Like ABC and CNN on Monday morning, NBC’s Today also lauded the Obama daughters’ new Sidwell Friends school as green and compassionate, a school that "emphasizes a lot of the themes of the Obama administration." Like the other networks, NBC made no mention of the Obamas choosing a pricey private school and not considering a public school, or their opposition to school choice for children poorer than theirs. Today co-host Matt Lauer interviewed Maureen Orth of Vanity Fair magazine (Tim Russert’s widow) to get all the compassionate details:
“We use federal tax money that comes from gasoline sales to maintain the nation’s roads and bridges. We’re looking at a billion-plus-dollar short fall right now, and the National Governors Association wants Congress to come in and fill the gap.”
I guess “filling the gap” could either mean hiking the tax on gasoline, or supplementing the highway fund with other tax dollars. Maybe the real “bad news” for consumers is that some politicians seem determined to collect all of the gasoline taxes they desire, whether drivers actually buy the gas or not.
"NBC Nightly News" has found yet another hardship story caused by the credit crunch - prospective college students seeking student loans.
The March 6 "Nightly News" aired a segment about how a lack of funding for student lenders will cause some students not to be able to attend their first choice of college.
"More than a dozen lenders have pulled out of the federal student loan program, unable to raise enough money to make loans," NBC correspondent Tom Costello said. "Now - Pennsylvania, Missouri, Michigan, New Hampshire and Iowa have suspended parts or all of their student loan programs - unprecedented."
Once again, the media have demonstrated its disregard for the rationale behind business decisions.
Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) and Northwest Airlines (NYSE:NWA) are in negotiations for a merger, which could be a win-win for both companies. However, a segment on NBC's February 15 "Today" portrayed it as the two airlines teaming up to take advantage of travelers and ignored the possibility that the survival of both airlines may hinge on this merger.
"But airline mergers have traditionally meant job losses, especially in the airlines' hub cities, as well as fewer flight options for passengers in smaller cities and higher ticket prices," NBC correspondent Tom Costello said. "In Atlanta, we found frequent travelers fearing that's exactly what could happen."
Never underestimate the power of the media when it comes to taking something completely legitimate and distorting its image as if it is some shady racket.
The January 10 "NBC Nightly News" gave that impression about reverse mortgages - a special type of home loan that allows a homeowner to convert some of the equity in his or her home into cash. These loans are geared toward senior citizens, one of the key demographics of the evening network news shows.
"Nightly News," however, based its report completely on a 78-year-old story who felt she was deceived.
"Reverse mortgages allow seniors 62 and older to borrow against the equity they've built up in their home," NBC correspondent Tom Costello said. "But upfront costs can be steep, $12,000 for Ms. Munoz. Then, her attorney claims, the sales agent who suggested the reverse mortgage sold the 78-year-old woman long-term investment annuities that don't mature until 2033. When she tried to withdraw some of that money, she faced a 20-percent penalty."