As Fidel Castro, dictator of Cuba since 1959, malingers in a shadowy state of sickness, the Times for some reason points us to the embarrassing reports filed by Times reporter (and Castro dupe) Herbert Matthews between 1957 and 1959. It's a series of Walter Duranty -style hagiographies of Castro that foreshadowed the mainstream media 's later and long-standing embrace of Castro's quest for "social justice," "free" health care, and a "high literacy rate" (no matter that books and newspapers were censored). Matthews' blinkered Castro idealism retains a faint echo in the paper's respectful present-day coverage, which lacks Matthews' freshly flowered... continue reading
As sure as the sun rises in the east, when a heat wave engulfs the continental United States, it dawns on the media that “global warming” may be to blame. Such was the case with CBS’s Bob Orr on the July 31 “Evening News,” when the reporter consulted with Pew Center on Global Climate Change’s Jay Gulledge. “The average global temperature is getting hotter due to global warming,” Gulledge told Orr. “Gulledge says there’s no longer any serious debate” on climate change, Orr added. A short time later, Orr’s story was cut short just as Gulledge was explaining his theory... continue reading
The CBS “Evening News” may want to change its theme music to R.E.M.’s “End of the World As We Know It.” Nearly two months into a quiet hurricane season, CBS’s Michelle Miller alarmed viewers of the July 30 broadcast with ominous warnings of a “long overdue Northeast hurricane” that “could devastate the region and cripple the U.S. economy.” Invoking the “Long Island Express” hurricane of 1938, Miller warned that as devastating at that storm was in lives lost and property damage, the economic hit today would be much worse, as “real estate values from Maryland to Maine are among the... continue reading
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. Opening an 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... continue reading
What’s next, a “Dateline NBC” sting operation to snag Toucan Sam? Basing her story on a July 19 study by the liberal Kaiser Family Foundation, ABC’s Lisa Stark offered the audience of the July 26 “World News Tonight” a look at the “Wild West” world of food marketing on the Internet geared to kids, complete with flashy games on company Web sites. The Kaiser report found that “more than eight out of ten (85%) of the top food brands that target children through TV advertising also use branded websites to market to children online.” But rather than presenting the development... continue reading
A new batch of real estate data gave the media a chance to pull out its recipe for half-baked reporting on the housing market. On July 25, a housing report released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) performed better than expected but ABC and NBC’s July 25 evening newscasts spun the story negatively, with NBC even floating talk of a housing “bubble.” Neither network mentioned that five days earlier Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke assessed the housing slowdown as “orderly” or that NAR chief economist David Lereah forecasted in January that the housing market would “normalize” from its record-setting... continue reading
OK. Who outsourced Lou Dobbs’s dictionary to China ? That has to be the only explanation for why CNN’s resident anti-free trader Lou Dobbs claimed a guest critical of the Bush administration’s trade policies was not a “protectionist.” During his July 24 “Lou Dobbs Tonight” interview with liberal ( 2005 ADA rating 100 out of 100) Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) about his new book “Take This Job and Ship It,” Dobbs praised the North Dakotan and urged viewers to pick up a copy of the senator’s anti-free trade manifesto. “Senator Byron Dorgan is no protectionist. In point of fact, he... continue reading
Gas prices at an “all-time high” was the attention-getting tease from the July 24 “Today” show. NBC used it to promote a segment on saving money by switching from premium gas. But it wasn’t premium coverage. Regular unleaded prices aren’t at record highs, either for the past year or when adjusted for inflation. NBC relied upon a new report by oil analyst Trilby Lundberg to justify his “record price” assertion. Bloomberg News used similar language in a July 23 articled that reported the “average pump price beat a record set last September by less than a cent.” “The average price... continue reading
It’s a slow news day and you’re an environment reporter for a major metropolitan newspaper. What do you do to kill time before your bicycle ride home? If you’re The Washington Post’s Michael Grunwald, you might pen a couple opinion pieces telling your readers they are destroying the Earth and that Al Gore can help save it with another vice presidency. That’s essentially what reporter Michael Grunwald did in the pages of the July 23 Outlook section for the liberal Washington paper. A Society of Environmental Journalists 2003 award winner, Grunwald covers energy and environmental issues for the Post, at... continue reading
If you want to read between the lines for politicians, it helps if you know what book they’re reading. In the case of liberal would-be tax fixer Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), it appears to be Mao’s “Little Red Book.” Wyden, according to the July 24 Washington Post, “has made it his mission to force Congress to rewrite the entire tax code.” Wyden’s plan isn’t particularly new – it’s another left-wing attempt at soaking the rich. According to the Post, “Wyden’s Fair Flat Tax Act would lower taxes for millions of middle-income families, in part by raising taxes on some corporations and... continue reading