Jan
18
2013

Are Israeli Arabs 'Apathetic'–or Second-Class Citizens?

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For a variety of reasons, Arab citizens of Israel don't seem all that excited about voting in next week's elections. And, for some reason, this strike the New York Times' Jodi Rudoren as "apathy." But the Arab sentiments she reports sure don't sound like apathy.

Jan
17
2013

Copyright for People, Not for Publishers

Participant in National Talk Like a Pirate Day. (Photo: Practical Owl)

"Misinterpreting Copyright: A Series of Errors," an essay by Richard Stallman, is one of the best explanations I've seen for what's wrong with the way we think about copyright. The main idea is that the when the U.S. Constitution authorized copyright laws, it did so on the basis that it is "not a natural right of authors, but an artificial concession made to them for the sake of progress."

Jan
16
2013

The Cure for French Malaise: Cut Worker Pay

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With an unemployment rate at just over 26 percent and regular street protests against government austerity policies, it's hard to imagine anyone holding up Spain as a model. But Howard Schneider, writing in the Washington Post, does just that–warning France that it had better shape up and be more like Spain:

Jan
16
2013

Journalism by–and for–the Sponsors

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The headline of a recent article posted at the website of the Atlantic–"David Miscavige Leads Scientology to Milestone Year"–probably tipped readers that something was more than a little off. It wasn't an article, really; above the headline, in a yellow box, was the phrase "Sponsor Content." But is what the Atlantic did–and quickly apologized for–really unusual?

Jan
15
2013

Ignoring Climate Change When It Stares You in the Face

Roses in bloom in January in New York City's Union Square.

NBC Nightly News asked a serious question the other night–and then gave a not-so-serious answer: Why it is so cold where it should be warm, and so warm where it should be cold? What is going on with all this extreme weather?" Its answer was true as far as it went–but it didn't go any farther.

Jan
14
2013

Aaron Swartz, 1986-2013

Aaron Swartz (photo: NIck Gray)

It's always difficult to report on someone's death. If they've had a lifetime of accomplishments, how do you sum that up in a few brief paragraphs? When a life has been cut cruelly short, it's even worse–trying hopelessly to convey the sense of lost possibilities. With Aaron Swartz, who died this past weekend, reportedly by his own hand, you have the worst of both worlds

Jan
14
2013

Jack Lew, One More Anti-Business Obama Appointee

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Republicans and various right-wing commentators have had a thing for talking about the supposedly "anti-business" tilt of the Obama administration. It's never made much sense–and it doesn't make any more sense now that pundits are reacting to news that Obama will tap his current chief of staff Jack Lew to be his next Treasury secretary.

Jan
14
2013

NYT Rewrites Accurate Occupation Headline

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Non-violent protesters came up with a novel way to protest Israeli plans to build more settlement colonies in the occupied West Bank: They occupied the land themselves. The New York Times reported the news on Saturday. But the most remarkable thing is what they did with the headline.

Jan
11
2013

FAIR TV: Peacenik Chuck Hagel, Pundits vs. Elderly, Another Bogus OWS Story

This week on FAIR TV: Can Chuck Hagel really be considered anti-war? Pundits are mad about the fiscal cliff tax deal–they wanted more Social Security and Medicare cuts. And Murdoch's New York Post made another attempt to link Occupy Wall Street to crime–and other media outlets went along.

Jan
11
2013

Hugo Chavez: Why Does He Hate Us?

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez might be excused for harboring some hard feelings towards a government that helped to try to overthrow your own. Which may be why U.S. reports rarely bring up the 2002 coup attempt–and when they do, treat Washington's involvement in it as another nutty Chavez conspiracy theory.

Jan
09
2013

George Washington on Guns…According to Sean Hannity

To make the case that gun ownership was not just a right, but something akin to a sacrament, Hannity quoted George Washington: "'Rifles and pistols are equally indispensable.' 'They deserve a place of honor with all that's good.'" The quote is a hoax, and a well-known one.

Jan
09
2013

Bill O'Reilly's Fact-Free War on Planned Parenthood

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Bill O'Reilly wants Congress to investigate Planned Parenthood for being an "abortion mill." In the real world, very little of their work is related to abortion services. But why let facts get in the way?

Jan
09
2013

A Cabinet of Peaceniks?

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It goes to show you how limited the debate over warmaking is when politicians whose records are mostly pro-war can be portrayed as war skeptics. That's what is happening with Barack Obama's new cabinet picks: Sen. John Kerry for secretary of State and former Sen. Chuck Hagel as Defense secretary.