Dec
19
2008

'Yet Another Failure of the Tame Media'

Crooks and Liars blogger Cernig posts (12/15/08) the video of George W. Bush responding to an ABC interviewer's point that Al-Qaeda did not actually "take their stand" in Iraq "until after the U.S. invaded": "Yeah, that's right. So what?" The sad part is that Martha Raddatz's correction of the inverted justification timeline shows what can be considered an extraordinary amount of spine by corporate news standards. Cernig thinks "Raddatz should have thrown out her script at that point and eaten him alive, but she didn't. Yet another failure of the tame media, who are too afraid of losing their precious […]

Dec
19
2008

Diverse Coalition Wants Diverse Media

A Free Press open letter continues the push (12/18/08) for Barack Obama "to appoint leaders who will reform the media and protect the open Internet." The letter's diverse signatories include FAIR, along with the Center for American Progress, Service Employees International Union, National Organization for Women, American Library Association, UNITY: Journalists of Color, the Hip Hop Caucus, bloggers from DailyKos and members of Pearl Jam. Specifically, public-interest groups, bloggers and the creative community strongly support Obama's pledges to diversify media ownership, renew public media and promote fast, affordable, open Internet access. The letter's signers now call on Mr. Obama to […]

Dec
18
2008

Murdoch's New Hire

One would think that Sheriff Joe Arpaio's record of taking his campaign against undocumented immigrants to what the New York Times has called "unconstitutional extremes" would make any prospective new employer hesitant about hiring him. Not so for Rupert Murdoch; starting December 27, Arpaio will star in a new law enforcement reality TV show on Murdoch's Fox reality channel. Writing on Huffington Post, Immigration Policy Center director Angela Kelley goes through the soon-to-be Fox star's list of offenses during his tenure as Maricopa County (Ariz.) sheriff; citing a report by the conservative Goldwater Institute, Kelley notes that the sheriff "failed […]

Dec
18
2008

Does CBS Think the CBS Poll Doesn't Count?

Discussing the failed auto bailout on CBS Evening News (12/12/08): KATIE COURIC: And it's almost, meanwhile, turning to Washington, Bob, impossible to figure out just what happened to this auto bailout in the Senate. There's all this finger pointing going on. What is your take? Can you explain it to us in simple terms? BOB SCHIEFFER: I think frankly what happened, Katie, is that this is overwhelmingly unpopular, bailing out these auto companies with the public in general. And every poll suggests that. These leaders of the auto industry came to town first in their jet planes and now you […]

Dec
18
2008

Who's Giving Press Heat on Obama?

By way of suggesting that corporate media should make even more aggressive efforts to tie President-elect Barack Obama to a politician who called him a "motherfucker" for refusing to try to bribe him, MSNBC's Contessa Brewer remarks: I know that there are journalists who are taking a lot of heat for not being aggressive and tough with Obama. Noting that she has heard similar claims several times from MSNBC's talking heads, digby (Hullabaloo, 12/17/08) asks the obvious question: Taking heat from whom? I expected that after the election the press would come under pressure exactly like this. It's a classic […]

Dec
17
2008

O'Reilly: Shoe-Thrower Shows 'How Difficult It Is to Deal With Some Muslims'

Commenting yesterday on the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at George W. Bush, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly declared that "this horrendous story points out how difficult it is to deal with some Muslims": Many Americans are simply fed up with these displays in the Arab world: unchecked violence, irrational thinking. One could say that many people are fed up with displays of unchecked violence. Actually, as Iraqi journalist Muntader al-Zaidi was hurling his shoes at Bush, he explicitly cited the largest recent case of "unchecked violence in the Arab world"–the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. If Americans […]

Dec
16
2008

FAIR Gives Media Failing Grade on Education 'Debate'

A just-released FAIR advisory documents the mediaâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s lopsided debate in the lead-up to Obamaâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s Education secretary selection today. Across a wide range of national media outlets, FAIR provides evidence that only one side has for the most part been allowed to do the talking, marginalizing the most progressive candidate in the running for the post as an unacceptable pick.

