Mar
25
2013

102 Years After Triangle Fire, Media Still Wonder How Workers Keep Dying

Child workers, Bangladesh (Photo: Global Labour Rights)

On the 102nd anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, Janine Jackson's article in the last issue of Extra! (3/13) is a sobering reminder that not that much has changed in the last century as far as worker  safety is concerned: What should be done to prevent incidents like the January 26 fire at the Smart Fashion Export factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in which at least seven garment workers (three of them teenage girls) were killed, their escape impeded by a blocked exit and the absence of the most rudimentary fire safety equipment? The answer for many would be: whatever is […]

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
14
2013

Is John Boehner a Labor Economist?

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Republican leader John Boehner must have some expertise when it comes to labor economics. Either that, or the New York Times is allowing him to make misleading claims without being challenged.

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
21
2012

Campbell Brown's Despicable Newtown Rant

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"Both sides" made objectionable comments after the Newtown massacre, writes Campbell Brown. Right-wing bigots on the one hand, and on the other… Diane Ravitch? For praising heroic teachers? This is "false balance" of the most absurd kind.

Sep
11
2012

Are Chicago Teachers Really Rooting for Student Failure?

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You can get away with almost anything if you're attacking teachers' unions in the corporate media. New York Times columnist Joe Nocera (9/11/12) explains that while the so-called "reform" movement hasn't come up with the right answers on schools: On the other hand, the status quo, which is what the Chicago teachers want, is clearly unacceptable. In Chicago, about 60 percent of public school students graduate from high school. A Washington Post editorial (9/11/12): The administration has championed reforms much like those the Chicago local is fighting. And with good reason: A scandalously low 56 percent of Chicago students graduate […]

Sep
07
2012

FAIR TV: Iran Misreporting, Labor Day and CNN's Unbelievable Romney

The new episode of FAIR TV is here, featuring misreporting on Iran's nuclear energy program, NewsHour lecturing labor leaders on Labor Day, and some of the most embarrassing biographical puffery for a presidential candidate you're likely to ever hear. Please share it with your friends, and let us know what you think in comments below.

Mar
05
2012

Frank Bruni and the Media's Snowe Crush

If you want an example of how much corporate media love so-called moderate Republicans, look no further than Frank Bruni's New York Times column (3/4/12): Back in 1999, when I covered Congress, I had a kind of crush on Olympia Snowe. Many of us in the Senate press gallery did. Well, that's good to know. As Bruni tells it, Snowe "dared to disagree with her party," which is something pundits always say they want to see more of. But Snowe's record on this count has always been a bit exaggerated. Snowe often ended up arguing for minor tweaks to Republican […]

Feb
21
2012

Apple's ABC Friends Get China Exclusive

With all the recent critical attention to Apple's manufacturing policies, it was perhaps only a matter of time before the company decided to push back.One way Apple might do this is by granting an "exclusive" to a media outlet that might put out a different kind of story than the one that people have encountered via the New York Times (1/25/12) or This American Life (1/6/12). So here we have the news that ABC has been granted "exclusive" access to the massive Foxconn facility that has been at epicenter of the controversy over Apple's labor practices. Why ABC? Forbes contributor […]

Feb
17
2012

Postal Service Broke? Letter Explains What USA Today Omitted

Much of the coverage about the U.S. Postal Service tells us that it is losing money hand over fist. But one of the questions journalists are supposed to ask–why?–is rarely posed. A letter to the editor in today's USA Today tries to fill in that gap: Letter: Congressional mandate behind Postal Service woes Your article "Anything Good in the Mail?" is misleading about the reasons for the U.S. Postal Service's financial problems. It focuses on competition from the Internet, conventional wisdom that doesn't withstand scrutiny ("Bell Tolls for the U.S. Mail, as We Know It"). Almost 90 percent of the […]

Jan
25
2012

USA Today: Keystone Job Cops

With New York Times public editor Arthur Brisbane continuing to puzzle over whether (or how) the Paper of Record should factcheck politicians, one might wonder whether other newspapers worry about the same thing. Take USA Today (please!). Yesterday the paper reported on the very contentious matter of the Keystone XL pipeline and jobs–a favorite issue for Republicans. The paper (1/24/12) told readers: Obama hasn't been willing to ignore politics, says Bruce Josten, an executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He cites several instances–from the failure to reach a deficit-reduction deal with Republicans last year to the rejection […]

Jan
20
2012

Joe Klein Notices Newt Stole His Kid Janitor Idea

Time columnist Joe Klein jumped to Newt Gingrich's defense (12/19/11) when the Republican presidential candidate floated the idea that poor school children should work as janitors at their schools. Klein's endorsement (FAIR Blog, 12/9/11) earned him a coveted P.U. Litzer Prize. But apparently there's more to it. As Klein explains in this week's issue of Time (in an article that bears a title "Racial Slant Aside, Newt's Poverty Plan Could Work"), "When you strip away the racial appeals, though, Gingrich proposes some very creative ways to address poverty and dependency." He added: And yes, as Newt suggested, that last idea […]

Nov
01
2011

What Would Steve Jobs Do?

On the Meet the Press roundtable on Sunday (10/30/11), talk turned to Steve Jobs. And, as one might expect from the avalanche of hero worship that accompanied news of his death, the chatter concerned how we might all one day live up to Jobs' legacy. Here's host David Gregory, speaking to Tom Brokaw: Tom, it's interesting, author and journalist Jeff Greenfield tweeted recently about Steve Jobs the following: "Imagine a Steve Jobs in the auto industry, in healthcare, in energy, even in government. We'd have a different country." We know from Walter Isaacson's biography that Jobs had some pretty strong […]