Four days after the Business & Media Institute documented the medias continuing whitewash of Democratic ties to the Fannie Mae accounting scandals, The Washington Posts David Hilzenrath glossed over Democratic ties to the scandal, ignoring political contributions by then-CEO Franklin Raines and then-vice chairman Jamie Gorelick to liberal Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.), co-sponsor of the Enron-inspired Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Hilzenrath opened his February 28 article explaining that as Raines was about to step on board as Fannie Maes CEO in the summer of 1998, company officials alerted him to the mortgage brokers lackluster performance on Wall Street. At that... continue reading
The February 26 NBC Nightly News treated a move by Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) to expand health care benefits as an opportunity to stack the deck with another attack on the retail chain and a liberal plea for universal health care. For years Wal-Mart has been targeted by critics who claim the nations largest private retailer offers substandard benefits. Today the company announced it would expand its benefits, correspondent Pat Dawson said, introducing a sound bite from Wal-Marts CEO. But the move by Wal-Mart didnt satisfy the NBC correspondent, who aired only the left-leaning talking points of Wal-Mart critics: Andrew Grossman... continue reading
After Enrons collapse, the media frequently reminded the public of political ties top executives in the failed energy company had to the Bush administration. The same standard, however, wasnt applied to mortgage broker Fannie Mae ( FNM), whose former CEO served in the Clinton White House and was speculated to be on presidential hopeful John Kerrys short list for Treasury secretary. The print media continued that double standard in covering a comprehensive new report on the scandal released February 23 by former Sen. Warren Rudman (R-N.H.). Of the nations top five newspapers, only The New York Times mentioned Rainess Clinton... continue reading
Pickens gave $165 million to Oklahoma State University (OSU), and Mike Holder, the schools athletic director, made the decision to invest the programs new money with a hedge fund headed by Pickens, BP Capital Management. In the Times article, Holder clearly stated that it was his decision Pickens did not attach that string to the gift. Also, in the twelfth paragraph of the Times story, reporter Stephanie Strom finally got around to including a spokesman for BP Capital, who said the fund had waived all fees and our share of the profits on their investments for the OSU investment. Still,... continue reading
The media are frequently cynical about the private sectors profit motive, but when it comes to government schemes to rake in more cash, the same skepticism often doesnt kick in. That was the case on the February 22 World News Tonight as reporter Miguel Marquez portrayed highway speed cameras in Scottsdale, Ariz., as a tool to promote highway safety while ignoring how the cameras are a coveted cash cow to local governments. People go too fast, like The Fast and the Furious all the young kids, motorist Harry Espey complained to Marquez at the top of his World News Tonight... continue reading
The February 13 Lou Dobbs Tonight program was the first cable news outlet to report on Dubai Ports Worlds (DPW) pending acquisition of six U.S. seaports, providing alarmist, biased coverage. Eight days later, after President Bush vowed to veto a bill blocking the acquisition, Dobbs was even worse. The program devoted even more air time to the issue, skewing the coverage heavily against the Bush administrations position, rhetorically asking critics of the port purchase why on earth such an absolutely irrational decision was made, without bringing on any guests who disagreed with Dobbss conclusions. It doesn't seem to me anyone... continue reading
The Benefit Battle Maryland passed a law aimed directly at Wal-Mart, and unions and the media have been hailing it as precedent-setting and groundbreaking, as CBSs Russ Mitchell and Anthony Mason put it on the January 14 Early Show. The law, which is now facing a legal challenge from the Retail Industry Leaders Association, fashioned a health-benefits mandate applying only to Wal-Mart in that state. It forces the company to spend at least 8 percent of its payroll on employee health care or pay the difference to Marylands Medicaid program. The 400-member retailers group is calling the law discriminatory, as... continue reading
CNNs got a fever, and the only prescription is more hype. Thats the diagnosis a viewer of the February 21 American Morning could draw from co-host Soledad OBrien clucking about the threat of an avian flu pandemic in the United States. But OBrien and her guest ignored estimates from the World Health Organization that downplayed the threat of a pandemic, which would require rapid human-to-human transmission of avian flu. So far, the disease hasnt been spread from human-to-human and its rarely transmitted from sick birds to humans, with less than 100 deaths in the past three years. No human cases... continue reading
Those free samples your doctor gives when youre sick are a symptom of an amoral market-based health care system, argues a left-leaning doctor. But to the crew of CNNs In the Money, Dr. Jerome Kassirer of Tufts University is just a concerned doctor trying to improve the quality of medicine in America, even though hes a liberal critic of private health care and, according to the Federal Election Commission, donated to the Howard Dean and Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) campaigns. Feel like you see a drug ad every time you turn on the TV? Well consider this, only about 10... continue reading
Who needs NBCs coverage of Olympic ice dancing when CBS was thrilling viewers with visions of Waterworld? No, not the 1995 Kevin Costner clunker, but an apocalyptic 60 Minutes report awash with flooded beaches and melted polar ice caps. The North Pole has been frozen for 100,000 years, but according to scientists, by the end of this century, that won't be true anymore. The top of the world is melting, co-host Scott Pelley ominously opened his February 19 report, later suggesting the melting was irreversible. There may be no stopping it. Arctic warming is accelerating. It's a chain reaction. As... continue reading