Continuing the media assault on profitable businesses, CBS News attacked the insurance industry for record profits in 2005, a year also beset by heavy hurricane damage claims. Even while insurance companies paid out a record amount in claims after Hurricane Katrina and other storms, the industry still made more than $44 billion in profit, an almost 19-percent increase from the year before, said CBSs Sandra Hughes on the April 5 Evening News, introducing a critic of the insurance industry. Theyve used a national disasters like 9/11, natural disasters like Katrina and phony excuses like too many lawsuits to jack up... continue reading
Imagine being fined by your state government for not buying something you choose to avoid purchasing. It may sound crazy, but in Massachusetts it may soon be the law. A bill awaiting Republican Gov. Mitt Romneys signature could slap heavy fines on people who choose to not buy health insurance. But rather than focus on the privacy invasion and government expansion the new law would engender, the nations leading newspapers portrayed the legislation as a bipartisan stroke of genius and even a bow to conservative values. Massachusetts is the first state in America to reach full adulthood The rest of... continue reading
The First Employment Contract (CPE is its French abbreviation), signed into law April 2 by President Jacques Chirac, eases restrictions on employers. It allows them to fire workers under the age of 26 without getting entangled in the massive French bureaucracy. The plan would encourage employers to hire more young workers, because bosses wont be fearful of penalties and costs that come with firing workers. It comes at an important time Frances unemployment rate for young workers is about 22 percent. Yet, the media have focused on business firing not hiring. In Paris today and all across France, tens of... continue reading
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavezs offer of subsidized heating oil to the frosty northeastern United States this past winter was met warmly by the broadcast media. But network interest in Chavez turned stone-cold with the dictators springtime pursuit of Russian weapons financed by his countrys state-owned oil supply. A Business & Media Institute (BMI) review of the three broadcast networks revealed no recent news stories on Chavezs move to socialize his countrys oil supply even further, financing weapons purchases. This continues the major networks trend of ignoring Chavezs saber-rattling after vilifying Big Oils profits. BMI previously documented the medias positive portrayal... continue reading
It was dj vu on ABC News as World News Tonight repeated a February 24 New York Times attempt to discredit philanthropist Boone Pickens. Reporter Brian Ross even used the same lawyer linked to George Soros, the liberal billionaire who went head-to-head with Pickens in the 2004 election. These loopholes are legal but theyre also audacious, judged anchor Elizabeth Vargas, introducing the April 11 story about Pickens $165 million donation to his alma maters athletic department. In the story that followed about the Oklahoma State University gift, Ross called Pickens actions only apparently legal. Rosss story bashed Pickens for using... continue reading
The current issue of BusinessWeek conceded what the Business & Media Institute has said all along: fears of the housing bubble and its imminent burst have long been overblown. No one can predict with certainty which way home prices will go in the next year or so. Over the past several years almost everyone who has tried to forecast the direction of the housing market has been wrong, noted the April 10 edition. Yet BusinessWeek and other media outlets have been forecasting a bursting bubble for five years, according to a study by theBusiness & Media Institute. As BMI recorded... continue reading
Following on the heels of Time magazines alarmist cover stories on global warming, this weekends release of Ice Age 2: The Meltdown has given movie reviewers for major newspapers a chance to thaw out their liberal political views on climate change. Ending his March 31 review of the animated feature, The Christian Science Monitors Peter Rainer remarked, I am happy to say that Ice Age: The Meltdown points up for toddlers the dangers of global warming. Chicago Sun-Times reviewer Roger Ebert cooed, If kids have been indifferent to global warming up until now, this Ice Age sequel will change that... continue reading
When environmentalists want regulation, its never enough. And the media are often willing to give them the spotlight. New fuel efficiency regulations have the media going straight to environmental groups for frowns all the while assuming that more costly regulation of the auto industry is a good thing. His plan is so weak, its like asking a three-pack-a-day smoker to cut back one cigarette, said the Sierra Clubs Daniel Becker in Tom Costellos story on the March 30 Today. March 30 articles for The Washington Post and The New York Times jumped immediately into complaints by environmental groups. The Post... continue reading
The New York Times has found another example of corporate evil to fight: funny beer ads. Citing left-wing advocacy groups, Times writer Melanie Warner penned a two-column story, Critics Say Beer Spots Exploit Loopholes in the Business Day section of the March 29 paper. The complaints centered on the Super Bowl run of the Rooftop Bud Light ad, which involved two men taking a rooftop beer break after having told their wives they were performing outdoor chores. A third man, who wasnt drinking beer, fell through his weakened roof into the living room below. Aghast at the commercials content, the... continue reading
Behind a cover that read, Be Worried. Be Very Worried, Time informed its readers: in the past five years or so, the serious debate has quietly ended. That was a common assumption of media reports in the last two weeks. In its April 3 piece, Newsweek explained the timing of the latest round of climate change coverage. The article, headlined The New Hot Zone, included the explanation: Books, films and a slick ad campaign make global warming the topic du jour. Newsweeks Jerry Adler detailed part of the coordinated campaign the Ad Councils global warming ad released on the same... continue reading