Ring in the gloom year!

Imagine you're a guest on the Today show on New Year's Day, and the host asks you to predict the top stories for the year to come.

What are the odds you choose as your two top stories for 2006: job-loss anxiety among white-collar workers, and white-collar crime?

Yet that is precisely what Marcus Mabry, Newsweek's Chief of Correspondents [pictured here], did in his just-completed interview with host Lester Holt.

Yes it’s the Friday before New Year's. Yes there is not much in the way of news. But CBS was so desperate to fill time this morning, they brought on an astrologer to predict the future. Needless to say, she predicted a bad year in 2006 for both President Bush and the economy. Would it really have been on CBS had she done otherwise?

I know this is the week between Christmas and New Years, but did CBS really need to dig up 12 year old news to fill time this morning? The subject was commercial advertising on public school buses in Colorado Springs, an outrage pretty much contained to liberals who hate commercials and lower school taxes.

As the economy has improved, President Bush's association with its results has decreased, and now has virtually disappeared.

Good economic news has poured out as if from a geyser during the past couple of weeks: consumer confidence, GDP growth, Christmas retail sales, unemployment, durable goods, the booming online sales, just to scratch the surface.

The Wall Street Journal’s Stephanie Kang and the New York Times’s Michael Barbaro today used similar language to describe the retail shopping season as so-so.

Check out the Free Market Project's report on The Media's Top Ten Economic Myths of 2005.

In reporting what it called a "big win" for Senate Democrats in killing off drilling in ANWR, this morning's Today show aired footage of gorgeous snow-capped mountains, similar to the file photo to the right.

There's only one little problem.  The drilling in ANWR won't take place anywhere near those mountains. 

If Inflation Falls in the Forest...                                                                                                                                If we listened to the media, no one would have heard the biggest price decline in 56 years.

Free Market Project

On December 7, The Associated Press's Martin Crutsinger reported on a rise in factory orders and productivity growth, and quoted an expert who predicted good times ahead:
"The momentum of growth has been very strong," said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at Global Insight in Lexington, Mass. "This suggests that growth in the fourth quarter of this year and early next year will remain robust."
Two weeks later, on December 21 at 8:37 AM ET, in a report on the slight downward revision of third-quarter GDP growth from 4.3% to 4.1%, Crutsinger wrote the following, apparently for consumption by the general population, based on where it appeared (bold is mine):

When it comes to the Transport Workers Union strike in NYC, the Today show just can't bring itself to pronounce the 'I' word, for illegal.

Let's get one thing straight: the the Transport Workers Union strike in NYC is illegal.  Even the New York Times, in this article, had to acknowledge that stubborn fact:

The really interesting stories in today's Washington Post are hiding off the front pages. On page A-23 (and not even the TOP of A-23) is the Dan Balz story "Pelosi Hails Democrats' Diverse War Stances." That's a sunny way of saying again, "Democrats Have No Iraq Plan." Balz begins his summary of a Pelosi sit-down with the Post: