ABC News did a series of stories in October 2005 called Loose Nukes on Main Street, implying that terrorists could easily gain access to nuclear reactors in the United States and the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), which represents the nuclear power industry, exposed multiple flaws in that series. Although Axelrods recent report included the facts that nuclear power is an attractive emissions-free alternative to much-maligned fossil fuels, and that plants are fortified to withstand all sorts of external disasters, most media accounts have centered on the scary unknowns which will remain scary as long as the media leave so many... continue reading
ABCs Good Morning America asked two different guests if this plan was just a pipe dream. Meanwhile, The Washington Post suggested that this could have come straight from the mouth of Jimmy Carter. The only thing missing was the sweater. These same media outlets seemed to forget the no blood for oil drumbeat they had championed in the months before the Iraq invasion and largely since. Such reports normally focused on supposed cabals constructed by neoconservatives within the administration for the domination of the Mideast and its vast oil reserves, or simply to aid the profits of Vice President Dick... continue reading
Ronald Reagan once famously said that a government bureau is the closest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth. When President Bushs proposed fiscal year 2007 federal budget hit newsrooms on the late President Reagans 95th birthday, the media showed that their biases in covering undying government spending likewise spring eternal. Reporters for the February 6 evening newscasts portrayed proposed reductions in government spending in the new budget as substantial, even though budget experts at conservative groups like the Cato Institute, the National Taxpayers Union, and the Heritage Foundation would argue otherwise. ABCs Martha Raddatz warned that... continue reading
The announcement that AT&T plans to buy out BellSouth took the March 5 CBS Evening News back to January 1984 when the Ma Bell monopoly was busted and Wendys commercials featured elderly actress Clara Peller asking wheres the beef? Twenty-two years, four major wireless phone providers, and numerous cable and broadband voice-over-Internet companies later, the Tiffany network feared another Bell monopoly, asking, wheres the competition? Dial A for acquisition. AT&T says its buying rival BellSouth for $67 billion. The return of Ma Bell is where we start tonight, CBS anchor Russ Mitchell teased viewers during the shows opening credits. Moments... continue reading
The media have ignored or downplayed the governments latest jobs report 193,000 new jobs in January and the lowest unemployment rate since July 2001 continuing a trend of misreporting on American employment that the Business & Media Institute (BMI) detailed in a January 2006 report. On February 6, The Media Research Center (MRC) documented how ABC and CBS ignored the drop in unemployment. On February 4, CNNs In the Money spun the good news as bad, playing up how the jobs created missed economists projections. CBS Evening News didn't even put the new unemployment number in its Market Watch bumper... continue reading
U.S. coal mines have become safer over the past five years while rapidly maintaining productivity and output, according to government statistics. In fact, the U.S. coal industry is 136 million times less fatal than the state-run Chinese mining industry, according to a Business & Media Institute analysis. Yet USA Todays Thomas Frank in his two February 10 articles focused on government regulations in the form of higher fines as the answer to safety. Frank led off his front-page article by comparing the $550,000 levied by the FCC for Janet Jacksons bare breast to the reduced fine of $3,000 for a... continue reading
On February 9, the federal government announced that weekly jobless claims hit the lowest average in six years a sign of job growth in a strong economy. That night, none of the network newscasts reported the six-year low, and the following day, major newspapers all but ignored the story. The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits was up by just 4,000 last week, putting the weekly average over the past month at the lowest level in nearly six years, the Associated Presss Martin Crutsinger reported on February 10. Analysts said the big improvement in claims in recent weeks was... continue reading
A newsworthy sound bite from a rock music idol on a pressing world issue may be just the hook an evening news producer prays for, but it doesnt excuse a lack of balance or thorough reporting. The February 2 World News Tonight featured such an item when anchor Elizabeth Vargas reported that Bono of the group U2 commanded a different kind of stage today. He headlined the National Prayer Breakfast. Vargas added that the Irish musician used his speech at the event attended by President Bush and several members of Congress to call for an increase in federal spending on... continue reading
As good a month as February was for Americans looking for work, some media continued to do a sub-par job of informing the public about the condition of the nations labor market even as almost a quarter of a million new positions were created. Although the overall coverage was better than last month and throughout 2005, some of Americas leading media outlets downplayed the fabulous news released by the Labor Department on March 10, while The Most Trusted Name in News largely ignored it. While Wall Street cheered the great news the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied by 104 points... continue reading
On Groundhog Day this year, newspaper readers may have had a sense of dj vu reading about budget cuts in a narrowly-passed bill which scales back increases in government spending. But instead of a Bill Murray comedy, the media presented a slasher flick. The Washington Post and The New York Times cast congressional Republicans as the axe murderers, even though a federal budget expert found the projected reductions in spending paltry compared to budgets from the Clinton administration. While the Posts Jonathan Weisman and the Timess Sheryl Gay Stolberg did explain that the budget cuts were really reductions in the... continue reading