Media Myths

See Full Report Tax dollars are all the same to the taxpayers who part with them. But the broadcast media have different standards for different dollars. Often, government programs that fit a liberal agenda get the more benign label of “federal funding.” Journalists call attention to spending that casts the Bush administration in a negative light as “taxpayer-funded.” The Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute looked at news coverage on the three major networks in the past year and found the media’s labeling of government projects inconsistent. Some of the reporting themes included: Rebuilding from Hurricane Katrina, such as... continue reading
See Executive Summary Oil prices began to spike in 2005 and the news media eagerly criticized the “greed” of oil companies and their executives. Reporters complained about “jaw-dropping profits” or that oil firms were “taking spending money out of our pockets and making the country poorer.” But there was one oil man the network news shows went easy on – despite a career filled with human rights violations, radical rhetoric, crackdowns on the free press and an attempted coup that cost dozens of lives. He directs operations for the fifth-largest oil-producing nation in the world and controls one of the... continue reading
See Full Report American media have covered the ports controversy with almost 24-7 dedication. But the networks have ignored a far bigger security threat. As energy prices have spiked and world demand increased, the United States’ reliance on oil controlled by Venezuela’s anti-American despot Hugo Chavez has become a real danger. But it’s a danger the networks barely even mention. Chavez took over as leader of America’s third-largest oil importer in 1998 and the broadcast media have done little to acknowledge the threat that entails. Now, as relations between the United States and Venezuela deteriorate, Americans have been left in... continue reading
See Executive Summary The numbers sounded more ominous with each report – 7,000, 20,000, 30,000 … 600,000 jobs lost. Outsourcing, high energy prices and high government spending were depicted as draining the lifeblood out of the American economy. Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F ), one of the latest casualties of the American auto industry, just announced 30,000 layoffs. And the evening news shows have been there to tell the story of job losses and unemployment in gory detail. Only that story is a fairy tale. Certainly, there have been job losses. Auto workers have been particularly hard hit, as have... continue reading
See Full Report More than 2 million new jobs were created in 2005 but that wasn’t the story presented by the evening news. The three broadcast networks downplayed strong growth and, instead, emphasized negatives such as corporate layoffs and outsourcing in more than half the stories about jobs or unemployment. As Trish Regan of “CBS Evening News” put it in the July 20 broadcast, “Twenty-five thousand layoffs and more on the way. I’m Trish Regan with why the jobs picture is looking very ‘pink’ these days.” Colored reporting like that has left the Bush administration’s economic record black and blue... continue reading
The Media’s Top 10 Economic Myths of 2005 See Executive Summary “So people at home right now are saying, ‘Economic slowdown? How slow is it going to go?’ Are we headed for another recession?” – Anchor John Roberts, “CBS Evening News,” April 15, 2005 The Gallup Poll reported in September that “half of Americans say they trust the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly.” Those three words – fully, accurately, fairly – each communicate different ways the media can distort the news. They can leave out pertinent information; they can report false information; and they can... continue reading
See Full Report It was difficult to wade through the economic news of 2005. Gloom and doom overwhelmed any rational examination of the U.S. economy. Journalists were so obsessed with their negative outlooks that they set aside reason and reported one fantasy after another. TheBusiness & Media Institute compiled the 10 worst: 10. America should follow French fashion in business Media Myth: France’s short work week, benefits and loads of vacation time made it a workers’ paradise. 9. We must raise taxes to cope with ballooning deficits Media Myth: Spending for hurricane recovery and Iraq is driving the U.S. deficit... continue reading
See Full Story The 2005 Atlantic hurricane season brought with it a storm of controversy that is still having impact. When two studies alleged a link between increasing strength of storms and global warming, climate change advocates found another reason to blast the United States for not signing the Kyoto treaty. Now, more than 8,000 representatives from 180 nations are debating the future of that pact at the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Unfortunately, flawed media coverage of the reported hurricane link will make that discussion more complicated. Nearly 40 percent of Americans now believe there is a link -... continue reading
See Executive Summary The images of the 2005 hurricane season are seared into the minds of the American public. Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of the Gulf region dominated news coverage, but it was just one of 13 hurricanes during the record-setting season. Twenty-five total storms occurred in the Atlantic basin from June 1 to November 30, prompting some in the media to blame climate change for the increase. ABC’s Bill Weir summed up that network’s take on the season after his September 16 “Good Morning America” piece about Hurricane Ophelia: “Scientists have long warned that global warming could make hurricanes increasingly... continue reading
Media claims about a “housing bubble” are nothing new. Since before the 9/11 terror attacks, the media have been calling the housing market a “bubble” while predicting an imminent, devastating decline. Not only have they been wrong in forecasting such a top, they have thoroughly mischaracterized what an investment bubble is. Now that the market for homes has finally slowed a bit, the media are declaring the bubble has burst. A Bubble?: Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan has denied the existence of a national housing bubble for several years, but the media have used the term repeatedly. Strong Gains: The increase... continue reading