Jun
23
2009

Right Media Darlings as Racist Double Murderers

A posting on Timothy Karr's Media Citizen blog (6/17/09) contrasts Crooks & Liars' collection of cable news pundits like Lou Dobbs and Bill O'Reilly likening the anti-immigrant Minutemen to a giant, friendly "neighborhood watch" organization with the "chilling double-murder" Minutemen leader Shawna Forde is accused of–describing "the 911 recording of the mother as she witnessed the execution of her 9-year-old daughter and husband. But what's even more infuriating is the way many prominent right-wing media pundits have made this group the darlings of 21st century patriotism": Frank Rich's most recent New York Times column explains how crimes of this sort […]

Jun
20
2009

Froomkin's Column Never Liked: 'It Contains Opinion'

Blogger Jane Hamsher (FireDogLake.com, 6/19/09) thinks that Salon's "Glenn Greenwald says most of what needs to be said about the Washington Post's firing of Dan Froomkin," on June 18, but has her own "insight into "the early rounds of this battle" over the left-leaning columnist, having "watched it ferment over the years." Hamsher explains that Post ombud Debbie Howell's characterization of Froomkin as "highly opinionated and liberal" really "was the consensus of the newsroom, where it was believed–correctly–that Froomkin's writing about the war and U.S. foreign policy were an inherent criticism of the WaPo's own coverage and editorial position": And […]

Jun
20
2009

How 'Adulatory News Coverage' Impedes Democracy

Norman Solomon uses his most recent Creators Syndicate column (6/19/09) to call for journalism that "is open scrutiny of the dynamics of power. Reporters should shine a bright light on behind-the-scenes maneuvers that block congressional oversight of administration policies": Last Tuesday, when the House of Representatives approved a supplemental spending bill for more war in Iraq and Afghanistan, there must have been celebration at the White House. Days of intense arm-twisting paid off. The Obama administration had brandished the weapon of retribution against the newest Democratic arrivals in the House. Most news coverage seemed oblivious, but not all. As the […]

Jun
20
2009

Fox: 'Pathetically Ignorant or Desperately Dishonest'?

Doling out "a little positive reinforcement" when Fox News "actually gets something right," Mark Howard of News Corpse (6/18/09) agrees with Sean Hannity's declaration of "the death of journalism"–though disagreeing with the context of Fox's pronouncement, being their assertion that a scheduled ABC News broadcast "that would delve into the pros and cons of the president's policy" on healthcare amounts to "an infomercial for Obama's plan. They assert that nothing like this has ever happened before": Once again, Fox News is either pathetically ignorant or desperately dishonest. (Yeah, I know. It's both.) Last year Fox News broadcast a special from […]

Jun
20
2009

NPR Airs 'All Important [Underwritten] Views'

Linking to a Felice Pace piece of June 14 that connects the near-absence of single-payer-focused NPR reportage to millions of dollars in underwriting the broadcaster has received from insurance industry heavies, NPR Check's Mytwords (6/17/09) includes his own comment left under Weekend Edition Saturday's "Health Care Reform From The Insurer's Perspective" segment: Congratulations NPR–as a "public" news station you have done a great service by providing a voice to the voiceless: the health insurance industry, which lacks the funds and connections to get its message out. After yesterday's Republican slant on the public plan from [Mara] Liasson, [Julie] Rovner and […]

Jun
19
2009

Will Officials Take the Fifth Unless the Daily Show Is Muzzled?

Do they still teach the First Amendment in law school? That's what you have to wonder when you see a lawyer for the Obama administration's Justice Department arguing that statements made by former Vice President Dick Cheney in the Scooter Libby probe ought to be kept secret because a future vice president might refuse to speak to a future investigation out of concern "that it's going to get on the Daily Show" (Washington Post, 6/19/09). Really? That's how we're going to ensure that officials cooperate with criminal investigations, by using government secrecy to guarantee that their statements will never be […]

