But on June 21, Associated Press reported the mortgage assistance program is "falling flat."
The broadcast networks supported the mortgage modification and housing bailout when Obama launched it in 2009, after criticizing Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's plan for not doing "enough" to fix the problem. ABC, CBS and NBC haven't mentioned the new figures since AP reported them.
The news media have recently been struck with World Cup fever, with two broadcast networks sending reporters to South Africa to cover the games. At the same time, a bailout request that could cost taxpayers another $50 billion was ignored by most broadcast news programs.
ABC, CBS and NBC spent a combined 25 minutes 54 seconds talking about World Cup soccer between June 13 and 15. That was more than 38 times what they spend talking about Obama's latest call for further government spending - which was guaranteed to upset taxpayers.
While the World Cup is a worthwhile story, U.S. taxpayers might have ranked a request for $50 billion more of their dollars higher than the networks did.
Obama sent a letter to Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle June 12, urging them to pass a "derailed" $50 billion state bailout bill. But the three broadcast networks' newcasts have all but ignored it. "Good Morning America" was the only network newscast to mention the president's push for more stimulus. Its story was 40 seconds long.
Toys, food, packaging. Chemicals are in them all. The media make a living by sensationalizing the potential dangers of just about everything in our modern world. Bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical found in many plastic items, was no exception.
The news media have been scaremongering about BPA for years, even going so far as to compare it to tobacco at one point, but a cautious tone from the government and left-wing junk science prompted recent hyperbole from reporters.
Reuters warned of a "potential carcinogen in my soup," June 9. News website Newser.com took the fear-mongering a step further calling BPA "a known carcinogen" in a May 19 story about the "dangerously high" levels of BPA in canned food and drink.
It's been more than 50 days since a BP oil rig exploded off the coast of Louisiana, beginning a massive leak of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Miles of beaches have been soiled and birds, turtles and other sea creatures have died. But the most disturbing pictures of the disaster weren't available to the public for more than 40 days.
That was when many people finally witnessed Louisiana's state bird, the brown pelican, literally covered in thick brown oil. Why so long? Because federal agencies including the Coast Guard and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) were preventing the press from reaching many areas affected by the disaster.
CBS, Associated Press, Mother Jones and The Times-Picayune have all complained about local and federal authorities and and British Petroleum contractors inhibiting their reporting.
But while many in the news media blame BP, the real culprit may well be the Obama administration. When asked, Obama and other administration spokespeople say the U.S. government is in charge of the oil spill cleanup.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly jobs report on June 4, showing only 41,000 new private-sector jobs. But those jobs were overshadowed by the enormous number of temporary census jobs in the May data.
According to the report, "employment grew by 431,000 in May, reflecting the hiring of 411,000 temporary employees to work on Census 2010." Those Census jobs made up 95 percent of the total payroll employment growth.
Even then, the hiring fell short of expectations. Associated Press said that economists forecasted 513,000 jobs for the month and called it a "disappointing" report. "Hiring by private employers was particularly weak, which is raising concerns that the economy recovery remains slow," AP said.
In a PBS interview June 2, Vice President Joseph Biden predicted 700,000 to 1.4 million jobs would be created by the end of 2010. But at most, that would still be more than 5.2 million jobs shy of matching President Obama's claims about economic stimulus.
Biden forecast job creation "between 100,000 and 200,000 jobs on average all the way through this year" in an interview with Charlie Rose. He also predicted "trouble in paradise" for the GOP.
Left-wing website The Huffington Post reported the prediction calling it "fairly safe" by "recent trends." Sam Stein wrote that, "Biden would not, however, mark a date when he thought the unemployment rate would dip to, say, six percent."
Stein didn't remind readers that Obama said the stimulus package would create more than 4 million jobs by the end of 2010. Once you take out temporary jobs and the 100,000 minimum needed every month to keep up with population growth, the economy would need to create 932,000 new permanent jobs each and every month through the end of 2010.
British Petroleum's (BP) reputation has been marred by the April oil rig explosion and subsequent oil spill which is still gushing more than 40 days later. But according to The Washington Post, the reputation of some left-wing environmental groups has also been polluted by the incident.
"[T]he Nature Conservancy lists BP as one of its business partners. The Conservancy also has given BP a seat on its International Leadership Council and has accepted nearly $10 million in cash and land contributions from BP and affiliated corporations over the years," Joe Stephens wrote for the Post May 24.
It's not just Nature Conservancy either, the Post found $2 million in donations to Conservation International and relationships between BP and other lefty activist groups Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Sierra Club and Audubon.
