Special Reports

See Full Report Unemployment under President Barack Obama is at a 26-year-high. The last time the economy had 9.7 percent or higher unemployment was under President Ronald Reagan. But despite similar periods of rising unemployment, Obama and Reagan received almost exactly opposite treatment from the network news media. Under Obama reporters have gone to great lengths to spin rising unemployment by finding 'positive trends' in the job losses, even focusing on as few as 25 jobs being 'saved' by the economic stimulus package. But when Reagan was president journalists showed unemployed families living out of their cars under a bridge... continue reading
The media love to fret over global warming, but now that a trillion-dollar scheme to address global warming could be just around the corner the networks have been curiously quiet. On May 21, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed a bill to cap carbon emissions and create an artificial trading market. The network news media didn’t mention it, but critics say the legislation would be a “huge threat to American prosperity and freedom.” The Heritage Foundation estimates that this bill, known as Waxman-Markey , would cost $9.6 trillion in GDP loss and over a million jobs by 2035, but... continue reading
Temperatures have plummeted to record or near-record lows in 32 states this winter. On March 2, a global warming protest in Washington , D.C. was buried by nearly a foot of snow. And a new study warns that the Earth could be in for a 30-year cooling trend. Reality is not cooperating with the network news’ global warming theme, yet reporters are unwilling to even discuss the possibility that the Earth is cooling. Global warming alarmists repeatedly link weather phenomena like tornadoes, hurricanes, ice melt, droughts and wildfires with global warming and the media embrace the stories. Yet, when cities... continue reading
The first big test of Barack Obama's presidency didn't begin on the day he took office. It started on the campaign trail when then-candidate Obama promised to push for a $175-billion stimulus package to boost a flagging economy. Once Obama was elected Nov. 4, 2008 a new campaign began - to get the stimulus through Congress while the size of the promises grew by billions of dollars. Along with solid Democratic majorities in both the House and the Senate, Obama enjoyed another advantage to push his plan - a strongly supportive news media. The media outlets that were covering the... continue reading
In a few short months, the term “stimulus” went from a $175-billion campaign promise to the most-expensive law ever passed by Congress. Nearly $800 billion of special interest funding, healthcare plans and precious little infrastructure made up the final agreement. New President Obama had strong majorities in both the House and Senate to push his massive stimulus bill through. But he had another advantage – the same news media that helped him get elected was covering the “bold” push for a stimulus plan. Two broadcast networks – ABC and NBC – showed particularly strong support for the president by relying... continue reading
See Executive Summary Even in the midst of an election and Wall Street crisis, oil and gas prices have been front and center in 2008. The huge spike in both commodities was followed by a greater collapse in those prices in recent months. When the year began, gas was already $3.04 a gallon. It dropped a bit to $2.95 by February 11. Oil started the new year at nearly $100 a barrel and followed a similar track. After that, it was off to the races for both. In just a week, gas topped $3 a gallon again and began an... continue reading
Read Full Report The incredible spike in oil and gas prices was a huge story in 2008. Consumers struggled as a gallon of regular gasoline soared from nearly $3 to $4.11 by mid-summer. Network news shows bombarded viewers with more than 500 stories about oil and gas prices - an avalanche of coverage - as anchors and reporters warned gas would hit $5 or $6 and, as CBS put it, 'that high gas prices are here to stay.' One problem with the warnings: they were wrong nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of the time. As it turned out, $4.11 was the... continue reading
Presidential debates are crucial, especially for Americans who have not made up their minds about who could best lead the nation. Although reporters often focus on policy differences, many Americans are more interested in the character of the person who will occupy the Oval Office than his or her position on particular issues. Debates are a window into the candidates' character and values. In a volatile world where crises can arise at any moment, Americans need to trust that their president is guided by something stronger than public opinion. A short dictionary.com definition of character says it comprises 'qualities of... continue reading
Introduction L ike clockwork, the holiest Christian holidays bring stories into the news cycle that clearly take aim at the faith of the majority of Americans. In 2007, the Discovery Channel's 'The Jesus Tomb' made headlines just before Easter. So it comes as no surprise to learn that a popular comedian announced plans to release a 'documentary on atheism' on Easter Sunday, 2008. Atheism has always intrigued the news media. A 2005 study by the Media Research Center on the media's coverage of religion showed that church-state issues and the convergence of religion and politics was the third most heavily... continue reading
Only eight percent of Americans are atheists, according to the National Cultural Values Survey,* yet atheism was the 'it' religion in 2007, with just three best-selling books generating much of the media coverage. Christianity Today put the topic at No. 2 in its Top 10 list of religion stories for last year. 'The Roar of Atheist Books' was the seventh biggest religion story of 2007 according to Time magazine. Media indifference and even hostility toward religion in general and Christianity in particular has been well documented by the Media Research Center for years. With the ascendancy of atheism as a... continue reading