All three broadcast networks last night reported on the Dow record high, pointing to falling oil prices as a reason for the latest market rally.
But the market's been heading on an upward trend for years, throughout climbing oil prices and the media's persistent pessimism on the economy.
Of the three networks, I found CBS had the most negatively-slanted coverage, and NONE of the big three gave any thought to the Bush tax cuts being a catalyst for economic growth.
For my full story, check out the MRC's BusinessandMedia.org.
Here's an excerpt:
While CBS’s Anthony Mason offered qualified praise for the market’s recent rally, he sowed seeds of doubt about the market’s strength. Mason highlighted a retiree who “doesn’t trust this new rally” and then warned that “some Wall Street analysts see another bubble in the economy” with real estate.
The October 1 edition of ABC’s “World News Sunday” preached that the 51 houses of worship in Stafford, Texas are a holy terror to the city’s finances, citing the mayor’s complaints about lack of tax revenue. But reporter Geoff Morrell left out that the city has already enacted more regulation to discourage churches and that at that beginning of the year, the mayor gave a very positive assessment of the city’s finances.
Far from the negative tone Scarcella took in his appearance in Morrell’s story, neither the mayor’s 2006 State of the City Address nor his Fiscal Year 2005-2006 Budget Message warned of dangers to city revenue from too many houses of worship.
To you and me that may not exactly be earth-shattering news, but it is a bit surprising to hear admitted by liberal Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz. After all, this is the same guy who was "agnostic" about whether Keith Olbermann aims to forward a liberal agenda on his MSNBC program.
Veteran Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz admitted recently what many conservatives have long argued: taxpayer-funded National Public Radio (NPR) leans heavily to the left politically.
“With the rise of Fox News and conservative talk radio and NPR on the left and certain liberal cable programs, there is, polls have shown, that people like hearing opinions that reinforce their own,” Kurtz said on the September 30 edition of CNN’s “In the Money.”
The latest "Media Myth" study from the MRC's Business & Media Institute is out. BMI deputy editor Amy Menefee and researcher Julia Seymour found that the media were quick to hype rising gas prices but slow to recognize the ground-rocketing they've been taking lately.
In 35 straight business days of falling gas prices, evening news shows emphasized “high” or “rising” gas prices more often than falling prices.
In half the stories where journalists mentioned falling gas prices, they undermined the news with warnings of future price increases.
It took NBC three weeks to report falling prices on the "Nightly News." By that time, the average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline had fallen 24 cents.
Last night all three network newscasts did story's on a proposed ban on trans fats in New York City restaurants. Katie Couric practically made out trans fat to be a lethal lipid stalking the stainless steel kitchens of the Big Apple's finest eateries
“New York, New York is getting ready to lead the nation in evicting a killer from restaurants,” teased Katie Couric at the intro to the “Evening News.”
Yet oddly enough, it was her correspondent's report that was the most balanced of the three networks, as correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi reported the price tag accompanying the ban for any restaurants holding on to offending cooking oils: $2,000 per violation.
As you may have heard already, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) cited a recent study by the MRC's Business & Media Institute entitled "Fire and Ice," a look at the media's persistent bias and misreporting on global climate change.
You can see his speech at the Republican Senate Conference Web page. Just click here and then click on "Senator James Inhofe, Hot and Cold Media Spin Cycle: A Challenge to Journalists who Cover Global Warming" and "Senator James Inhofe on Media Hot & Cold Hype Since 1895."
After weeks of CNN entertaining the notion of a gas price
conspiracy and one day after the Dow Jones had it’s second highest close, CNN’s
Andy Serwer flatly told viewers to ignore the idea that Republicans were
artificially boosting Wall Street.
“There’s the conspiracy theory that says that because we’re
coming to an election, the GOP is making the market go up, which, don’t believe
it. If they could do that, they would be on Wall Street getting really, really
rich, instead,” Serwer added in his “Minding Your Business” briefing of the
September 27 “American Morning.”
The Dow Jones had its second-best closing average ever and
consumer confidence shot up, but CBS and NBC undercut the good news with
speculation on hurricanes and “echoes” of corporate scandals.
“With gas prices dropping by the day, Americans are suddenly
feeling a whole lot more confident” about the economy, CBS anchor Katie Couric
noted during the September 26 broadcast, before introducing an Anthony Mason
story on the dropping price of natural gas.