"The crude emanating from BP's well threatens to befoul a number of alliances between energy conglomerates and environmental nonprofits. At least one group, Conservation International, acknowledges that it is reassessing its ties to the oil company, with an eye toward protecting its reputation," the Post said.
This was front page news at The Post on May 24, but received only silence from other mainstream media outlets including the three broadcast networks.
"Law & Order," the popular courtroom drama that concluded its 20th and final season May 24, is a primetime TV legend. But the show that boasted its stories were "ripped from the headlines" often provided its viewers a distorted reality in which businesspeople were mostly portrayed as villains.
The Business & Media Institute examined "Law & Order," along with other television dramas' treatment of businessmen in 2005. BMI found that you were 21 times more likely to be kidnapped or killed by a businessman that a mobster.
Since 1990, the cop/attorney drama created by liberal Dick Wolf has covered a host of "bad" businesses from the company secretly testing roach poison on children and the greedy pharmaceutical execs selling a bad vaccine to the military to allegedly dirty defense contractors, landlords and medical device manufacturers.
In two out of three of its final episodes, the original "Law & Order" continued to demonize businessmen. One of those anti-business episodes villainized a bio-research firm, HemaLabs, for "stealing" DNA and blood samples from a family to create cancer treatment drugs. The company never compensated the impoverished family.
Since Obama took office, there's been a leftward swing toward increased regulation. The news media have supported that tilt, generally failing to demand explanations for high profile failures of government regulators.
From the financial crisis to the Gulf oil spill, a recent string of problems exposed serious failures of government regulators that are supposed to protect the public. But broadcast news media rarely criticized the poor performance of government in such cases.
Take the worsening oil spill off the Gulf Coast that has been called an "environmental catastrophe." The network evening shows have aired a flood of news reports attacking British Petroleum, on the progress of the clean up and speculating about how much wildlife and economic damage could result.
But some of the blame appears to rest on the shoulders of the federal government - something the evening shows didn't acknowledge until more than three weeks after the drilling rig exploded on April 21. In fact, it wasn't until after Obama spoke out against the federal agency on May 14 that any of the evening shows criticized government regulators.
While it is often an unpopular viewpoint, many economists realize unemployment insurance can actually promote unemployment.
Business & Media Institute adviser Prof. Gary Wolfram explained this in an op-ed on March 17, 2010, as the media attacked Sen. Jim Bunning for filibustering a bill including an extension of the ability to file for federal unemployment benefits.
Wolfram wrote, "It ought to be clear that if we reduce the cost of becoming or remaining unemployed, then we will have greater unemployment. This is not rocket science by any means. Suppose that unemployment benefits were $6,000 per week and lasted indefinitely. Is there little doubt that most of us would choose unemployment?"
Combined tax payments on the federal, state and local levels "consumed" 9.2 percent of personal income, USA Today reported. "That rate is far below the historic average of 12 percent for the last half-century."
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its monthly jobs report early May 7 announcing a rise in unemployment to 9.9 percent and an increase of 290,000 jobs.
Any positive job growth is good news to be sure. But in order for Obama to meet his pledge of 4 million jobs created by the end of 2010, the U.S. economy would have to add 932,000 jobs each and every month between now and the end of the year, taking into account both temporary jobs and the number of new positions needed to keep even with population growth. According to the BLS, 2,662,000 jobs have been lost since February 2009.
The Associated Press reacted immediately to the May 7 jobs announcement by emphasizing the good news in its subhead and lead sentence: "Jobs grow by most in 4 years." They described people streaming "back into the market looking for work."
Have you seen the new General Motors commercial? In it, CEO Ed Whitacre highlights the taxpayer-funded bailout GM received and then brags: "We have repaid our government loan, in full with interest, five years ahead of the original schedule."
That advertisement (Watch it here) gives the impression that A) GM is financially stable and able to repay its debts B) the government bailout was the right decision. And that was exactly how the Obama administration and network news media celebrated GM's loan repayment of a $6.7 billion government loan.
But the ad is heavy on spin, according to The New York Times and Reason online.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. must be having trouble remembering who is president these days. Kennedy spent much of his April 30 CNN interview attacking the previous administration for last week's Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster and subsequent oil spill.
In an appearance on "Rick's List," Kennedy opined that as a nation "we should be moving away from our deadly addiction to oil. Not only because of the damage it's doing in the Gulf, but we are exporting, we are borrowing a billion dollars a day in our country mainly from nations that don't share our values."
