Feb
28
2013

Bill O'Reilly, Big Government and Racism

oreilly-govt-size

It's not as if Bill O'Reilly has never uttered things reasonable people might consider racist. But the fact that he seems to believe that the White House is destroying the economy in order to provide free stuff to people of color is taking things to an entirely different level.

Feb
27
2013

CNN's Recipe for Italy: Austerity–No Matter What

Newsweek's Barbie Nadeau

CNN.com had an odd piece of analysis of the Italian election results, arguing that austerity "is necessary by any calculation to actually start moving Italy out of the recession." That's not the calculation of Paul Krugman, who for what its worth is a Nobel Prize-winning economist.

Feb
27
2013

Forget Objectivity–Can We Have a Fact-Based Media?

There is no objective evidence that allowing two people of the same gender to marry will harm mixed-gender marriages. So you might think objective reporting would treat that assertion as a dubious claim.

Feb
26
2013

Heard the One About Lazy French Workers?

The Washington Post brings us the story of a right-wing U.S. businessman who is in a very public fight over the work habits of the French. Yes, we all know the folklore about the lazy French. What would be helpful here is some dose of reality–that's what journalism can be good for.

Feb
26
2013

Oscar Rights Some Historical Wrongs, Creates Some New Ones

Ben Affleck in Argo

Many have exposed the fictions of Argo; Salon's Andrew O'Hehir described the film as "a propaganda fable." But when the Academy chose Argo and almost ignored Zero Dark Thirty, I cheered.

Feb
26
2013

Iranians and Their Clunky Propaganda!

Iran-oscars

I suppose we might ignore that the first lady of a country appeared at an awards show, flanked by members of the military, to present a prize to a film about the heroism of U.S. intelligence. No, the real problem is Iran's Photoshopping.

Feb
25
2013

Hugo Chavez Keeps Showering the Poor

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (Photo: Bernardo Londoy)

The Chavez years, as best we can tell, have been enormously beneficial to the Venezuelan public as owners of public resources. But when corporate media write about Chavez's policies, they can barely disguise their real feelings–as if the natural order of things would mean that private companies managed the oil industry and captured the profits.

Feb
25
2013

George Will's Stop & Frisk Factcheck

gwill2

The ABC Sunday show This Week had not one but two roundtables this weekend. Right-winger George Will appeared on both of them, because… well, he knows a lot of stuff.

Feb
22
2013

FAIR TV: Climate March and TV, Fox 'Liberal' on Campus Rape, NYT Doesn't Like Correa

Was the big climate march in Washington not hot enough for corporate TV? What does the New York Times have against leftist Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa? And Bob Beckel said something dumb on a Fox News show yet again–a convenient "left-wing" role for a right-wing outlet.

Feb
22
2013

Sometimes David Brooks Gets So Mad He Can't Write Straight

Incredible Hulk at Madame Tussaud's (Photo: Abi Skipp)

When David Brooks writes that Obama "declines to come up with a proposal" other than raising taxes on the rich, and in reality he has proposed a plan, that merits a correction, right? Maybe. But when you're a New York Times columnist, apparently you get to play by a different rulebook.

Feb
22
2013

Fox News 'Liberal' Isn't So Sure About College Rape

fox-five-beckel

In most places, a record like Bob Beckel would probably lead your employer to tell you to take your act elsewhere. But if you're running a right-wing propaganda network, he's a pretty valuable "leftist" to keep around.

Feb
21
2013

When You're Cutting Social Security, 'Wealthy' Begins at $25K

Elderly man on Chicago el train.

Here's a proposal for Social Security that was on the New York Times' op-ed page yesterday (2/20/13): The top third of beneficiaries (by lifetime income) [would] receive no annual cost-of-living adjustment in retirement. The middle third would get half of today’s adjustment, and the bottom third would receive the same annual increase they do now. Such a reform…would reduce Social Security spending by more than a tenth over a decade and fix the program’s long-term financing. This is part of Paul Ryan adviser Yuval Levin's attempt to find "common ground" on the entitlement issue: "Both sides should agree at least […]

Feb
20
2013

Why Does a Climatologist Need to Explain Economics to Joe Nocera?

NASA climatologist James Hansen has tried to explain to New York Times columnist Joe Nocera why he's so wrong about the tar sands, but Nocera's account of their argument makes it seem like explaining anything to him would be an uphill battle.