Jan
03
2014

Always Turning the Corner in the Afghan War

Afghanistan (cc photo: Balazs Gardi)

Brookings think tank hawk Michael O'Hanlon is on the Washington Post op-ed page today trying to convince readers that there are reasons to be hopeful about the Afghan War. It's a story he's been telling for a while now.

Dec
04
2013

Why Can't Karzai Be More Blase About US Killing Kids–Like US Press Is?

nyt-afghans-assail

It's not unheard of for journalists to express strong opinions about how the United States should conduct its wars. But sometimes reporters express their opinions by attributing them to others.

Nov
28
2013

Pretending a Name Is Still Secret–in the Name of the Cult of Secrecy

PTI officials naming CIA official.

The name of the CIA's station chief in Pakistan is out, and it's been out for a long time; concealing it from US readers doesn't make anyone any safer. But it does help bolster the cult of secrecy,

Nov
25
2013

How Many Unnamed Officials Does It Take to Deny Civilian Deaths?

Hamid Karzai (cc photo: Smithsonian/Jim Wallace)

What do you do when the president of another country says US forces killed civilians there? You get US and other allied officials to anonymously deny it.

Nov
25
2013

NYT Miscounts Obama's Afghan Troops Numbers

US special forces in Afghanistan (cc photo: US Navy/Clayton Weis)

Most people know that Obama did not take office in 2010. So why offer that as the starting point in an analysis of how Obama is "bring[ing] the troops home" from Afghanistan?

Nov
14
2013

Attributing Weather Events to Climate Change Is the Easy Part

Typhoon Haiyan

Climate change caused Typhoon Haiyan–in the basic and obvious sense that Haiyan would not have happened in the absence of climate change.

Oct
23
2013

iPads, Flying Pets and Other Things More Newsworthy Than Deadly Drone Strikes

People gather near the wreckage of a car destroyed by a U.S. drone air strike that targeted suspected al Qaeda militants in August 2012, in al-Qatn

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch both released reports on civilian deaths from US drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen. Despite being front-page news in the New York Times, the reports were absent from the network evening newscasts.

Oct
15
2013

Drones, the Media and Malala's Message

Malala-Yousafzai_2700395b

Corporate media were very interested in Malala Yousafzai's message about standing up to the Taliban. But her comments about US drone strikes? Not so newsworthy.

Sep
24
2013

Asking What Kissinger Thinks–but Not What He Did

Henry Kissinger (cc photo: Brandon)

Henry Kissinger counts on his friends in the elite media to not bother him with questions about his past.

Sep
13
2013

From Time to State PR: A Big Jump?

The latest media-politics revolving door news is that Time managing editor Richard Stengel is leaving the magazine and heading over to the State Department to be the new undersecretary of State for public diplomacy and public affairs. That's PR–or maybe propaganda, if you prefer that term.

Aug
30
2013

When It Comes to State Violence, Too Much Is Never Enough

U.S. warship firing one of 110 cruise missiles at Libyan forces (photo: DoD)

Time magazine's Michael Crowley (9/9/13) offers an analysis of how the Syrian situation reflects on Barack Obama's presidency: Whatever comes of Obama's confrontation with Assad, an even more dangerous confrontation lies in wait–the one with Iran. If another round of negotiations with Tehran should fail, Obama may soon be obliged to make good on his vow to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. "I will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to defend the United States and its interests," Obama told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in March 2012. But to his critics, Obama does […]

Aug
15
2013

NYT Sees Shift in Global Economy–by Using a Lot of Imagination

Earth (NASA/Reto Stöckli)

You begin to see why Nathaniel Popper doesn't include numbers–because they completely contradict his thesis of a dramatic shift in global growth patterns.

Aug
01
2013

The Government Can't Prove Bradley Manning Hurt Anyone–but Joe Klein Knows

JoeKleinHardball

The government isn't having much luck showing the real world harm done by Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks. Perhaps they should call in Time columnist Joe Klein–he knows "for a fact" that bad things happened.