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 costs51.4 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
- 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.
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."
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.
The footage was allowed in court after a New York federal judge ruled in May 2010 that Joe Berlinger, the filmmaker, had to turn over more than 500 hours of outtakes, according to the Times.
While this Times story was not as biased against Chevron as past articles about the $27 billion Ecuadorian lawsuit have been, but the paper was not upfront about its opposition to the use of the film footage.
Gas prices are "soaring" again, crossing the $3-a-gallon threshold on Dec. 23 for the first time since Oct. 17, 2008. Back then the benchmark was a relief as prices plunged from the highest price ever of $4.11.
Pump prices have been climbing all month, yet network reports downplayed the pain and suffering of consumers. Jim Axelrod of CBS called it "bad news" after reporting some positive economic news on Dec. 28, but concluded "The economy's not great, says economist Dan Greenhaus, but not terrible either."
Compare that to past media exaggeration of gas prices. NBC's Anne Thompson said that "no matter what kind of gas is sold, today it's now unbelievably expensive" on Aug. 31, 2005. That day the national average for gasoline was $2.62 - but the gas price signs shown in Thompson's report were much higher at $3.49.
The unemployment rate rose in November, from 9.6 percent up to 9.8 percent after only 39,000 jobs were added to the workforce. On MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Mark Haines of CNBC called the data "disappointing."
Haines went on to say, "An optimist or a sunny 'glass is half full' kind of person would say the unemployment rate may have ticked up because more people are now looking for work. That's the way that unemployment rate works … but I will grant you that that is a reach."
Other leaked emails showed potential manipulation of temperature data, a willingness to destroy information rather than release it under the British Freedom of Information (FOI) law and the intimidation of publications willing to publish skeptical articles. The files also indicated that the temperature data was in a “hopeless” state.
Even though many considered it a huge scandal, the three broadcast networks didn’t think so. They ignored the story for roughly two weeks, and have only mentioned it in a dozen stories in the past year.
Food-filled winter holidays will soon arrive. But the liberal news media have already spent recent days comparing soda to an illegal drug, promoting a toy ban in kid’s Happy Meals, and generally bashing fast food companies for giving customers exactly what they want.
CNBC’s Erin Burnett outdid food police groups on Nov. 8, when she compared soda to cocaine in a segment discussing a “fat tax.” After citing some claims about people being fatter and living shorter lives, Burnett asked a beverage company spokesperson: “Is your industry killing us?”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the unemployment numbers for October showing “fantastic” gains of 151,000 jobs, according to MSNBC, and an unchanged 9.6 unemployment rate.
CNN’s Christine Romans called it a “good report,” during “American Morning” and noted that it was the “first time in a very, very long time” enough jobs had been added in one month to keep up with new entrants to the workforce. Estimates of the number of jobs needed per month vary between 100,000 and 200,000.
Media Research Center’s President Brent Bozell appeared on “Fox & Friends” Oct. 29, to discuss the broadcast networks’ spin on unemployment.
“Well, it confirms what many conservatives have said for years. It absolutely confirms it, but when you look at the numbers it really does rattle you because it is so obvious when the same reporters are taking two completely different positions because of their political proclivities,” Bozell told Steve Doocy.
After showing this video of network coverage of unemployment leading up the mid-term elections under Bush in 2005-2006 and Obama in 2009-2010, Doocy said, “OK Brent, so there they are trying to put on the happy face. I’m still struck by the comment during the Bush administration where they were talking about ‘Oh, unemployment’s at 4.8 percent. The sky is falling’.”
The largest tax hikes in history are imminent and it is still unclear whether Congress and President Obama will come to an agreement before January 1. The networks should have seen those tax hikes coming a mile away, but the Business & Media Institute found the primary theme of their tax cut stories was Obama as the hero, cutting taxes for the middle-class, not as a tax increaser.
Like the fabled town of Hamelin that hired the Pied Piper to conquer its rat problem, America needed a hero to overcome a faltering economy. According to the news media, that hero was Sen. Barack Obama who made extravagant promises about tax cuts for 95 percent of “working families” and getting the economy back on track.
Liberals are so angry that conservatives are outspending them this election cycle, the president, MSNBC and left-wing bloggers have resorted to attacks on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Liberal website Think Progress, an arm of the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress, claimed that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was soliciting foreign money and using it for political attack ads here in the United States. It’s a serious charge since it is illegal to spend foreign money on domestic elections, yet the left-wing group offered no evidence to support the charge.
Lee Fang of Think Progress appeared on MSNBC’s “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” to present those allegations, but instead of supplying proof of wrongdoing Fang claimed the Chamber should prove their innocence. “They haven’t proved that there’s some firewall [for foreign funds]. They’re just saying, hey, trust us,” Fang said.
Olbermann ate up those claims, repeating them as fact and bashing the Chamber on multiple nights of his program. He even called the group “something like the Manchurian Chamber of Commerce” on Oct. 8.
The final government unemployment report before the midterm election was released Oct. 8 showing a loss of 95,000 jobs in September, and an additional 15,000 losses in July and August and an unemployment rate still at 9.6 percent.
But Gallup warned on Oct. 7 that the BLS report was "likely to understate" the job losses in September. By its calculations the unemployment rate is actually much higher at 10.1 percent.
"Gallup's modeling of the unemployment rate is consistent with Tuesday's ADP report of a decline of 39,000 private-sector jobs, and indicates that the government's national unemployment rate in September will be in the 9.6% to 9.8% range," Jacobe wrote.
