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The Balance Sheet

The Media Research Center

Free Market Project - Auditing the media's coverage of the free enterprise system

Volume 1 Issue 16 November 30, 2005

In this issue:  Boom or Bust? • Bubble Trouble • Hurricanes • Good, Bad & Ugly
  Taxes • Environment • Wal-Mart • Eminent Domain • Gas Prices • Events

New from the Free Market Project

Media Myths: The Housing Bubble Is Bursting
The housing market is set to come crashing down … or so the media say. The trouble is, they’ve been saying it for four long years now. Even the Fed’s chairman and soon-to-be chairman have assured the public that local markets are where the action is, but the media continue the national hype. The Free Market Project debunks this media myth by taking a look at news coverage versus the reality of the still-strong market.

Bubble, Bubble, It’s the Media in Trouble
It’s hard to take journalists seriously when their predictions of doom keep coming out wrong. How many times will they say the housing boom has gone bust? And who’s that singing “Tiny Bubbles”?

CBS Blows Hurricane Season Death Toll out of Proportion
CBS’s Jim Acosta declared the 2005 hurricane season the “deadliest” of all time. That claim was far off the reality of several past hurricanes that killed more than 8,000 people.
**Stay tuned for an upcoming FMP Special Report on the media’s linkage of hurricanes and global warming in the 2005 season.**

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly
The Good, the Bad & the Ugly tracks the best and worst media coverage of business and economics. Readers are invited to submit suggestions or news tips to staff writer Ken Shepherd.
This week:  Post reports how states restrict medical technology; CBS’s gas price reporting running on fumes; CNN reporters heap attacks on restaurant industry.

Also from FMP:

TV Academy Honors Dobbs, Ignores His Slant on News

CNN Unloads Double Portion of Bias

CBS Reporter Misrepresents Pump Prices

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Research, News & Commentary


Turkey’s prime minister is proposing investment and corporate tax cuts to spur economic growth in the European Union candidate country.

Commentary: “If Congress is serious about addressing economic growth and unemployment,” writes The Heritage Foundation’s Andrew Grossman, it needs to re-authorize President Bush’s soon-to-expire tax cuts.

Commentary: James Glassman similarly warns that “Congress is about to do severe harm to the U.S. economy if it fails to act in the next few months to stop three huge automatic tax increases.”

Commentary: National Taxpayers Union’s John Berthoud urges Congress to turn the thermostat down on calls for a Jimmy Carter-style windfall profits tax on oil.

Research: The Christmas holiday season upon us, the Tax Foundation releases a report which takes on the charity deduction for income taxes, noting “most 501(c)(3) charities now benefiting from the charitable deduction are neither charitable… nor providers of public goods.”


Commentary: University of Virginia environmental scientist Patrick Michaels debunks the methodology behind a study which recently attributed 150,000 deaths per year to global warming.

Commentary: Bob Brown of the Center for the Rocky Mountain West points to Montana’s forest management as a market-friendly model for the feds to pursue.

Commentary: “[T]he more we learn about the climate, the more it is clear our knowledge is just scratching the surface,” writes CEI senior fellow Iain Murray at TechCentralStation. Murray adds that the Kyoto Treaty and other treaties like them are “simple-minded.”

Wal-Mart/Labor Unions

Commentary: Robert Huberty of Capital Research Center’s blog mocks an anti-Wal-Mart activist who found it hard to fight Wal-Mart from his hotel in India for lack of an Internet provider.

Eminent Domain

Research: Carla Main details “How Eminent Domain Ran Amok” in the Hoover Institution’s October/November 2005 Policy Review, tracing how the federal courts have turned a constitutional protection of free market capitalism into a cash cow for governments at the expense of economic liberty.

Gas/Oil Prices

Commentary: The Heritage Foundation blogs on how “windfall profits” are helping to quickly repair refinery infrastructure to ensure long-term stability in gas prices.

Upcoming Events

Tell us about events coming up in your area!

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science
Heritage Foundation

Dec. 1, 12:00 p.m.

What Does the Public Know about Economic Policy?
American Enterprise Institute

Dec. 5, 9:00 a.m.

Is a New Era in Monetary Policy upon Us?
Cato Institute

Dec. 5, 11:00 am

How Much Will Trade Liberalization in Rich Countries Help Africa?
Cato Institute

Dec. 6, 12:00 p.m.

Does Supplemental Security Income Enduringly Reduce Child Poverty?
American Enterprise Institute

Dec. 12, 2:00 p.m.

Join Us in Telling 50 Million Americans Every Week About Liberal Media Bias!

Editorial Staff
Dan Gainor, Free Market Project Director
Amy Menefee, Balance Sheet Editor
Charles Simpson, Research Analyst
Ken Shepherd, Staff Writer

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