NBC's "Today" show handed "New York Times" columnist Thomas Friedman a platform, on Tuesday's show, to rail against President Bush's "incoherent mess" of an energy policy, and demand a $1/gallon gas tax, as well as a $4.50 price floor on gas.
"Today" co-host Meredith Vieira spurred on Friedman as she recited the most inflammatory passages from his Sunday column:
U.S. corn futures topped out at record highs on June 11 on the news that the impact of flooding in the Midwest would hurt this year's corn crop, but the June 11 "CBS Evening News" left out one significant detail in its reporting about the crisis.
"[A]gricultural disaster aid has been requested for Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan," CBS correspondent Cynthia Bowers said on the June 11 "Evening News." "The federal government estimates that this year's corn crop will be 10 percent lower than last year's. That's down 1.4 billion bushels, and it's too late to do much about it."
According to a Reuters story, corn prices on the Chicago Board of Trade have shot up 80 percent in the last 12 months, with almost 17 percent of that just this month. But Bowers didn't explain how the prices got so high before the floods, which put consumers of corn products in this vulnerable position. Corn futures were already priced high because of a heightened demand - artificially stimulated by federal government subsidies for ethanol produced from corn.
For several weeks, NewsBusters has been reporting the changing media tide concerning ethanol.
On Thursday, PBS's "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" joined the growing chorus of press outlets pointing fingers at biofuels as being partially responsible for the growing international food crisis:
The cost of food has soared as more and more corn is being produced for fuel, not food...[I]t is the government's mandate for ethanol that has doubled the demand for corn and sent prices soaring.
Sadly, the segment ignored Nobel Laureate Al Gore's involvement in this matter, as well as his biofuel investments, but still went where few mainstream media outlets would have gone just two months ago (video available here):
Since media began recognizing the international food crisis and its ties to biofuels, NewsBusters has been wondering when press members will expose how intricately linked Nobel Laureate Al Gore is to this controversial issue.
On Sunday, Fox News's Sean Hannity finally did just that.
In a segment on "Hannity's America," the host addressed much of what NewsBusters has been reporting for the past several months about this matter, and established a template that hopefully others in the media will emulate if they are indeed interested in helping to solve this growing problem (video embedded right):
Gas prices got you down? Ride a horse, says MSNBC.
On a "MSNBC Live," report on "sky high gas prices" anchor Tamron Hall relayed the story of one man who is using a horse rather than a vehicle, but did not explain some important reasons why prices have soared.
"The high prices have led ... one Tennessee man to find a more fuel efficient way to get around town in Bradley County: The guy is riding a horse," Hall said on the May 9 broadcast. "It is cheaper to maintain a horse than it is to fill up a gas tank. He says that it costs $150 to $200 a month to ride and feed that pony."
Government meddling with the free-market forces can have ill consequences. Just look at how government mandates for corn-based ethanol have affected the global food supply.
According to CNN senior business correspondent Ali Velshi, CNN viewers rate the economy as the most important issue and named gas prices as their number one concern. "AOL Money Coach" Hilary Kramer agreed with viewers, but regarded Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama's proposal as "valuable" when matched with alternative energy legislation.
"Absolutely right," Kramer said on CNN's May 5 "Issue #1." "That's why Barack Obama with a $150 billion package that he wants to jumpstart an entire industry alternative energy and clean technology could be very valuable, especially matching that up with legislation to force the use of alternative energy."
As media turn against ethanol due to the growing international food crisis, there's one idol they need to topple: Nobel Laureate Al Gore.
After all, this man has not only been strongly advocating the use of biofuels for years, but has also admitted to having investments in companies involved in such agri-business.
In the past couple of weeks, NewsBusters has been noting that as food prices around the world have soared causing an international crisis, typically green press members have been surprisingly reporting a rather pessimistic view of ethanol.
Without question, the most comprehensive and daring commentary I've seen on this subject to date comes from a program north of the border called The National.
Though not a household name here in the States, the CBC's Rex Murphy is willing to address the heart of this issue in a fashion so honest and unconcerned with the currently in vogue climate alarmism that it is a metaphysical certitude viewers will want to see and read more of his opinions.
Frankly, I'd doubt any American broadcaster would have the nerve to say the following with cameras rolling and microphones switched on (absolutely must-see video available here, transcript follows, enthusiastic h/t to NBer Par for the Course):
Although the economy is showing only a slow rate of growth, consumer spending actually showed an increase for the month of March. But, don't be fooled - that's a bad sign, according to "CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric.
"[T]he government reported today that consumer spending in March shot up twice as much as economists were expecting, and it's not because we're buying more - it's because the prices are so much higher, especially food," Couric said on the May 1 broadcast.
However, crediting consumer spending growth, up 0.4 percent according to the Commerce Department, to food inflation is not accurate, according to economist Dr. John Lott.
Some more pieces of the "How Al Gore is Going to Become Amazingly Wealthy by Selling Climate Hysteria" puzzle came together Friday when the Silicon Valley venture capital firm he's now a part of announced a $500 million investment in green technologies.
Making matters more delicious, the firm already has investments in many of the same companies Gore admitted in March he has a stake in.
To begin untangling this web, let's first take a gander at what was reported Friday by the San Francisco Chronicle (emphasis added):
Last week, NewsBusters reported the peculiar occurrence of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich appearing alongside current Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a global warming ad funded by Nobel Laureate Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection.
Included in this piece was an explanation the former Speaker offered at his website regarding this matter which sparked largely uncomplimentary reactions in the rightosphere as well as from conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
Two days later, Gingrich appeared on Fox News's "O'Reilly Factor," and answered Rush (video embedded right):
Fresh off its controversial Iwo Jima cover with Marines raising a tree, Time magazine's May 5 issue celebrates with an Earth Day roundup. The cause for celebration? That in 2008, "every day is Earth Day," exulted Nancy Gibbs.
Gibbs celebrated, among other things, the banning of DDT, which led to millions of preventable deaths from malaria. "Back in 1970, there was ... poison in our pesticides," she said, but after the Environmental Protection Agency was created, "DDT was banned."
Perhaps she missed the fact that DDT was reinstated for use in malaria-ridden countries by order of the World Health Organization in 2006.
Another part of this year's Earth Day roundup: "Bolivia's socialist President Evo Morales told the U.N. that 'if we want to save our planet Earth, we have a duty to put an end to the capitalist system.'" Meanwhile, Gibbs wrote, "capitalists polished their image to a green sheen."