CNNs Lou Dobbs is always pontificating about national security, especially when it comes to international trade but on March 27 he was frowning on an extra port security measure. Almost two weeks after reporting that American seaports are backlogged with incoming cargo, Dobbs seemed puzzled as to why the U.S. government would sanction pre-screening of U.S.-bound cargo at a port in the Bahamas which could speed up cargo processing. Why in the world are we, 90 miles from the U.S. mainland, why are we issuing contracts and putting cargo through the Bahamas? Dobbs demanded of John Meredith, an executive for... continue reading
Starting off a weeks worth of in-depth reporting on global warming, World News Tonight falsely presented a liberal journalist and author as a Pulitzer Prize winner. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ross Gelbspan blames a 15-year misinformation campaign by the oil and coal industry for the publics lack of alarm over climate change, ABCs Geoff Morrell told viewers of his networks March 26 evening newscast. The point of this campaign was not necessarily to persuade the public that global warming wasn't happening. It was to persuade the public that there is this state of confusion, Gelbspan told ABC News. But it was... continue reading
I hope gas prices go as high as they have to go to get the rest of these morons off the road in these big Hummers, CNNs Jack Cafferty exploded on the March 25 In the Money. Caffertys attack on middle-class SUV-driving Americans was a departure from last year, when the CNN reporter aimed his populist blows on corporate executives and Congress on the Nov. 12, 2005 In the Money. At that time, the Business & Media Institute recorded how Cafferty purred about how watching some oil company fat cat getting grilled in Congress during congressional hearings might have made... continue reading
Professor Jonathan Overpeck once complained journalists were too concerned about balance in global warming stories. Now hes the centerpiece of two one-sided reports based on his predictions of global catastrophe. If we dont like the idea of flooding out New Orleans we will have to commit soon to a major effort to curb carbon emissions, a March 23 New York Times article quoted the University of Arizona professor of geosciences. Wire reporter Deborah Zabarenko went a step further, paraphrasing Overpecks New Orleans comment in her March 23 story. Miami would be a memory, Bangkok a soggy shadow of its former... continue reading
Introducing what ABC called the end of 20th century industrial America, anchor Elizabeth Vargas portrayed a cost-cutting move by money-losing General Motors (NYSE: GM) and bankrupt Delphi as an omen for the entire U.S. auto industry, even though Kia, Honda, and Toyota have expanded jobs in the South and Midwest. Good evening from the land of the car, where we begin with big trouble in the auto industry, Vargas opened the March 22 evening newscast. General Motors and its major parts supplier are making a bold move to cut their work force, she teased, leading into a story filed by... continue reading
USA Today put its own negative spin on record home ownership numbers, declaring in the March 22 issue that Fewer families can afford a home. Working with a liberal interest group, the nations newspaper sifted through data on Americas housing boom that has enabled more people than ever to own a home to cite only 59.6 percent of working families owning homes in 2005 compared to slightly higher numbers in 1978. In fact, the National Association of Realtors reports more Americans now own their homes now over any other point in American history, with close to 69 percent of families... continue reading
Still, TV news reports appear unconvinced that this economic expansion is for real which might be why public opinion is so misinformed. Nightly broadcasts continue to deliver sour viewpoints in the face of continuously strong data. Their strategy of late comes in three forms: ignoring or underreporting positive data; exaggerating negative economic data; or cherry-picking large reports for the most bearish elements. Ignoring Good News One common TV news ploy has been to ignore a strong piece of economic data or to focus very little attention on it. A fine example of this occurred on March 20 when Reuters reported... continue reading
The first day of spring proved perfect timing for the CBSs Jim Acosta to resurrect global warming as the villain behind last years hurricane season, downplaying how hotly debated the matter is in the scientific community. Last November, Acosta grossly exaggerated the hurricane seasons death toll. On the March 20 Evening News, he played up an upcoming article for the journal Science in which climate researcher Judith Curry argues over the last 35 years greenhouse gases raised ocean temperatures by one degree while doubling high-intensity tropical cyclones around the world. The CBS correspondent then set up a clip of National... continue reading
Im amazed that Americans at this point are really fairly unconcerned about bird flu and mad cow disease, the Bryn Mawr alumna confessed, noting that a drop in foreign sales of Tyson chicken has depressed company stock. While the National Chicken Council stresses that American poultry is safe to eat, the CNN anchors failed to remind viewers of that fact. Guest panelist Allen Wastler urged investors to wait until Tyson stock pounds down a little bit more before snatching up cheaper shares, because people always eat meat. While Cafferty conceded that bird flu has killed fewer than 100 people in... continue reading
On the St. Patricks Day Today show, NBCs Ann Curry asked colleague Jim Cramer for his reaction to a new government report showing consumer prices have jumped. The real numbers actually showed Curry was full of blarney. That is not a bad number for [the] consumer price [index], Cramer told the NBC anchor. Other experts quoted in the media agreed. What Curry considered a jump in inflation was actually a significant drop from the previous months increase. The February inflation rate fell from 0.7 in January to 0.1 in February. The core rate for CPI, which excludes volatile price factors... continue reading