If you think public television exists to offer challenging, independent news and public affairs shows that bring us stories the stories the commercial media too often ignore, free of the influence of big sponsors and corporate owners… well, this hasn't been a good week.
When NewsHour anchor Gwen Ifill said, "We will hear more from Margaret [Warner] as she travels through Israel, the West Bank and Gaza over the next week and a half," That sounded like it could be be an interesting opportunity for TV viewers to get a glimpse of Palestinian life. But that's not what PBS chose to put on the air.
NBC's Richard Engel report that "what we've been able to confirm" is that a Syrian convoy attacked by Israel "was packed with fairly sophisticated Russian anti-aircraft missiles." It is highly doubtful that Engel could "confirm" any such thing–unless by "confirm" he means that NBC is confirming that government sources are claiming what they are claiming.
On Monday's edition of the NewsHour (1/28/13), host Gwen Ifill referred to concerns about the "threat posed by Iran's nuclear program," and told viewers that a story "looks at the debate in Israel over how to deal with the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran." How hard is it for NewsHour to understand that allegations are not facts?
In the latest edition of FAIR TV: Did Barack Obama's inaugural address really signify a shift to the left? Plus the Washington Post gives the government a chance to make anonymous claims about how much Iranians are suffering due to their sanctions policy. And PBS takes a look at drones,with special funding from… drone manufacturer Lockheed Martin? Take a look:
Republicans and various right-wing commentators have had a thing for talking about the supposedly "anti-business" tilt of the Obama administration. It's never made much sense–and it doesn't make any more sense now that pundits are reacting to news that Obama will tap his current chief of staff Jack Lew to be his next Treasury secretary.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez might be excused for harboring some hard feelings towards a government that helped to try to overthrow your own. Which may be why U.S. reports rarely bring up the 2002 coup attempt–and when they do, treat Washington's involvement in it as another nutty Chavez conspiracy theory.