I couldn't help but think of the "squeaky voiced teen" recurring character on The Simpsons when I read this storyon global warming in today's Los Angeles Times:
Whatever the ultimate scientific truth, this month's weather has been for many Southern Californians a perceptual tipping point that brought home the possibility of global warming, just as the fury of Hurricane Katrina did for the people of New Orleans.
Inside the air-conditioned darkness of the Majestic Crest Theatre in Westwood, Max Furstenau, 18, was cleaning up after Tuesday's 3 p.m. showing of "An Inconvenient Truth," in which former Vice President Al Gore made the case for global warming.
“Senator Byron Dorgan is no protectionist. In point of fact,
he is calling for expanded markets for U.S. exports,” Dobbs insisted, praising
Dorgan for his “critical examination of what this country is doing to itself,”
with tax and trade policy.
But Dobbs is confusing his viewers, if not outright
insulting their intelligence by insisting Dorgan isn’t for protectionist
policies. Dorgan supports various tariffs, including one on foreign sources of
ethanol, a fuel additive mandated for gasoline by the EPA.
The Washington Post's Jeff Birnbaum devoted his K Street Confidential column today to liberal Senator Ron Wyden's (D-Ore.) call for a "FairFlat" tax. Birnbaum failed to tell his readers that Wyden's soak-the-rich plan for "reform" co-opts language from two conservative schools of thought on tax reform: the flat tax championed by Steve Forbes and the national sales "Fair Tax" advocated by Rep. John Linder (R-Ga.).
But as the MRC's Business & Media Institute director Dan Gainor also noticed, the Fox News contributor missed Wyden's unfortunate allusion to an infamous Marxist class warrior.
A story in The Washington Post yesterday contained some survey data that bolster an argument the Media Research Center's Business & Media Institute (BMI) has made for years now: the media's negativism on the economy has a strong influence on the public:
The paper sponsored “a survey-based experiment”
of “more than 2,500 online respondents” who were “shown a brief news
clip before being asked to reply to a series of questions.” The views
of respondents on their personal economic well-being were wildly
different between survey-takers shown a story on gas prices and
respondents shown a story on job growth.
When you're a White House correspondent so far out in left field even Dana "I'm not a hunter but I play one on TV" Milbank fires off a warning shot about your biases, you know you've lost all credibility.
The Washington Post's Dana Milbank today reviewed Hearst columnist Helen Thomas's latest book and found it a "rather unpleasant rehashing of the liberal criticism of the press's performance before the Iraq war."
Far from a right wing armor-bearer -- as numerous NewsBuster posts can attest -- Milbank at least retains a measure of intellectual honesty in reminding Post readers that the Washington press corps was not uncritical of the Bush administration's defense of the war in the lead-up to the March 2003 invasion.
Now look what we've done! The global warming we've caused will ruin Napa Valley wine!
That's what CBS would have you believe as it picked up on a new study arguing pretty much that global warming will wipe out 80 percent of America's vineyards. But other global warming believers doubt the study's conclusions and vintners argue they can keep producing wine in warmer climes with improved technology.
may doom the Napa
Valley, CBS News warned
its July 12 “Evening News” audience. Yet correspondent John Blackstone excluded
any scientists, including those who otherwise believe in man-made global
warming, who warn that new computer models are conclusive or don’t match up
against recorded climate patterns.
The media usually leaves Hollywood out of the class warfare it engenders, but NBC's Michael Okwu found a sore spot among union members angry at Hollywood hot shots like George Clooney: Top dollar celebrities pulling down millions to voice over commercial spots.
“Let’s put it this way, there are some people that are
making a million dollars an hour,” announcer Tom Kane griped. Okwu told viewers
Kane is paid “a lot less.”
“Just go make
your movies. Let us do our commercials and no one gets hurt,” Kane told Okwu.
But Kane is far
more successful than the average union dues-paying announcer and he himself has
starred in a few animated movies.
A look at Kane’s
professional Web site and his profile at the Internet Movie Database
(imdb.com), tell of a career voicing over television shows, video games, and
trailers to movies such as “Booty Call,” “Ice Age 2,” and “Jimmy Neutron.”
Over the past few years, the media have consistently given a vote of no confidence to the U.S. economy, my colleague Amy Menefee wrote over at BusinessandMedia.org yesterday.
Her article shows how disconnected from reality the media are. Her points hit home even harder in light of today's announcement by the Bureau of Economic Analysis that GDP grew at 5.6 percent in the first three months of 2006.
TV journalists have been warning of “stagflation,” a bursting housing bubble, and even “recession,” but consumers are far more confident about the economy than journalists.
The MRC Business & Media Institute's latest study is getting notice in the media.
The Washington Post's Frank Ahrens did a write-up below-the-fold in the business section today.
"Bad Company," the first of a three-part study series on media coverage of the American businessman is available here.
