Apr
23
2014

'Free Trade' Doesn't Need a Debate in the Washington Post

WashPost-TPP

The Washington Post editorializes in favor of secretive corporate-friendly trade arrangements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). But news coverage can put its thumb on the scales in favor of the pro-TPP side too.

Feb
18
2014

What Does Tom Friedman Know About TPP?

Thomas Friedman (cc photo: World Affairs Council)

New York Times columnist Tom Friedman once declared that he doesn't really bother understanding international trade agreements. But that doesn't stop him from writing about them.

Oct
11
2013

To NPR, TPP Is a Poker Game With a Pot Full of Jobs

Poker game (cc photo: Viri G)

Far from a free pot of good jobs, critics of the TPP have repeatedly argued that the deal involves restricting powers of domestic governments on things like food safety and environmental standards, while incentivizing the offshoring of jobs.

Jun
25
2013

Washington Post: Let's Punish Ecuador (Again)

President Rafael Correa

The Washington Post, clearly missing its old left-wing Latin American target, sneers that "replacing the deceased Hugo Chavez as the hemisphere's preeminent anti-U.S. demagogue" is Correa's mission.

May
04
2012

Obama, Bill Clinton and the Need to Move Rightward

In corporate media, some political arguments are treated as indisputable fact. One of the most important: Democrats win by moving to the right. In the New York Times (5/3/12), Peter Baker offers the latest example: Mr. Obama, who campaigned on Sunday with Mr. Clinton, seems to be following his Democratic predecessor's playbook. After a generation of Democrats alienating voters with liberal domestic positions, Mr. Clinton moved the party toward the center on issues like trade, welfare and deficit spending. First off: Democrats had been alienating voters for a generation with their liberal policies? I am not sure what this is […]

Oct
28
2011

NYT: Trade Deals Are Big Job Creators

A New York Times story today (10/28/11) by Jennifer Steinhauer on the state of bipartisanship in Washington noted: Outside of a few recent flashes of light–the passage of three trade bills this month, and an agreement on patent reform–there have been no big bipartisan jobs initiatives in this Congress. The idea that trade deals with Colombia and South Korea are "big" job creators is not a fact–it's an argument that proponents of the deals make. But a corporate media that gives a thumbs-up to anything labeled "free trade" are going to be just as eager to call these deals job […]

Oct
13
2011

Bait-and-Switch Boosterism on Trade Pacts

Corporate media's incredibly uncritical boosterism of so-called "free trade" deals has been remarked on many times, and continues to be remarkable. What else but blind faith would allow a story to carry a line like one in the October 12 New York Times, about textile industry opposition to the new deal with South Korea: "The production of shirts and sheets has shifted steadily from the United States to countries with lower-cost labor. Economists argue that this process strengthens the economy as companies and workers shift to more productive and lucrative kinds of work." Of course, if the Times has evidence […]

Dec
08
2008

Rare Media Criticism for Obama's Cabinet

The corporate media has more or less been on the same page in applauding Obama's cabinet picks so far–"He's been pragmatic in choosing pragmatists," as the Washington Post editorial page cheered on November 28. There's been occasional criticism of Obama's choices as being too progressive, as when the L.A. Times (12/5/08) attacked the idea of Rep. Xavier Bercerra as U.S. trade representative, declaring that Obama "should break his promises and appoint a free-trader as trade representative." So it was refreshing to see Michael Hirsh's piece in Newsweek wondering why left-leaning Columbia economist Joseph Stiglitz hasn't been in the mix: But […]