A few days old but a goodie. I've seen in this one report something that's often missing from network treatment of the minimum wage issue: a quantification of how much the government wage mandate affects the bottom line for small businesses, and ends up screwing over the little guy.
Mark Messner, owner of Pepi's Pizza in south Phoenix, estimates he has
employed more than 2,000 high school students since 1990. But he plans
to lay off three teenage workers and decrease hours worked by others.
Of his 25-person workforce, roughly 75 percent are in high school.
"I've had to go to some of my kids and say, 'Look, my payroll just
increased 13 percent,' " he said. " 'Sorry, I don't have any hours for
Messner's monthly cost to train an employee has jumped from $440 to $580 as the turnover rate remains high.
"We go to great lengths to hang on to our high school workers, but
there are a lot of kids who come in and get one check in their pocket
and feel like they're living large and out the door they go," he said.
"We never get our return on investment when that happens."
Last week, NewsBusters bloggers Scott Whitlock (here and here) and Mark Finkelstein (here and here) separately addressed "Good Morning America" anchor Diane Sawyer's softball interviews with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
It's a shame it didn't come out before then, but this weekend Parade magazine released its 2007 World's Worst Dictators list. Al-Assad came in at number 10, up 6 slots from the 2006 list.
Oh well, I guess it's helpful to have the next time Sawyer enlarges her carbon footprint by flying around the world just to ask another thug completely innocuous questions while enjoying the touristy trappings of a Potemkin village.
The answer, in part, photoshopped models. And no, I'm not referring to Katie.
...thanks to technology, often not even the models themselves can compare to their portfolios. Increasingly, photos for print are enhanced and perfected to an astonishing degree. Not only are moles, acne and subtle facial hair erased from already pretty faces, but retouchers are routinely asked by editors and advertisers to enlarge eyes, trim normal-size ears, fill in hairlines, straighten teeth and lengthen the already-narrow necks, waists and legs of 18-year-old beauties. "We're always stretching the models' legs and slimming their thighs," says a photo retoucher who works for a high-end Manhattan agency. In some cases, hands, feet or even legs are replaced in photos when the subject’s parts don’t add up to a perfect whole.
But the bigger danger, the Newsweek reporters insist, is that twiggy models are actually leading American women to bulk up:
The City of Brotherly Love could soon become the second major U.S. city to ban trans fats from its eateries, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported today. The new law passed the city council unanimously and awaits Mayor John Street's signature.
So you'd think in a city like Philly you'd have plenty of people who would find such a ban ridiculous, and would not be shy about telling some reporters the same. That may well be the case, but in today's paper, the Inquirer's Patrick Kerkstra and Julie Stoiber only gave readers one critic of the ban, an official at the American Academy of Chefs. In fact:
If you're a regular viewer of network morning news shows -- a practice I don't really recommend, we watch them so you don't have to -- you know that CNN's "American Morning" is particularly concerned about the "epidemic" of childhood obesity.
Indeed, just two weeks ago, CNN's top doc, Sanjay Gupta, lamented a lack of regulation on Internet "advergaming" to children You know, playing Spoons with Snap, Crackle, and Pop, that sort of thing.
But this week, well, the crew at "American Morning" actually found it ridiculous that the makers of M&Ms have agreed to stop advertising to children. Not that they do much of that anyway, they just won't anymore, now that European regulators are breathing down their necks. And today, anchor Soledad O'Brien preached the virtues of moderation as she mocked schools that ban cupcakes. [cont'd...]
This was one of the topics discussed at a conservative bloggers briefing that I attended this afternoon: the media are complaining that Senate Republicans are shutting off a debate on Iraq war policy by, well, voting against shutting off debate.
Now, why is Fox the only outlet reporting that the "Democratic majority failed to shut off debate" instead of the Republicans succeeded in blocking debate. I am no parliamentary expert, that's for sure, but I do know cloture ends debate. So, how do Republicans voting against ending debate get accused of ending debate?
Every year on February 6, Ronald Reagan's birthday, the owners of Ropewalk Tavern in Baltimore throw a free birthday bash for the late great president complete with jelly beans and drink specials.
It's a bit of a hike from MRC headquarters in Alexandria, Va., but I may go this year. At any rate, it made me wonder how many other bars and restaurants throughout the fruited plain host similar parties.
Feel free to use the comments field to post information about any Reagan birthday bashes in your neck of the woods.
Here's my question. How many people look at that picture and think the
polar bears were living on some ice and it melted around them and now
they are stuck?
And, yes, I realize a polar bear can drown...
if, say, it's exhausted and swimming over 50 miles. But basically,
these things can swim 15 miles easily, at a speed of 6 miles an hour,
and they use the edge of an ice floe as a platform from which to hunt.
Where's the photograph of the bear chomping down on a cute baby seal?
no, I'm not denying that there's global warming, even as I sit here a
double pane of glass away from minus 12° air. I'm just amused at human
behavior, such as the way it is possible to feel arguments at us.
In particular, we are susceptible to argument by animal. We love the
animal, if it's pictured right, in a way that pulls our heartstrings.
I just caught this, originally posted on February 1 to the Web page for People's Weekly World. It's from a diatribe against the Fox television program "24" by PWW's John Wojcik.
Notice how the writer goes on to explain just why terrorism is such a bad thing. I mean, Stalin was just so much better at systematically killing people than some rinky dink terrorists. </sarcasm>
MSNBC commentator Keith Oberman [sic] rightly described "24" as "naked brainwashing."
All people of good will, of course, oppose terrorism. The Communist Party USA has often pointed out that terrorism substitutes individual acts of violence for the mass action essential for real progressive change.
Wojcik also cited NewsBusters as evidence of why "24" is an evil neo-conservative/Bush White House agitprop:
It's a few days old now, but still timely given today's release of the IPCC report on global warming. It's CNN's Lou Dobbs conceding that while there are scientists who disagree with the premise that global warming is anthropogenic, he's tired of their voices in the debate. So he's picking a winner. No word on if Lou is on the invite list for Al Gore's Oscar night after-party.
I clipped the relevant portions. Total run time of 0:55
Yesterday, President Bush became the second sitting president to ever take a stroll on the New York Stock Exchange floor (Ronald Reagan was the first to do so). Bush also gave a speech at Federal Hall in which he defended his tax cuts, as well as No Child Left Behind, and his policy initiatives in general. But his policy remarks got no attention last night on the evening newscasts, which instead hyped his talking points on CEO pay and income inequality, two liberal themes.
Most media storylines on the economy are predictable. Tax cuts "cost" the government money. The wealthy don't pay their fair share, and, socialized medicine is the only comprehensive way to address health care problems.
That last one's been in vogue lately as Democrats have raised health care as part of their "100 Hours" agenda. So our very own Julia Seymour took a look at the media's push for Big Brother to play doctor to 300 million Americans.
But then there's the ones that are just patently laughable. Like where the media pick the interests of say fish, over people. Look to none other than our friends at The Washington Post for that one. You can find our writeup on that here.:
If you wake up on Saturday mornings and flip on the telly hoping to catch solid Wall Street analysis or perhaps a roundup of foreign and domestic business headlines that affect your investment portfolio, don't waste your time with CNN's "In the Money."
Rather than looking to help average joes invest wisely and benefit from a strong economy and a resilient stock market, the CNN crew would much rather sound like Heidi Cullen hosting a movie night/slumber party for the Al Gore fan club.
PBS tonight airs a documentary on the late Milton Friedman, and perhaps surprisingly enough, the taxpayer-funded network did a good job. [check here for local listings]
UPDATE: You know it's gotta be good. NY Times reviewer Ginia Bellafante panned it for being too worshipful of the free market advocate. And yes, your eyes deceive you not, she found a downside to ending the draft (Friedman opposed military conscription, favoring an all-volunteer force).
Below is an excerpt from a review published to the BusinessandMedia.org Web site by Hillsdale political economy professor and BMI advisor Dr. Gary Wolfram.:
It's no secret many in the media feel that global warming is a settled scientific controversy. But even some scientists who agree that humans cause global warming think Gore's all wet when it comes to his dire predictions. Even so, The Washington Post showcased a Seattle-area teacher yesterday who was at a loss when it came to finding critics of Al Gore's brand of climate pseudo-science.
Portraying an angry parent as an enemy of sound science, reporter Blaine Harden shared with Washington Post readers the story of Federal Way, Wash., science teacher Kay Walls and her struggle to show “An Inconvenient Truth” to her students.
CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta found another explanation for why Junior is rolling round the family room with a spare tire: food advertising on the Internet.
It gets better. The study he's citing is 6 months old and hails from the liberal Kaiser Family Foundation. What's more, Gupta didn't give any tips for parents about how to regulate their kids Internet use and only gave 6 seconds to an advertising industry spokesman for comment.
Sounds like Dr. Sanjay has a fever, and the only prescription is bigger government.
UPDATE: I put together clips from Gupta's story, as clips from ABC's "World News" and CBS's "The Early Show" that display similar biases. You can find that video here (Windows Media) and here (Real Player).
On January 18, CBSNews.com posted an interview that "Public Eye" blogger Brian Montopoli conducted with business correspondent Anthony Mason. In the interview, Mason explained how he wound up reporting the business beat and why he thinks the media have a tendency to be critical of business, as well as admitting that the media in general have a liberal bias in story selection. You can find the full blog post with a link to the interview audio here.
I also took the liberty of clipping a few sound bites from his interview. It runs almost two minutes and can be found here.
In January 2006, Mason made similar comments about the media's coverage of American business:
NBC's David Gregory might be a decent reporter when he's not biased, and I know he's a great dancer, but he's no meteorologist. James Spann is, and on the January 22 "Glenn Beck" program on CNN Headline News, Spann explained the many other causes of global warming other than Gregory shuttling via jet from D.C. to New York to substitute-anchor the January 23 "Today" show.
Maybe D-Greg wasn't watching. The next morning he pressed White House press secretary Tony Snow if the president would "concede that humans are responsible for global warming."