But then Kennedy attacked President George W. Bush and the oil industry as a whole for the tragic spill still being dealt with off the Louisiana coastline. The founder of Waterkeeper Alliance, a left-wing environmental group, told Sanchez that his organization filed a class-action lawsuit on the behalf of Louisiana fishermen.
Host Rick Sanchez asked "What did these guys do wrong? Were they careless?"
Kennedy replied affirmatively and went on to attack not merely the single company (British Petroleum) responsible for the drilling platform, but the entire oil industry and the Bush administration:
"But because of the oil industry's influence on the Bush administration -- the Bush administration waved that requirement [for acoustic regulators used in Europe]. So it made the oil spills intrinsically much more dangerous," Kennedy claimed.
He made it clear that VAT is the "right" answer, but was worried that politicians "vaporized its political prospects" earlier this month when the Senate voted 85 to 13 that the VAT was a "massive tax increase that will cripple families on fixed income."
Ignatius warned that politicians are "afraid of being right too soon," and suggested that VAT is an example of that maxim.
For years the global warming alarmists' mantra has been "the science is settled." But a recent series of shocking disclosures about climate science has shaken the credibility of that claim.
The first scandal - ClimateGate - came Nov. 20, 2009, after someone leaked thousands of e-mails from a major climate science group: University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU). The e-mails were full of startling admissions like this one: "We can't account for the lack of warming at the moment."
Brent Bozell joined "Fox & Friends" on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day to discuss a new Business & Media Institute Special Report about the broadcast networks' distorted coverage of ClimateGate and other climate scandals.
Bozell highlighted the way the networks have barely reported ClimateGate and the other climate science scandals that have eroded the credibility of the global warming alarmism movement. Such stories were ignored because they didn't fit the "narrative" of the network news.
"What's been going on in the press; however, for a number of years is this systematic push to say that we can only have one point of view on this which is that it's settled science and it's over," Bozell told Fox News Channel.
As procrastinators rush to beat the April 15 tax deadline and thousands rally at Tea Parties to oppose out of control government spending, politicians and the national news media are mulling the possibility of a new European-style national sales tax.
On April 6, former Federal Reserve chairman and current White House economic adviser Paul Volcker revealed the Obama administration's possible strategy to tame massive deficits with a value-added tax (VAT).
"Volcker, answering a question from the audience at a New York Historical Society event, said the value-added tax ‘was not as toxic an idea' as it has been in the past and also said a carbon or other energy-related tax may become necessary," Reuters reported.
"If at the end of the day we need to raise taxes, we should raise taxes," Volcker added that day. In Europe, VAT taxes range from about 16 percent to 25 percent with an average of roughly 20 percent, according to Olivier Garret of Casey Research. Garrett, who grew up in France, called the VAT "a license to steal without people knowing it."
The "obesity epidemic" is the fault of poor individual choices and sedentary lifestyles, but in the news, blame typically falls on companies, rather than on the individual. CNN has attacked grocer stores, restaurants and food manufacturers for creating supposedly "addictive" products and in story after story called for more food regulations, taxes or other intervention.
CNN's hearty appetite for food control has gone on for years. They've waged a war on obesity all while promoting government meddling like higher taxes on drinks made with "cheap" corn syrup to fight the "obesity epidemic," health zoning prohibiting fast food restaurants from South L.A. and trans-fat bans just for starters. CNN even criticized supermarkets for wanting customers to buy products from them, back in 2006.
The network evening news programs on ABC, CBS and NBC have also mentioned those "tax breaks" for small businesses in at least four stories in the past month.
ABC's Diane Sawyer told viewers March 19 that "the day he signs this bill, small businesses will get tax credits to spur more coverage of more employees." She didn't mention any of the tax increases on individuals or businesses.
The problem with the liberal mindset is that it sees government solutions, even when there isn't really a problem. Case in point: broadband internet.
Roughly 200 million Americans have broadband internet at home. Millions of others have access to it at work, school, the public library or on smart phones. Only about 5 percent of Americans lack broadband internet access according to The Wall Street Journal.
That night not one of the network evening shows mentioned the enormous government proposal - instead all three reported Tiger Woods' return to golf at the Masters Tournament, ABC and CBS covered Michael Jackson's posthumous record contract and NBC warned against kids going to Mexico for spring break.
CNN apparently missed the irony of using a segment called "Broken Government" to demand that the government address child hunger.
