Saturday, May 24, 2008

Popcorn Propaganda

movie popcorn ethanolThe Kansas City Star would like you all to know that you can blame higher priced movie outings on ethanol. After all, it's the reason why everything is more expensive.

They've carefully researched the issue and checked their facts. They've looked at all factors influencing food costs like increased energy, worldwide demand and supply, marketing and labor costs. They've interviewed industry experts on all sides and prepared an accurate, well-balanced news article on the subject.

Or not.

In this fine piece of journalism, they report that movie popcorn prices will jump 25 cents at AMC theaters and that movie prices may leap 30% because of the price of "corn".
"The rocketing price for corn already is hurting Americans at the grocery store and the gas pump. Now it’s going to hurt us at the multiplex, too.

Partly because of the rising price for popcorn, on Thursday Kansas City-based AMC Entertainment Inc. announced that beginning today it will increase its ticket prices from $9 to $10 for weekend show times after 4 p.m. at its five area theaters. (Children ages 2 to 12 will be admitted for the usual $5.)

Also beginning today, AMC’s popcorn price will jump 25 cents nationwide."
So corn prices are responsible for $1.25 increase per person? And if it is just a part, how much "a part"? And if other factors play a larger role in the increases, will they get reported as well?

And exactly what does "field corn" have to do with popcorn again? Well according to the newspaper, apparently everything because they are one in the same. (hint: they're not). But even if they were the same, a bushel of corn at $5 a bushel contains 56 pounds. Now that's a lot of corn. This means that every $6 movie popcorn tub contains just pennies of actual corn costs.

Also in an earlier version of the story, they really showed their ag knowledge by reporting that corn was sold in "barrels" rather than the correct term, "bushels".

That's some fine reporting there Lou.

According to the paper, the only reason why corn prices are higher is because of that pesky renewable fuel.

We're still wondering how corn prices are hurting Americans at the gas pump when multiple studies show that ethanol is increasing fuel supplies and keeping gasoline prices lower.

It's pretty clear that the Kansas City Star has an editorial bias against ethanol and will allow shoddy reporting and slanted opinions to affect their newsroom operations.

But the story went out on the newswire and will be read by millions around the country (corn sold by the barrels and all). Their slanted "news" will be quoted as "fact". We're sure the oil and big food industries must be proud that their hard work is finally paying off.

Advertising Age also recently ran a popcorn story with this little nugget regarding popcorn costs:

“… the price of the paper pulp to produce popcorn tubs has jumped 40% in the past 36 months, making the tub more expensive than the corn inside it.”

After eating some theater popcorn, the box might just be the tastier part!

Source: Kansas City Star

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