Sep
28
2011

Did the NYT Coverage of Occupy Wall Street Just Get WORSE?

Under the somewhat nonsensical headline, "Wall Street Demonstrations Test Police Trained for Bigger Threats," New York Times reporter Joseph Goldstein may have managed to turn in (9/27/11) a more offensive piece than Ginia Bellafante's June 25 dispatch (picked apart by Allison Kilkenny here). The piece begins: When members of the loose protest movement known as Occupy Wall Street began a march from the financial district to Union Square on Saturday, the participants seemed relatively harmless, even as they were breaking the law by marching in the street without a permit. But to the New York Police Department, the protesters represented […]

Sep
27
2011

Critics–and Questionable Sponsors–at NBC's Education Nation

There's an interesting piece at the Huffington Post (9/27/11) by Joy Resmovits about what some critics of the corporate-backed NBC Education Nation conference are saying. Even though some are crediting NBC for a more balanced program than last year, not everyone's ready to give the network a passing grade: While some lauded the increased balance and depth at this year's Education Nation, retired New York City teacher and Grassroots Education Movement member Norm Scott gave [NBC News president Steve] Capus an earful on Tuesday. "People see an absence of the word 'class size' in these debates," he told Capus. "This […]

Sep
27
2011

Wall Street Activists Talk Back to NYT

It is very unusual to see such direct criticism of the New York Times in the Times itself (9/27/11)–this is something to celebrate. To the Editor: Anyone who has spent a few days–or nights–in occupied Zuccotti Park near Wall Street this past week would have trouble recognizing what they've seen in "Gunning for Wall Street, With Faulty Aim," by Ginia Bellafante (Big City column, September 25). The protesters' numbers have been growing, not "dwindling," both in New York and in related occupations around the country. Though their views are diverse, what exactly unites them is anything but "impossible to decipher": […]

Sep
26
2011

GOP Reality TV Show Needs New Contestant

ABC This Week (9/25/11): CHRISTINE AMANPOUR: And coming up, Rick Perry on the ropes. PERRY: Yep, there may be slicker candidates and there may be smoother debaters, but I know what I believe in, and I'm going to stand on that belief every day. I will guide this country with a deep, deep rudder. AMANPOUR: Can the new frontrunner come back from a shaky debate performance? Or is Chris Christie waiting in the wings to steal his thunder? New York Times (9/26/11): After Perry's Debate Showing, Eyes Turn Toward Christie Washington Post (9/26/11): Texas Gov. Rick Perry's recent stumbles–his rambling […]

Sep
26
2011

CBS Celebrates 20 Years of Speaking…to Power

There's a piece at the CBS website (9/21/11) by Robert Hendin marking Bob Schieffer's 20 years hosting the network's Sunday morning show Face the Nation. Hendin, a senior producer for the show, writes: From the get go, Bob made his plans known. "Our aim is to going to be very simple here: to find interesting people from all segments of American life who have something to say and give them a chance to say it," he said that morning. The piece goes on to reveal–likely by accident–a lot about what they mean by "all segments of American life." So to […]

Sep
26
2011

Obama Plan=Class Warfare? NBC Asks a Billionaire

At the top of Meet the Press yesterday (9/25/11), NBC anchor David Gregory announced one of the topics to come: Is the president's plan basic fairness or class warfare? As with too many other media debates, an absurd proposition–that returning tax rates for certain wealthy people to levels seen in the 1980s and 1990s is a declaration of war–is treated as one of the two possible answers to a question. Gregory manages to make things worse by getting the only answer on the show from billionaire New York mayor (and media tycoon) Michael Bloomberg: GREGORY: Does that trouble you? BLOOMBERG: […]

Sep
26
2011

CNN Covers Occupy Wall Street–Especially the Parts They Can't See

CNN anchors Carol Costello and Ali Velshi today (9/26/11) provided some rare TV coverage of the Occupy Wall Street protest in Lower Manhattan: VELSHI: A group of people protesting Wall Street greed are now screaming abuse after they were arrested over the weekend. The incident happened Saturday in Lower Manhattan. The protesters say they were pepper-sprayed, roughed up and denied food and water. Police defending the arrests saying the marchers blocked traffic and ignored orders to stay on the sidewalks. And here's an iReport from Saturday's demonstration. At one point, you can actually see a protester and police getting into […]

Sep
23
2011

Public TV's Inequality Balancing Act

The PBS NewsHour did a pretty strong piece last month (8/16/11) on inequality in America. So perhaps it was a sense of "balance" that drove them to do a follow-up segment on September 21 that argued that things aren't so bad after all. As anchor Jeffrey Brown put it: NewsHour economics correspondent Paul Solman has been examining that subject, including studies showing an alarming rise in the so-called wealth gap. But tonight's interview takes issue with that view. It turns out that one of Solman's old friends, American University economics professor Bob Lerman, didn't much care for that piece: "It […]

Sep
23
2011

Krauthammer, the Real Obama and a Fake Question

Charles Krauthammer's column today in the Washington Post ("Return of the Real Obama," 9/23/11) reveals the Barack Obama, who's apparently been hidden away for the past few years: In a 2008 debate, Charlie Gibson asked Barack Obama about his support for raising capital-gains taxes, given the historical record of government losing net revenue as a result. Obama persevered: "Well, Charlie, what I've said is that I would look at raising the capital-gains tax for purposes of fairness." A most revealing window into our president's political core: To impose a tax that actually impoverishes our communal bank account (the U.S. Treasury) […]

Sep
23
2011

Action Alert: Where Is the Coverage of Occupy Wall Street?

The same corporate media that will rush to cover the latest burp from Tea Party protesters seem strikingly uninterested in demonstrators camped out in Manhattan's financial district, protesting the corporate takeover of U.S. politics. Please see FAIR's latest Action Alert (9/22/11) to call on the broadcast TV networks to pay attention to this activism. You can use the comments thread for this blog post to leave copies of your messages to the networks or to comment on the alert.

Sep
22
2011

Meet the Other Chuck Todd

I caught this MSNBC commercial last night featuring their own Chuck Todd, explaining (apparently) how he thinks about his job: My job is to bring up issues that Americans care about. It's my responsibility to ask the tough questions. No matter who's leading the country, they need to be held accountable. I have unique access to the president, his advisers, the candidates and members of Congress. I'd better use that access for a greater good. Use it for people who can't get through the White House gates. For people who can't be heard. The American people deserve answers. Huh. The […]

Sep
22
2011

Convincing Arab Protesters

From a Washington Post story today about Obama's speech at the United Nations: In his remarks, Obama sought to celebrate the Arab Spring–the popular revolutions that have upended the political order of the Middle East–but his lack of support for the Palestinians' U.N. bid may put him at odds with the region's proponents of democracy. He has sometimes struggled to convince many Arab protesters that he supports their movements, in part because the United States has a long history of backing autocratic rulers in the region. Perhaps they remain unconvinced not merely because of that "long history" but because present […]

Sep
21
2011

We Can't Talk About Class Because We Can't Talk About Why We Can't Talk About Class

In the L.A. Times today (9/21/11), media reporter James Rainey asks a very important question: In a week that saw the number of people in poverty hit a half-century high and President Obama propose a tax increase on those with million-dollar incomes, will America and the American media finally dig in for a serious conversation about class? And his evaluation of the media's performance on wealth-and-poverty issues accords with what FAIR has found when we've looked at the coverage (Extra!, 9-10/07, 6/10). Here's Rainey's take: Even though economists say the gap between haves and have-nots has been building for three […]