Jun
19
2009

Single-Payer and False Football Analogies

In today's New York Times (6/19/09), Kevin Sack's article about the prospects for healthcare reform devotes all of a paragraph to single-payer: Seeking broad popular support, the president and congressional leaders have played between the 40-yard lines of the health policy spectrum. Those who favor a single-payer, government-run insurance system have been marginalized, along with those who would unleash the system to the free market. This is exactly wrong. Single-payer is, in fact, broadly popular–at least according to many polls, including the most recent from the New York Times (1/11-15/09). The decision to marginalize single-payer is a decision to avoid […]

Jun
19
2009

Women in Media: 'Crucial to…Progressive Leadership'

In Women In Media & News' announcement (6/18/09) that former FAIR staffer Jennifer Pozner has won a New Leaders Council "40 Under 40" Award–given to those "who exemplify the spirit of progressive political entrepreneurship"–Women's Rights blogger Jennifer Nedeau spells out why "women in media are crucial to the future of progressive leadership": Because they can often best represent the issues that matter most to progressives. Women own a large stake in issues of equality, civil rights, a stable economy, a clean environment, accessible healthcare and education, among other progressive topics. More women need to be seen on television, read in […]

Jun
19
2009

CNBC's Jim Cramer Still on Air–Still Wrong

Amanda Terkel of Think Progress (6/18/09) has posted video and transcript of an MSNBC segment in which Joe Scarborough asked CNBC's Jim Cramer about "a stunning poll the New York Times has this morning suggesting that Americans are more concerned about deficits than stimulus": Cramer claimed that Americans aren't buying into healthcare reform right now because "it just means tax increases, and there's got to be someone who pays for it." According to Cramer, the solution that "everybody" wants is for Obama to "go away": "But until we get the economy moving again, I think everybody wishes that Obama would […]

Jun
19
2009

On AT&T's 'Arbitrary Intervention in the Open Internet'

Keeping up with corporate attempts to abuse new media technology, the activists at Free Press (6/18/09) have a new campaign pointing out exactly what's wrong with the fact that "AT&T is allowing Major League Baseball to stream video live to the iPhone on the carrier's 3G network, but is prohibiting other companies like SlingPlayer Mobile from doing the same": Last month, AT&T admitted to restricting the SlingPlayer Mobile iPhone application from streaming live on its 3G network, claiming the service would cause congestion. But now, the New York Times reports that Major League Baseball's live stream "will play regardless of […]

Jun
19
2009

If It Bleeds, It (Sometimes) Leads

Looking beyond "the yellow-tape segments that bleed and lead local TV news" Norman Solomon (Creators Syndicate, 6/13/09) discerns what he dubs "Media's Love/Hate Affair with Violence"–as exemplified by the kind of violence–rarely occurring in the light of day–that gets scant media attention. With somewhere around 2 million people behind bars in the United States, all kinds of violent acts are happening in the nation's prisons and jails. The violence that some guards inflict on prisoners is even less apt to make the news than what stressed-out prisoners do to one another. Various forms of what could be called "institutionalized violence" […]

Jun
19
2009

Downsized Reporters Turn to 'Deceptive' PR

Writing for CJR.org (6/16/09), Media Bloodhound blogger Brad Jacobson finds that "former CNN correspondent-turned-PR consultant Gene Randall's video 'report' for oil giant Chevron might be unprecedented for how it blurred the line between public relations and journalism," but is still more worried that "the Randall/Chevron production raises not only ethical questions, but also the question of whether a surge of newly pink-slipped reporters might go, as one media critic put it, 'over to the dark side,' and how that might further muddy the line between news and corporate advocacy": As detailed in a recent New York Times article, when Chevron, […]

Jun
18
2009

New Medium, Old Story: Telecom Greed

Senator John Kerry's post to the SaveTheInternet.com blog (6/16/09) looks at the fact that "nine of the most popular 10 phones are locked in a deal with one of these big wireless carriers," and how this corporatization limits the new medium: Here's the issue I think we need to wrestle with: Wireless service providers are largely deciding what phone you can use. We don't see that happening in similar markets. Your broadband provider doesn't decide what kind of computer you can connect to at the end of your DSL or cable wire. And 40 years ago, the FCC ruled in […]