They say even a broken clock is right twice a day. The mainstream media aren’t quite that good when it comes to gas prices. It took them 26 years to get it right. Rip Van Winkle woke up in less time. March 1981, right in the midst of the Iran/Iraq War, used to be the inflation-adjusted high for gas prices. According to various oil experts, on May 24 we hit a new record – $3.227. That’s all of four-tenths of one cent higher than the old one. And journalists finally found the time to get that one right. Twenty-six years... continue reading
Global warming must already have fried our brains. George Bush and the Congress can’t wait to pour more subsidies into corn ethanol. Indonesia is clearing tropical forest to grow palm oil for Europe’s diesel engines. Canada is about to build the world’s biggest biofuels plant – 300 million gallons per year – to burn up valuable foodstuffs like wheat and oilseeds. Land is the scarcest environmental resource in the world. We need all the good land to feed people and all the poor land as wildlife habitat. Additionally, biofuels are a terribly inefficient use of land. In the United States,... continue reading
Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) sits on the Committee on Foreign Affairs. He has taken an interest in the threat Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez poses to the United States. Mack was so concerned with Chavez’s propaganda efforts of selling low-cost heating oil to poor Americans through a program involving former Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II (D-Mass.) that he challenged Kennedy to a debate. BMI’s Julia A. Seymour talked with Mack about media coverage and Chavez’s threats. Julia Seymour : I’m sure you’ve paid special attention to media coverage of Chavez. Have you noticed specific problems with the coverage? Rep. Connie Mack... continue reading
Head for the hills; gas prices are over $3 – just make sure you carpool. That’s the message network Chicken Littles are telling viewers as they hype so-called “record prices” and warn of an economic cataclysm tied to $4-, $5- or $6-a-gallon gasoline. Diane Sawyer even linked the prospect of pain at the pump to the idea of another stock market crash. “Will runaway gas prices keep soaring, and did you know that the stock market has hit a milestone reminiscent of what happened before the big crash?” she asked during the May 8, 2007, “Good Morning America.” Since Jan... continue reading
The stock market is reflecting the strength of the American economy. The Dow broke 13,000 on April 25 for good reason. Corporate earnings are strong, the economy is growing, tax revenues are up and the federal budget deficit is shrinking. Yet the media continue to try to find bad news or to pretend that somehow market participants are misguided. Should we bet on the market or the media? The day after the Dow reached 13,000, the Media Research Center pointed out how CBS and ABC both reacted to the Dow reaching its historic high with stories that implied the economy... continue reading
I’m a rare combination: a trained journalist who grew up understanding the value of guns. My dad taught me how to shoot and made sure I understood safety, my rights and my responsibility – namely, that the government wouldn’t be around if I suddenly needed protection. I’ve been rather queasy reading and hearing journalists’ take on the Virginia Tech shooting. One of the worst articles I’ve seen was purely coincidental. Marie Claire magazine’s May issue – which would have gone to press before the tragic rampage on April 16 – featured a stomach-turning essay by Sarah Liston, a woman who... continue reading
The answer to the old riddle “What’s black and white and read all over?” is a newspaper. The new riddle is “What’s black and white and green all over?” Now it’s a magazine. On newsstands today, you can find enough “green issues” to satisfy even the most eco-illogical. There are special editions or cover stories from Vanity Fair, Fortune, the Atlantic and Glamour. Others like Time, Newsweek, Motto, Cookie, Outside and Domino already chimed in – attacking business, urging new regulations and generally adding “-ist” to the concept of social responsibility. Sports Illustrated even gives us the business of sports... continue reading
If you’re getting a tax refund this year, you’re probably excited. How will you use the money? Save it for a rainy-day pizza party? Upgrade your basic cable TV? If you didn’t get a refund, you’ll especially want to read on. Funny how big government has mesmerized us into believing it’s a treat to keep some of our own wages. It’s an illusion they have to protect so they can squeeze out more each year. And if we don’t put major pressure on our lawmakers, they’re going to squeeze us for all we’re worth – and then some. The president’s... continue reading
Tax Day 2007 provides all Americans a reminder of the horrible burden placed on them by federal, state and local governments. According to the Tax Foundation, Americans will have to work until April 30 this year just to earn the money they’ll need to pay their taxes. But as bad as the tax bite is now, there are a number of threats at the federal level that could make things a whole lot worse for taxpayers. Of most immediate concern is the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). When it was created four decades ago, the AMT was aimed at fewer than... continue reading
“Freedom of Choice” was a song by the punk band Devo released in 1980. Today’s use of the term applied to union voting goes back to those same ’80s roots – back to 1984. George Orwell’s “1984.” Just like Orwell, liberal Democrats and the media who love them are using the term to mean its complete opposite. Advocates of America’s fortunately waning union movement have decided unions are so unloved that they need to force people to join. Officially, the bill passed the House as the Employee Free Choice Act of 2007. It mandates something entirely opposite. The bill would... continue reading