Aug
10
2012

A Sneak Peek at FAIR TV

FAIR has produced two pilot versions of what we hope will soon be a regular weekly feature: FAIR TV. Please take a look at the segments below and let us know what you think. And, as always, please spread the word.

Aug
08
2012

Harry Reid, the New Joe McCarthy

Senator Harry Reid started a whole lot of trouble on the campaign trail when he told some Huffington Post reporters that he'd heard that Mitt Romney paid no taxes. As in zero. For an entire decade. Now there are reasons to be skeptical of Reid's account. As Dana Milbank pointed out, Reid's record does not inspire confidence. He says he got this scoop in a phone call with a Bain Capital investor. There is no other documentation or information to substantiate the allegation. Of course, Romney could settle the issue by releasing his tax returns– which is presumably why Reid […]

Aug
07
2012

War Propaganda, Olympics-Style

NBC's Olympics broadcast last night included a profile of Grenadian runner Kirani James. The small island is peaceful now, viewers learned, thanks in no small part to Ronald Reagan's decision to invade. Here's the clip: (UPDATE: As you can see, someone at NBC is keeping tabs on YouTube, and they've taken this down twice. You can watch the segment– along with a shampoo ad– at the NBC site.) The U.S. invasion is described as an attempt to "put down an Communist coup and restore the Grenadian government"; the broadcast goes on to refer to the U.S. "liberation" of the country. In […]

Aug
07
2012

Presidential Campaign as Olympics: Chuck Todd's Tired Routine

Coverage of national political campaigns is generally pretty bad–a parade of polls, horesrace analysis and fundraising tallies, with pundits doing their best at pretending they're campaign strategists. Can it actually get worse than that? Maybe. NBC reporter Chuck Todd made that case with a full page article in the Washington Post on August 5 that compared the Obama/Romney contest to Olympic gymnastics. The concept behind it is corny, but even Todd seems to think so. Apparently this is supposed to be, well, kind of fun: "At NBC, to say we have Olympics fever is an understatement," he writes at the top. […]

Aug
07
2012

Newsweek Cover is Definitely About Food

Umm, Newsweek? Really?   As you can see the cover story is about great restaurants around the world. Naturally you would illustrate that… well, this way. I'm not naive about the apparent desire among the surviving newsweeklies to drum up interest by putting something on the cover that will make people stop and take a look– Newsweek calling Obama the "first gay president," or Time's recent cover featuring a breast feeding three-year-old. Over the years we've noticed other odd covers; Time seems to have a thing for representing breast cancer with, well, breasts: Newsweek/Daily Beast editor Tina Brown recently told the […]

Aug
03
2012

Gore Vidal: FAIR Event, 1990

In the first few years of FAIR's existence, Gore Vidal referred to us a "noble, doomed enterprise." He meant that as a compliment, both to our work and to the immense task of challenging the myths and propaganda served up by corporate media. In 1990, Vidal appeared at a FAIR function in Los Angeles with founder Jeff Cohen. Here is a recording of the evening; Vidal's remarks start at about the 12:30 mark.If you'd rather download the recording, you can do so here.  

Aug
02
2012

Smearing Gore Vidal, Then and Now

Gore Vidal for Congress

–A 1977 New York Times review (4/20/77) by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt of a collection of Vidal's essays: So we are left to speculate over the psychological implications here, and to conclude that Mr. Vidal's animus toward everything from West Point to the American Establishment–not to speak of academicians, who are, after all, instructors–boils down to an unresolved hostility toward his father, further evidence of which, some would argue, is Mr. Vidal's cheerfully admitted homosexuality. –A New York Times piece by Sam Tanenhaus (8/2/12): Mr. Vidal, whose disdain for American vulgarity was tinged, some said, with antisemitism and dislike of the "lower […]

Aug
01
2012

The Threat–Again–of Left-Wing Latin American Democracy

You can count on U.S. corporate media to express alarm about the threat posed by left-wing governments in Latin America. Sometimes it's military hype (think Soviet MiGs in Nicaragua), but more typically it takes the form of a generalized concern about certain governments' commitment to democratic ideals. But how do you sound the alarm about left-wing threats to democracy when actual elected left-wing leaders are being removed in anti-democratic coups? That's no easy feat, but some reporters are up to the challenge. In the Washington Post on July 22 (under the headline "Latin America's New Authoritarians"), reporter Juan Forero explains […]