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What The Media Tell Americans About Free Enterprise

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August 1997



Last month MediaNomics reported that no network journalist had questioned the science behind the new EPA clean-air standards. Bob Zelnick called to tell us that in a story for ABC's Good Morning America, he in fact ran a soundbite from a Henry Henderson, a Chicago city environmental official who argues that by causing businesses to relocate, the new rules would increase pollution.

Zelnick is correct. The point of the article still stands, though. Zelnick, like many other reporters, balanced his story with both EPA officials and their opponents. However he didn't bring on a source to question the EPA's scientific rationale for the new standards that current levels of outdoor air pollution are harming asthma sufferers and causing premature mortality. Every network report seemed to assume this was true.

As Michael Fumento of the American Enterprise Institute has written, even the White House Office of Science and Technology and the EPA's own Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee questioned this claim, a fact no network reporter has mentioned.

By interviewing Henderson, Zelnick did go into more depth in his short morning-show story than other reporters did in their longer evening-show stories. But we're still waiting for a reporter to ask the White House why it's going against its own science advisors.


Rich Noyes




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