Sounding like a broken record, the evening newscasts for ABC, CBS, and NBC complained of record oil prices. But adjusted for inflation, oil prices are still $14 below the record high set at the end of the Carter presidency. Well take a closer look at the ripple effect on consumer prices, as oil hits a record high, ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas teased at the opening of the April 17 World News Tonight. Meanwhile NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams called the $70.40-per-barrel closing price on oil the highest closing price ever recorded, surpassing prices from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina... continue reading
For years, the media have been telling Americans the economy, though growing, is not producing good jobs. From Lou Dobbs continuous rant at CNN about The War on the Middle Class to the Washington Posts E. J. Dionne claiming in a February 21 op-ed that The decline of manufacturing employment means the economy is producing fewer well-paying jobs, the media mantra has been that wage gains during this recovery have been very disappointing. Now Democrats have argued, though, that under the Bush administration, Americans have seen wages remain flat, also high health care costs and high heating oil and gas... continue reading
ABC continued its assault on the oil industry, but this time it let someone else do some of its dirty work. The network gave its First Person account of oil troubles the last word criticizing oil firms for having gouged the public. Anchor Elizabeth Vargas lamented the soaring prices at the gas station and told viewers It is starting to hurt people who thought it would never affect them. She introduced Gary McIlroy of Austin, Texas who complained about the impact of high gas prices on his own family. The oil companies continue to have soaring profits. And soaring prices... continue reading
According to The Washington Post, wealthy newcomers are forcing the middle class out of Jackson, Wyo. But the paper downplayed one of the biggest reasons for the exodus: Uncle Sam has virtual monopoly on property in the county. The rich have collectively inflated real estate to prices that are far beyond the means of those who serve them supper, take their blood pressure or police their gated subdivisions, staff writer Blaine Harden reported in the April 13 paper. Harden added that most service workers professionals and blue-collar alike tend to live in adjacent valleys and commute. The reason for the... continue reading
A can of shaving cream for less than a dollar or a garden rake for $3.88 is a great deal for the average consumer; to The Washington Post, its just more evidence of how oppressive Wal-Mart really is. Finding scandal in low prices, the Post sent reporter Bob Thompson to accompany Charles Fishman, author of The Wal-Mart Effect, to a Wal-Mart SuperCenter in Hagerstown, Md. While the liberal media frequently criticize business for profit-making, Fishman, a senior editor for Fast Company magazine, slammed Wal-Mart in a December 2003 article, accusing it of eroding corporate profits for other businesses. The public... continue reading
The medias concerted push on climate change continues with Vanity Fairs first ever Green Issue. The special editions release in mid-April is hardly accidental, with Earth Day coming up on April 22 and former Vice President Al Gores new book, An Inconvenient Truth, being released in mid-May. Gore and three other celebrity activists dubbed eco-power players by the magazine graced the verdant cover, which warned that global warming is a threat graver than terrorism. Inside, the May 2006 magazine featured an essay by the former Vice President comparing President George W. Bush to Neville Chamberlain. Adding to the media drumbeat,... continue reading
While ABC and NBC presented viewers with many of the reasons for the rising cost of gasoline, CBS ignored the link between Irans push for nuclear power and rising oil prices. Instead, the network cheered on a corporate catfight between automakers and oil companies. I wont be able to afford either rent or gas, CBS Newss Anthony Mason showed a woman complain on the April 11 CBS Evening News. Warning of $3-a-gallon gas this summer, the CBS correspondent sought a culprit in American business, and highlighted a war of words between corporate executives. Mason pointed to a blog posting by... continue reading
Once again Wal-Mart is under attack by interest groups hoping to use government to gum up its business operations. And once again, the media are focusing on the stores critics while downplaying the stores defenders. As Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) faced regulatory meetings with the FDIC, wire and print media slanted their recent coverage of FDIC hearings, focusing on attacks by bankers groups wary of increased competition. Although the stores representatives said multiple times that Wal-Mart does not plan to enter full-service banking, media reports kept the company on the defensive about its plans to open an Industrial Loan Corporation (ILC)... continue reading
A New York Times reporter who called recent corporate layoffs worse than the Great Depression was the papers choice to write about the positive job growth in the economy. Reporter Louis Uchitelle authored somewhat critical view of the latest unemployment report by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That report showed a 211,000-job gain in March 2006 and a low jobless rate of 4.7 percent. By comparison, nearly one in four Americans was without work in the early 1930s. Despite low unemployment and 31 straight months of job gains, economics writer and author Louis Uchitelle calls for federal laws... continue reading
The April 7 network morning news programs ignored data on dropping jobless claims and a rise in consumer confidence, which point to a strong economy. NBC, meanwhile, gave short shrift to a nearly 5-year low in unemployment. On April 6, Ipsos polling firm reported a surge in consumer confidence in early April and the Labor Department reported the third straight week of dropping jobless claims. Neither Today, ABCs Good Morning America, nor the CBS Early Show carried stories on new consumer confidence or jobless claim trends. While NBCs Natalie Morales did report a drop in unemployment and 211,000 new jobs... continue reading