Strong Sales Figures from GM, Ford Go Unnoticed

     “Upbeat” sales numbers for General Motors and Ford were announced November 1, but the news was conspicuously absent from two of the three major evening newscasts.

     ABC’s “World News Tonight with Charles Gibson” devoted about 20 seconds to the sales increases for the U.S. automakers. “There is tonight, for a change, some upbeat news from two of the big three automakers,” said anchor Charles Gibson.

     Good news indeed. “General Motors sales jumped almost 17 percent last month, compared to a year ago, while Ford gained almost 9 percent. Only Daimler Chrysler saw a dip in October sales,” Gibson reported.

     But the CBS “Evening News” and NBC “Nightly News” chose not to report those figures, although they had no qualms earlier this year about reporting the industry’s bad news. Instead of mentioning the sales increases, both shows featured stories on bioidenticals, which are unregulated hormone treatments for women dealing with menopause.

     Nightly News” spent nearly three minutes talking about bioidenticals, while the “Evening News” discussed the hormone treatments, derived from soy and yam extracts, for more than four minutes.

     Back on September 14, “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams negatively reported on the industry buyouts saying Ford is “doing away with tens of thousands of unionized workers.” On the same day, business reporter Anthony Mason of CBS “Evening News” declared Ford would need “radical surgery to survive.” This was just one of many network segments focused on problems with the auto industry.