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)
On August 11, a state judge struck down an early voter law passed by the liberal Democratic legislature over Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich's veto. In his August 12 story covering the decision, Washington Post staff writer Matthew Mosk relayed fiery, class warfare-centered talking points from liberal Democrats incensed at the ruling.
Yet Mosk curiously omitted an early voting option that costs Marylanders $0.78 (two first-class postage stamps): an absentee ballot.
"Sheet metal workers and crane operators and people who have to leave
the house at 5 in the morning to get to their jobs at the Pentagon,
they're the ones who are helped by this," Senate President Thomas V.
Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) said earlier this year.
Here's an excerpt from an excellent editorial by Gary Witzenburg, a former auto engineer who helped design the GM EV1, the early '90s electric car that left-wing conspiracy theorists think the big ol' meanies at Big Oil killed. Suffice it to say, Witzenburg was nowhere to be found on the taxpayer-funded infomercial for "Who Killed the Electric Car" on the June 9 edition of "Now with David Brancaccio."
Here's an excerpt of his August 8 "Another View" editorial in "USA Today":
Widespread acceptance of battery-powered EVs will not happen until someone develops battery technology competitive with a tank of gas (or diesel) in every way. It must be absolutely safe, long-term durable, capable of operating reliably in extreme weather and temperatures, mass-producible at low cost, able to carry comparable energy in a package of comparable size and weight, and able to be quickly recharged. None comes remotely close.
Canadian-born Morley Safer worries that American "McMansions" are an "alien weed" choking suburban America.
But the liberal "60 Minutes" veteran should have talked to an expert or two. The National Association of Realtors says the market for so-called McMansions is tiny, and that the more significant market is for starter-houses which enable homeowners to build equity and trade up after a few years.
No, this is not the aftermath of Katrina, it is the prelude
to a monster,” griped Safer. “Across the country, perfectly sound and cozy
houses are being torn down. The empty lots then get filled up” with larger
From an article I posted a few moments ago at BusinessandMedia.org, an MRC Web site:
Has CNN’s reporting on food gone to the dogs?
The audience of the August 5 edition of “In the Money” might
suspect as much. On that program business contributor Andy Serwer narrated a
“Brainstorm” segment looking at the “latest trends and innovations the food
industry has in store for you” such as “foods you can eat along with your pet.”
Foods you can scarf down with Skippy while channel-surfing
past CNN on your way to Animal Planet? Tell me more.
“For a look at some hot new products appearing on a store
shelf near you, we recently headed to a food trade show in New York City,” the Fortune magazine editor
explained as he opened his segment.
I venture to say I'm not alone in thinking that the new "Bold moves" series of car ads by Ford Motor Company quickly replaced the Dodge ones with the HEMI-obsessed schlub as the dumbest auto ads on the tube lately.
But that's not deep enough for The Washington Post's David Montgomery. He sees one particular ad as a window to America's psyche on immigration of all things. Here's how he opened his story.
So this hunky, swarthy, full-lipped guy in a white cowboy hat is
tooling down a country road in a red pickup truck. He comes upon a big
tree fallen across both lanes. No problem. He off-roads around the
obstacle and cruises on.
On yesterday's "Evening News," CBS reporter Bob Orr's story on a global warming link to the heat wave was cut short due to an overheated satellite truck.
“Just to underline how hot it is, the remote truck that Bob
Orr was broadcasting from just overheated and we had to shut it down,” anchor
Bob Schieffer explained as the story ended abruptly.
Were I a conspiracy theorist I'd think it was just a gimmick to highlight CBS's slanted coverage of global warming as settled science. While Orr possibly could have included a dissenting view somewhere later in his half-aired report, I somehow doubt it.
Before his report cut off, Orr cited Pew Center climatologist Jay Gulledge, who he said argues there "no longer any serious debate" on global warming.Gulledge also argues that it was pollution that staved off global warming in the 1970s.
A sample of my latest article available at MRC's BusinessandMedia.org. For the full article, click here.:
It’s not every
day a politician calls for a 100-percent tax rate on national TV. Even the most
liberal-friendly of journalists would be inclined to question such a punitive
idea. But when former presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich called for such a
tax on the “windfall profits” of oil on the July 28 “Early Show,” CBS’s Hannah
Storm didn’t even bat an eyelash.
interview segment with the liberal Rep. Kucinich (D-Ohio) and the libertarian
Cato Institute’s Jerry Taylor on the so-called windfall profits tax, Storm
asked Kucinich how such a tax would “translate to consumers and help the people
who are paying at the pump.”
Over at the MRC's BusinessandMedia.org today I wrote about ABC's Lisa Stark picking up a Kaiser Fmily Foundation study of how food companies mix advertisements in with kid-friendly online games as marketing gimmicks on their Web sites.
Here's a taste:
than presenting the development as a safer Internet pastime for
children then chatting with complete strangers or looking up
pornographic Web sites, Stark suggested the advertising development is
a danger to children that needs to be regulated.
television, there are regulations on marketing to kids, a limit on the
amount of ad time on a children’s show for example, but online, it’s
wide open,” complained Stark, who went on to conclude her story
lamenting the trend was “only likely to get worse.”
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.