Sunday, December 18, 2005

1914 Media Myths of 2005

I noticed this story link at Amy Ridenour's blog about the Media's Top 10 Economic Myths. The media's coverage of the economy reminds me of this statement by Anthony Elgindy's wife, "Everytime things were going well, Tony would find some way to screw it up." I recall (because I wrote it down) the opening paragraph in a USAToday story in mid-November about poverty in the USA. It began, "A time of plenty, a four year expansion with strong growth, low inflation, muscular housing market, robust corporate profits. . ." There is no silver lining, ever.

"The Media Research Center’s Free Market Project spent 2005 tracking news reporting on business and economic issues and compiled a list of the most common and most egregious errors. They ran the gamut from omissions to exaggerations and plain misinformation. We have visions of better coverage dancing in our heads for 2006."

There are extensive examples and details, even the somber faced reporters on video, but here's the basics. The details might change, but I don't think it will be different in 2006.

Media Myth 10: France’s short work week, benefits and loads of vacation time made it a workers’ paradise.

Media Myth 9: Spending for hurricane recovery and Iraq is driving the U.S. deficit out of control. The only answer is to raise taxes to pay for it all.

Media Myth 8: Thanks to the U.S. rejection of the Kyoto treaty, global warming is on the rise and warmer oceans are spawning deadlier hurricanes than ever.

Media Myth 7: At least our good-hearted celebrities understand that compared to other nations, America doesn’t give much to help the world’s poor. [Aren't we just so sick of being lectured by over-paid entertainers?]

Media Myth 6: With homes and businesses destroyed and the nation’s oil supply hit, the United States will surely hemorrhage jobs and head toward a huge downturn in Katrina’s wake.

Media Myth 5: The housing market, white-hot for so long, is about to go bust and take you and your home’s value with it. [Eventually, they'll get this one right, but have been saying this for 4 or 5 years--and it's not white hot in Ohio.]

Media Myth 4: America is suffering from an obesity epidemic, so we’ve got to keep everyone away from foods and beverages with calories. This has become the nation’s No. 1 health problem and we’re dying at the rate of 400,000 a year.

Media Myth 3: Rising energy prices mean there won’t be much in little Timmy’s stocking this Christmas. Mom and dad can’t heat their home and buy food, so other business sectors are going to get Scrooged.

Media Myth 2: Big money-makers like the oil and drug industries should be sharing the wealth. Oil companies were profiting off others’ misfortunes – laughing all the way to the bank while you got squeezed at the pump. And Wal-Mart’s business practices were just as bad.

Media Myth 1: The economy is hopeless! There are plenty of reasons to doubt the economy. Gas prices; housing bubble; auto workers losing jobs… the evidence is everywhere.


Beth said...

I was just reading through your blogs and listening to the TV.

They just did a segment on the movie 'Broke Back Mountain'. They said it has been a tremendous success with a limited release this weekend.

It came out 8th for movies this weekend.

Have you ever heard a movie so touted by hollywood? I don't think I've ever heard this much hype over a movie that came in 8th in revenue over a weekend in a 'limited release'.

They say they are ready to see how it does in the more conservative 'middle America' now.


Just seemed to fit in with your article on media myths :)

Norma said...

This one seems to be more push than myth. I fail to see the attraction. If I want to see a love story, it won't be between two guys--or girls. I don't care how the media pushes. Or being a giant ape and a woman!

Johnny Smoke said...

I can't quit you Norma!