Apr
09
2014

No, Putin Isn't Following 'Reagan Playbook' in Ukraine–Thank God

Death squad victims, El Salvador (cc photo: John Hoagland)

When the Washington Post's David Ignatius writes a column headlined "Putin Steals the CIA's Playbook on Anti-Soviet Covert Operations," is that supposed to be a criticism or a compliment?

Apr
03
2014

The Point of Limiting Donations Isn't to Make Elections Cheaper or Less Irritating

Money as speech

The point of contribution limits isn't to make elections cheaper; it's to limit the ability of the very wealthy to dominate politics.

Mar
31
2014

Intelligence Sources Play an Early April Fool's Joke on NBC News

Brian Williams report on Russia and Ukraine

US intelligence claims about a Russian troop buildup on the Ukrainian border are just that–claims. On NBC Nightly News, however, anchor Brian Williams and Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski not only took these claims as gospel, they used them as the jumping off point for alarmist speculation.

Mar
27
2014

PhRMA's Money Affects Human Lives–and Journalism Too

Pharmaceuticals (cc photo: Erich Ferdinand)

Josh Marshall announces that Idea Lab: Impact will be "sponsored by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America." Yes, PhRMA, the lobbying group that has helped make the marketing of medicine one of the most profitable industries in America.

Mar
27
2014

WaPo's Twisted Take on Poor People Eating

Mark Lester in 'Oliver'

The Washington Post describes state efforts to make sure poor recipients remain eligible for food stamp benefits as a "loophole…potentially wiping out billions of dollars in savings Congress agreed to last month."

Mar
19
2014

Are Charter Schools Really 'Helping Poor Children'?

Harlem Success Academy (cc photo: Multitude)

The "usual measurement" offered by columnist Richard Cohen as proof of the value of charter schools offers no evidence that charter school students are any better off at all.

Mar
07
2014

Denying the Far-Right Role in the Ukrainian Revolution

Flags of the Ukrainian Nationalist Congress (cc photo: Antanana/Wikimedia)

To maintain a simple good vs. evil framework, the fact that Ukraine's neo-fascist movement had a significant role in the opposition to Yanukovych–and the government that replaced him–was downplayed or even outright denied.

Feb
24
2014

New York Times Critic Doesn't Care What Foreigners Have to Say

Piers Morgan (cc photo: GL Johnson)

New York Times media columnist David Carr (2/24/14) seems to think the relationship between CNN and Piers Morgan was doomed from the start: It's been an unhappy collision between a British television personality who refuses to assimilate–the only football he cares about is round and his lectures on guns were rife with contempt–and a CNN audience that is intrinsically provincial. After all, the people who tune into a cable news network are, by their nature, deeply interested in America. That's a peculiar way to define "provincial"; surely one can be deeply interested in the United States and deeply interested in […]

Feb
22
2014

News From Venezuela–but Where Is It Coming From?

San Christobal, Venezuela (Caracas Chronicles)

How trustworthy are reports that "state-sponsored paramilitaries" are "shooting at anyone who seemed like he might be protesting" against the government of Venezuela?

Feb
18
2014

Bob Schieffer Is Tired of Your Fancy Talk

Bob Schieffer

Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer had a classic example of anti-populist populism.

Feb
10
2014

What Will 2016 Political Landscape Look Like? USA Today Has No Clue

Debate podiums, 2011

Because it is a mere 1,000 days until the election, USA Today's Susan Page tries to predict the 2016 presidential campaign.

Feb
05
2014

Is Cannabis More Dangerous Than Alcohol? Let's Ask Bigfoot

Bigfoot museum display (cc photo: Jessica LeClair)

Alex Berezow, a regular contributor to USA Today's opinion page, is the editor of Real Clear Science and the author of Science Left Behind. So you would expect that when he addresses Barack Obama's recent remarks about cannabis, he would bring a scientific perspective to them. Well–kind of.

Jan
30
2014

Kurt Cobain on FAIR: 'Tries to Expose the Truths'

Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain called FAIR "an underground leftist organization that tries to expose the truths," saying we had "been working for years to expose a lot of injustices." Cobain said this in August 1993, when he, with Nirvana bandmates Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl, were interviewed by a German music journalist (8/10/93). We just found out about the interview this week, when a friend pointed out to us a video of the interview that was posted on YouTube (12/11/13) last month. That link should take you to the middle of the video, where Cobain and Novoselic discuss FAIR as an example […]