Jul
09
2013

Washington Post's WikiLeaks/Snowden/Greenwald Conspiracy Theory

Walter Pincus

To Washington Post columnist Walter Pincus, something about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden just doesn't smell right. Lucky for him he gets space in a prestigious newspaper to work out his hunch–apparently without any editors or factcheckers to get in his way.

Jun
19
2013

Michael Hastings, Bridge-Burning Journalist (1980-2013)

Michael Hastings

What Tim Dickinson called Hastings' "enthusiastic breaches of the conventions of access journalism" were what enabled him to report the unguarded assessments of the officers running the occupation of Afghanistan.

Jun
12
2013

Edward Snowden and the State-Identified Journalist

Josh Marshall (Bill Moyers Journal)

Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo (6/11/13) wrote about Edward Snowden yesterday in a way that helped make it clear why so many in the press seem upset that the former NSA consultant revealed the extent of U.S. spying programs aimed at the American public. "I'm a journalist," Marshall wrote. And back when I did national security reporting I tried to get leaks. So I don't think leaks are always wrong…. In fact, leaks are an absolutely critical safety valve against government wrongdoing and/or excessive secrecy. But officials who leak classified information are "breaking an oath and committing a crime," […]

Jun
07
2013

FAIR TV: Bradley Manning, Afghan Atrocity, David Gregory's Phony Gotcha

What's the press saying about the Bradley Manning trial? We take a look at a strange CBS Evening News report about a U.S. atrocity in Afghanistan, and David Gregory thinks he found an Obama flip-flop.

Jun
07
2013

Bob McChesney on Internet Giants and the National Security State

Last week on CounterSpin, we spoke with scholar and media historian Bob McChesney about his new book Digital Disconnect. His closing thoughts seems especially relevant in light of the blockbuster reporting this week from the Guardian and Washington Post.

Jun
05
2013

Brian Williams Makes the Case for Putting NBC on Trial

NBC's Brian Williams called Bradley Manning "the man who may have put U.S. military secrets in the hands of Osama bin Laden." But giving classified information to the public is something that news outlets–including NBC News–routinely do, and each time they do it they too could be accused of "aiding the enemy."

Jun
04
2013

Bradley Manning on TV Network News

manning-nbc

If you care at all about war and peace, press freedom, whistleblowers' rights and the public's right to know what the government is doing, the trial of Bradley Manning is of enormous consequence. It would have been hard for NBC News to come up with a more hostile framing.

May
15
2013

The Problem With Journalism? Scott Pelley Blames the Internet

pelleymap_480x360

CBS anchor Scott Pelley declared, "We are getting big stories wrong, over and over again.'" Well, that sounds like pretty dramatic self-criticism. But, as usual with corporate media self-critiques, Pelley's criticism mostly misses the mark.

May
14
2013

Dead Journalists and the Newseum Scandal

newseum-memorial

A memorial for journalists who died while reporting the news wouldn't seem to be the kind of thing that would attract controversy, but that's exactly what's happened with an exhibit at the Newseum.

May
10
2013

L.A. Times' Distorted Report on USAID

Evo Morales in the L.A. Times

"USAID Develops a Bad Reputation Among Some Foreign Leaders," read a May 7 Los Angeles Times headline, followed by the subhead: The U.S. Agency for International Development doesn't just offer aid to the poor, it also promotes democracy, which is seen as meddlesome or even subversive. Fighting poverty and spreading democracy–what's not to like? And so, the report seems to suggest, there's something a little off about foreign leaders, nine in recent years, who've expelled the agency.  Why else would Bolivian President Evo Morales expel an anti-poverty group from his "impoverished" country, if he wasn't just a little bit crazy? […]

Apr
12
2013

Jeff Cohen on Media Missing the Costs of Militarism

Protester: I Want Education Not War (United for Justice With Peace)

"Today there's an elephant in the room: a huge, yet ignored, issue that largely explains why Social Security is now on the chopping block…. That problem is U.S. militarism and perpetual war."

Apr
08
2013

WikiLeaks: Was Chavez Right About U.S. Meddling?

It's no secret that U.S. media loathed the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Much of that was purely political; sure, Chavez could have given shorter speeches and been nicer to his political opponents–but it's hard to imagine that would have mattered much to, say,  the Washington Post editorial board. One thing that turned up constantly in Chavez coverage over the years was his suspicion that the United States government was looking to undermine his rule. As a Washington Post news article (1/10/13) put it: A central ideological pillar of Chavez's rule over 14 years has been to oppose Republican and […]

Mar
20
2013

Bill Maher Urges Vilification of Bill Maher

Bill Maher

On his last HBO show, Bill Maher complained about how much he and his wealthy cohort pay in taxes. But he's unlikely to get much sympathy from the 2010 version of Bill Maher.