The dilemma of high gas prices might be addressed if congressional leaders would all just get along.

From CNN correspondent Kate Bolduan's perspective, the political differences on energy policy are little more than a "partisan standoff" between Democrats and Republicans.

"Even before the votes were counted on the latest energy proposal, the partisan standoff was clear," Bolduan said on the July 25 "American Morning." "[T]hat bill, a Democratic plan to release oil from the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve. It failed - one more example of the deadlock over sky-high gas prices and one step closer to Congress going home for the summer without passing anything significant on energy."

According to the report, the primary conflict involved opening federal lands to offshore drilling.

As of late, the networks just can't get enough of bad housing news, seizing each opportunity to make a point how bad the American economy is.

Each of the network news broadcasts on May 27 - ABC, CBS and NBC - took the news that home prices fell 14 percent in the first quarter of 2008, despite the news that new home sales rose an unexpected 3.3 percent in April from March, to portray the economy in a very grim light.

"The downward slide for home prices is only picking up speed," CBS correspondent Anthony Mason said on the May 27 "Evening News." "The 14 percent plunge nationally was led by Las Vegas, where prices have fallen more than 25 percent over the past year. Miami is down more than 24 percent, Phoenix - 23 percent. Among the 20 major cities surveyed, only Charlotte showed a meager gain and analysts can't see a bottom yet."

If you're a believer in the Larry Kudlow creed, that "free-market capitalism is the best path to prosperity," then look out, because George Soros is going to make you cringe.

A May 13 USA Today article by David J. Lynch profiled the Hungarian billionaire who said he sees traditional free market theory as "flawed."

"Of course, real life never matches up exactly with the theory's assumptions. But they represent, economists say, a useful way of making sense of a complex world," Lynch wrote.

"To Soros, the conventional approach is rubbish. Instead of a world of near-identical actors, coolly assessing their economic interests and acting with clear-eyed precision, he sees a world (and markets) governed by passion, bias and self-reinforcing errors," Lynch wrote. "Because fallible human beings are both involved in, and trying to make sense of, this world, they inevitably make mistakes. Those mistakes then feed on themselves in ‘reflexive' ways that, when taken to extremes, result in situations such as the now-deflating U.S. housing bubble."

You've probably heard about the French trader who has managed to stash away $7 billion before going on the lam. What's the big deal with sticking it to some French bank for $7 billion?

This $7-billion loss by the French bank Societe Generale (SocGen) (EPA:GLE) might have caused the sharp plunge in some European stock markets on January 21 - which spurred the Federal Reserve to make an unprecedented emergency 75-basis-point rate cut on January 22.

One economist drew a correlation between the SocGen scandal and the Fed's decision to make the emergency rate cut.

Got some hot stock plays for 2008? CNBC's David Faber thinks you should factor in the recession that hasn't yet happened when you adjust your portfolio for this New Year.

CNBC "Squawk Box" contributor Faber warned investors on the January 7 "Squawk on the Street" that stocks reliant on business spending could hurt since a recession, he said, is imminent.

"Business spending, concerns about business spending overall. I think Anne Mulcahy [CEO] at Xerox (NYSE:XRX) may have said something about business spending," Faber said. "I'm hearing business spending slowing. That's the concern - what happens to the stock market in a recession because we're heading into one it looks like."

Shoe leatherIt wasn't good news by any means, but it also wasn't the end of the world.

CBS Correspondent Anthony Mason would probably call it the not-so-almighty dollar, and he’d be correct if U.S. economic health was viewed only through the narrow lens of currency exchanges.

Story after story about Rupert Murdoch’s purchase offer for Dow Jones & Company, which owns The Wall Street Journal, has criticized the prospect as a threat to journalism, questioned the media mogul’s “editorial integrity” and attacked his character.

Journalists, media critics and the union representing the Journal were up in arms.

On April 25, 2007 the Dow soared to another record close, this time above 13,000. As Newsbusters reported here, here and here, the networks did anything but cheer. In fact, network broadcast reporting of the Dow's recovery since 2003 has been marked by pessimism.

Katie Couric introduced the April 25, 2007 CBS "Evening News" report with this dismal statement:

When a domestic industry is having problems with foreign competitors, foreign-owned companies in the US, or outsourcing, there is usually plenty of media coverage.

But when an entire sector of the financial services industry is in jeopardy, namely the issuance of shares in companies going public for the first time (initial public offerings, or IPOs), the news and commentary can't seem to break out of the business-reporting realm.

Read the following, and then I'll attempt to explain why.


NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell, President of the Media Research Center, appeared Monday on CNBC's "Kudlow and Company" where he discussed how the media are misreporting the economy.

The segment, in which Bozell appeared with Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, was prompted by a new Special Report study from the MRC's Business & Media Institute, "Bad News Bears: How Networks Distort a Good Economy and Batter President Bush."

Video clip (4:58): Windows Media (9.8 MB at higher-quality 256 kbps) or Real (3.8 MB at lower-quality 100 kbps) , plus MP3 audio (1.7 MB)