Oct
09
2012

What Are Enemies For?: Iran Sham Helps PBS Smear Chavez

chavez-iran

It's no secret that U.S. media outlets don't have much love for left-wing Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.  A PBS NewsHour segment (10/5/12) just ahead of the recent election  showed just how far you could go. Correspondent Ray Suarez opened by calling the election "a watershed moment for the world's second-largest oil-producing nation and a critical supplier of crude oil to the U.S"–I guess we know what makes Venezuela important to the United States. Chavez has "openly antagonizing the United States as he's cozied up to the world's most isolated regimes." And Suarez has an example: He's continued to thwart American efforts […]

Oct
05
2012

FAIR TV: Time's Fact Check FAIL, Chavez's Savvy Daughter-Hugging, Are Afghans Human?

The new episode of FAIR TV. This week we take a look at Time's big fact checking cover story and how the Washington Post talks about Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. We also ask the question: Do media think Afghans are humans too? Take a look and please share this with your friends.

Oct
05
2012

When Did Checking the Facts Become Taking a Candidate 'at His Word'?

cnn-foreman

Before the first presidential debate, CNN sent out a press release to promote the idea that they'd be doing factchecking of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. It's kind of sad that this would be considered a novel enough idea to warrant a press release, but the actual factchecking was nothing you'd want to call attention to. Anchor Wolf Blitzer cued up the night's first "reality check" from correspondent John Berman, "on the president's claim that Mitt Romney wants a $5 trillion tax cut." And here comes Berman's factcheck: Now let's look at the facts here. Mitt Romney does propose across-the-board […]

Oct
04
2012

Romney: I Like Being Able to Fire Journalists Asking Me Questions

Big Bird (from Daily Kos)

Asked in the October 3 debate what he would do to address the federal budget deficit, Mitt Romney named two specific areas that he would cut: He would repeal Obamacare–which according to the Congressional Budget Office would actually increase the 10-year deficit by $109 billion–and eliminate funding for PBS, which, along with other forms of public media funded through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, gets $445 million from the federal government annually–approximately 0.012 percent of the federal budget. Here's Romney addressing moderator Jim Lehrer: I'm sorry, Jim, I'm going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I'm going to stop other […]

Oct
03
2012

Time: Obama's Lies Are Worse Because They're More Accurate

v_600_cover_1015

In Time magazine's new cover story ("Blue Truth, Red Truth," 10/3/12),  Michael Scherer attempts to sort out the puzzle of campaign season factchecking. But while the cover promises to tell us which candidate is telling the truth, it mostly manages to capture some of the  corporate media's worst factchecking tropes. The article kicks off with a hefty helping of false balance–the tendency to see all problems as coming more or less equally from both sides. Obama complains about Romney's sustained, false claims that the White House is doing away with work requirements under welfare. Scherer notes this is false–and then […]

Oct
02
2012

How to Tell When 'Humans' Die in a U.S. War

Afghan women (photo by ISAF Public Affairs)

ABC World News' David Muir (9/30/12) took note of the 2,000th U.S. military death in Afghanistan this way: Overseas now to Afghanistan, and a stark reminder tonight of the human cost of war. An attack at a checkpoint left two Americans dead, one of them a serviceman, the 2,000th U.S. military death since the war began. That kind of language is revealing in that it presents American deaths as evidence of the "human cost of war." But, of course, that is a human cost almost every day most wars. What they're saying is this is primarily something we should think […]

Oct
02
2012

Facebook Is Losing Your Mail in Hopes of Receiving More Bribes

Facebook logo

Back in May, Facebook introduced its Promoted Posts program, giving groups and companies with pages on the social media site the option of paying to get their posts seen by more of their fans. The way Facebook works is that you don't see every post by every friend or every page that you like–Facebook has a formula called Edgerank that tries to determine how interested you'd be in that post, based mainly on how much you've "liked," shared or commented upon similar posts in the past, and how many people are liking, sharing and commenting on that particular post. At […]

Oct
01
2012

When Nonsense Is Your Reality, Reality Naturally Seems to Have a Slant

Dana Milbank (photo by Matthew Bradley)

Washington Post ombud Patrick Pexton (9/30/12) presents conservative opinion as a prima facie case for a left-wing slant in corporate news media: "Republicans think the news media are being too easy on Barack Obama…. Everyone sees more bias, and Republicans see it more than other groups." Offering this as evidence of a left media bias is, of course, highly dubious. Sixty-seven percent of Republicans say that humans aren't warming the planet. Sixty-three percent still maintain that Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction.  Fifty-eight percent of Republicans "believe that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 […]