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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
Asking if states pay too much to land job-generating foreign investments like auto plants, ABCs World News Tonight found a critic to sing a sour note about a plant Kia Motors announced it will open in West Point, Ga. Correspondent Steve Osunsami began his story detailing the benefits. The Peach State, Osunsami noted, was giving Kia a plum $400 million in tax breaks, road work, and cheap land. In return, the automaker will bring 2,500 jobs here, to a cow pasture in West Point, Georgia, where the textile mills are mostly closed, and thousands of residents remain unemployed. But soon... continue reading
Sounding like a broken record, the media again are squawking about record profits for oil companies in light of a new round of congressional hearings on oil and gas prices. Both CBS and NBCs evening newscasts for March 14 noted congressional attacks on record oil industry profits. CBS Evening News also reported that oil companies are eager to reinvest profits into drilling leases in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, if only Congress will let them. CBS interviewed a left-leaning interest group that opposes the drilling, but the network skipped the groups calls for a tax on oil company profits. NBCs... continue reading
Raddatzs story followed, highlighting a day of high political drama, closed White House meetings and deal-making. It wasnt until the dust had begun to settle the next day that the ABC team paused to consider the possible economic implications of rejecting foreign investment in the United States. David Muir kicked off his March 10 story saying, The question economists are now asking after this doomed deal, what message has been sent to foreign investors who spend an enormous amount of money here in the U.S.? Economists had been asking that question all along but many in the media didnt pay... continue reading
What a difference three years and a microscopic virus make. In February 2003, ABC featured critics who argued that duct tape government officials urged people to buy couldnt fix everything. Three years later, however, the network is parroting the governments worst fears about avian flu. On Feb. 10, 2003, the newly-minted Department of Homeland Security (DHS) urged Americans to prepare for bioterrorism by stocking up on plastic sheeting and duct tape. In the days that followed, ABCs news programs relayed the federal governments warnings but also aired criticism from skeptics, who feared the advice to stock up on duct tape... continue reading
Just in time for spring break, ABCs 20/20 bellied up to the bar with two stories on women and binge drinking. The March 10 edition was enough to frighten already worried parents about their college kids on holiday. But rather than emphasize personal responsibility or showing both sides of an academic debate on young women and heavy drinking, 20/20 showcased two advocates of advertising bans, leaving out a sociologist who frequently disputes the claims of proponents of bans on alcohol advertising. Alcohol abuse is traditionally a young man's sport, but not anymore. You're about to see staggering video of girls... continue reading
As the port management controversy churned inside Washington, CNNs Lou Dobbs and NBCs Chip Reid attacked a British firm that contracts security services to the Department of Homeland Security. But they did not reveal that the allegations against Wackenhut Services came to the medias attention via two liberal Democratic congressmen who have criticized the Dubai Ports deal. CNNs Lou Dobbs appeared to be the first in the broadcast media to report on March 6 about security concerns at the headquarters for the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C. It turns out private guards at the departments headquarters in Washington... continue reading
On March 2 a major oil company operating within the United States announced it would take steps to avoid reporting to the U.S. government. But in the week since, none of the three broadcast networks has taken notice, even though a Business & Media Institute study found the same media outlets have consistently attacked American oil companies as deserving additional government scrutiny for their windfall profits. Broadcast media outlets also ignored ExxonMobils plans to pump more money into improving and increasing oil production. As a state company we cannot be subject to the legal obligations of foreign countries used to... continue reading
OBriens prediction was a long way off. Total human deaths from avian flu worldwide so far are slightly less than are killed on a typical day in traffic accidents in the United States. That total was 38,253 for the year in 2004, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Out of the world population of 6.5 billion, 193 people have caught the virus .000003 percent of the population. And the experts say were a long way from a human pandemic. As Business & Media Institute Adviser Dr. Elizabeth Whelan wrote in a new commentary, Right now, bird flu can... continue reading