Jun
07
2013

Pointless Partisanship on Surveillance

Susan Page

"Democrats on one side, Republicans on the other" is the way conventional Beltway reporters seem to see the world–and it's reflected in their reporting on political events. On the front page of USA Today (6/7/13), Susan Page has a piece wondering if the unfolding scandals surrounding the White House and surveillance will threaten the president's "agenda." That's a strange concern for the moment, but we'll put that aside. The most unusual part of the piece is the very premise: That Obama's actions have verified Republican criticisms of his presidency. As Page puts it, the current story is especially problematic for […]

Jun
03
2013

Did Obama Flip Flop on the War Against the Press?

gregory-mtp-flip

While Meet the Press's David Gregory is playing "gotcha" by selectively editing Barack Obama's speeches, the real story here is that the administration's record of targeting investigative journalism is all too consistent.

May
31
2013

FAIR TV: Obama's Terror 'Pivot,' Monsanto March, Schieffer's Lament

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This week on FAIR TV: Obama's big speech on U.S. anti-terrorism policies was treated as a big shift, a pivot away from war. Was it? Activists around the world rallied against Monsanto–which wasn't considered big news here. And Bob Schieffer complains that the White House makes it hard to get good guests for his Sunday chat show. There's an easy fix for that, isn't there?    

May
28
2013

Did Obama's Speech Really 'Narrow' the War?

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If you followed the coverage of President Barack Obama's May 23 speech at the National Defense University, you would think something big happened to the "war on terror." That was probably the message the White House wanted the press to send. But is true?

May
25
2013

Still Getting Gitmo Wrong

Guantanamo (Joshua Nistas/US Army)

President Barack Obama's address yesterday on U.S. terror strategies got a lot of attention for supposedly charting a new course in America's longest war. But some of the facts were mangled along the way.

May
17
2013

FAIR TV: The IRS & Obama's Scandal Trifecta, Matthews Praises Reagan, Newseum Scandal

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What should we make of the so-called "trifecta" of scandals hitting the Obama White House? And what questions should we ask about the IRS/Tea Party story? Also this week: Chris Matthews wants Obama to take charge–just like the union-busting Ronald Reagan. And the Newseum decides two Palestinian journalists shouldn't be considered part of their tribute to journalists who died reporting the news.  

May
15
2013

Matthews: Obama Needs to Break a Union Like Reagan

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Praise for a conservative president's breaking the air traffic controllers' union–that's what you hear on the liberal cable channel.

Apr
30
2013

Syria and the 'Red Line' Nonsense

Red line (cc photo: Michael Lusk)

The pundits' message on Barack Obama's talk of a "red line" on Syria is that they are concerned about the credibility of the president's threats of violence–much more so than about the credibility of his evidence.

Apr
19
2013

FAIR TV: Boston Bombing, Defining Terrorism, Social Security 'Bravery'

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Covering the media's rush to misjudgment on the Boston Marathon attack, which acts of terrorism are called "terrorism," and PBS's "debate" over Social Security–in which both sides call Obama "brave" for trying to cut benefits.

Apr
12
2013

FAIR TV: Misremembering Thatcher, Cutting Social Security, Hillary Clinton's Hair

Hillary Clinton (cc photo: David Blumenkrantz)

Media remember Margaret Thatcher for turning around Britain's economy. But do the numbers tell a different story? Also: Barack Obama's plan to cut Social Security and Medicare is inexplicably deemed a move to the "center," and pundits are monitoring the 2016 election by paying close attention to… Hillary Clinton's haircut?

Apr
08
2013

Cutting Social Security and Medicare? That's the 'Middle'

Cokie Roberts

The new White House budget proposal is getting a lot of attention because it explicitly connects the Obama administration to an agenda that includes cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits. Some pundits see this as a way to appeal to the "middle." But does anyone– in the middle or anywhere else–really want to cut the safety net?

Mar
20
2013

Two Peoples, Two Pictures

Photos of Palestinians and Israelis reacting to Obama visit from USA Today

There was a pair of pictures on the front page of USA Today today, meant to illustrate a story about President Barack Obama's visit to Israel and the Occupied Territories. It actually illustrated the very different ways Israelis and Palestinians are depicted in U.S. media.

Mar
15
2013

NYT: Odd Memories of Iran-Contra, Obama First Term

Reagan image made of jelly beans, Reagan Presidential Library (Photo: Ryan Dickey)

The New York Times' Michael Shear suggests that Rep. Rand Paul's criticism of Obama's drone attacks are nothing out of the ordinary–but he takes a strange trip down memory lane to make the case.