Paul Detrick

Latest from Paul Detrick

Sometimes government tries to fix the problem; then it makes the problem worse.

In 2004, economists at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), studied the policies of President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal and determined it actually prolonged the Depression by seven years.

Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian blamed anti-free market measures for the slow recovery in an article published in the August 2004 issue of the Journal of Political Economy.

Cole and Ohanian asserted that Roosevelt thought excessive business competition led to low prices and wages, adding to the severity of the Depression.

"[Roosevelt] came up with a recovery package that would be unimaginable today, allowing businesses in every industry to collude without the threat of antitrust prosecution and workers to demand salaries about 25 percent above where they ought to have been, given market forces. The economy was poised for a beautiful recovery, but that recovery was stalled by these misguided policies," Cole said in a press release dated Aug. 10, 2004.

You know the news media is doing a poor job of covering Sen. Barack Obama and his running mate when a supporter of the Democratic ticket criticizes the media for giving them a "pass."

Megan McArdle, a blogger for who has said she's voting for Obama, slammed the media in an appearance on's "The Talkshow" for not bringing up Sen. Joseph Biden's past as a "corporate sellout." McArdle said that was quite relevant when the Democratic candidates try to oppose financial deregulation in campaign appearances.

"And here is where I am willing to say the media is giving Obama a pass on a bunch of stuff that they shouldn't be ... It's ridiculous that no one is bringing up every time - every time Obama says anything about financial deregulation, Joe Biden's history should be trotted out and it's not and I'm not sure why," McArdle said to host Nick Gillespie.

Video after the jump.

When Tony the Tiger gets fired, we'll know biofuel mandates have taken their toll.

Correspondent Susan Koeppen said on "The Early Show" Oct. 23 consumers would be "paying more and getting less" for some food products they buy because companies are downsizing their products.

"It's called downsizing," Koeppen on the CBS broadcast. "More and more companies are going to start shrinking their products."

Ice cream consumer Yalanda Medina said she felt companies didn't think she was "smart enough to notice" she was getting less. In short, Medina felt "duped."

Koeppen went to "consumer advocate" Edgar Dworsky, who told her that downsizing is "a sneaky way to pass on a price increase."

'Early Show' sources say they were 'duped' and blame companies using 'sneaky' tactics.

This health care plan seems like it has more flaws than the bailout bill.

A news brief on "CNN Newsroom" Oct. 17 said that Hawaii's universal health care program for children would be hit with the "budget ax."

The screen said "Hawaii's Budget Ax" and anchor Heidi Collins reported that, "For the past seven months it's been the only state in the nation to offer universal healthcare for children. Now that program is being dropped."

But the brief didn't go into detail about one of the main reasons why the program was being axed: abuse of the "free" system.

A Hawaii state official said that families were "dropping private coverage so their children would be eligible for the subsidized plan," according to the Associated Press.

It may not have been "huge" when CNBC's Joe Kernen said it but the dude has been on practically every news station by now.

Kernen told chief Washington correspondent John Harwood that the "Joe the plumber" story "would be huge" and even a "bombshell," in any other election year. Kernen said voters "don't care" because they are buying into Sen. Obama's assertion that the Bush tax policies have led to the financial crisis.

"Obviously not everyone out there knows how to connect the dots between the [financial crisis] and tax policy. For some reason the Bush tax policies are being cited by Obama as the reason that we're in this position right now, again and again and again," said "Squawk Box" co-host Kernen Oct. 16.

But Kernen didn't stop there:

Who you gonna call to fix the economy? Kids.

The Dow dropped 5,585 points since its high a year ago, banks have been afraid to lend and the government bought billions in toxic mortgage-backed securities. So CBS's "The Early Show" went to some top finance experts to explain what was happening to viewers, right? Nope, they went to kids, Oct. 10.

Weatherman Dave Price talked to fifth graders in Arlington, Va., about the credit crisis, exclaiming, "You wouldn't believe how much they know, sometimes we ought to listen to them and their solutions."

"What one thing does your mom waste money on?" Price asked one student.

"Mmm, smokes, I guess," a fifth grade girl from Glebe Elementary School replied.

The Securities and Exchange Commission ended the 16-day ban on short selling Oct. 9, which has left many journalists asking if the ban actually worked to keep more banks from failing.

The staff at the Business & Media Institute's video blog, "The Biz Flog," could have told you the ban wasn't a good idea when they put together "Who's Afraid of a Big Bad Short Seller?" But, it's nice to see some members of the media questioning if the ban worked:

"While the ban was in place, other market forces pushed key indices into a rapid decline. We are going to see if that ban actually slowed the freefall or perhaps made it worse," Fox Business Network host Alexis Glick said on "Money for Breakfast," Oct. 9.

Glick went on to point out that the ban also affected companies that weren't banks:

So what "dangerous" product should you not give your children now? Cough syrup, if you were watching the October 3 "Early Show."

"They're safe if they're used properly, but so often they're not and so I consider them to be dangerous," said Dr. Alanna Levine, a pediatrician based in Englewood Hospital in New York.