Dec
15
2008

Disappearing Critical Reportage at the Daily News

Blogging at VillageVoice.com (12/11/08), regular FAIR contributor Neil deMause notices a report on criticism of the controversial Bronx borough president's reported Obama appointment: "At least, that's what you would have read on the New York Daily News website at 2:16 am, when it was posted. By this afternoon, the story, headlined 'Adolfo Carrion Under Fire,' had disappeared from the Daily News site." Wondering if maybe "the long arm of the borough president–or the Yankees–reached out and told the News to can it," DeMause quizzes the paper, which blames a technical glitch–but he has doubts: This isn't the first article to […]

Dec
15
2008

The 'Immediate Repercussions' of a Delayed Scoop

Newsweek's Michael Isikoff (12/13/08) lays on the cloak-and-dagger prose when telling the tale of how, "in the spring of 2004," former Justice Department wiretapper Thomas M. Tamm "slipped through the parade of midday subway riders, his heart was pounding, his body trembling," to "call… the New York Times" and blow the whistle on "a highly classified National Security Agency program that seemed to be eavesdropping on U.S. citizens." After this dramatic lede, Isikoff mentions that "18 months after he first disclosed what he knew, the Times reported that President George W. Bush had secretly authorized the NSA to intercept phone […]

Dec
15
2008

The Art of Dodging

The New York Times' bizarre claim that the now infamous shoe-throwing is indicative of Iraqis' "conflicted views" on Bush should perhaps come as no surprise. As independent journalist Dahr Jamail reveals in the latest issue of FAIR's magazine Extra!, the paper of record is just as apt a dodger of the indisputable facts of Iraqi opinion as the president proved himself to be in yesterday's press conference. Jamail's article, "As Usual, NYT Ignores Iraqi Opinion: Anecdotes trump polls on withdrawal," which is now available online, documents the Times' record of ignoring scientific evidence of overwhelming Iraqi support for ending the […]

Dec
15
2008

Bush Gets Pass as Media Pile on 'Lowly, Broken Individual'

Glenn Greenwald has a Salon update (12/15/08, ad-viewing required) on corporate media apathy toward the U.S. Senate report finding George W. Bush and his highest appointees responsible for U.S. detainee "deaths caused by abusive treatment"–many of which "have been formally characterized as 'homicides' by autopsies performed in Iraq and Afghanistan": This report was issued on Thursday. Not a single mention was made of it on any of the Sunday news talk shows, with the sole exception being when John McCain told George Stephanopoulos that it was "not his job" to opine on whether criminal prosecutions were warranted for the Bush […]

Dec
15
2008

Mumbai Is India's Pearl Harbor?

In his introduction (12/12/08) to an Arundhati Roy analysis of how "our 24-hour news channels informed us that we were watching 'India's 9/11'" in the Mumbai attacks, Tom Engelhardt recalls that the single omnipresent historical reference in the American media immediately in the wake of September 11, 2001, was, of course, "Pearl Harbor"–and those code words for it, "infamy" and "day of infamy," splashed in mile-high letters across the front pages of papers. What we had experienced, it was commonly said then, was "the Pearl Harbor of the 21st century."… Now, "9/11" has become the "Pearl Harbor" of the 21st […]

Dec
15
2008

Election 'Change' Eludes Corporate Media

After comparing how "establishment news outlets… have praised the president-elect's cautious Cabinet choices" with the similar reaction after Bill Clinton's first election, Bob Parry writes (Consortium News, 12/15/08) that the reality for those "who resisted the corrupt Bush years–is that we cannot rest on our successes": You might have thought there would have been a housecleaning at establishment news organizations where sycophantic journalists enabled George W. Bush and his disasters. But the roster of the mainstream/right-wing news media hasnâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢t changed much at all. If anything, the neoconservatives have established an even stronger foothold in major news outlets like the New […]