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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 18 December 14, 2005

In this issue:  Top 10 Worst of 2005 • Herman Cain • ‘Syriana’ • Good, Bad & Ugly
  Energy • Wal-Mart • Health Care • Education • Events

New from the Free Market Project

The Media’s Top 10 Economic Myths of 2005
What’s your vote for the worst distortion of business and economic news in 2005? The bursting housing bubble? Gas prices killing the economy? Americans being stingy with foreign aid? There were plenty to choose from. See how the Free Market Project ranked the top 10 worst media myths of the year – and how we debunked them.

Herman Cain: A Whale of a Tale
The media must think we’re stupid – because they keep telling us the same wrong stories over and over. FMP’s list of media myths is a tool the public can use to demand the truth from journalists in 2006.

‘Syriana’: ‘Realism’ or a Left-Wing Assault on Oil?
Call it “Perils of capitalism,” as the Los Angeles Times did on November 23, or simply an anti-industry movie that paints oil executives as bad guys and suicide bombers as sympathetic figures. Either way, George Clooney’s new movie has been the darling of the media and “Something you might even call realism” – as long as you agree oil companies are evil.

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:  Washington Post tackles regressive tariffs; CNN’s Serwer pulls a 180 on housing forecast; Post calls tax cuts ‘cost’ to government.

Also from FMP:

Coverage of Wal-Mart Movies Lopsided

Post Practices ‘Boo-Hoo’ Economics

Harvard Professor Deflates ‘In the Money’

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Research, News & Commentary


News: Kuwait's oil minister is seeking to build a new oil refinery in Louisiana: “We are very keen to build a refinery in the U.S., but environmental restrictions and other regulations make it difficult,'' reports Bloomberg News. 

Commentary: Ronald Bailey of Reason magazine explores how environmentalist fears of nuclear power are clashing with Kyoto signatories desperately struggling to live up to self-imposed carbon dioxide caps.


Commentary: Heritage’s Mark Tapscott asks, “wouldn’t it be nice if mainstream media outlets would ask some tough questions of advocacy groups on the Left rather than too often blindly accepting their pronouncements as gospel?”

Health Care

Commentary: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says it's high time the Congressional Budget Office eliminated outdated economic models which have prevented market-centered health care reform from passing Congress.

Commentary: Cato analyst Radley Balko argues market-based reforms to health care can de-fang the regulatory push against food companies amidst the “obesity epidemic.”

Commentary: Alexander Zozos of Freedom Works blogs about how the National Health Service in Britain is considering in some cases to refuse treatment to smokers, alcohol drinkers, and the obese. Zozos says such measures could be imported across the Pond were advocates of socialized medicine to have their way in the United States.


Research: The Cato Institute releases a white paper on the success private schools are having in educating poor children in developing countries.

News: Reason magazine interviews economist Milton Friedman on the 50th anniversary of his call for school vouchers to open up public school monopolies.

News: The Associated Press reports on a growing number of black Americans abandoning government-run schools and taking up home schooling.

Upcoming Events

Tell us about events coming up in your area!

The Prosperity Caucus
Special guest: Dr. Richard Florida, author of “The Flight of the Creative Class”
Dec. 15, 7 p.m.
National Mining Association, Washington, D.C.
101 Constitution Ave., NW
RSVP to 

The Medical Malpractice Myth?
American Enterprise Institute

Dec. 19, 2 p.m.

Scientific Talent and U.S. Economic Leadership
American Enterprise Institute

Jan.13, 2 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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