Apr
12
2013

Jeff Cohen on Media Missing the Costs of Militarism

Protester: I Want Education Not War (United for Justice With Peace)

"Today there's an elephant in the room: a huge, yet ignored, issue that largely explains why Social Security is now on the chopping block…. That problem is U.S. militarism and perpetual war."

Apr
05
2013

Keeping Yet Another Government Secret

The National Clandestine Service: Too secret to reveal the name of its acting chief--but not too secret to be looking for student interns.

The compelling interest in the public knowing that a high-ranking public official has taken part in highly controversial and perhaps even illegal actions, in the view of these news outlets, is apparently outweighed by their duty, as they see it, to keep the government's secrets.

Mar
27
2013

How 'Unlikely' Is Mark Sanford's Comeback Really?

Mark Sanford

The journalists amazed by Mark Sanford's comeback make the mistake of assuming that since the GOP spends so much time preaching "family values" and "social conservatism," Republican pols who violate these preachments must pay a greater price than less moralistic Democrats.

Mar
20
2013

Bill Maher Urges Vilification of Bill Maher

Bill Maher

On his last HBO show, Bill Maher complained about how much he and his wealthy cohort pay in taxes. But he's unlikely to get much sympathy from the 2010 version of Bill Maher.

Feb
08
2013

Bill O’Reilly and the 'Epidemic of Disrespect'

Bill O'Reilly (photo: Justin Hoch/Hudson Union Society)

Bill O’Reilly– whose network is known on-air fantasies about murdering public figures, jokes about the assassination of the president, and is the only network named by more than one spree killer as having helped to inspire their murderous designs–is worried that the country is becoming too disrespectful.

Jan
09
2013

George Washington on Guns…According to Sean Hannity

George Washington

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

Ed 'Reformers' Fumble Logic With Foolish Football Analogy

Robert Griffin III (photo: Keith Allison)

"It’s hard to watch Robert Griffin III play football and not think about education policy." Education "reformers" Michelle Rhee and Joel Klein begin an op-ed with this dubious claim, then go on to flesh out their absurd football/education analogy.

Nov
14
2012

Syrian Civil War Strays Into…Syrian Territory

Hamat Gader, Golan Heights (photo by Job de Graaf)

After Syrian mortar fire from Syria's civil war reportedly strayed into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights last weekend, some U.S. journalists seemed confused about the political geography of the region. For instance, CBS Evening News reported (11/12/12) reported: Syria's civil war has now touched Israel. For the second straight day, a shell from Syria landed in Israeli territory. Well, no. The shells in question landed on the Golan Heights, a part of Syria that has been occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War in 1967–but is internationally recognized as continuing to be Syrian territory. A CNN Wire report, "For Second Time in […]

Oct
12
2012

Debate Deceptions Are a Time-Tested GOP Strategy

Corporate journalism is not known for standing up to powerful politicians–or for its long memory. And so, when factchecks of the first presidential debate revealed that GOP candidate Mitt Romney was often not very truthful, sometimes even misstating his own policies, the media not only failed to make much of a fuss over Romney's falsehoods, they also failed to tie them into a GOP tradition of debate dissembling. Wait, did I just say a GOP tradition of debate dissembling? That's right–it's a strategy that was acknowledged as far back as 1984, but it's gone virtually unmentioned in U.S. media since […]

Sep
27
2012

Praising Obama's Defense of Free Speech, NYT Leaves Much Unsaid

Barack Obama at the UN General Assembly (Africa Renewal)

The New York Times' September 26 coverage of Barack Obama's UN address on Arab democracy, free speech and violence included a good sampling of the distortions, double standards and bigotry often present in U.S. corporate reporting on these issues. Helene Cooper's news report (9/26/12) explained that Obama's speech was a "strong defense of America's belief in freedom of speech," challenging "fledgling Arab and North African democracies to ensure that right even in the face of violence." According to Cooper, Obama also "asserted that the flare-up of violence over a video that ridicules the Prophet Muhammad would not set off a […]

Sep
05
2012

Politicians in Tampa, Charlotte Massaged by Media—Literally

Huffington Post Oasis

When it comes to journalists socializing and otherwise cozying up to the powerful, there's not a lot new under the sun. More than 20 years ago, then-FAIR associates Martin Lee and Norman Solomon wrote about it in their book Unreliable Sources: TV's top journalists are part of the wealthy and influential elite, often socializing with people they're supposed to be scrutinizing. At an awards banquet for the Radio & Television Correspondents Association during Reagan's second term, Kathleen Sullivan (at the time with ABC) was photographed on the arm of then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, while CBS Face the Nation host Lesley Stahl […]

Jul
05
2012

Shamir Remembered–With Selective Amnesia

In death, the U.S. media remembered the late Yitzhak Shamir as "a political hard-liner who served two terms as Israeli prime minster" (CNN, 6/30/12), "the hawkish Israeli leader who balked at the idea of trading occupied land for peace with the Palestinians" (MSNBC, 6/30/12) and "a man of iron will and simple tastes" (Washington Post, 6/30/12) who prided himself on his hard-line views, his relentless determination to hang onto every square inch of what he considered the Land of Israel, and his championing of Jewish settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, defying the demands of Israel's most […]

Jun
29
2012

Is Limbaugh Sure He Wants Lying to Be a Crime?

The Supreme Court decided on Thursday that lying about medals and military service, while "contemptible," is protected under the First Amendment's free speech clause. The court said the federal "Stolen Valor" law was overly broad and imposed a chilling effect on free speech. This news enraged Rush Limbaugh, who responded on is radio show with disdain, facetiously wondering, "I don't know if they legalized pedophilia or not." An interesting non sequitur, but back on point: Limbaugh's comprehension of freedom of speech has always been a crabbed affair, pretty much limited to the view that he and his conservative allies–people who enjoy […]