"Talk about mad as hell," CNN's Kyra Phillips said, introducing the Feb. 25 segment. "Every day a child goes hungry, a food pantry struggles, a parent loses a job. Today: Broken Government and hunger in America."
Phillips suggested that the government should be involved in this problem saying, "We put in so much money to bailing out banks, bailing out big companies, yet every night a child here in our country goes hungry."
Republican leadership quickly condemned the plan, which relies heavily on the current Senate bill, as the same government takeover that had already been proposed. House GOP Leader John Boehner said the plan "crippled the credibility" of the upcoming summit.
In more than thirty stories the cable and network news media reacted by defending the White House against Boehner's claim by saying the plan was merely an "opening bid," consulting liberal politicians and outside groups like Brookings Institution, The Nation and Huffington Post, and by pushing Republicans to compromise and accept a bipartisan solution.
CNN's Carol Costello clearly misses the good old days when unions dominated and the "American Dream" was alive and well.
"The American dream, 1950s-style. Middle-class America seemed to have it all then. A nice home, a car, economic security. Sixty years later the Bindners and much of the middle-class think thanks to Uncle Sam all of that is disappearing," Costello said introducing her "broken government report."
Costello ignored the material gains Americans have clearly made since 1950 when families lived in smaller homes, drove one car and before the invention of personal computers, iPods and so many other goods. Instead, she relied on Commerce Department statistics to show a worried middle class angered about "gridlock" and partisanship.
On Feb. 19, 2009, one year ago tomorrow, Rick Santelli lost his temper while reporting from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The CNBC reporter was angry about bailouts of businesses and homeowners.
His passionate free market rant spoke to many Americans equally distressed about the direction of the nation. The Tea Party movement was born.
It's no surprise that Democratic National Committee chair Tim Kaine would agree with the Obama administration about the effectiveness of last year's stimulus packages. That's why CNN's "American Morning" should have at least included a single critical guest Feb. 17.
Kiran Chetry began the interview by citing a CNN poll that showed public skepticism regarding the stimulus.
"What do you say to Americans who feel that this $862 billion was basically wasted?" Chetry asked.
Kaine defended the stimulus by citing a New York Times piece saying that the stimulus "has pretty much done exactly what it was intended to do." The former governor gave the stimulus credit with getting the economy growing again. Kane also said it saved or created 2.4 million jobs.
Back to back Washington, D.C. blizzards prompted conservatives to mock the global warming crowd last week.
Grandchildren of Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., built an igloo on the National Mall and christened it "Al Gore's New Home." Fox News anchor Glenn Beck employed his trademark sarcasm to make fun of the "disappearance" of warming priest Al Gore and devotee Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. since the snowfall. Beck picked on Kennedy because of a 2008 op-ed lamenting that global warming had changed the D.C. climate leading to "anemic winters."
Left-wingers online at place like Huffington Post and Daily Kos, as well as members of the national news media were furious that the "wingnuts" were using the blizzard to make fun of them. They rushed to defend their theory of man-made global warming (anthropogenic global warming or AGW) by claiming that the snowpocalypse was, in fact, caused by global warming.
"Science Guy" Bill Nye was so upset by it he attacked "unpatriotic" climate skeptics on Feb. 10 during the "Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC.
Just one day after Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the U.S. wouldn't lose its "top-notch" credit rating, one CNBC guest said that ‘"all governments" will default - it's only a matter of time.
When asked by "Power Lunch" co-anchor Sue Herera if he would buy Greek debt, Marc Faber said: "No, I'm not interested in government or sovereign debts because I think that all governments will eventually default, including the U.S."
Shocked, Herera replied, "What! Whoa, whoa, whoa." Co-anchor Dennis Kneale asked for clarification, "All governments?"
"Mhmm. All governments," Faber, editor of the Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, explained. "Some like Singapore that have basically no government debt and have huge reserves ... in general the problem is the emerging economies today are financially much sounder in terms of debt to GDP than the developed world, including the U.S., Western Europe, the U.K. and so forth.
There are at least two schools of thought in economics. One of them - Keynesian economics - suggests that consumption is the most important element and therefore spending is the way to restore a faltering economy.
This is the theory that's been adopted by the spendthrift Obama administration and often the news media that have argued in favor of moregovernment and personal spending.
But according to former treasury secretary Henry (Hank) Paulson, Jr. overspending was a "root cause" of the financial crisis.
Paulson told CNN's Christine Romans on Feb. 10, "One of the root causes of the crisis were the structural economic imbalances that really result from the proclivity of not just our nation, but Americans to save too little, to invest too little, to borrow to much, to spend too much."