Nov
03
2009

Drone Strikes Change Anonymous Washington Debate

The Los Angeles Times (11/2/09) gives readers a mostly upbeat account about the use of unmanned drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan– weapons that have killed hundreds in Pakistan in recent years. But Times reporter Julian Barnes tells us their popularity with U.S. military officials has "changed the nature of the current policy debate in Washington." The evidence: The technology allows us to project power without vulnerability," said a senior Defense official. "You don't have to deploy as many people. And in the modern age you want as little stuff forward as long as you can achieve the effects as if […]

Nov
02
2009

Comparing Fox and CNN Through a Funhouse Mirror

Once you've given up trying to defend the idea that Fox News' "Fair and Balanced" slogan can be understood as anything other than irony, the fallback position is generally that everyone else is just as biased. Or as the headline over John Harwood's piece in the New York Times (11/2/09) puts it, "If Fox Is Partisan, It Is Not Alone." To back up this assertion, Harwood–who's the chief Washington correspondent for CNBC, and host of the New York Times Special Edition on MSNBC–relies on surveys by Scarborough Research that asked about the partisan identification of the audiences of cable channels. […]

Nov
02
2009

What Palestinians Think of Illegal Settlements

Today's Washington Post (11/2/09) notes the White House's apparent softening towards the Israeli side in Mideast negotiations (the headline is "Israel Putting Forth 'Unprecedented' Concessions, Clinton Says," a good indication of the current administration stance). The Post tells us that the Palestinian position "appears to have hardened in recent days," with "little room to negotiate on the key demand for a settlement freeze." But the paper's summary of the Palestinian position does little to explain this "key demand": The Palestinians regard the land occupied by about 300,000 West Bank settlers as part of a future Palestinian state, and consider continued […]

Nov
02
2009

An Occupation by Any Other Name

Afghan activist and politician Malalai Joya has been in the U.S. to discuss her book A Woman Among Warlords. As noted by Eric Garris at Antiwar.com, Joya's was treated very differently byCNN than by CNN International. Specifically, Joya's mention of the military occupation of her country seemed to offend CNN host Heidi Collins (10/28/09): Again, "occupation" would certainly be your word. A lot of people would take great issue with you calling the U.S. presence in Afghanistan in your country an" occupation." It's not clear to whom Collins is referring when she speaks of people who would take "great issue" […]