Mar
23
2011

USA Today's Advertiser-Friendly Future

A condensed version of an AP story (3/23/11) about USA Today's new business plan: The nation's second-largest newspaper is expanding its coverage of advertising-friendly topics, designing content for smartphones and tablet computers and refreshing the look of its print edition, whose circulation has fallen by 20 percent over the past three years…. For readers, it means lots of travel tips, gadget reviews, sports features, financial advice and lifestyle recommendations. Top editors say investigative journalism will also be emphasized…. Even as it publishes more stories aimed at attracting advertisers, USA Today is promising to produce more hard-hitting coverage from an expanded […]

Mar
23
2011

NYT Radiation Reassurance: Ground Zero Deja Vu

The New York Times' reassuring reporting on the radioactive plume drifting across the U.S. continues the paper's troubling tradition of parroting comforting words from officials in the midst of modern-day environmental crises–like the environmental fallout post-9/11. Let's compare headlines: "Radiation Over U.S. Is Harmless, Officials Say" (3/22/11) "Workers and Residents Are Safe, Officials Say" (11/2/01) As I have documented (Extra!, 11-12/06), in the months and years following the September 11 attacks, the Times ignored studies and voices that cast strong doubt on official proclamations that the air and dust near Ground Zero were not a serious hazard. Andrew Revkin, the […]

Mar
23
2011

O'Reilly Factors Code Pink

One of the peculiar things about the Fox News Channel is that they actually do invite progressive guests onto some of the shows. Last night on the O'Reilly Factor (3/22/11), we saw Code Pink's Medea Benjamin talkingabout Libya. Of course, there's a political point O'Reilly is trying to make; in this case, he was contrasting Benjamin's anti-war position to the pro-war positions expressed by some Obama-friendly MSNBC hosts. O'Reilly's got a point there. (This is not something I'm used to saying.) But never fear–he's still perfectly capable of making his own completely absurd arguments. Like this: O'REILLY: They have succeeded […]

Mar
23
2011

War to Protect Civilians Threatened by Killing Them

USA Today (3/23/11): WASHINGTON–The top commander of the allied air war to protect civilians in besieged Libyan cities said the forces of Moammar Gadhafi must pull out or face attack, a task analysts say is complicated by the risk of bombing in populated areas. The "war to protect civilians" could be "complicated" by the killing of civilians.

Mar
22
2011

NYT's Reassuring Radiation Reporting

The radioactive plume from Japan wafting from west to east across the U.S. is absolutely nothing to worry about, writes William J. Broad in a New York Times report today ("Radiation Over U.S. Is Harmless, Officials Say," 3/22/11) about the radiation threats posed by the Japanese nuclear plant disaster. Broad writes: Health experts said that the plume's radiation had been diluted enormously in its journey of thousands of miles and that–at least for now, with concentrations so low–its presence will have no health consequences in the United States. In a similar way, faint radiation from the Chernobyl disaster spread around […]

Mar
22
2011

Bill O'Reilly: Saving the Libyans He Wanted to Starve

On September 17, 2001, Fox host Bill O'Reilly gave his list of countries the United States should attack, including Libya: Target three is Libya and Qaddafi. Again, he either quits and goes into exile or we bomb his oil facilities, all of them. And we mind the harbor in Tripoli. Nothing goes in, nothing goes out. We also destroy all the airports in Libya. Let them eat sand. A decade later, O'Reilly supportsthe airstrikes onLibya because Qaddafi is attacking civilians (3/21/11): O'REILLY: But Qaddafi's carpet bombing guys who are driving around in old Chevys with pistols, he's killing them. You […]

Mar
22
2011

Libya, Lockerbie and the Fox/MSNBC Convergence

U.S. airstrikes in Libya have brought renewed focus on the 1988 explosion of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Some are making the argument that the U.S. could–and should–be getting revenge for this act a mere 22 years later. Last night (3/21/11), one cable news host said this: Given the fact Americans died on that 747 over Lockerbie, I'm all for this mission…. I'm an American. You're an American. We all have opinions. I have always believed thatQaddafi was a terrorist. Let's look at the tape again of flight Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Do you need any […]

Mar
21
2011

To Milbank, Ending NPR and Afghan War Are Both 'Trivial Pursuits'

Washington Post Dana Milbank (3/19/11) skewers the Republicans for their "emergency meeting" to defund NPR: This particular emergency involved the lower end of the FM radio dial. Republicans, in an urgent budget-cutting maneuver, were voting to cut off funding for National Public Radio. All $5 million of it–or one ten-thousandth of 1 percent of the federal budget. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office ran the numbers and calculated the impact this emergency measure would have on government spending: "No effect." One of the rules of corporate media balanceisthat if you criticize Republicans, you have to findan example of similarbuffoonery on the […]

Mar
21
2011

Two Signs Your Country Has Gone to War

How can you tell that your country has gone to war again? Here are at least two signs. –The same military official is on every Sunday morning chat show: Yesterday Joint Chiefs chair Mike Mullen was on CBS's Face the Nation, NBC's Meet the Press, Fox News Sunday and ABC's This Week. –You can watch TV reports about the astonishing accuracy of your weapons: OnCNN last night, courtesy of Pentagon correspondent Chris Lawrence: American Tomahawk missiles can be reprogrammed in flight. If there was a risk of civilian casualties, operators could change the target after launch. But the Navy did […]

Mar
18
2011

Ann Coulter on O'Reilly: Radiation Is Good for You

At a time when the Japanese prime minister is describing his country's nuclear crisis and the growing threat of radiation exposure as "very grave," it must have been comforting for Fox News watchers to turn on the O'Reilly Factor last night (3/17/11) to see Ann Coulter telling them that radiation is actually good for you. Yes, Coulter told O'Reilly viewers, the evidence was right there in the media, including in the newspaper she'd once hoped would be targeted with a terror attack: I'm citing a stunning number of physicists and from the New York Times and the Times of London, […]

Mar
18
2011

Haitian Candidate's 'Roguish' Threat to Kill Aristide

Here is Michel Martelly, one of the two conservative candidates vying to be next president of Haiti, courtesy of Kim Ives in an Institute for Public Accuracy release: In the years following Aristide's restoration to power in 1994, Martelly became obsessed with hatred for the man. In a video from not too long ago, which can be seen on YouTube, the candidate threatens a patron in a bar where he has performed. "All those shits were Aristide's faggots," he says. "I would kill Aristide to stick a dick up your ass."… [Video] The New York Times has a profile today […]

Mar
18
2011

Time: Obama Too Far Left?

This is an ad for some sort of Time magazine web feature, grabbed today from the magazine's homepage: Time is a little late to the table; this has been the media line since shortly after Obama was elected (FAIR Action Alert, 2/3/09) and has been going strong ever since (Extra!, 1/11).

Mar
18
2011

FAIR at Left Forum in NYC

This Saturday I'll be on a panel at Left Forum titled "Racism and Resistance in the Immigration Debate," with former FAIR communications director Isabel Macdonald, Monica Novoa of Drop the I-Word, Sonia Guinansaca of the New York State Youth Leadership Council and Esther Kaplan of the Nation Institute, moderated by my former Paper Tiger colleague Denisse Andrade. Below is the description. I'll be talking about my recent article, "Time to 'Drop and Leave' Loaded Language," among other things. If you're in the New York area, stop by for what should be a very interesting conversation. Racist, dehumanizing terms such as […]