Here's a bit of what Ahrens wrote:
On the heels of last month's conviction of top Enron Corp.
executives comes this nugget from the Media Research Center, a
conservative television watchdog group that examines programming to
determine how certain groups are portrayed. In this study, the group
claims that Hollywood unfairly and overwhelmingly casts businessmen and
women as "criminal CEOs and murdering MBAs."
Mark Twain once said, "It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native criminal class except Congress."
Today's Hollywood TV executives would beg to differ. To them there's no distinctly native criminal class except American businessmen.
The Media Research Center's Business & Media Institute is out with our latest study, the first of a three-part series looking at the media's bias against businessmen.
Almost 10 years ago, the Media Research Center’s
Business & Media Institute published “Businessmen Behaving Badly,”
which found that businessmen on TV committed more crimes than any
other demographic. In this new study, BMI looked at 129 episodes
from 12 top-rated dramas on the four networks: ABC, CBS, FOX and
NBC. These broadcasts were picked from two “sweeps” months in 2005 –
May and November – when networks try to attract the largest
audiences to maximize ad dollars.
In this look at primetime, BMI found:
Negative toward Business: Negative plots about business and
businessmen outnumbered positive ones by almost 4-to-1. Of the 39
episodes that included business-related plots or characters, 30
(77 percent) cast businessmen and commerce in a negative light.
You know the media are overreaching when they start to portray teenagers hunkered over schoolbooks while downing iced lattes at a coffee shop as an alarming thing:
For my full story, click here. For a similar item on the biased coverage ABC brewed up just two days earlier, click here.
The kids aren’t alright. An epidemic is sweeping the nation as teenagers down the addictive brew by the pint. Underage alcohol consumption? No, coffee.
As anti-food industry advocacy groups like Center for Science in the Public Interest sharpen their legal knives against Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX), the media are brewing up alarmist reports on teenage caffeine consumption.
The media reporting on Enron was aggressive from day one. As well it should be. But another huge corporate scandal rife with political connections has been virtually ignored by the media: the $40 billion Fannie Mae fiasco, presided over by Clinton alumni like Franklin Raines and Jamie Gorelick. Today the Washington Times ran an op-ed by the MRC's Business & Media Institute Director Dan Gainor about the media's double standard. Dan's piece is on page A18 of the print edition, and available on the Web here.
Here's a taste:
When most people hear the word "Enron," they mentally complete the phrase by adding the word "scandal." As reporter Lester Holt of NBC's "Today" put it in a Jan. 1 story, "Enron has been the poster child, if you will, of corporate scandals."
Here's what BMI's Dan Gainor posted Thursday about Lauer's Tuesday night foray into documentary-making (click here for the full article):
“We are the problem,” declared NBC’s “Today” co-anchor Matt Lauer doing a stint as host for the SciFi network. Lauer was referring to mankind’s alleged misuse of planet Earth, but his comment better suits the media and his apocalyptic documentary.
Lauer’s program, “Countdown to Doomsday,” merged nearly every science-fiction disaster flick ever made – “The Terminator,” “Deep Impact,” “I, Robot” and, of course, the SciFi Channel’s own “Battlestar Gallactica.” Lauer’s news background gave an air of respectability to the documentary and the show was filled with news footage from Hurricane Katrina, 9/11 and more to reinforce that impression.
Well, maybe they aren't rooting for a recession, but the mainstream media sure are anticipating one coming around the bend any time now, and have for quite a while.
That's the finding in the Business & Media Institute's latest newsletter story, available online here.
Here's a taste:
No matter how the economy is doing, the word “recession”
never seems too far away. CBS began the year with talk of a recession and
similar discussion has cropped on up ABC and CNN throughout 2006 and even going
back to Hurricane Rita last fall.
ABC delivered two separate warnings of the latest recession
fears on June 7. Starting with “Good Morning America,” the network ran counter
to recent news that first-quarter growth had been revised upward. The new
number was even stronger: 5.3 percent. Despite that excellent performance,
reporter Robin Roberts warned that a recession was possible. “The two-day sell
off was sparked by concerns that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates
too much, cooling the economy to the point of recession,” she claimed.
In March, I blogged about how some journalists who live in Chevy Chase, Maryland, were taking legal action to force their neighbors, Marc and Marianne Duffy, to tear down their home for violating zoning laws.
Washington Post editor William Hamilton, his wife Jane Mayer of The New Yorker, and former ABC correspondent Jackie Judd had complained about the Duffy renovations, which were erroneously approved by county bureaucrats.
Well, the Duffy's plight is back in the news as they lost another fight in their struggle to save their home.
