News

Lou Dobbs wants answers. In his December 14 broadcast of CNNs Lou Dobbs Tonight, the business anchor gathered torches and pitchforks in response to the news of an overall trade deficit [that] hit almost $69 billion in the month of October alone. Dobbss conniption fit couldnt have been a surprise to many. Hes consistently aired one sided attacks on free trade. After correspondent Kitty Pilgrim read off a litany of complaints about the trade deficit from Congressional Democrat press releases, Dobbs asked in a video clip, How can you say that all of this is so good for the United... continue reading
Lower energy prices have spurred a significant drop in consumer prices according to a December 15 report from a federal agency that tracks economic data. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the CPI-U decreased 0.6 percent in November, its largest decline since a 0.9 drop in July 1949, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in its December news release on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The news is the latest in a string of good economic reports which have defied media pessimism on the economy. In October the Business & Media Institute (BMI) documented media fears of skyrocketing inflation supposedly... continue reading
Forecasting a bleak sweater-swaddled winter for middle class Americans on the December 12 Evening News, CBS correspondent Jim Axelrod exaggerated the rise of natural gas heating costs by about one third over the government-estimated average. Axelrod also omitted good news on the oil and gas industrys faster-than-expected recovery in the Gulf of Mexico while portraying a New York woman with outstanding heating bills from 2004 as just one of many middle class Americans who will suddenly find themselves trapped by rising heating costs. Axelrod opened his piece in an Irvington, N.Y. womans kitchen: Nikki Wilson wishes that doing the math... continue reading
The crew of CNNs In the Money opened their December 10 program warning about a bursting housing bubble, but an interview with a Harvard housing expert quickly deflated that story line. Filling in for co-host Jack Cafferty, business reporter Susan Lisovicz introduced viewers to the first guest, Nicolas Retsinas of Harvard University: Well, if you're into gloom and doom predictions about the housing market, the news this week has plenty for to you chew on. Lisovicz promised viewers that Retsinas, the universitys director for the Joint Center for Housing Studies, would help us figure out who is in for the... continue reading
Stacking the deck against Merck and Co., Inc., reporters for The New York Times and USA Today presented an allegation that the prescription drug maker tampered with results in its own study. The company was accused of withholding information on non-fatal heart attacks, but it had actually disclosed the information five years ago. The heart attacks in question, suffered by participants in a study of the painkiller Vioxx, actually occurred after the study had ended. The Times and USA Today featured Merck opponents proclaiming a newfound edge in their Vioxx lawsuits, even though Merck was unable to comment on the... continue reading
Oil companies are evil and the root of that evil is Americas endless thirst for oil. At least thats the spin of the new movie Syriana, which the media have called powerful, ambitious and Something you might even call realism. The film stars actor George Clooney as a CIA operative as part of several converging story lines about oil company corruption and Mideast politics. Critics and journalists have seized on the story line to speak favorably of its left-wing, anti-industry message and simply to blast the Bush administration. In a November 23 Los Angeles Times review headlined Perils of capitalism,... continue reading
A company that has lowered food prices by more than the government food stamp program in 2005 and has donated millions upon millions of dollars to charitable causes is a Goliath and similar to a god that failed, according to media reports. The Los Angeles Times movie review of The High Cost of Low Price by Kenneth Turan on November 4 described people caught in the lure of Wal-Mart mythology and that realizing that the company they worked for was not the Wal-Mart of their dreams was often a shattering experience, a coming to terms with a god that failed... continue reading
If aliens landed on Earth and picked up the cover of the December 8 Washington Post, theyd think the House of Representatives were a bunch of reckless advocates of tax cuts that do nothing to help the economy. Unless, of course, those visitors knew something about economics. In his front page article, Jonathan Weisman penned a partisan piece about a House-endorsed package of tax cuts that would cost the government billions and have no real impact on the stock market or economy. Weisman opened his article by noting that the House tax-cut package would trim the federal revenue by $94.5... continue reading
The same network that brings you Anderson Cooper 360 should consider a new show hosted by one of its business reporters: Andy Serwer 180. CNNs Andy Serwer swung from warning of a rupturing housing bubble to saying such a bubble doesnt exist in just two minutes in a Minding Your Business report on the December 8 American Morning. This is hardly the first time hes done so, although his reversals are coming quicker. The Business & Media Institute reported recently on Serwers about-face on the economy on the December 2 show, which took about two hours to happen. Reporting on... continue reading
SpongeBob SquarePants is the new Joe Camel. Thats the alarm bell CBS health reporter Dr. Emily Senay clanged for parents in her HealthWatch segment with co-host Julie Chen on the December 7 edition of The Early Show. Senay was featured in studio in the 7:30 a.m. half hour to talk about a study released the day before by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) which hints at but doesnt prove a link between cartoon characters advertising for high-calorie sugary foods with rising obesity among children. When co-host Julie Chen raised the issue of parental responsibility, the University of Chicago alumna quickly... continue reading