Oct
07
2009

'Rush the Racist' Bidding for St. Louis Rams?

"Rush the Racist?" is the headline over a commentary written by retired NFL receiver Keenan McCardell on the Washington Post's sports blog, the League–and the question many football fans might ask upon hearing the news that Rush Limbaugh is bidding to become co-owner of the St. Louis Rams. That's because Limbaugh has a long record of making racist remarks. In a Los Angeles Times op-ed written by FAIR founder Jeff Cohen and myself, we documented many instances of Limbaugh's racism, including his admission that he once told a black caller to "take that bone out of your nose," his assertion […]

Oct
07
2009

Working the Refs: The Right, the Media and ACORN

If you want a lesson in how right-wing pressure on corporate media works, look no further than the ACORN story. Right-wing talkshow hosts have targeted the community organizing group for years, primarily on charges of vote fraud. Then two conservative activists produced some embarrassing videos of ACORN workers at some local offices giving tax advice advice to a couple passing themselves off as a pimp and a prostitute. From there, the story turned to right-wing gloating–and complaints about the media being too slow (and of course too liberal) to pick up on the right's anti-ACORN crusade. And some in the […]

Oct
07
2009

Searching for the 'Middle' in Afghanistan Debate

In most policy debates, the media preference is for a solution in the "center," whatever they define that to be. A Los Angeles Times headline today on the Beltway debate on Afghanistan reads: "Obama mulls middle ground in Afghanistan war strategy." Like the healthcare debate, the media's version of "the middle" usually means something well to the right of actual public opinion. In this case, it's even harder to follow than that; as the Times puts it, Obama "suggested he is looking at the middle range of the spectrum, somewhere between a major increase in forces and a large drawdown." […]

Oct
06
2009

FTC Fights the Blog Schwag Menace

The New York Times reported (10/6/09) that the Federal Trade Commission was planning to establish new rules for bloggers: The FTC said that beginning on December 1, bloggers who review products must disclose any connection with advertisers, including, in most cases, the receipt of free products and whether or not they were paid in any way by advertisers, as occurs frequently…. For bloggers who review products, this means that the days of an unimpeded flow of giveaways may be over. More broadly, the move suggests that the government is intent on bringing to bear on the Internet the same sorts […]

Oct
06
2009

John Stossel, Free at Last

Rupert Murdoch's latest hire John Stossel, speaking at a Michigan college: I quit ABC a couple weeks ago partly because they didn't like what I was doing. They viewed it as too biased. Yes, ABC promoted Stossel to 20/20 anchor, gave him regular "Give Me a Break" commentary segments and one-hour, factually challenged primetime specials…all because they didn't like him. It's scary to think what the network would have done if they did like him.

Oct
06
2009

O'Reilly Joins Beck in Fantasizing About Assaulting Michael Moore

Michael Moore says he won't appear on Glenn Beck's or Bill O'Reilly's Fox News show to promote his new film Capitalism: A Love Story because there's too much hate speech on those shows. Last night, O'Reilly strengthened Moore's argument in a segment in which he discussed Michael Moore's body language with regular guest Tonya Reimer: O'REILLY: Right. Would it be wrong if I slapped him? REIMAN: We'll have to let him judge that. O'REILLY: You just want…. REIMAN: Not a big fan, are we? O'REILLY: You know, it's an interesting question. I admire his entrepreneurship. I admire his creativity. But […]

Oct
02
2009

Time's Afghanistan Debate: More Troops or a Lot More Troops?

In the new issue of Time magazine,a debate on Afghanistan is listed in the table of contents this way: What Should We Do Now? Two Views Is it time for the U.S. military to turn Afghanistan over, or is time for our troops to stay the course? The "stay the course" view is presented by Peter Bergen, who argues that critics of the war are all wrong about Afghan history and the Afghan public's view of foreign troops (they don't mind them much): "The objections to an increased U.S. military commitment in South Asia rest on a number of flawed […]

Oct
01
2009

'Top Things You Think You Know About Iran That Are Not True'

As negotiations begin in Geneva between Iran, Germany and the U.N. Security Council permanent members, Juan Cole debunks the prevailing myths about Iran. Myths that could not endure if U.S. news outlets took journalism seriously and challenged U.S. officialdom on Iran.