Before I started as NewsBusters managing editor, I finished up a study of the media's bias when it comes to reporting on prescription drugs. The study was released on March 14.
After the page break are some findings from the executive summary. Here's a link to the PDF version of the study.
How many networks does it take to change a lightbulb? Two.
CBS "Evening News" and ABC "World News with Charles Gibson" both ran segments on a coalition supporting a ban on incandescent light bulbs in order to save money and save the planet through decreased energy consumption.
Last night, ABC "World News with Charles Gibson," and CBS "Evening News" both blamed increased foreclosures on lending companies and mentioned tightened regulation instead of discussing the issue of personal choice. NBC "Nightly News" was the only network to bring individual choice into the story on March 13.
"Mortgage companies were lending to people with questionable credit," said ABC's David Muir.
NBC had some "horror stories" to share with its audience on March 7, according to "Nightly News" anchor Campbell Brown. Brown introduced the report by Lisa Myers that told the story of Wesley Wannemacher, a man who's $3,200 credit card debt ballooned to $10,700 after interest and penalties.
Wannemacher's plight also featured prominently in similar segments on ABC "World News with Charles Gibson" and CBS "Evening News" for the same day. [continued after jump]
"Dozens of American companies have come here to London and the alternate investment market where less regulation means raising capital is cheaper and easier," declared reporter Sheila MacVicar.
The atypical remark was made in a segment of "Global Warming, Cool Solutions" during the March 7 CBS "Evening News."
MacVicar's words are less surprising when you know that the companies in the CBS story are raising capital for green investments to help fight global warming.
With the Democrats now in charge of Congress the media is joining them in bringing back some favorite of their favorite boogeymen and on this morning's Today show that boogeyman took the form of the credit card companies and their "abusive" practices. Teasing a Lisa Myers report NBC's Ann Curry charged that credit card companies are "...accused of making it difficult for the average person to pay off that bill.
The media love a "green" story. As Al Gore and Hollywood celebrities champion the practice of carbon offsetting -- donating money toward an energy-saving project while still taking your vacation -- the media buzz in agreement.
"If more people do it over time, it's a good thing," said CBS reporter Russ Mitchell during a carbon offset story on the February 22 "Early Show."
"Your chances of being stuck on a stuffy airliner for hours on a taxiway – like passengers on recent JetBlue flights – are slim, the government reported yesterday," the Associated Press reported on March 6.
It's a good thing I wasn't sipping my coffee when I saw this on the front page of the Baltimore Sun in Starbucks this afternoon.
"Checks, balances rule Md. capital: Democratic leaders split on key issues, how to raise money."
Last night, ABC "World News with Charles Gibson" and CBS "Evening News" devoured a recent report from the food police: Center for Science in the Public Interest. The CSPI report charges casual dining restaurants with serving high calorie and high fat appetizers, entrees and desserts and promotes federally mandated nutrition information on menus.
While both programs did include restaurant spokesmen, the meat of both stories came straight from the CSPI release which is not surprising since CSPI experts frequently appear in network news stories -- most recently on February 20, 21, 22, 23 and then in the "extreme eating" stories on the 26th.
Promoting a recent study by the food police group Center for Science in the Public Interest, a report during CNN's "American Morning" today favored further regulation of restaurants, targeting UNO Chicago Grill and Ruby Tuesday in particular.
"When you go to a restaurant you better be watching what you're eating, because some of the calories you get can be extreme," said reporter Greg Hunter before introducing CSPI nutritionist Jayne Hurley.
Reporter Betsy Stark recounted the plight of a home health aide and cited numbers from Malcolm's group, the National Partnership for Women and Families, but neither Stark nor the matching on-screen graphics cited the liberal group as ABC's statistical source: “Elnora is one of 59 million American workers who have no paid sick days at all. She is among the 86 million who do not get a single paid day off to care for a sick child.” So, “advocates say” that until the federal government “requires a few paid sick days as well, millions of Americans will have no choice -- no choice but to work when they should stay home." Not until the very end of the story did Stark note how “business groups say another federal mandate is the last thing employers can afford, and if paid sick leave becomes the law of the land, somebody will pay.”