Even so, Mason warned viewers, “don’t count your savings
just yet. Even though the forecast is for a milder energy bill this winter,
your meter will still be at the mercy of weather and world events.” Using the
backdrop of video clips of hurricane devastation and war, Mason then posited
that “another Katrina whipping through the Gulf or an escalation of tensions”
could send crude oil and natural gas prices up again.
In an otherwise balanced story yesterday on conservative and libertarian efforts to limit a 2005 Supreme Court ruling expanding eminent domain, USA Today reporter Martin Kasindorf concluded his story with a swipe at anti-Kelo v. New London activists by quoting a Georgetown University legal expert.
"The property rights advocates have exploited Kelo to advance a broader anti-government agenda," Kasindorf quoted "John Echeverria of Georgetown University Law Center."
Actually, Echeverria is head of the Georgetown Environmental Law & Policy Institute, and his bias in favor of Kelo and work with the liberal Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), went unmentioned. In doing so, the reader is left with the impression Echeverria is a dispassionate legal observer, or at least one uninvolved in Kelo-related controversies.
Yet on November 4, 2005, Echeverria told New York state legislators, "I firmly believe the U.S. Supreme Court decision" in Kelo v. New London "was correctly decided."
Today's the last full day of astronomical summer, and so in a sidebar on the Metro page of the September 22 Washington Post, the paper gives its readers a few handy stats about the weather this meteorological summer (June 1-August 31).
[Meteorological summer is a convention commonly used to examine data that provides consistency from year to year rather than adhering to the slightly different dates for seasonal changes on the solstices and equinoxes.]
Anyway, in D.C. at least, it was only the 19th warmest on record, as recorded since 1871. What's more, the average temperature in summer was 78.5 degrees. Toasty, but not exactly scalding, except for the late July-early August heat wave, where 101 was the hottest temperature achieved in Washington on August 3.
Of course, it's the spikes in temperature, the heat waves, that the media latched on to to in order to mount the soap box on global warming.
Great media bias busters think alike. TimesWatch.org's Clay Waters and I separately wrote articles on The New York Times's Melanie Warner and her latest foray into bashing the American food industry. In the September 13 Times, she takes on salt.
An excerpt from my latest item up at the MRC's BusinessandMedia.org Web site. See my article for more, including links to external content:
The recent discovery of new oil reserves in the Gulf of Mexico was the perfect excuse for CNN’s Jack Cafferty to revisit his election-year conspiracy theory. But when the September 9 "In the Money" aired, the program’s panelists talked to an oil analyst about the future of oil and gas prices, leaving out the idea of a Big Oil-GOP axis of petrol.
"You know, if you were a real cynic, you could also wonder if the oil companies might not be pulling the price of gas down to help the Republicans get re-elected in the midterm elections a couple of months away," Cafferty suggested on the August 30 "Situation Room," just five days before the Chevron (NYSE: CVX) oil discovery.
The Washington Post has found an evangelical Christian it likes. Conveniently enough he's not a fan of the Christian right. Here are some nuggets from staff writer Caryle Murphy's September 10 profile of a "progressive" pillar of the "emerging church" movement, Brian D. McLaren.:
“When we present Jesus as a pro-war, anti-poor, anti-homosexual, anti-environment, pro-nuclear weapons authority figure draped in an American flag, I think we are making a travesty of the portrait of Jesus we find in the gospels," McLaren said in a recent interview.
Something tells me this excuse wouldn't fly with 99.9 percent of American women, much less any woman as attractive as Ms. Jolie:
NEW YORK Sep 8, 2006 (AP)— Brad Pitt, ever the social activist, says he won't be marrying Angelina Jolie until the restrictions on who can marry whom are dropped.
"Angie and I will consider tying the knot when everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able," the 42-year-old actor reveals in Esquire magazine's October issue, on newsstands Sept. 19.
In the article he reflects on "fifteen things I think everyone should know."
Yet another case of a reporter not giving you all the facts.
CNN's Christine Romans tried to pass off a Boston area woman, Abby Subak, as merely a "mother of two" concerned about the death of the American Dream.
I thought it fit all too neatly into Romans's story, which hyped the findings of a liberal think tank critical of the Bush economy. Well, sure enough, an Internet search showed that this woman just so happened to have worked before for Ralph Nader's PIRG.
With the 'macaca' controversy growing painfully ancient by the day, Washington Post staff writer Tim Craig found a new liberal talking point to further against Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) in his September 6 Metro section article, "Entertainment Industry Donates to Allen's Bid."