On June 7, an appeals board affirmed the order issued in March to the Duffys. Buried in Miranda Spivack's article in the June 8 Washington Post is a factoid that goes to show how petty the complaint by Hamilton, Mayer, and Judd was:
The Washington Post's Alan Cooperman reported on protesters who staged a silent demonstration during Mass at a Catholic service in St. Paul, Minnesota. The group of gay activists wore rainbow-colored sashes as they went to receive Communion in protest of Church teachings on homosexuality.
Cooperman's description of a subsequent mishandling of the Eucharist refused to condemn the act as objectively disrespectful of the sacrament:
In an act that some witnesses called a "sacrilege" and others called a sign of "solidarity," a man who was not wearing a sash received a Communion wafer from a priest, broke it into pieces and handed it to some of the sash wearers, who consumed it on the spot.
The Media Research Center's Business & Media Institute (formerly the Free Market Project) is co-hosting a symposium on June 6 with TCSDaily.com at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Hollywood's treatment of capitalism on the silver screen. The panelists include Fox News Watch's James Pinkerton, film critic Michael Medved, Clinton acolyte Lanny Davis, and BMI director Dan Gainor.
The free event lasts from 6-9 p.m. and includes free cocktails. Bloggers are particularly welcome.
Seats are still available. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Washington Post's Michelle Boorstein gave readers of the Sunday paper a peek into the beauty of the traditional Latin Mass held every Sunday at St. Mary Mother of God Catholic Church in Washington, D.C.
The ringing of bells. Latin wafting high into the church rafters. Women's heads draped in lace.
is a solemn aura to 9 a.m. Sunday Mass at Saint Mary Mother of God, a
D.C. parish on Fifth Street NW where hundreds of Catholics who long for
ancient ritual gather each week to celebrate what is among the most
traditional and complex of Roman Catholic rites: the Tridentine Mass.
But mostly there is a powerful silence, a seriousness created by the
absence of contemporary church: no responsive readings, no guitars, no
congregants walking to a microphone to read from Scripture or to make
bingo announcements. There is just a centuries-old script, which
dictates the near-constant, intricate movements of the altar servers --
circling the altar, kneeling, pressing hands together, bowing -- as
well as the position of the priest, whose back is to parishioners.
Together, everyone faces East, acknowledging that Jesus is the true
A new study by BMI analysts Warren Anderson and Rachel Waters details how the broadcast media use "B-roll" (background video clips) showing pictures of higher-than-average station marquees to present a more dire picture of gas prices than reality:
Pictures of gas station prices on NBC averaged 36 cents higher than the national average between March 21 and May 24. For the typical American driver with a 20 mpg vehicle, the 36 cents extra would equal more than $200 a year.
Six of the stories in this study showed gas that was more than a dollar above the national average. ABC had four such stories and NBC two. CBS never ran a story that depicted gas at or below average.
According to experts, there are many reasons why gas prices have risen. Those include: political problems in places such as Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, and Venezuela, lingering effects from Katrina, increased demand from China and India, new ethanol requirements, and the typical summer increase. While explaining these reasons to viewers, the networks often displayed prices that were national extremes rather than those encountered by the average American consumer.
As other postings to NewsBusters of late can attest, the media love Al Gore.
The Business & Media Institute yesterday released our recap of the drumbeat the media have given Gore on the lead-up to his movie An Inconvenient Truth.
It's a perfect companion read to our latest special report, "Fire and Ice" which examines over 100 years of hyped reporting in the media of climate catastrophe, either from global warming or global cooling.
Another cool link to check out is this video from our friends at CEI. Just how much is Al Gore contributing to global warming by his frequently flying the friendly skies?
On May 22, the Federal Trade Commission released a report finding no systemic price gouging resulting from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The following day, USA Today -- which has carried a "nation's gas gauge" item in its front page sidebar for a few weeks now -- assigned the story below-the-fold treatment in the Money section.
Another story, on how average gas prices have dropped 6.4 cents in the past week, was relegated to the sidebar of the Money section page as well.
For my article on televised coverage of the story, click here.
It's no secret that the media has a bias when it comes to "climate change" that's friendly to environmentalists who blame human activity, essentially modern economic growth, for global warming. But what may surprise you is just how long the media's fixation with global warming/cooling goes back.
The MRC's Business & Media Institute (formerly the Free Market Project) just released a study that found that The New York Times has led the way in predicting global catastrophe from climate change as early as 1895.
The BMI study "found that many publications now claiming the world is on
the brink of a global warming disaster said the same about an impending ice age
– just 30 years ago. Several major ones, including The New York Times, Time
magazine and Newsweek, have reported on three or even four different climate
shifts since 1895."
Co-opting liberal rhetoric in the immigration debate, ABC's Dan Harris asked viewers, "What is the higher biblical priority, being a Good Samaritan, or upholding the law," while heading out to commercial on the May 14 "World News Tonight."
Aside from displaying a simplistic liberal agenda-friendly interpretation of Christian Scripture, the rhetoric Harris borrowed came straight from the mouth of woman featured in his story.