The CBS segment focused on new regulations of over-the-counter cough and cold medicines for children by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but left out any representation by pharmaceutical companies or trade organizations.

Levine stressed problems with use of the product telling viewers that emergency rooms see up to 7,000 children a year, but she focused on the medicines, not on the caregivers improperly administering them to children.

'Early Show' discusses new FDA regulations for cough medicine; excludes business perspective.

If you don't give me money, I won't bail you out!

Conservative opposition to a federal bailout of financial institutions is over campaign donations, not a desire to uphold sound market principles, according to CNBC.

CNBC's chief Washington correspondent John Harwood said Sept. 25 on "Squawk Box" that he had a conversation with "a top Republican member of congress last night" who told him the resistance among conservatives to the $700 billion bailout plan is in part due to Wall Street donations to Democrats.

"‘A lot of our guys have decided that we hate Wall Street ... because they're giving a lot of money to Democrats right now,'" Harwood said he was told by an unnamed source.

"We've talked about how nice the bi-partisan coming together of the far left and the far right to oppose this plan. It was heartwarming, right? That finally brought the fringe elements of both sides together on this," co-host Joe Kernen joked.

Correspondent says conservative resistance to bailout plan is partially over campaign contributions to Democrats.

Private CEOs? Yes. Government-sponsored CEOs? No.

In a September 19 "Good Morning America" preview of a report scheduled to appear on the same day's edition of ABC's "20/20," chief investigative reporter Brian Ross took a few jabs at the rich who had fallen.

Ross called it "the end of a shameful chapter of American history," and although top executives on Wall Street had been hit hard in a way "they never thought was possible ... it's hardly the soup kitchen."

There was also much indignation in the report over the assets of Richard S. Fuld Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of now fallen Lehman Brothers Inc., and Alan Schwartz, the CEO of now "busted" Bear Stearns.

'Good Morning America' criticizes 'hardly the soup kitchen' lifestyles of Lehman, Bear Stearns CEOs; skips Fannie, Freddie CEOs.

In light of their reporting on the failure of investment firm Bear Stearns Companies Inc. (NYSE: BSC), it seems CNBC reporters aren't "tip-toeing around on eggshells" when reporting about problems at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (NYSE: LEH).

On CNBC's "Squawk Box," reporter Charlie Gasparino told co-host Joe Kernen, "I will say this about the Bear Stearns thing when you compare that [Lehman] with this. I think our reporting was incredibly responsible. It was so responsible ... and you know we went out of our way with Bear Stearns ... We just report on how feckless management is and I can't help that Bear Stearns was feckless. [Lehman] was feckless too and that is the scary part."

"They're going to parse every ‘is' that a journalist said," said Kernen. "We don't hammer the stock. We watch the stock get hammered and then we talk about it."

Grandma may be calling but this government program isn't answering.

ABC's "Good Morning America" exposed many problems with Medicare's hotline number 1-800-MEDICARE September 11, including telephone operators "who couldn't answer the [questions]," "gave out the wrong information" or were completely unreachable.

The onscreen caption for the ABC report read "Investigation Exposes Health Care Mess." The morning broadcast didn't disappoint, pointing to a Senate committee investigation that had staffers call the Medicare hotline more than 500 times.

Co-host Chris Cuomo teased to introduce Yunji de Nies' report:

Many seniors looking for answers to their questions often turn to help lines that can be anything but helpful.

Even though "Good Morning America" seems to have taken a recent interest in the glaring problems at the government-backed program, experts have been making the point for years.

On MSNBC's "Morning Joe" September 8, Jim Cramer took a shot at owner of The Wall Street Journal, Rupert Murdoch, in the midst of talking about the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac takeover:

I read The Wall Street Journal, sorry, The Fox Street Journal. When is Murdoch going to put his positive right wing implant on left wing journalists? ... When is Murdoch going to broom the Spartacus workers union?

As for Fannie and Freddie, Cramer told the hosts of the September 8 broadcast that "We had a laissez-faire attitude. Now we are going to have the greatest bureaucracy in history created by Republicans. I'm an agent of change," Cramer said sarcastically.

Later in the segment, Cramer joked that the Democratic Party were "Bolsheviks" quipping, "There. How's that for biased media?"

'Mad Money' host criticizes firms' Democratic connections, praises taxpayer-funded bailout.

Magazine ranks 'Today' host above top journalists; does not mention anti-business history.

When an anti-business media personality makes a business magazine's "Most Powerful" list, there is definitely something wrong.

Forbes magazine released its list of the 100 most powerful women in its September 15 issue. Meredith Vieira, host of NBC's "Today," came in at number 61 as the top journalist. Vieira beat CBS "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric (ranked 62), ABC News veteran Barbara Walters (63), ABC "Good Morning America" co-host Diane Sawyer (65) and CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour (91).

Despite her $10-million annual salary, according to the April 13 Parade Magazine, Vieira has had difficulty reporting on business practices in a free market. The Forbes list didn't mention her anti-business bias.