My home-delivered Maryland Edition of the paper ran the story without any 'macaca' references on page B5, but Nexis shows the paper's Final Edition ran the story on B1 with two references to 'macaca' in the article.
According to Nexis, the headline for that run of the article was "Music, TV Industry Donates to Allen; Senator Has Faulted Webb's Ties to Field." I noticed it was the 11th story filed or co-written by Craig to mention the 'macaca' flap.
“Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources' reliability,” the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) advises its members.
That’s not how USA Today reporter Stephanie Armour’s September 5 story on “living with the minimum wage” appeared in the paper. The full-page story and photo essay told how
hard it is to live on a paycheck close to Florida’s minimum wage of $6.40 an hour. It
left out that the star of the piece – depicted simply as a “low wage” worker
who makes $6.55 an hour – was an activist for a group that advocates a wage
Apparently Jack Cafferty's colleagues, ostensibly knowledgeful business reporters, like Jack's kooky conspiracy idea that Big Oil is driving down gas prices in time to engender good will for the GOP:
Maybe it could be called “The Conspiracy Hour with Jack Cafferty.” On the September 2 “In the Money,” the program’s host recycled his theory that gas prices are dropping because of scheming oil companies.
“You know, if you were a real cynic, you could also wonder if the oil companies might not be pulling the price of gas down to help the Republicans get re-elected in the midterm elections a couple of months away,” Cafferty suggested just a few days earlier on the August 30 “Situation Room.”
CBS News veteran Harry Smith finally confessed something that the Business
& Media Institute (BMI) have reported for a while and his
colleagues elsewhere in the media have already picked up on: gas prices
are on a downward trend.
"It seems like a month ago we were all screaming with our hair on fire
about the price of gas going over $3, no end in sight. And now it looks
like it's dropping like a stone," CBS’s Harry Smith marveled on the
August 31 edition of "The Early Show."
New York Times reporter David Leonhardt had to make an about-face on the economy in today's New York Times:
What a difference three days make. 72 little hours.
In that time, a New York Times reporter went from tolling the death knell of real wage growth to reporting a 7-percent wage jump over last year after inflation.
"[T]he current expansion has a chance to become the first sustained period of economic growth since World War II that fails to offer a prolonged increase in real wages," The New York Times’ David Leonhardt and Steven Greenhouse somberly noted in their page A6 article in the August 28 edition.
Greenhouse and Leonhardt added a political spin to data showing the "median hourly wage" dipping "2 percent since 2003, after factoring in inflation."
"That situation is adding to fears among Republicans that the economy will hurt vulnerable incumbents in this year’s midterm elections," the correspondents argued before remarking that "wages and salaries now make up the lowest share of the nation’s gross domestic product."
But new data released on August 30 pushed Leonhardt to admit the death of wage growth he wrote about earlier might be greatly exaggerated.
Over at the MRC's BusinessandMedia.org Web site, I take a look at how CNN's Ali Velshi delivered a biased broadside against the insurance industry on today's "American Morning."
In between stories of frustrated insurance claimants, Velshi shared that “the insurance industry says that some in the media and CNN in particular haven’t given them a fair shake.” In response, Velshi added that he “invited the CEO of State Farm” and the president and CEO of Allstate were “unable to accommodate our request for an interview either.”
Yet elsewhere in his story, Velshi admitted that one insurance company was unable to talk to Velshi about individual cases, exactly the topic of Velshi’s story: individual cases of frustrated insurance claimants.
Last night NBC gave its August 24 "Nightly News" audience a one-sided story on Katrina insurance claims. Correspondent Ron Mott stacked three critics (a plaintiff, his attorney, and another woman filing suit) of insurance companies against a one-sentence statement by State Farm insurance.
What's more, NBC's Ron Mott left out some detail about one of his featured plaintiffs: Judy Guice of Biloxi.
marketing to children is a $10-billion-a-year industry, and some
parents’ advocates and lawyers are saying it’s out of control,” noted
NBC reporter Stone Phillips as he opened his August 18 story.
lend scientific authority to these claims, Phillips turned to Harvard
psychologist Susan Linn, whom he merely described as “the author of
‘Consuming Kids.’ She says brand names are among toddlers’ first words
and logos among the first images they recognize.”
