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,

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.

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 […]

Mar
22
2013

FAIR TV: Scarborough's War, Steubenville, Drone 'Debate'

FAIRTV032213

This week on FAIR TV: Joe Scarborough remembers some things about the Iraq War–but forgets the things he said back then. We'll take a look at the CNN Steubenville coverage that had so many critics outraged. And the Washington Post presented two takes on drone deaths in Pakistan.

Mar
18
2013

Two Sides to Every Drone Death

John Brennan and Dianne Feinstein

The UN's special human rights envoy found that the CIA's drone strikes in Pakistan have "resulted in far more civilian casualties than the U.S. government has recognized." But that message was muddled by the Washington Post's he said-she said approach to the question of civilian deaths.

Feb
26
2013

Oscar Rights Some Historical Wrongs, Creates Some New Ones

Ben Affleck in Argo

Many have exposed the fictions of Argo; Salon's Andrew O'Hehir described the film as "a propaganda fable." But when the Academy chose Argo and almost ignored Zero Dark Thirty, I cheered.

Dec
17
2012

What if Children Mattered No Matter Where They Lived–and Died?

usat-bales

When we draw comparisons between a particular event and other similar tragedies, it is not to say that they all matter equally, but to remind ourselves that we're conditioned to feel that some matter quite a bit more than others.

Nov
30
2012

FAIR TV: NYT Counts Drone Victims, CBS=CEOs, AP's Iran Nukes Hoax

The new episode of FAIR TV is here!  CBS tells us what CEOs think about the "fiscal cliff" and the New York Times counts drone victimsРbut not very many of them. And did the Associated Press fall for a hoax with their latest "exclusive" on Iran and nuclear weapons? Check it outРand share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter:

Nov
30
2012

NYT Undercounts Drone Deaths in Pakistan

bureau-pakistan

The New York Times editorial page (11/30/12) weighs in on the Obama administration's drone policies. What the paper wants is more accountability: The government "must stay within formal guidelines based on the rule of law." That's all well and good–but the paper should do a better job of counting the innocents killed by drone attacks. The Times explains that aspect of the story this way: For eight years, the United States has conducted but never formally acknowledged a program to kill terrorists associated with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban away from the battlefield in Afghanistan. Using drones, the Central Intelligence Agency […]

Sep
06
2012

NYT Still Has a Torture Problem

What do you call it when prisoners are slammed into walls, forced to wear diapers, placed in stress positions and subjected to drowning? You call that torture–unless you're the New York Times, and the United States is accused of being the torturers. A new report from Human Rights Watch indicates the group has found another victim of CIA waterboarding. This is especially significant because the Agency has long claimed that they had only tortured three people this way. The Human Rights Watch investigation was reported in the New York Times (9/6/12) by Charlie Savage and Scott Shane. But their report […]

Jun
18
2012

Pakistan's Weird Media

Pakistan has seen a television revolution over the past decade or so, opening up the political dialogue and in some cases giving voice to pro-democracy demonstrators. But there's been a downside, as the New York Times noted: But the television revolution has also, in some respects, been bad news for Pakistan. Some shows have given an unchallenged platform to extremists like Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the founder of the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, for whom the United States has offered a $10 million bounty. Conservative clerics have used the airwaves to reinforce prejudice and even urge violence against minorities. Editorial independence is […]

Jun
06
2012

NYT: Drone Strikes 'Combat Militancy' by Increasing Militants

In today's New York Times article (6/6/12) about the apparent drone killing of Al-Qaeda "deputy leader" Abu Yahya al-Libi, Declan Walsh and Eric Schmitt write: If his death is borne out this time, it would be a milestone in a covert eight-year airstrike campaign that has infuriated Pakistani officials but that has remained one of the United States' most effective tools in combating militancy. That's revealing. It's inarguable that the drones kill people the U.S. government wants to kill, and some it doesn't intend to kill. But does this really qualify as "combating militancy"? In Yemen, the increase in drone¬† […]