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“It’s a financial storm without a shelter in sight,” reporter Mark Strassmann blustered on the July 6 “Evening News.” “Up and down its coast, Florida has an insurance crisis,” Strassmann alarmed viewers. The CBS correspondent criticized premium increases by private insurers and high deductibles by Florida’s state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. But he left out any conservative critics who would argue that federal flood insurance subsidies have brought on the “crisis” – as homeowners accustomed to artificially cheap flood insurance are now facing market-driven prices for privately offered homeowner’s insurance. “We don’t see any end; it’s just going to get... continue reading
Thousands of people may lose their jobs in a seaside resort town in New Jersey, thanks to a Democratic governor’s insistence on raising taxes. But CBS News left out the role tax hikes and wasteful spending played in its recent “Evening News” story. “Today, with the state government shut down by a budget dispute,” state gambling inspectors were unable to work, substitute anchor Harry Smith noted. That caused Atlantic City casinos to shut down gaming operations. Correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi told viewers of the July 5 program what was at stake due to the budget showdown. All told, said Alfonsi, the... continue reading
Hollywood usually gets a pass from the media’s participation in promoting class envy, but NBC’s Michael Okwu found a way to attack A-list Hollywood celebrities: their voiceover work for TV commercials. “Over the last five years, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the use” of those celebrities, Panasonic advertising executive Bob Greenberg told Okwu on the July 5 “Today” show. The problem, according to Okwu? “Non-famous, career voiceover artists must audition with hundreds of competitors” and “they earn union scale, about $400 plus residuals,” Okwu noted before bringing out a successful voiceover artist to complain about the pay disparity. “Let’s... continue reading
Ah, the Fourth of July. Time for fireworks, barbeques … and stern lectures from the food police? CNN’s Independence Day edition of “American Morning” gave viewers a condescending sermon on how not to shop in the grocery store. The lecture, courtesy of former Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) advisory board member Marion Nestle, provided a laundry list of dos and don’ts when going to the supermarket consistent with Nestle’s extreme attitudes. In a Sept. 3, 2004, USA Today piece, Nestle made her position, saying there are some foods we “shouldn’t be eating at all.” CNN health correspondent... continue reading
The U.S. economy didn’t grow as strongly as the government first thought this winter. It did far better. But of the three broadcast evening news programs on June 29, only the CBS “Evening News” picked up on the story. And CBS soured it by featuring a story focused on one Massachusetts man’s house foreclosure. “There was good news on the economy today. It’s growing even faster than earlier estimates had it,” Schieffer reported, noting a “sizzling annual rate of 5.6 percent.” The retiring news anchor then informed viewers about a Wall Street rally upon news that the Federal Reserve expects... continue reading
A June 27 Associated Press article titled “Scientists OK Gore’s Movie for Accuracy” might as well be titled “Gore Supporters Support Gore.” The AP claimed to “have contacted more than 100 top climate researchers” in the course of its investigation. But of 100 scientists contacted, only 19 had actually found the time to see the film “An Inconvenient Truth” or to read Gore’s book. Additionally, the AP claimed that some of those contacted “were vocal skeptics of climate change theory,” but that was the last readers heard of any global warming skepticism. The article, which ran in The Washington Post,... continue reading
Detroit is finally wising up about its cars. It’s taking a smaller-is-better cue from Europe, CBS told viewers of the June 28 “Evening News.” But reporter John Blackstone’s take on DaimlerChrysler’s (NYSE: DCX) plans to sell the tiny Smart USA ForTwo car in the United States left out one big reason the car may not sell well in America: it’s not a good choice for highway driving, with low horsepower and a top speed under 90 miles per hour. Anchor Bob Schieffer led off his introduction by predicting that “if gas prices keep climbing, it may start looking very smart... continue reading
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. ABC’s Robin Roberts cautioned viewers about a major downturn. “The two-day sell off was sparked by concerns that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates too much, cooling the economy to the point of recession,” she warned on the June 7 “Good Morning America.” That was after first-quarter growth had been revised up to 5.3 percent. CBS’s Julie Chen echoed the negative tone. “Gas prices are rising, stock prices are slumping and... continue reading
They wanted to sue over sodas in school, they even complained about 2 percent milk, and now they’re after fruit juices. But to the Washington Post, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is just another health-conscious consumer advocacy group. The June 28 Washington Post featured CSPI’s latest complaints about fruit drinks on the front page of its weekly Food section. Staff writer Candy Sagon began by reporting on the additional business juice vendors are enjoying as the nation’s three largest soft drink makers agreed to end soda sales to public schools. But Sagon quickly shifted to complaints... continue reading
“Today we got more intriguing evidence that coffee can be good for you, with a new study that suggests it can cut your risk of Type 2 Diabetes,” ABC’s Charles Gibson announced in the June 26 evening newscast. But just a week earlier, the same network’s morning show rallied to an anti-food industry group’s complaint against Starbucks. “Daily cups of coffee have been linked to a reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease, liver cancer, gallstones, and especially Type 2 Diabetes,” reporter John McKenzie noted on “World News Tonight,” adding that “drinking four cups of coffee a day” of eight ounces each,... continue reading