But as Spann explained on Beck's program, carbon emissions are "a pop gun compared to" larger natural influences like "volcanic dust in the stratosphere, the position of the sun,
the temperature of the sun, the structure of the Earth’s magnetic poles, and
CORRECTION: An earlier post incorrectly said none of the
evening newscasts carried a mention of the falling gas prices. I apologize for
Gasoline costs nearly 20 cents less than it did the same
time last year, but the good news merited only a passing mention on the night
before President Bush’s State of the Union address. By contrast, the networks
spent more than 10 minutes combined interviewing 2008 presidential candidate
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.).
"The price of gasoline fell by 6 cents last week to an
average of about $2.16 a gallon nationwide – a 14-cent decline over three
weeks,” the Associated Press reported January 22. AAA's Fuelgaugereport.com,
which displays data from the Oil Price Information Service, shows similar data.
"Retail gasoline prices have fallen 17 cents from this time
last year," and the price of crude oil has also been on a downward track, "down 86 cents at $51.13 a barrel Monday on the New York Mercantile
Exchange," the AP reported.
ABC's Charles Gibson mentioned the drop in a 15-second bit
on "World News," while CBS and NBC had no time for that good news. Each
network, however, gave the junior senator considerable air time on its January
ABC anchor Gibson gave the former first lady the most face
time with 5 minutes and 9 seconds in a satellite interview on "World News." NBC’s Brian Williams and CBS’s Katie Couric gave Clinton about the same time as a full-length
news report. Clinton’s
taped sit-down with Couric lasted 2 minutes and 40 seconds, while Williams’
taped in-studio chat was 2 minutes and 20 seconds.
You gotta love network blogs, if for nothing more they bring out those hidden gems of bias you otherwise wouldn't get from the people behind the camera. Like Ed Deitch, one of the men behind the curtain as it were.
Deitch, a senior producer for the NBC "Nightly News" expressed
bemusement recently on the NBC News "Daily Nightly" blog at the notion that there's opposition to a Bangor, Maine,
ban on smoking in cars with children.
On January 4, 2007, Consumer Reports released what the media considered a damning report that found that many infant car seats are unsafe at 38 mph side-impact crashes. In other words, small children were a car crash away from a grave injury or fatality.
The next morning, ABC, NBC, and CBS's morning programs played up the report, featuring the story prominently. CBS's Hannah Storm even used a newborn baby in a car seat as a prop during an interview.
Well, two weeks and a federal government study later, Consumer Reports issued a retraction. Turns out the laboratory they hired basically performed crash tests that simulated a side impact at 70 mph, a speed at which you are very lucky to come out alive regardless of your age or whether or not you're restrained in a car seat.
Of course, industry insiders felt this was coming, and one even said so on the January 5 "American Morning." But you didn't hear any of that two weeks ago on "Today," "Good Morning America," or "The Early Show." [full story here]
Is there any industry that elite liberals in the media don't want to regulate? Perhaps it's a little tongue-in-cheek, but The Washington Post's Robin Givhan opened her fashion column in the January 19 Style section thusly:
"If anyone ever needed evidence of why industries should not be allowed to police themselves, the Council of Fashion Designers of American just provided it."
You know we've progressed as a society when our modern-day Upton Sinclair is a clothing critic concerned about models strutting down the catwalk rather than the slaughterhouses that produce the hamburgers they won't touch with a 10-foot pole.
ABC’s Dr. Timothy Johnson leveled the harshest criticism,
telling anchor Charles Gibson that President Bush was "misleading" about his
government medical research, which he lamented had actually been "cut" last
Johnson’s liberal complaint about inadequate spending isn’t
surprising. The Business & Media Institute (BMI) has previously documented
Johnson’s advocacy of government-run health care and higher tobacco taxes.
She practically blamed Mel Gibson* for why diet supplements are not regulated as drugs by the FDA and attempted to scare viewers with the extreme case of a woman's nose falling off, but Sharyn Alfonsi's hit pieces on nutrition supplement makers weren't biased enough for CBS's in-house blogger-cum-media critic Brian Montopoli.:
"The real problem is that any topical product such as the one described in this section of Mr. Hurley's book is not a dietary supplement, and cannot be legally sold as one in the United States. By law such products are drugs. If either Mr. Hurley or his editors had bothered to look at the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act, they could have avoided this fundamental mistake," wrote Marc S.Ullman, a New York attorney who represents clients "in the dietary supplement/natural products industry."
Gas prices and oil prices have been slipping lately, just not at the same rate. And that's a "real scandal" to some liberal, self-styled consumer advocates like Judy Dugan of The Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights. That's all well and good, of course, except when the media parrot the complaint and don't explain the group's biases.
That's exactly what we found from USA Today's front page treatment of sliding oil prices in its January 16 edition.
You can fill up here or read below the jump to top off the tank:
While Sylvester included one sound bite from USC's Dr. Joel Hay, she left out his chief complaint with the Democratic plan to institute de facto drug price controls in the guise of Medicare "negotiating" with drug companies to lower prices for seniors on Medicare.
What's more, Sylvester quickly dismissed Hay -- an expert in pharmacoeconomics, the study of the economics of
drug development and distribution -- saying that "common sense" dictates that government "negotiation" can lower drug prices.