Nov
22
2013

FAIR TV: Obamacare: Katrina or Iraq War?, Paul Ryan PR, CNN's Pandora Response

Three Mile Island (cc photo: Richard Owens)

This week on FAIR TV: Obamacare is like Hurricane Katrina? No, says one pundit: It's like Obama's Iraq War. Also this week: The Washington Post does PR for Paul Ryan as a poverty fighter, and CNN responds to its unbalanced pro-nuclear documentary with…a pro-nuke panel discussion.

Oct
25
2013

FAIR TV: Unreported Drone Reports, Schieffer Wants to Tackle Poverty, CNN's Pro-Nuke Propaganda

fairtv102513

This week we look at what the big TV networks covered instead of the new reports about US drone attacks. Plus CBS host Bob Schieffer calls for more discussions of issues that matter, and CNN is set to air some pro-nuclear power propaganda.   

Sep
14
2012

NYT Buries the Lead on Iran

Part of being a journalist–the most important part, perhaps–is deciding which information is most relevant to readers. So take a look at today's New York Times piece (9/14/12) on Iran's nuclear program.  The focus is on Israeli threats and where it says it is drawing its "red line" for military action. But this focus is distorting one of the most important facts about the conflict. Mark Landler and Helene Cooper explain that Israeli leaders are unhappy with the White House position: Israeli officials, however, say this guarantee may not be enough for Israel, which Iranian leaders have repeatedly threatened with […]

Jan
26
2012

The Japanese Nuclear Establishment vs. the Two-Thirds 'Minority'

There's a news article in the Washington Post today (1/26/12) that really captures that paper's view of the way the world works, and how it ought to work. Headlined "After Earthquake, Japan Can't Agree on the Future of Nuclear Power," Chico Harlan's piece begins: The hulking system that once guided Japan's pro-nuclear-power stance worked just fine when everybody moved in lockstep. But in the wake of a nuclear accident that changed the way this country thinks about energy, the system has proved ill-suited for resolving conflict. Its very size and complexity have become a problem. And what exactly is that […]

Jul
11
2011

Is Japan Threatened by Anti-Nuke Politicians…or by Nukes?

I was struck by this headline in the Washington Post (7/10/11): Loss of Support for Nuclear Power Threatens Japan's Economy There are probably a lot of things that are threatening the Japanese economy–a massive, deadly earthquake and tsunami, for instance. Or the massive nuclear disaster that resulted from that tsunami. The news here is that Japanese officials are doing inspections of their nuclear reactors–as they've always done. The problem, apparently, is that they're doing more than that: Under ordinary circumstances, these shutdowns would be temporary. Instead, they loom as an urgent problem for Japan, whose government–itself divided over nuclear policy–has […]

Jun
03
2011

NYT Explains German Nuclear Irrationality

The New York Times' Alan Cowell had a piece (6/2/11) about public opposition to nuclear power in Germany, and the fact that the country's political leadership has decided to establish policies that conform to that sentiment. It apparently left the Times a bit perplexed: But the German move also raised a question whose answer seemed elusive: What is there in this land of 82 million people that has, over decades, bred an aversion to nuclear energy that seems unrivaled among its economic peers, defying its reputation for reasoned debate? Cowell reveals that Germans overwhelmingly oppose nuclear power, especially after the […]

Apr
12
2011

Media and Nuclear Energy: Interlocking Industries

While the Fukushima nuclear disaster has gotten plenty of attention on network programming, the debate has consistently overlooked the most fundamental question of whether nuclear power can be harnessed safely (FAIR Blog, 3/14/11). In asking why this question remains muted, a look at their boards of directors reveals that all three major broadcast networks share at least two members with companies that produce or transmit nuclear energy. With nuclear powerhouse General Electric as co-owner of NBC, it's not surprising that GE's CEO Jeffery Immelt and CFO Keith Sherin both sit as directors on the network's board. But it's not the […]

Mar
24
2011

USA Today 'Debates' Nuclear Power

USA Today has a regular left-right feature between hard-right pundit Cal Thomas and TV "liberal" Bob Beckel. Today's topic? Nuclear power. And the verdict? Well, the headline tells you all you need to know. Knee-Jerks and Nukes Cal and Bob agree that despite the chorus of hand-wringers, it would be foolish to give up on nuclear power plants in the wake of Japan's tragedy To give you a sense of the seriousness of the discussion, here's Beckel criticizing Joe Lieberman: Bob: I grew up in his home state near one of the country's oldest nuclear power plants (the Connecticut Yankee […]

Mar
23
2011

NYT Radiation Reassurance: Ground Zero Deja Vu

The New York Times' reassuring reporting on the radioactive plume drifting across the U.S. continues the paper's troubling tradition of parroting comforting words from officials in the midst of modern-day environmental crises–like the environmental fallout post-9/11. Let's compare headlines: "Radiation Over U.S. Is Harmless, Officials Say" (3/22/11) "Workers and Residents Are Safe, Officials Say" (11/2/01) As I have documented (Extra!, 11-12/06), in the months and years following the September 11 attacks, the Times ignored studies and voices that cast strong doubt on official proclamations that the air and dust near Ground Zero were not a serious hazard. Andrew Revkin, the […]

Mar
22
2011

NYT's Reassuring Radiation Reporting

The radioactive plume from Japan wafting from west to east across the U.S. is absolutely nothing to worry about, writes William J. Broad in a New York Times report today ("Radiation Over U.S. Is Harmless, Officials Say," 3/22/11) about the radiation threats posed by the Japanese nuclear plant disaster. Broad writes: Health experts said that the plume's radiation had been diluted enormously in its journey of thousands of miles and that–at least for now, with concentrations so low–its presence will have no health consequences in the United States. In a similar way, faint radiation from the Chernobyl disaster spread around […]

Mar
18
2011

Ann Coulter on O'Reilly: Radiation Is Good for You

At a time when the Japanese prime minister is describing his country's nuclear crisis and the growing threat of radiation exposure as "very grave," it must have been comforting for Fox News watchers to turn on the O'Reilly Factor last night (3/17/11) to see Ann Coulter telling them that radiation is actually good for you. Yes, Coulter told O'Reilly viewers, the evidence was right there in the media, including in the newspaper she'd once hoped would be targeted with a terror attack: I'm citing a stunning number of physicists and from the New York Times and the Times of London, […]

Mar
18
2011

NYT Explains Peculiar Japanese Customs

The New York Times (3/17/11) presents a look at the Japanese government's lack of candor about the Fukushima nuclear disaster. At first we're given the impression that this is something cultural: "The less-than-straight talk is rooted in a conflict-averse culture that avoids direct references to unpleasantness." We don't have that problem, I guess. Then, we're told, Japanese media are to blame: Left-leaning news outlets have long been skeptical of nuclear power and of its backers, and the mutual mistrust led power companies and their regulators to tightly control the flow of information about nuclear operations so as not to inflame […]

Mar
16
2011

The End of the Nuclear 'Renaissance'?

If you've tracked media coverage of nuclear power, you know that every few months or so nuclear power is about to enjoy a comeback. The "nuclear renaissance" has always been right around the corner, we've often been told. Take the New York Times, for example: -Few industries have enjoyed the kind of renaissance that nuclear power may be poised to undergo. (5/23/01) -After decades in the doghouse because of environmental, safety and cost concerns, nuclear power is enjoying a renaissance of expectations. (editorial, 5/29/01) -Energy shortages may be creating talk of a nuclear power renaissance. (6/28/01) -"Much Talk of a […]