"Anyone who believes" Jesus's parables "should be
outraged that … the government is making it a crime to be a Good
Samaritan," activist Maryada Vallet was quoted in a January 20 Religion News Service article.
Vallet's work for "No More Deaths"-- a group which refuses to alert the Border Patrol to the location of illegal immigrants -- has been documented elsewhere in print, including the Scottsdale Times.
Liberal nanny-state advocate Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is at it again: suing the makers of 7-Up for false advertising by tagging its new incarnation of the lemon-lime flavored drink as "7-Up Natural."
Picking up on the story, ABC's "World News Tonight" on May 11 presented CSPI as merely a non-profit group concerned with truth-in-advertising. But the group is far more concerned with what you eat and drink than what is printed on the label:
Recently, CSPI pulled an anti-soda lawsuit filed in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts only after a settlement with soft drink manufacturers brokered by former President Bill Clinton.
Among other areas where the media slant coverage in an anti-business direction, the MRC's Business & Media Institute (formerly the Free Market Project) has doggedly tracked the media's biases against "Big Oil" and in favor of Big Government.
Now we've decided to engage bloggers and the media on the issue with a panel discussion on "Oil, Markets, and the Media" on Wednesday, May 10 from 9:30 to 11. The discussion will be followed by a free breakfast during which time panelists including Cato's Jerry Taylor and Congressman Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), will be able to field questions from attendees.
Continuing her “Eye on the Road” series, CBS’s Sharyn Alfonsi showcased a Washington, D.C.-area teacher who she says can’t afford her commute due to rising gas prices.
But Alfonsi didn’t do her homework. Her featured teacher is a retired Navy lawyer who said in 2003 that she could only afford working as a Catholic school teacher because of her military pension. What Alfonsi didn’t say was that teacher Bonnie McGann made a conscious choice to earn less so she could give back to her church.
“This was the area where I could afford a home,” McGann informed Alfonsi’s viewers on the May 4 “Evening News.” The CBS correspondent added that McGann’s problem was the cost of the commute. “It’s a burden for me now. It’s something that I am unable to absorb,” McGann added. The picture Alfonsi painted was incomplete. McGann is a retired Navy Judge Advocate who says she went into teaching in Catholic schools for the emotional and spiritual reward of the experience....
"Killer of Teen, Fetus Sentenced" read a May 5 Washington Post headline on a man sentenced in Virginia for the brutal beating and subsequent death of his girlfriend and her unborn child. "Although there was evidence that Williams wanted to terminate" girlfriend Cheri Washington's pregnancy, "there was no proof that he intended to kill Washington," staff writer Theresa Vargas noted.
Nowhere in her story is the term "unborn baby" or "unborn child" used.
The Washington Post is hardly alone in using clinical language to describe the murder of unborn children. NewsBusters.org has documented other instances where the media have preferred the term "fetus" for an unborn child.
If there's any online media that would be free from infantile whining about corporate greed, it'd be investor Web sites, right? For the most part perhaps, but Motley Fool's Rick Munarriz found a corporate giant to attack for making money: Netflix, the online DVD rental service.
"How much money do you need when your largest competitor is
against the creditors' ropes? Or when a digitally delivered future may mean
thinner moats but without the same kind of capital intensive structure," whined Munarriz, who owns stock in the company. "There's never enough money, apparently, if you happen to be
Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX). In a baffling move, the company is looking to initiate
a secondary offering next month that will dilute investors by an additional 3.5
million shares while raising about $100 million."
On the April 27 "World News Tonight," anchor Elizabeth Vargas coined President Bush's call for more regulation of fuel standards a "bold" move:
We turn, now, to ABC's chief Washington correspondent, George
Stephanopoulos. And George, we had a bold move by the President a short time
ago. He wants the ability to change the miles per gallon standards, the so
called CAFÉ standards, on his own, something he currently does not have the
authority to do.
So let's see, the President's move to wiretap incoming phone calls from terror suspects has been roundly criticized as illegal and in reckless disregard to civil liberties. The call to drill for oil in ANWR to increase oil supply and lower gasoline prices has been called "controversial," but seldom if ever bold. But the call to put more regulatory power over industry in the hands of the President, and grow the scope and size of government, that's "bold."
Perhaps it's not surprising from a network that once spun $2.15/gallon of gas as "averaging under $3." The April 26 "CBS Evening News" overestimated ExxonMobil's forthcoming profit margin.
Jumping the gun on the other networks, "CBS Evening News" reported on the April 26 broadcast that ExxonMobil would report a $9.4 billion profit for the first quarter of 2006. The actual figure, released the morning of April 27, is an $8.4 billion profit, a $1,000,000,000 difference. This isn't CBS News's first time being sloppy with numbers.
The Free Market Project previously reported how CBS exaggerated the rise in natural gas prices heading into the winter of 2005-6: