Oct
26
2012

FAIR TV: Killer Drones Stop Terrorism, PBS Gets Iran Wrong, New Obama Ad Is…Racist?

On the new episode of FAIR TV: Is a new Obama ad…racist? We'll take a look at how PBS is misreporting Iran, and also take a look at Joe Klein's remarkable defense of killing four-year-old girls in other countries. Take a look–and please spread the word.  

Oct
25
2012

NPR Could Use Some 'Energy Independence' of Its Own

NPR's Tom Gjelten

NPR's Tom Gjelten had a story on Morning Edition today (10/25/12) that made an important point about a prominent fallacy in the energy debate–and then spent the second half of the story falling into the exact same fallacy. The story questioned the constant use of the phrase "energy independence" in political discussions of U.S. energy policy. Gjelten noted: In truth, it would be virtually impossible for any country to be totally independent where energy is concerned. Not only would it have to produce all its own oil; it would also have to be independent of the global economy. Like sugar, […]

Oct
24
2012

Action Alert: PBS Reports Iran Nuke Claims as Facts

A new FAIR action alert takes the PBS NewsHour to task for reporting claims about Iran having a nuclear weapons program as if they were facts. If you write a letter to to the NewsHour, please consider posting it in the comments section below.

Oct
24
2012

Did Twitter Kill Media Diversity?

Remember how corporate media's campaign coverage used to offer wide-ranging, diverse perspectives? Me neither. But Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank apparently thinks that's the way the world used to work, until Twitter came along and the press corps turned into one giant exercise in groupthink. He writes today (10/24/12) that campaign reporters have one eye on the actual debates, and one eye on social media: This was to have been the campaign when Twitter and other social media allowed new voices to enter the debate, delivering a more diverse array of opinion and helping candidates reach beyond the media filter. […]

Oct
23
2012

WaPo: Racism in Obama TV Ad?

romney-coal

The Obama campaign has released a new ad criticizing Mitt Romney for having a Swiss bank account and wanting to keep tax breaks for corporations that offshore jobs.  The commercial's most devastating line: Romney once railed against the deadly pollution from a coal plant. I know what you're thinking: Totally racist, right? That's sort of the point of Karen Tumulty's piece today in the Washington Post (10/23/12). Under the headline "Obama's 'Not One of Us' Attack on Romney Echoes Racial Code," Tumulty uses complaints from right-wing bloggers to lead a discussion about the commercial, which she says "echoes a slogan […]

Oct
23
2012

Morning Joe's Drone Debate: Whose Four-Year-Old Girls Should Be Killed?

joeklein-drones

MSNBC's Morning Joe had a  remarkable discussion of U.S. drone attacks today (10/23/12). Here's a clip of the most intense moments of the exchange between the conservative-leaning Joe Scarborough and Time columnist Joe Klein, who is occasionally mistaken for a liberal: Scarborough offered up a more passionate critique of drone attacks than you're likely to hear from his left-leaning MSNBC colleagues: "If you're between 17 and 30, and you're within a half-mile of a suspect, we can blow you up." When Klein interjects to argue that drones are "decimating bad guys," Scarborough responds that the attacks are "taking out a […]

Oct
22
2012

U.S. Media Ignore Toxic Legacy of U.S. Weapons

Doctor examining a baby in a Fallujah hospital (photo: Larisa Epatko/NewsHour)

The London Independent published a harrowing story on October 14, "Iraq Records Huge Rise in Birth Defects." The piece focuses on the legacy of the U.S war in Iraq, in particular the two massive U.S. military invasions of the city of Fallujah in 2004.  The Independent reports: High rates of miscarriage, toxic levels of lead and mercury contamination and spiraling numbers of birth defects ranging from congenital heart defects to brain dysfunctions and malformed limbs have been recorded. Even more disturbingly, they appear to be occurring at an increasing rate in children born in Fallujah, about 40 miles west of Baghdad. […]

Oct
19
2012

CBS Libya 'Factcheck' Will Live in Infamy

Franklin Roosevelt signing the declaration of war against Japan (National Archives)

CBS Evening News (10/17/12) provides another example of corporate media's through-the-looking-glass  media "factchecking" of the Libya exchange at the second Obama/Romney debate (FAIR Media Advisory, 10/18/12). CBS's Jan Crawford set up the issue this way: For weeks, Republicans have said the president's reluctance to call the attacks terrorism is a sign his administration doesn't have a competent national security policy. Last night, the president said he did call it an act of terror within 24 hours of the attacks. That is a new explanation, and it triggered a clash between the president, Romney and the debate moderator. Note how the […]

Oct
19
2012

FAIR TV: Factchecking Moderators, Chris Matthews Wants a King, When Advertisers Write the "News"

This week on FAIR TV: Who factchecks the debate moderators? What Does Chris Matthews Think is in the Constitution? And why not just let advertisers write the "news"? Please take a look– and spread the word.

Oct
19
2012

Every Green Energy Failure Is News

Photovoltaic panels, Germany. Photograph by Bernd Sieker.

USA Today (10/17/12) ran a story about a battery manufacturer filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. But the story might as well have been a press release from the Mitt Romney campaign. "Another Blow for Green Energy" read the headline. Wendy Koch's piece led off with this: An electric vehicle battery maker that was awarded $249 million in federal stimulus funds filed for Chapter 11 reorganization on Tuesday, giving GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney potential ammunition to attack President Obama's green-energy subsidies. It's a short article, but it's hard to avoid the central theme: This is good news for the […]

Oct
17
2012

Judging Candidates on Their Resemblance to Thomas Friedman

Thomas Friedman

The day after the second Obama/Romney debate, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman (10/17/12) offered a sort of scorecard for the debate–for the benefit of those watching on DVR, presumably. "I thought the most useful thing I could do is to offer the scoring system I’ll be using to determine who did best," Friedman wrote, adding generously,  "You can fill in your own scores." Friedman stressed that his "system is not based on zingers or extra points for energizing the base, but rather on what I believe many Americans really want from the next president." First  point: "an honest diagnosis […]

Oct
17
2012

Noise and Nonsense on Benghazi Attack

hofstra

Over the past few weeks of the presidential campaign we've been hearing a lot–maybe too much–about the September 11, 2012, attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. It's been turned into a campaign issue by the Romney team, which has used the incident to charges that the Obama administration is unable to manage foreign affairs and so forth.  The intensity of the Republican pushback has made this into a major story. It was the lead issue in the vice presidential debate, and has been a regular subject on the Sunday […]

Oct
16
2012

Sympathy for Pakistani Girl Shows Limits of Concern

Malala Yousafzai

U.S. media have shown great, and warranted, interest in Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old Pakistani girl shot in the head October 9 by members of a Taliban faction for her outspoken promotion of education for women. The attack "has horrified people across the South Asian country and abroad," reports the Washington Post, and "has also sparked hope that the Pakistani government will respond by intensifying its fight against the Taliban and its allies." In recalling conversations with Yousafzai, the Christian Science Monitor's Owais Tohid noted her sources of inspiration: The first time I met Malala, a couple of years ago, I […]