Red is the new green, according to a horrific short film put together by global warming alarmists in Britain for 10:10 a "Global Day of Doing." Blood red that is.
The group 10:10 UK's "No Pressure" video advertisement that was intended to promote its cause begins with a teacher lecturing her students: "Just before you go there's a brilliant idea in the air that I'd like to run by you. Now it's called 10:10 - the idea is that everyone starts cutting their carbon emissions by 10 percent, thus keeping the planet safe for everyone, eventually."
Preaching global warming alarmism to children is nothing shocking, but the next part of the film was. The teacher singles out the two students who are skeptical about participating, presses a red button and BLAM! those children's bodies explode as blood and guts cover their classmates.
Skeptical soccer players, businesspeople and even actress Gillian Anderson all get blown up in the "disturbing" video for not complying with the wishes of the global warming crowd.
The violent depiction may be a new low for the environmental movement, but its violent rhetoric has been in use for years. Yet, the response from the liberal news media in the U.S. has been minimal, despite the willingness of the same outlets to portray - without a shred of evidence - conservatives as "incendiary" and violent.
After nearly two years in office, the "first rate" economic team that President Obama assembled to turn things around - Peter Orszag, Christina Romer, Larry Summers and Timothy Giethner - has itself nearly turned over.
His E-team of "brainy" economists, as ABC's Claire Shipman called one of them, went to work even before Obama took office, ultimately crafting a massive stimulus plan that they said would create millions of jobs. The media regarded them highly, giving them plenty of live interview time and constantly pushing their economic ideas.
ABC's Diane Sawyer called them "economic gladiators" in late 2008, as Obama was assembling his team. The networks also gave Obama's picks, especially Geithner's appointment, credit for a huge stock market rally.
"Stocks staged a monster rally last week after President-elect Obama unveiled his new economic team. But the euphoria evaporated today," CBS's Anthony Mason declared Dec. 1, 2008, on "Evening News."
"Greed, for lack of a better word, is good." That was the defining line of Oliver Stone's 1987 film "Wall Street," and his attack on the financial system that the news media would use for decades to portray businessmen as villains.
The theme Stone wants viewers to take away from his sequel, "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," was tucked away in the credits of his film on a greenback. "In Greed We Trust," the bill proclaimed where the words "In God We Trust" should have been.
"Money Never Sleeps," which opens in theaters Sept. 24, uses the financial crisis of 2008 as a backdrop for the comeback of Gordon Gekko, the iconic villain of the original. This time Gekko reinvents himself as a changed man, coming back bearish on housing and speculation.
In a business school lecture Gekko warns, "The mother of all evils is speculation -- leveraged debt." He claims the economy is merely moving money around in circles and the business model itself is like a "cancer."
MSNBC is very upset about one "highly-unregulated industry" and its "questionable and even abusive" working conditions.
What industry? Coal mining or perhaps sewage treatment? No. Keli Goff, an author and political analyst who has a "Daily Rant" on MSNBC's "Dylan Ratigan Show," was complaining about the working conditions of models.
That's right, models. The people paid to walk down runways in designer clothing and be photographed for magazines and advertisements that as Goff put it, essentially are "paid for being beautiful." Every industry has its own problems and accidents, but is the modeling industry really a "human rights" issue as MSNBC would have its viewers believe?
Goff detailed "disturbing" complaints from models and promoted regulation and unionization of the industry. She even called for a "home-grown supermodel" to become the "Norma Rae of the fashion industry." "Union! As Norma Rae said," Goff declared. Norma Rae was a movie starring Sallie Field about a minimum-wage cotton mill worker, based on the life of an actual textile worker who battled to unionize her mill.
After portraying Obama as a tax cutter when he took office, journalists have recently been talking about the Bush tax cuts, whose expiration will amount to a huge tax increase on Americans. But most stories have failed to explain that the pending expiration will raise taxes on many people, including investors, small business owners and families, during an economic slowdown.
While cable primetime shows criticized conservatives for wanting to "cut taxes" for the wealthy, a morning appearance by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was one of the few that put the debate in perspective of tax hikes. McConnell appeared on MSNBC's "Daily Rundown" Sept. 14 and said, "This [Bush tax cuts] has been tax policy for 10 years now. This is not about tax cuts, this is about raising taxes in the middle of a recession."
Recently, the economic news has been troubling. The latest jobs report showed another month with net losses, GDP was revised downward to a "tepid" 1.6 percent for the second quarter and others sectors like housing have still shown signs of weakness.
Obama's "recovery summer" came to a close with 14.9 million Americans unemployed and many worried about the overall economy. Some politicians are worried about being unemployed come November if the economy continues to crawl.
The administration wanted the summer of 2010 to support Obama's claims that recovery was underway thanks to the stimulus package and numerous bailouts. So Obama and other administration officials announced a tour of infrastructure groundbreakings around the country - projects paid for by the $787 billion "recovery act."
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its "all-important" jobs report on Sept. 3, the morning before Labor Day weekend. CNN rapidly found the "bright spot" in a report that showed a net loss of 54,000 jobs and a higher 9.6 percent unemployment rate.
"American Morning" co-anchor Kiran Chetry announced the report by saying "It's good news, but it's not good news." Still, she maintained the mainstream media's spin by focusing on private-sector jobs gains of 67,000 even though that is cold comfort to the 14.9 million people who are unemployed.