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Preview: RealClearPolitics - Articles - Dan Gainor

RealClearPolitics - Articles - Dan Gainor

Last Build Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2007 00:34:57 -0600

Copyright: Copyright 2007

Green Issues Are the Place to Be

Sun, 22 Apr 2007 00:34:57 -0600

Sports Illustrated? Is a cover photo of Marlins pitcher Dontrelle Willis hip-deep in water an eco-statement, or does it imply the franchise is headed underwater for the 2007 season? Liberals can now blame the famous SI curse for dumping cold water in the form of snow on so many spring global warming events. Elle's green issue comes out soon - probably complete with beauty tips, just like Glamour's "woman's guide to saving the planet." BusinessWeek went green in January. The Week goes au naturel on April 20, just two days before Earth Day. Or is it The Week after the national global warming Step It Up 2007 events? Left-wing protesters hold hundreds of mini-rallies demanding Congress act on global warming, and most shiver in their Birkenstocks under April cold. These magazines could be foreshadowing July 15's "International Day of Direct Action for Climate Justice, against Climate Change and the G8!" That event doesn't need a slogan; it doesn't have room for one. It's just anti-corporate spin more reminiscent of the losing side of the Cold War than global warming. And another of what seems like hundreds of left-wing events and protests painted green by adoring journalists. And when it comes to the magazines, only a few titles are pretending to be green themselves, making lame attempts at recycling to save trees. But they pile on mountains of intrusive ideas about how everyone else should change. Big government? Who cares as long as it's the Green Menace and "evil" corporations suffer. As penance for our "250-year industrial bacchanal," Time devotes 44 pages of its April 9 edition to get us to stop eating steak, change our lightbulbs, make only fuel-efficient right turns, ride the bus and pay lots of taxes. It's no longer a magazine. It's a green Mary Poppins. Glamour buries its recommendations amidst ways to get "amazing hair" and "a flatter belly." At the same time, it tells readers about women confessing their "crazy, naughty, surprisingly normal" sex fantasies. Somehow, I don't think that's the hot topic Al Gore has in mind when he talks about warming. Glamour's"10 easiest things you can do to help the planet" are part of more than 50 ways to help the planet or attack industry, whichever comes first. The magazine urges dropping "toxic" household cleaners, eating only locally grown food and buying organic jeans. Newsweek provides a mere 12 ideas. And Time has 51. Together that's more than two per week to save Earth, and each one is more left-wing than before. Ironically, the magazines are more designed to make green than save it. Fortune has a 10-page special advertising feature. Newsweek, Time and others turn thoughts of "climate change" into "climate dollars" with environmentally friendly ads while advocating a return to Big government-style socialism flush with our tax dollars. Vanity Fair has more green issues than all the other magazines combined. The May "Green Issue" showcases actor Leonardo DiCaprio with polar bear superstar Knut - putting cute faces on enough journalistic toxic waste to put Love Canal to shame. The profile of Rush Limbaugh accuses him of enabling "environmental destruction." Another feature claims "almost every move you make affects the health of the planet." From the second the alarm clock goes off, it argues, we are killing Mother Earth. One despicable feature describes "Dante's Inferno: Green Edition." The illustration portrays a beatific Gore in paradise almost as high in heaven as the left's beloved Prius, which sits atop a nearby hill. The circles of hell are filled with images of some of the conservatives or businesses punished, from "Charlie" the Starkist Tuna to author Michael Crichton, holding his own head in one hand and his book "State of Fear" in the other. Any who challenge the green gospel get a ticket straight to hell - courtesy of Vanity Fair. This liberal agenda seems amazingly familiar. A massive media propaganda onslaught. Big government Socialism controlling all aspects of daily life.[...]

How Networks Distort a Good Economy

Sat, 21 Oct 2006 00:03:56 -0600

CBS reporter Jim Axelrod pointed out the contradiction between good economic news and public perception in a May 30, 2006, "Evening News" story about new Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. "The administration needs a salesman. No matter how much they trumpet 5.3 percent economic growth in the first quarter, 5.2 million more jobs since August 2003, or unemployment down to 4.7 percent, there's another number to contend with. In the most recent CBS News poll, just 34 percent approval of the president's handling of the economy." That wasn't even the nadir for Bush's economic polling numbers. The May New York Times/CBS poll gave Bush a pathetic 28 percent positive assessment and reflected the pessimistic view of the network news far more than the economy's actual performance. Instead of celebrating how the country weathered last fall's storms and huge spikes in gas and oil prices, ABC, CBS and NBC spent the 12 months from Aug. 1, 2005, to July 31, 2006, making the case that we are at risk of sending "the economy into recession." This isn't the first time. The slogan "It's the economy, stupid" helped launch Bill Clinton into the West Wing in 1992 because the media widely reported the U.S. economy was in shambles. But The Washington Post admitted the truth - two months after the election: "growth for the second half of last year was the strongest in five years." Two years ago, the same slant returned. BusinessWeek Chief Economist Michael J. Mandel said the September 2004 economy was similar to the one Clinton enjoyed before re-election. He called it "good news for Bush" that "the economy looks uncannily like it did in the summer of 1996," citing several variables - unemployment rate, inflation and consumer confidence - as similar for both incumbents. But the media's treatment was far different. Stories about jobs during Clinton's reelection campaign were positive more than six times as often as they were for Bush, according to a previous Business & Media Institute report. Journalists praised the Clinton unemployment rate of 5.6 percent as "low," but downplayed a 5.4-percent rate under Bush, calling job growth "anemic." The midterm elections are nearly here. The instant Election Day 2006 is past, the presidential campaign for 2008 kicks off. In both cases, the economy remains an essential subject of debate. Polls show voters focused on domestic issues, and close to one-third of respondents cite economic issues such as gas prices or taxation as their top concerns. The Case against the Media ABC's Betsy Stark summed up the media attitude in just a few words during a "World News Tonight" piece about the Paulson appointment on May 30, 2006. "And at this point in the Bush presidency, there are questions about how effective any Treasury secretary could be," Stark told her audience. No wonder. The prevailing attitude on the nightly newscasts was one so negative that no amount of good news could compensate. During the yearlong buildup to the 2006 midterm elections, the network news shows were overwhelmingly negative. NBC went into detail about the impact negative news was having on voters. On the April 21, 2006, "Nightly News," reporter Dick Gregory warned that "Spiking gas prices from coast to coast have created new political pain for an administration already falling in the polls." CNBC's John Harwood followed: "What high gas prices do is obscure the one accomplishment George Bush and Republicans in Congress most would like to brag about, and that's a growing economy." The evening news shows also obscured the growing economy. Out of 258 stories that explicitly mentioned the U.S. economy, 62 percent were negative - twice the positive tally. "CBS Evening News" came out especially slanted. Bad news - rising mortgage rates, auto industry layoffs or even hurricanes - was the focus of 81 percent of its full-length stories. Good news was relegated to shorter, brief items, while bad news got the most air time. The June 29, 2006, broadcast showed exac[...]