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?

Feb
28
2013

Bill O'Reilly, Big Government and Racism

oreilly-govt-size

It's not as if Bill O'Reilly has never uttered things reasonable people might consider racist. But the fact that he seems to believe that the White House is destroying the economy in order to provide free stuff to people of color is taking things to an entirely different level.

Feb
19
2013

The NYT's Problem With Leftist Presidents

nyt-correa

The polls showed that Ecuadoreans weren't "apprehensive" about giving Correa another term. So why was the New York Times? Probably because his policies are the kind that institutions like the Times tell us aren't supposed to work.

Jan
18
2013

Are Israeli Arabs 'Apathetic'–or Second-Class Citizens?

nyt-arab-apathy

For a variety of reasons, Arab citizens of Israel don't seem all that excited about voting in next week's elections. And, for some reason, this strike the New York Times' Jodi Rudoren as "apathy." But the Arab sentiments she reports sure don't sound like apathy.

Nov
19
2012

NYT Reports: In Wyoming, Tradition of White People Complaining About Black People Alive and Well

Flagguy

"In Wyoming, Conservatives Feeling Left Behind" is the headline on a report by the New York Times' Jack Healy (11/19/12) on how "since the election, a blanket of baffled worry has descended on conservatives here like early snow across the plains, deepening a sense that traditional, rural and overwhelmingly white states in the center of the country are losing touch with an increasingly diverse and urban American electorate." Healy reports: Republican explanations for Mitt Romney's loss–that Democrats turned out the urban vote, that the United States is no longer its "traditional" self, or that Mr. Obama had showered "gifts" on […]

Nov
14
2012

Fox's 'Best Journalistic Instincts' Are Nothing to Write Home About

Fox News' Brit Hume

New York Times media reporter David Carr (11/12/12) had some kind words for Fox News Channel's Election Night coverage: On Tuesday night, the people in charge of Fox News were confronted with a stark choice after it became clear that Mr. Romney had fallen short: was Fox, first and foremost, a place for advocacy or a place for news? In this moment, at least, Fox chose news. After relating the story of Karl Rove's contrarian insistence that Obama had not won Ohio and thus the election–including the oddest part of the story, which is that one of Fox News' featured […]

Nov
09
2012

FAIR TV: Obama's 'Non-Mandate,' Final Factchecking Fail, Climate Science

This week on FAIR TV: How does Obama's "non-mandate" compare to Bush's 2004 "mandate"? Does corporate media factchecking need a reality check? And we look at how superstorm Sandy failed to generate talk about climate change on the Sunday shows. Please watch it–and share it with your friends.<!–preview-break–>

Nov
09
2012

Joe Klein: Obama's 'Moderate' Mandate

joeklein

Time magazine's Joe Klein found the lesson (11/7/12) in Obama's re-election. And it involves… wait for it… moving to the right: It will, and should, be argued that the election was a mandate for moderation. The last month of Mitt Romney‘s campaign, when he rushed to the center and suddenly made it a race, ratified the real will of the people: a sensible centrism that runs deeper than the over-caffeinated bluster that seems to dominate the media. The election hinted that the third rail of American politics–the certain death that comes to those who question entitlement programs like Social Security […]

Nov
08
2012

Mittmentum: Reporters Thought He Might Win Because He Said So

Asked about the pre-election sense that Mitt Romney might win the election, CNN reporter Candy Crowley told viewers (11/7/12): There was an optimism in the Romney camp. But it wasn't based on the numbers. It was based on the feel of things. And one thing you know when you cover a campaign, the feel of things can be really deceiving. She's not alone–others had the same sense that the numbers couldn't be what they were. A Politico story (10/31/12) reported that this feeling was fairly widespread among elite media: Gov. Mitt Romney's campaign says it still has momentum. President Barack […]

Nov
07
2012

Has Nate Silver Ruined Campaign Journalism?

silver

The results are in: Nate Silver won the election. The New York Times' polling/stats wonk was projecting an Obama victory, and it looks like he basically nailed it. Of course, this outcome thrills Silver's many fans, and has shown pretty clearly that the people the corporate media rely on to make election predictions aren't really good at the thing they're supposed to be good at doing. This is revealing, and should raise the usual questions about why some of these people continue to appear on television as election experts. But since it's very hard to lose your Pundit License, it's […]

Nov
07
2012

Pundits: In Victory, Obama Must Accommodate His Opponents

Matt Bai (photo by Nicole Mays)

With the election over, you're seeing familiar corporate media advice about the need for Obama to move to the right and learn to compromise with Republicans. Some of this is based on a frankly nonsensical view of the polarization that accompanied his first term. Matt Bai of the New York Times writes (11/7/12): There are, of course, plenty of explanations for why Mr. Obama's election did not usher in a less contentious political moment. Republicans say he squandered his opportunity to remake the political climate by adopting a traditionally liberal agenda. They point to his first big initiative, the stimulus […]

Nov
06
2012

It's Awkward for NBC When MSNBC Tells the Truth

The New York Times has a news piece today (11/6/12) reporting that MSNBC is just like Fox News, and isn't that awful. Now, MSNBC, for all its flaws, is not really anything like Fox News. And most of Times reporter Jeremy Peters' evidence for their similarity comes from a Pew study of "positive" and "negative" news coverage–the kind of study that will only be meaningful after someone comes up with an objective scale for measuring how positive or negative reality is. But I was struck by this anecdotal example of the Fox-like "partisan bitterness" supposedly on display on MSNBC: In […]

Nov
06
2012

Final Factcheck: Political Lying Perfectly Balanced

Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler had his last election piece in the Sunday edition of the paper (11/4/12)– and it made you glad there won't be any more. The article promised, in the headline at least, "The Best–or Worst?–Pinocchios of This Presidential Race." What it delivered was something else: Eight themes of lying and deception (like "Silliest Blooper" and "Worst Math Skills"), each with one example drawn from each side. In other words, lying was perfect balanced. And the piece closes with this bizarre attempt at "balance": Most complex subject for spinning–bipartisan effort The Obama administration's memo saying it […]