The Washington Post brings us the story of a right-wing U.S. businessman who is in a very public fight over the work habits of the French. Yes, we all know the folklore about the lazy French. What would be helpful here is some dose of reality–that's what journalism can be good for.
On the new FAIR TV: The Washington Post says France had better slash wages and benefits in order to be more like Spain. Why would they want to do that? The New York Times erases a headline referring to the occupation of the West Bank. And when the Wall Street Journal wanted to show what the new tax deal meant for "you"–who exactly did they have in mind?
With an unemployment rate at just over 26 percent and regular street protests against government austerity policies, it's hard to imagine anyone holding up Spain as a model. But Howard Schneider, writing in the Washington Post, does just that–warning France that it had better shape up and be more like Spain:
The new episode of FAIR TV is here, featuring misreporting on Iran's nuclear energy program, NewsHour lecturing labor leaders on Labor Day, and some of the most embarrassing biographical puffery for a presidential candidate you're likely to ever hear. Please share it with your friends, and let us know what you think in comments below.
Parliamentary elections in Greece saw the conservative-leaning New Democracy party win a narrow victory over the left-wing anti-austerity Syriza coalition. This was good news for an array of major players who prefer Greece to stick to the current punishing bailout plan arranged by European countries. ABC World News showed which angle mattered most when anchor Diane Sawyer led a report (6/18/12) on the election results this way: And now we move on to your money and the momentary sigh of relief for every American with a 401(k). The voters of Greece this weekend decided to stay the course in Europe, […]
The election results in Greece and France sent a clearer message about austerity: Voters don't like it. That sentiment isn't hard to fathom; massive spending cuts and pay cuts aren't fixing the problems in their economies–they're making things worse. Media coverage seems to be clearer these days about what the public thinks of austerity. But the assumption that austerity is mostly "good" still seems firmly in place. Like this Washington Post lead (5/7/12): Voters in France and Greece redrew Europe's political map Sunday in a powerful backlash against the German-led cure for the region's debt crisis: painful austerity. It's not […]
James Traub seemed a little bummed in a Sunday New York Times op-ed ("The End of American Intervention?," 2/18/10), that military cuts and changing priorities will mean fewer humanitarian interventions in America's future. So we must accept, if uneasily, the future which now seems to lie before us: We will do less good in the world, but also less harm. A leading advocate of "humanitarian intervention," Traub doesn't waste many words on the "harm" produced the by two decades of them, but he seems pretty sure about the "good." For instance, he writes that the post-Cold War period "raised the […]
Niall Ferguson is undoubtedly an expert. As the bio on his Newsweek column points out, he's "a professor of history at Harvard University. He is also a senior research fellow at Jesus College, Oxford University, and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution." His latest column (1/23/12) is about the need to sell the public on the policies recommended by experts: To the kind of people who spend their careers inside elite institutions, the technocratic turn is welcome. Decisions about economic policy, they reason, are too difficult to be entrusted to the people's elected representatives…. But there's a catch. The […]
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou's call for a referendum on the EU bailout package seems to have prompted media outlets to rummage through their store of Greek cliches. The Washington Post's editorial against "Mr. Papandreou's ill-advised announcement of a referendum" led with a classical reference: Not since the night when soldiers emerged from the belly of a giant wooden horse in ancient Troy has Greece engineered a more stunning surprise. On the CBS Evening News (11/1/11), Mark Phillips weighed in with a culinary metaphor: This was supposed to be the week that world leaders gathered in France to chart the […]
There was an interesting piece in the New York Times yesterday (8/1/11) by Elizabeth Jensen about plans to ship PBS programming across the pond. It's a hard concept to get your head around, especially if you're under the impression that Britain's public broadcasting system is superior to our own. That might not be the strangest part, though: W. David Lyons, chairman and chief executive of the Orca Exploration Group, which operates a Tanzanian natural gas field, is backing the PBS UK project financially. PBS described him as "a Canadian-born entrepreneur and venture philanthropist" who "grew up on PBS programming and […]
Glenn Beck (7/25/11, via Mediaite, 7/25/11) explains on his radio show why the right-wing Norway terror suspect is what we call left-wing here in America: This was one of the episodes where I showed the railroad tracks that were different than America. In America, the left railroad track is gigantic government–it could be Communist or Fascist, it doesn't matter, it's giant government. The other side of the track is anarchy or very, very small government. So that's the left and right here in America. The Left and Right in Europe, because, once they got rid of the kings, they didn't […]
A USA Today headline (4/28/11): Americans, Here and There, Get Swept Up by the Royal Wedding Much further down in the piece, evidence of that sweeping feeling: Polls initially indicated that most Americans were underwhelmed by the royal nuptials, but interest has spiked as the wedding day nears. U.S. media outlets are publishing twice the amount of coverage as the British media, according to a new Nielsen study. So people don't care about it, but the media care a lot–which is evidence of, well, something. And more on that: Jane Seymour, the actress-turned-correspondent for ET, says she hasn't met anyone […]
Working in a time-honored corporate media genre (Extra!, 9-10/97, 9-10/05, 7/10), the Washington Post's Edward Cody (4/24/11) tells us that Europe just can't afford its generous social programs: From blanket health insurance to long vacations and early retirement, the cozy social benefits that have been a way of life in Western Europe since World War II increasingly appear to be luxuries the continent can no longer afford. Lest you think "appear" provides some wiggle room, Cody makes clear that, no, he's talking about objective truth here: In the new reality, workers have been forced to accept salary freezes, decreased hours, […]