“Kids are requesting brands as soon as they can talk,” Linn told Phillips.
odd as it sounds that children would say “Cocoa Puffs” before “mommy,”
Phillips didn’t question Linn’s assertion. Instead, Phillips went on to
show clips of NBC’s Hoda Kotb conducting an experiment with a group of
preschoolers and toddlers as she asked them to identify corporate
Even then, Phillips conceded, “they didn’t get” every logo right, even though they “came pretty close.”
But Linn is a dispassionate researcher and neutral scientist, right?
Surely with a story about skin care, Regan at least featured a dermatologist or two to back up the push for more FDA regulation of sunscreen lotions, right?
Regan highlighted calls for further FDA regulation of sunscreen lotions by liberal state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Consumer Union environmental health scientist and eco-labeling project director Urvashi Rangan.
Rangan's gripe was that SPF factor labeling misleads the consumer about protection from ultraviolet radiation. Rangan claimed most sunscreens don't in fact protect against UVA radiation. But by failing to look for more information or a dissenting view, Regan left out information which could cut against a pro-regulatory agenda.:
When I was in college (1997-2001), I recall new textbooks ringing up at $75, $80, or even $90. That was pretty steep then, but The Washington Post's Nell Henderson sees similar prices now as a symptom of worrisominflation in her August 17 article:
After poring over reams of data, the Labor Department reported
yesterday that inflation rose last month, eating into people's
paychecks and savings at a quickening clip.
Emerging from the
Georgetown University bookstore in a rush, Linda Dodd didn't need a
government report to tell her that. "I just spent $85 and $90 on two
books," she said with a shrug.
Textbooks, whose prices have risen at a brisk 6.2 percent pace in the
past year, are among the many goods and services that are becoming more
expensive as inflation persists at some of the highest levels in 15
There are two problems here. One is Henderson's illustration is misleading. Sure, new textbooks bought fresh off the shelf at a college bookstore are pricey, but millions of students save money everyday either by ordering cheaper new or used books online or by snatching up used textbooks at college or chain bookstores, or even at the media' least favorite superstore, Wal-Mart. As I wrote in my article at BusinessandMedia.org:
UPDATE: There's now audio up at Washington Post Radio of Greenwell talking about this "growing trend." See below the jump for more on that.
In today's Metro section of The Washington Post, staff writer Megan Greenwell took a sympathetic look at liberal suburban dumpster divers who call themselves "freegans.":
Prince Frederick, Md teen Bryan Meadows “considers himself a ‘freegan,’” Greenwell wrote, describing the term as “a
melding of the words ‘free’ and ‘vegan’” because Meadows “tries not to
contribute to what he sees as the exploitation of land, resources and
animals wrought by commercial production.”
The opening lyrics to the signature song in the musical Grease are apt to describe the media's summer fling with global warming alarmist Al Gore.
A new study by Rachel Waters and Dan Gainor of the MRC's Business & Media Institute (BMI) documents the love affair.
Even with the extensive media coverage – more
than one network story per day on average – Gore’s film spent only one week in the top ten. The film only made
it to the number nine position.
By comparison “X-Men III – The Last Stand” had only had 25
appearances on the networks in the same three-month period. The third
installment in the X-Men series raked in more than $233 million in the U.S.
Gore’s documentary has brought in less than $22 million. That means X-Men
pulled in 10 times the money with one-third the TV appearances.
Nearly two week ago, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell suggested hard-line Communist Raul Castro really did have a soft spot for capitalism.
has been in charge of the military and the economy,” Mitchell explained
to the August 2 “Today” show audience, calling Fidel’s younger brother “politically hard-line but more open than his brother to free
enterprise, including foreign investment.”
She might be on to something, after all.
prosecutors in Miami were prepared to indict Raul Castro as the head of
a major cocaine smuggling conspiracy in 1993, but the Clinton
Administration Justice Department overruled them, current and former
Justice Department officials tell ABC News,” ABC’s Brian Ross and Vic Walter reported on August 14.
Posted this a few days ago at the MRC's BusinessandMedia.org and thought it worth syndicating here simply because it's so outrageous and yet demonstrative of the insufferable sanctimony of The New York Times.:
did a Happy Meal ever do to Melanie Warner? In March the Business &
Media Institute showed you how The New York Times advertising reporter
found nothing funny in humorous beer ads. Now she’s at it again,
pooh-poohing the toys that come with the child-sized meals sold at
McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD)