity.” “Facts with integrity,” not so much. Marketing efforts by the burrito chain once owned by McDonald’s smear many of America’s farmers and use scare tactics to drive consumers away from Chipotle’s competitors.
On Feb. 17, Chipotle released an online original video series on Hulu.com, called “Farmed and Dangerous.” The comedy pits a the fictitious Animoil farm and their powerful public relations agency Industrial Food Image Bureau (I.F.I.B.) run by Buck Marshall against little guy “sustainable” farmer Chip Randolph, who has audaciously spread online video of their cow exploding because it was fed “petropellets.” The storyline is laughable, but the impression that big agriculture is guilty of practices that are harmful to animals and people isn’t.
CNBC’s Rick Santelli recalled the five-year anniversary of the stimulus, housing bailout and blowing “a gasket” during “Squawk on the Street” today.
“On Feb. 19 I blew a gasket. But basically, what was born at that point was the voice of dissension. How do we know that? Many of course still remember the IRS issues. President said maybe there wasn’t a smidgen of, of, of negativity there or news there or anything inappropriate there,” Santelli explained. “But it seems like, if you look back, it was February of 2009 where all of that started if you look at some of the IRS records. But dissension was born!” (Video Below)
Five years ago, CNBC’s Rick Santelli reacted to the possibility of a mortgage bailout with frustration on live television. Quickly, his speech on the trading floor became known as the “rant heard round the world.”
Santelli, an on-air editor who reports live from the Chicago Board of Trade, is frequently interviewed during “Squawk Box” and “Squawk on the Street.” It was during one of those morning discussions on Feb. 19, 2009, that Santelli let loose on a potential bailout of homeowners arguing that “the government is promoting bad behavior” and proposing that capitalists gather in Chicago for a “Tea Party.”
In spite of the massive half-trillion dollar price tag, the farm bill didn’t get much attention from the broadcast network news shows, although a compromise version may get congressional approval very soon.
Since Jan. 1, 2013, when they reported that the nation was facing a “milk cliff” in which dairy prices would skyrocket if a farm bill wasn’t passed, ABC, CBS and NBC network news programs only mentioned “farm bill” in 20 reports. The vast majority (16 stories) of those reports aired on CBS.
The UN’s climate panel (IPCC) released its latest warning about "catastrophic" climate change on Sept. 27, garnering the frantic attention of all three broadcast networks that night. CBS even aired a claim about temperatures rising “more than 200 degrees."
Predictably, the evening news shows on ABC, CBS and NBC Sept. 27 repeated the IPCC’s dire warnings without including any skeptics and without mentioning past failures such as their inability to accurately predict warming or sea level rise.
So much for the recovery. Even liberals admit employment is “weak,” that household wealth hasn’t recovered and consumer experts say middle-class retailers are “struggling.” But two of the three broadcast news networks have been much more focused on “proof that the economy is getting stronger,” than on economic worries since the May jobs report was released June 6.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke surprised some on Sept. 18, when he postponed the tapering off of its huge monetary “stimulus” policy called quantitative easing (QE). At the same time, the Fed cut economic growth forecasts. Reuters reported that “the Fed cut its forecast for 2013 economic growth to a 2.0 percent to 2.3 percent range from a June estimate of 2.3 percent to 2.6 percent. The downgrade for 2014 was even sharper.”
The Federal Reserve has spent more than $2 trillion buying up assets since 2008 (often government bonds and mortgage securities) in an attempt to shore up the economy. Proponents argued what was called “quantitative easing” or QE was necessary “based on the idea that without it, the nation’s economy would have imploded,” according to Investor’s Business Daily.
Economists, business owners and employees are worried that the Affordable Care Act is resulting in fewer hours for workers.
The networks had been ignoring this shift toward part-time work and its relationship to Obamacare earlier this year, but NBC has let the cat out of the bag. On the Aug. 13, “Nightly News” Lisa Myers reported on an NBC News investigation into the issue.
Director and provocateur Josh Fox is confident “There is no safe drilling” and has made two of what The New York Times called “muckraking documentaries” crusading against the practice of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” His movies are powerful propaganda rife with misleading or inaccurate claims and leave little to no room for the other side.
“Gasland Part II” barely acknowledged there is another side. Even the Times TV review of the movie (aired on HBO July 9) said, “Would it have been a bad idea to include at least one interview with a homeowner who professes to support drilling?” In the film, Josh Fox ridiculously said that he had traveled all over this country and to others and “nobody” wanted gas drilling. If “nobody” wanted it, there wouldn’t be gas wells on private property throughout Pennsylvania. Perhaps he should have checked out “FrackNation,” a competing documentary.
The flaming water faucet shown in the anti-natural gas drilling film “Gasland,” has become the first thing many people think of when they hear of gas drilling, or “fracking.” But that claim turned out to be completely wrong. Investigators determined that Colorado water well had been drilled into a pocket of methane and had nothing to do with fracking. Josh Fox’s follow up, “GasLand II” debuted at Tribeca Film Festival and aired on HBO July 8, 2013.
In spite of that inaccuracy and others, Hollywood movies and agenda-driven documentaries that have portrayed natural gas drilling as a major threat have been used in network news reports. Celebrity anti-fracking activists have also been interviewed on the subject. Between Jan. 1, 2010, and April 30, 2013, fully half (18 of 36) of broadcast network news reports discussing fracking have mentioned or cited one of those films, or included a famous opponent of fracking.
President Barack Obama’s new climate change initiative will purportedly share “a national plan to reduce carbon pollution, prepare our country for the impacts of climate change and lead global efforts to fight it.” Although he intends to demand action, most Americans do not see climate change as a “major threat,” according to Pew Research.
The Washington Post reported Obama will include “a plan to limit carbon-dioxide emissions from existing power plants.” That’s an agenda item the media will love. It was just a month ago when CBS “This Morning” interviewed Time magazine senior writer Jeffrey Kluger on May 11 who said “we have to curb the use of fossil fuels.”
Bill Nye got the “rock star” treatment from The New York Times on June 17. John Schwartz’s glowing 1,512-word profile of “The Science Guy” described Nye as a “warrior for science,” and “Springsteen of the nerds.”
At the same time Schwartz lauded Nye, he trashed his opponents on the issue of climate change and clearly sided with climate change alarmism.
Recent college grads are in a tough spot, with student loans that need repayment and an economy that is leaving many of them underemployed or worse. But the network news media have exaggerated individual burdens of student debt by using examples of enormous rather than average debts. They’ve also often ignored systemic problems that have led to the “crisis” of student loan defaults, at the same time that the left has called for bailouts.
When network news stories include college students who talk about how much they owe for their education, the average amount was a whopping $66,833. But the 2012 average student loan debt, was much lower: $27,253.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated its public statement on bisphenol A, a chemical commonly found in some plastics as well as can linings, in March 2013. The FDA’s “current perspective on BPA” is that the chemical is “safe” at the exposure levels from product packaging.
The March 29 “Today” show aired a segment about healthy and natural groceries with Miranda Van Gelder of Prevention magazine.Van Gelder said people should avoid BPA coatings and cans because of BPA. Neither Hoda Kotb, nor Kathie Lee Gifford told viewers that the FDA has said such packaging is safe.
Sometimes liberal bias goes so far it actually becomes absurd, like Roseanne Barr saying that she would bring back the guillotine in order to behead any rich people who wanted to keep more than $100 million of their own money. She set the bar (or the guillotine) higher than her $80 million net worth. But it wasn’t just extreme left-wing celebs like Roseanne and Michael Moore, news anchors and hosts have spewed anti-business, anti-wealth, or anti-capitalism nonsense too.
The Business and Media Institute hunted down some of the most outrageous anti-business, anti-wealth, or anti-capitalism comments by news and entertainment media people in the past year and came up with this list of eight individuals. After all, it is April Fools Day.
“Large sugary drinks” got a reprieve this week after a judge struck down New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ban on drinks above a certain size and in only some dining establishments. But sugar is still under attack according to Advertising Age magazine.
The cover story of the magazine’s March 11, 2013, issue was headlined “Public Enemy No. 1,” and warned marketers to “beware” because “sugar may be the next regulatory target.”
Gas prices are at record highs for the time of year, and took a bigger bite out of household income last year than in decades, yet the topic has taken just a fraction of the broadcast network news programs’ time.
Economic activity in the U.S., turned negative in the fourth quarter of 2012 according to the Commerce Department, just one day after a huge drop in consumer confidence was announced.
This took the media entirely by surprise. It was the first time the economy went into negative territory since the recession ended. But this significant report was completely ignored by NBC “Nightly News,” carefully danced around on ABC “World News” and downplayed on CBS “Evening News” on Jan. 30. Print outlets also downplayed the news by claiming it was “not so bad.” [Video available below]
Consumer confidence plummeted in January to a 14-month low of 58.6. The Conference Board announced the drop on Jan. 29 and cited a tax hike as the reason for the 8.1 point drop, but the bad news got no mention on the evening network news programs that night. Instead ABC joyfully reported good news on the economy.
“World News with Diane Sawyer” led its broadcast with an upbeat story about the housing market. David Muir actually mentioned consumer confidence in his story on the housing “comeback” of rising home values, but not the drop. As he discussed the housing story with Diane Sawyer he actually said that good home news boosts consumer confidence. Neither he, nor Sawyer seized that opportunity to mention the latest confidence data that had been released that very day.
The left must think Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is a magician, since they think funds to evade the debt ceiling can be conjured up in the form of a platinum coin.
The left-wing blogosphere has been promoting a loony idea to prevent the GOP from being able to cut spending in debt ceiling negotiations. The idea has gained traction with a Bloomberg News contributor and well-known liberal economist Paul Krugman, and being heavily promoted by sites like Huffington Post. So many people are talking about it that it has a twitter hashtag: #mintthecoin.
That was not the cry of a dyed-in-the-wool conservative politician. Rather it was Jim Cramer, CNBC’s own host of “Mad Money,” speaking to the upcoming fight in Washington over the debt ceiling. [See video after the jump]
For many Americans, ABC, NBC and CBS are the major source of news on business and the economy. Unfortunately, this is like depending on the middle school student newspaper for information about important local school board deliberations.
Network reporters are either ill-prepared to discuss complex issues of economics, finance and business or choose to be advocates for viewpoints rather than objective reporters who strive for balance. Liberal preferences for government solutions and interventionism as well as hostility toward wealth and profit dominate network coverage.
“FrackNation,” a film by investigative journalist Phelim McAleer, will be broadcast on Jan. 22, 2012 at 9 p.m. ET according to The Hollywood Reporter. AXS TV is a cable network owned by Mark Cuban, Ryan Seacrest and entertainment companies AEG and CAA.