A week before its sweeps month movie Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America, ABCs World News Tonight led its broadcast clucking about the federal governments action plan to prevent a costly pandemic in the United States. But when The Washington Post broke the story with an early look at the plan in mid-April, it gave it just passing attention. Tonight, the new White House plan for fighting a bird flu outbreak. Colossal disruptions and restrictions of movement to keep people alive, anchor Elizabeth Vargas opened the May 2 evening newscast. Avian flu commanded the first story of the program, with... continue reading
Bolivias government announced on May 1 that it will nationalize its natural gas fields. This comes just weeks after Venezuelas Hugo Chavez further tightened his grip on his countrys oil reserves. President Evo Morales nationalized Bolivia's natural gas industry and oil Monday, ordering foreign energy companies to send their supplies to a state company for sales and industrialization, reported the Associated Press on May 1. An analysis of Nexis search results shows no mention on ABC, CBS, or NBC about the seizure of natural gas fields currently operated by private companies. These energy grabs by socialist governments have been largely... continue reading
Most politicians want to be seen working to bring down their constituents gas bills, but some have argued and voted for higher taxes. Liberal activists openly enjoy President Bushs low poll numbers as gas prices rise, while they lobby for a greener society. And the media have been complicit in the agenda-pushing, offering their own opinions and plenty of air time for those on the left. The Business & Media Institute (formerly the Free Market Project) revealed some of these high-price advocates, often using their own words. The Media The media have served as a mouthpiece for the anti-SUV movement,... continue reading
None of this should come as a surprise. Its actually a trend the Business & Media Institute has followed, which has shown the media downplaying strong numbers while playing up weaker reports. Despite the negative media coverage, the economic news was striking. As reported by Bloomberg: The U.S. economy expanded in the first quarter at an annual pace of 4.8 percent, the fastest in more than two years, led by resurgent consumer spending and the biggest jump in business investment since 2000. Coming after the disappointment of hurricane-impacted low growth at the end of 2005, this should have been welcome... continue reading
Elderly care worker Hopal Morrison never used to have to ask clients to pay for her gas, but now she has to and it hurts, CBS correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi told viewers of the May 1 CBS Evening News. Yet Alfonsis report the first in an Eye on the Road series on gas prices left out how Morrisons work-related gas mileage is tax deductible and how Morrison drives nearly seven times more per year than the average American motorist. Lately this angel wishes she could fly. She travels 300 miles a day and pays for her own gas. It's killing her... continue reading
Take more government regulation and call me in the morning. Thats the advice ABCs Dr. Timothy Johnson gave on vitamin supplements on the May 1 World News Tonight. Tim, why don't these companies that make vitamins and make these supplements have to prove their safety and efficacy to the government, anchor Elizabeth Vargas prompted Johnson following his first report in his Daily Dose evening newscast series. That's because in 1994, the industry convinced Congress to classify these products as foods, rather than drugs, lamented Johnson whose story had just warned of possible dangers of vitamin supplements in large doses. But... continue reading
Why doesn't the president and the Republican Party also talk about the economy? It's just right there in front of them, CNNs Andy Serwer asked University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato on the April 29 In the Money. The economy is doing pretty darn well. There's job growth, GDP growth. Yet they just don't seem to be able to get a handle on that. Yet CNN, and Serwer in particular have frequently painted the economy in a pessimistic light during President Bushs tenure in office. For the second day in a row the stock market took a drop, CNNs... continue reading
How young is too young to start worrying about your childs weight? ABCs Elizabeth Vargas asked, teasing a story by Lisa Stark about the World Health Organizations new measurements for body mass index (BMI) on the April 27 World News Tonight. Under the new guidelines for the first time, Stark announced, the body mass index will be used for American children under two. Starks report, however, ended up a surprising departure from the medias usual scaremongering. I dont think that this is another one of the millions of things that Americans need to obsess about, said Bill Gallagher, the father... continue reading
Hugo Chavez is pumping some of his billions in oil money into undermining American interests. The same night on the CBS Evening News, correspondent Byron Pitts slammed American petroleum companies as harming consumers and even their own gas station owners, though the Citgo station owner he featured worked for a company owned by Venezuela. Over on ABC, correspondent Dan Harris was more realistic. Before you get too steamed at the oil companies, take a hard look at oil-producing countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Venezuela, Harris said. Its the producers, of oil, countries like Chavezs Venezuela, that make the... continue reading
Are the media having an Office Space moment? If they got the memo on consumer confidence, they sure arent reporting it. On April 25, The Conference Board reported that it found consumer confidence at a four-year high. The network evening newscasts all ignored the news, focusing instead on their continuing drumbeat about high gas prices. The Associated Press reported on April 25 that the Conference Board found that consumers shrugged off higher gasoline prices in April and sent a widely watched barometer of consumer confidence to its highest level in four years. The Conference Boards latest report mirrors a rise... continue reading