Noticing that "days ago, buried in a chart under the headline "How the Health Care Bills Compare," the New York Times provided some cogent yet cryptic information," Norman Solomon (Guernica, 7/23/09) has done some valuable decoding of a Senate committee bill's "public plan that would 'compete with private insurers,'" as "the Times chart explained on July 18": The public plan "would provide 'only the essential health benefits,' as defined by the bill, 'except in states that offer additional benefits.'" Meanwhile, the newspaper noted, "Democrats from three House committees are working on a single plan." Under that plan, "Different levels of […]
Free Press campaign coordinator Misty Perez has sent out (7/15/09) a call to action in light of the astonishing figure that "in the first three months of 2009, the phone and cable industries spent at least $20 million to hire more than 400 lobbyists" in an effort to "push for policies that fatten phone and cable profits while leaving us with an Internet that is too expensive and too slow." Why their sense of urgency?: Right now, the FCC is crafting a national broadband plan that could fix our national broadband problem. FCC Commissioner Michael Copps called this plan "the […]
In Women In Media & News' announcement (6/18/09) that former FAIR staffer Jennifer Pozner has won a New Leaders Council "40 Under 40" Award–given to those "who exemplify the spirit of progressive political entrepreneurship"–Women's Rights blogger Jennifer Nedeau spells out why "women in media are crucial to the future of progressive leadership": Because they can often best represent the issues that matter most to progressives. Women own a large stake in issues of equality, civil rights, a stable economy, a clean environment, accessible healthcare and education, among other progressive topics. More women need to be seen on television, read in […]
Sure that Andrew Sullivan "would be horrified" by the idea that he and Cindy Sheehan agree on anything, Jonathan Schwarz nonetheless quotes (A Tiny Revolution, 4/25/09) the Atlantic.com blogger's declaration of "love" for the Internet, because "can you imagine what those thugs would have gotten away with without it?" Sheehan's similar 2005 statement–"Thank God for the Internet, or we wouldn't know anything, and we would already be a fascist state"–spurs Schwarz to celebrate the democratizing power of online media: I'm not sure we'd be a fascist state without the beautiful, beautiful tubes. But the difference they've made is gigantic. Recall […]
A new FAIR action alert calls on the Fox News Channel to answer for host Bill O'Reilly's pattern of ambushing his critics. O'Reilly (O'Reilly Factor, 3/23/08) recently targeted Think Progress blog editor Amanda Terkel while she was on vacation, sending his producer Jesse Watters to confront Terkel in one of the ambush-style interviews that he specializes in. Terkel had dared to point out that O'Reilly, who was invited to speak at a fundraiser for a foundation for rape survivors, had previously suggested that a "moronic" rape/murder victim had invited assault by her drinking and the way she was dressed. FAIR's […]
A new FAIR action alert is targeting CNN host Lou Dobbs for peddling anti-union propaganda about the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), after Dobbs falsely suggested on his show (Lou Dobbs Tonight, 2/4/09) that the proposed new labor law would "end a secret ballot." In fact, the EFCA would not take away workers' rights to have a secret vote if they choose to; it would take away employers' ability to force workers to have such a vote. (Click here to watch Dobbs' misleading report about EFCA.) You can take action by emailing Dobbs at email@example.com. Please copy and paste your […]
FAIR issued a press release today (2/4/09) challenging the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation over false and biased claims made by its ombud after the CBC came under pressure from a campaign launched by groups that advocate for uncritical coverage of the Israeli government. The campaign was launched in response to CBC's October 23, 2008 airing of the 2003 educational documentary Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land (which can be viewed online here). The film cited a FAIR report on U.S. media coverage of the Israel/Palestine conflict, prompting the CBC's French-language radio ombud Julie Miville-Dechene (12/08) to question the independence of FAIR's […]
Media critic Brad Friedman explains (BradBlog.com, 1/21/09) exactly why he considers media reform "the most important…reform of all at this particular point in the 21st century": While the Supreme Court has declared many times that the right to vote is protective of all other rights, I'd suggest that the right to be informed, accurately, via our nation's publicly owned airwaves, is the right that ensures our right to vote is ultimately protective of anything. With our current hard-right-leaning corporate media landscape, every attempted reform, including Election Reform, by any Democratic administration, must overcome a nearly impossible crucible of right-wing opposition–and […]
Posting his letter to the New York Times on FAIR Blog, FAIR activist bpb points out that not only is Thomas Friedman claiming that terrorism works, he's making up evidence to claim that terrorism works: There is no evidence for Thomas Friedman's contention that after Israel's 2006 war with Hizballah, "Lebanese civilians, in anguish, said to Hezbollah: 'What were you thinking? Look what destruction you have visited on your own community! For what? For whom?'" In fact, in the month following the war, a public opinion poll conducted in Lebanon confirmed the opposite: that Lebanese public opinion strongly favored Hizballah. […]
In the wake of NY Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman's call today for terrorism against Palestinian civilians in Gaza, a new FAIR Action Alert is calling on the Times to clarify whether this column meets the paper's standards. You can post copies of your letters to the New York Times in the comments section below. Please remember that letters that maintain a civil tone are most effective.
Readers of the French wire agency Agence France Presse learned yesterday about a demonstration on Saturday in which "several thousand protesters descended on the White House Saturday in support of Palestinians in war-ravaged Gaza" before marching to "the headquarters of the Washington Post newspaper to protest" what one of the demonstration organizers identified as "its hard pro-Israeli line." Strangely, readers of the Washington Post would have been hard-pressed to find anything about the demonstration targeting their newspaper. There was no mention of the rally and march in the paper's A section, and the event wasn't even mentioned in the metro […]
A Free Press open letter continues the push (12/18/08) for Barack Obama "to appoint leaders who will reform the media and protect the open Internet." The letter's diverse signatories include FAIR, along with the Center for American Progress, Service Employees International Union, National Organization for Women, American Library Association, UNITY: Journalists of Color, the Hip Hop Caucus, bloggers from DailyKos and members of Pearl Jam. Specifically, public-interest groups, bloggers and the creative community strongly support Obama's pledges to diversify media ownership, renew public media and promote fast, affordable, open Internet access. The letter's signers now call on Mr. Obama to […]
Thanks in advance to all the folks who are participating in FAIR's action alert, "Media Still Letting Bush Lie on Iraq Inspectors." Please post any responses you receive from ABC and the Washington Post in the comments section of this blog. Update: Feel free to post your letters to ABC and the Washington Post here as well.