Jul
25
2013

Huge Servings of Stupid Royal Baby Coverage

Victoria Arbiter on CNN (screengrab by HuffPost)

Last week, news of the anticipation of the royal baby eclipsed much other news in the U.S., but it gave no indication of the level of stupid that was to come with the kid's actual birth.

Jun
27
2013

Snowden Is Helping Terrorists (But Don't Quote Me on That)

ap-snowden-ways

It looks like we might be on to a new phase in the Edward Snowden saga: anonymous government officials going to compliant media outlets to complain that his revelations have made it easier for terrorists to evade capture.

Jun
18
2013

Spinning Surveillance via Discredited NSA Talking Points

Barack Obama on Charlie Rose

What might it say about the depth of NSA's record of success stories that, even after its prime exhibit is debunked, the White House is still retailing the story, the second time around with muddled language?

May
06
2013

What's the Standard on Reporting Israeli Airstrikes?

nyt-iran-syria-missiles

The claims made about Israeli airstrikes against Syria could be true, or not. What is certain is that the assessments of the airstrikes are being shared anonymously by governments involved in carrying them out, a scenario that cries out for more skepticism.

Apr
23
2013

Erin Burnett Wants a Different Kind of Terrorism Suspect

Erin Burnett Boston

CNN host Erin Burnett wonders whether it's time to come up with some new laws in the wake of the Boston bombing, since the old ones seem to give Dzhokhar Tsarnaev too many rights.

Apr
05
2013

North Korea's Attack Plan: Apocalypse Never Mind

cnn-nk

It didn't take long for TV coverage of North Korea to enter the "Retired General Sketches Out War Games on a Big Map" phase. But a recent example of the genre on CNN demonstrated only the alarmism seems to be the order of the day.

Mar
22
2013

FAIR TV: Scarborough's War, Steubenville, Drone 'Debate'

FAIRTV032213

This week on FAIR TV: Joe Scarborough remembers some things about the Iraq War–but forgets the things he said back then. We'll take a look at the CNN Steubenville coverage that had so many critics outraged. And the Washington Post presented two takes on drone deaths in Pakistan.

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
05
2013

Where Are They Now? The Reporters Who Got Iraq So Wrong

Colin Powell at the UN

Ten years ago today, Colin Powell made the Bush administration's case for going to war against Iraq, and much of what he said was false. Most of the journalists who promoted his justifications for the war paid no price for their failures.

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.

Dec
04
2012

Julian Assange, Erin Burnett and the Battle Over Press Freedom

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There seems to be an expectation in the Assange case that a dissident must take refuge with a government with a sterling human rights record. This message is conveyed by journalists whose own country has detained, harassed and killed their journalistic colleagues.

Nov
16
2012

Who Started Gaza Conflict? Well, the U.S. Says…

cnn-gaza

Who started the latest round of violence in the Middle East? This pretty remarkable exchange between the host and a reporter on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight show (11/15/12) tells us that no one can really say for sure, but the U.S government will tell you what they think: MORGAN: Like with all these things in that region, apportioning blame from afar is a very precarious business because each side blames the other for the reasons leading up to these incidents. What is your sense of how this is playing out in the international stage? FRED PLEITGEN: It's very difficult to […]

Nov
15
2012

Justifying Certain Acts of Violence

Fareed Zakaria (photo: Sebastian Derungs/World Economic Forum)

Today's New York Times editorial (11/15/12) begins: No country should have to endure the rocket attacks that Israel has endured from militants in Gaza. The Times has questions about the wisdom of a ground invasion in Gaza–questions that mostly involve whether it would be wise from an Israeli point of view. Such an escalation would be "especially risky," and might not be the "most effective way of advancing" Israel's "long-term interests." But from the start, the message is that this violence is, on some level justified. On CNN (11/14/12), Fareed Zakaria endorsed the Israeli attacks:  I think there is no […]