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'World News' Reports Only Opposition to Airline Merger

     For the second night in a row, ABC’s “World News with Charles Gibson” said everything was bad and nothing good about an airline merger.

 

     On the day the CEOs from Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) and Northwest Airlines (NYSE:NWA) made an official announcement about their intentions to merge, “World News” went out of the way to find opposition to the proposed deal.

 

     “But there was swift opposition,” ABC correspondent Lisa Stark said. “A powerful lawmaker from Minnesota, where Northwest is based, called it one of the worst developments in aviation history.”

 

     “If this merger goes forward, other carriers will follow,” pro-union Democratic Congressman James Oberstar said. “There will be a cascade of mergers.”

 

     But there are those in Washington who have no problem with the merger and in some cases think it is a good thing. They were ignored by “World News” and “CBS Evening News” on April 14, the night before the merger was officially announced.

 

     According to an article in the April 15 Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson, a powerful lawmaker from Georgia – where Delta Air Lines is based – “strongly supports the merger.” Also according the article, the ranking Republican senator on the Judiciary Committee isn’t voicing opposition to the merger.

 

     “Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which deals with antitrust issues, said the [U.S. Justice] department won't be deterred if its antitrust investigators decide the merger won't reduce overall competition,” Marilyn Geewax wrote in the AJC.

 

      Also, according to the April 16 issue of Politico, Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, both Republicans from Tennessee, support the merger. Their state includes Memphis, one of the hub cities for Northwest Airlines.

 

     “This merger is vitally important for Tennesseans,” Alexander told Politico. “We have been assured that the new airline will maintain a strong presence in Memphis, and we will continue working to make sure that is the case.”

 

     Airlines have gotten harsh coverage by the media. In recent weeks, the media attacked airlines based on “safety concerns.”