Julia A. Seymour is the Assistant Managing Editor for the MRC Business where she analyzes and exposes media bias on a range of economic and business issues. She has written Special Reports including Global Warming Censored, UnCritical Condition, Networks Hide the Decline in Credibility of Climate Change Science and Obama the Tax Cutter.
Seymour has also appeared on Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network and the Christian Broadcasting Network and has been an in-studio guest on the G. Gordon Liddy Show. She has also done hundreds of radio interviews on a wide-range of topics with stations in more than 35 states as well as many nationally syndicated programs. Her work has appeared or been mentioned by radio host Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, The Drudge Report, WorldNetDaily, USA Today, CNBC.com, Motley Fool and “Ted, White and Blue” by Ted Nugent. Prior to joining BMI in 2006, she was a staff writer for Accuracy in Academia where she wrote about bias in lower and higher education and contributed to the book “The Real MLA Stylebook.” She holds a B.S. in Mass Communications: Print Journalism from Liberty University.
If you've been watching the news media react to the debt ceiling deal you might thing some drastic spending cuts were signed into law. After all, ABC made it sound like Congress took a "machete" to the budget and NBC's "Today" wondered if those spending cuts could harm the economy.
What has been completely missing from much of the network reporting was an admission that the deal "doesn't cut federal spending at all," according to a Cato scholar. The national debt is still projected to go up $12 trillion in 10 years under the plan.
That's right. Not one bit of cuts. Chris Edwards, Cato Institute's director of tax policy studies, explained that despite some media outlets view that the cuts were "sharp" and "severe" (He cited The Washington Post), the cuts aren't what Washington politicians and media made it sound like. They are really cuts to projected growth of spending and debt, something Investor's Business Daily exposed on July 22 in a front-page article.
As the debt ceiling “compromise” progressed on August 1, NPR revealed its slant against the bill in interviews with Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., and Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
But it was the phrasing of one particular question during Dreier’s interview that prompted more than 20 listener complaints that called it “hostile, “rude” and proof of “liberal bias,” according to the response by NPR ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos. Schumacher-Matos described the question as “a virtual sucker punch.” (Listen to the interview here)
The “leading question” (by NPR’s own admission) Steve Inskeep had asked Dreier was, “Given that your speaker, in his words, said months ago that it would be a serious problem not to raise the debt ceiling, why did House Republicans spend this summer threatening to torpedo the economy by defaulting?”
The 2010 elections, which changed the balance of power in the House, were driven by popular opposition to government spending, debt and the threat of tax increases. Yet even with the federal debt limit already breached and only days left to prevent a national default, the media continue to ignore the public's wishes.
The theme of network reports on the debt ceiling battle is that some agreement MUST be reached so that the limit can be increased, but many Americans disagree with raising the debt limit and are more concerned about government spending. But that has barely been mentioned in stories.
Polls taken by Gallup, CBS and AP have all registered significant worry about federal debt and opposition to an increase in the debt ceiling. But ABC, CBS and NBC coverage of the debt limit battle being waged on Capitol Hill has not reflected that fact.
Out of 45 reports on the broadcast network's evening news programs between June 16 and July 12, only one mentioned a poll that showed public opposition to raising the debt ceiling. That's a mere 2 percent of reports. An additional two stories had some reference to what the public might think, but without polling data.
A senior political adviser to the Obama administration said on July 6 that in 2012, people won't be voting based on the unemployment rate, according to The Hill newspaper.
Of course, adviser David Plouffe said that two days before the June jobs report was released. Ahead of the jobs report, economists anticipated 100,000 or 125,000 jobs to have been added that month. Truth be told, on July 8, the jobs report showed only 18,000 jobs added and plenty of other "lousy" news.
The United States is in debt up to its eyeballs - or more realistically the Statue of Liberty's eyeballs. On May 16, America hit the debt ceiling. which is slightly less than $14.3 trillion. That works out to about $46,000 for every man, woman and child in the nation.
Despite those staggering numbers, the broadcast networks have relegated their coverage primarily to the politics involved, rather than the economics. Reporters have complained about the "partisan sniping" over spending cuts or tax hikes, but have barely included any economists in their coverage.
CNNMoney.com described the debt ceiling as "a cap set by Congress on the amount of debt the federal government can legally borrow." The Obama administration wanted a "clean" (read unconditional) vote on raising the debt limit and got its wish on May 31, when the House voted down such a debt limit increase with a large bipartisan majority (318 nays, 97 yeas).
It is no longer a secret that President Obama's administration is willing to allow electricity prices to "necessarily skyrocket," in order to accomplish his green energy agenda.
Although he has so far been unsuccessful at instituting cap-and-trade, Obama's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is hard at work running coal companies and consumers into the ground. Not that you'd know it from ABC, NBC and CBS news coverage.
According to Paul Bedard's June 8 Washington Whispers column in US News & World Report, "two new EPA pollution regulations will slam the coal industry so hard that hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost, and electric rates will skyrocket 11 percent to over 23 percent, according to a new study based on government data."
The Hill reported that the EPA is attempting to "impose new regulations aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants including mercury and arsenic."
ABC's Jake Tapper notices president's 'non-acknowledgment' of June 3 jobs report.
CNBC panelists and guests always make predictions in the minutes leading up to the Labor Department's release of the jobs report and June 3 was no exception.
While economists Diane Swonk and Mark Zandi and CNBC's own Steve Liesman all made predictions of job gains between 100,000 and 150,000 - Rick Santelli threw his own lower prediction in just seconds before the announcement: 55,000. (Video available here)
Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., has admitted that he “helped his ex-lover land a lucrative post with Fannie Mae in the early 1990s while the Newton Democrat was on a committee that regulated the lending giant,” the Boston Herald reported on May 26.
Frank dismissed questions about the “potential ethical conflict,” of regulating Fannie Mae while Herb Moses, whom Frank has called his “spouse,” worked there from 1991 through 1998.
The New York Times reporter Gretchen Morgensen was the first to report Frank’s role in helping Moses get the job at Fannie Mae, according to the Herald. The Boston paper also reported that in a May 24, radio interview on WBUR’s “Fresh Air,” Morgensen said Fannie Mae “rolled out the red carpet” for Moses to “curry favor with Frank and other members of the Financial Services Committee."
The cause for the end of the world has been imagined by screenwriters to include everything from giant insects and malevolent robots to asteroids the size of Texas. But five year ago in May 2006, Hollywood found a new menace: carbon dioxide. This scenario was different in another respect. It was supposedly true.
The documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" wasn't intended to be the blockbuster end-of-the-world tale that "Armageddon" was, but it was intended to frighten. The new film was full of disaster footage and catastrophic predictions about climate change. Its leading man: former vice president Al Gore.
The apocalyptic warning earned nearly $50 million worldwide and turned Gore into a "movie star," according to the fawning networks. Gore won accolades, including an Oscar and a Nobel Peace Prize. Reporters and anchors on ABC, CBS and NBC also made a hero of Apocalypse Al, embracing his views and bringing on guests with the same views including one who said Gore had been busy "saving the planet - literally."
Gore received almost entirely uncritical coverage from the network morning and evening shows over global warming, despite plenty of evidence - scientific evidence - that would have discredited him and his film. Since the movie's release, nearly 98 percent of those stories have excluded criticism of the so-called "science" of the film.