Jul
09
2014

Obama, Inequality and Wall Street Donors

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Is Obama's decision to stop talking about inequality really about a debate within the Democratic Party? Or is it about not losing Wall Street donors?

Apr
29
2014

Netanyahu on Iran (This Time Without the Cartoon Bomb)

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With peace talks on hold, Israeli prime minister is back on US television talking about Iran's supposed nuclear threat. Good thing for him his claims are so rarely challenged.

Mar
05
2014

Putin's 'Delusions' and Double Standards

John Kerry on CBS

Media are suggesting that Russian leader Vladimir Putin's defense of his actions in Ukraine suggests he is delusional. But what do they call it when US leaders appear unable to remember US invasions of other countries?

Feb
13
2014

Good Leaks and Bad Leaks

Politicians go out of their way to denounce whistleblowers and "leakers" whose revelations of classified data, they claim, have harmed national security. But it's always worth pointing out that the outrage is selective.

Feb
05
2014

Falsely Presenting Obamacare as a Job-Killer

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When the Congressional Budget Office released a new report about the Affordable Care Act, some in the media botched the story by portraying the news as a triumph for Republican spin.

Jan
29
2014

The State of AP's Factchecking Is Sad–as Usual

AP's Calvin Woodward

Why does AP still let Calvin Woodward "factcheck" political speeches? Does no one at the news service know what actual factchecking looks like? (If you're coming in late, see FAIR Blog, 10/30/08, 2/25/09, 4/30/09, 1/28/10, 8/31/12.) Woodward's latest venture (1/29/14) into the factcheck genre, following President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech,  produced  yet more illustrations of what not to do when gauging the accuracy of political speech. Take this item: OBAMA: "We'll need Congress to protect more than 3 million jobs by finishing transportation and waterways bills this summer. But I will act on my own to slash […]

Jan
28
2014

AP Distorts Poll to Support Obama's Inequality Dodge

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It's hard to remember a better time for politicians to talk about the issue of income inequality. But according to the Associated Press (1/24/14), Barack Obama's State of the Union address will attempt to shift away that issue–too divisive, apparently–and opt instead for some discussion of economic opportunity. As Jim Kuhnhenn writes: The adjustment reflects an awareness that Obama's earlier language put him at risk of being perceived as divisive and exposed him to criticism that his rhetoric was exploiting the gap between haves and have-nots. He also noted:  Obama's December speech was well received by Democrats and liberals, but […]

Sep
09
2013

On Syria, Sunday Morning TV Journalists Don't Need Proof

FireShot Screen Capture #603 - 'Schieffer_ Don't let the world question U_S_ resolve - CBS News Video' - www_cbsnews_com_video_watch__id=50154599n

The public doesn't seem to support going to war in Syria–but some high-profile Sunday morning TV journalists are declaring their support for the war, or professing faith in the case for going to war.

Sep
03
2013

John Kerry's Very Precise Death Toll: Where Does It Come From?

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Media reports emphasize the number John Kerry gives for the number of Syrians killed in the apparent chemical attack. But where does that number come from–and why is substantially higher than other estimates?

Sep
01
2013

Which Syrian Chemical Attack Account Is More Credible?

Secretary of State John Kerry making the case that Damascus has used chemical weapons (US State Department)

Which account of the mass deaths in Syria should be given more credence: the U.S. government version introduced by Secretary of State John Kerry, or the article published by the Minnesota-based news site Mint Press? The government account expresses "high confidence that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack." The Mint report bore the headline "Syrians in Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack."

Aug
30
2013

On Syria, Intelligence and Evidence

FireShot Screen Capture #599 - 'World News 8_27_ American Warships Moving Closer to Syria Full Episode - World News with Diane Sawyer - ABC News' - abcnews_go_com_watch_world-news-with-diane-

One would hope that the lessons of Iraq might inform more of the coverage of Syria. But that's not always the case. Over the course of the past week, the White House and various officials have been adamant that they have evidence that shows the Syrian government was responsible for the horrific attack last week that likely killed hundreds, and very well could have been a chemical or gas attack of some sort. But too many journalists were treating what the government said it knew as if it was already actual evidence. On NBC Nightly News (8/27/13), Andrea Mitchell reported […]

Aug
23
2013

The NYT Thinks You're an Idiot

Private Chelsea Manning will be serving out a 35-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth prison for revealing classified information to WikiLeaks. Are you confused by that sentence? Not sure what case we're talking about here? Maybe there were two Private Mannings who are now tied for the record of longest prison sentence in the history of this country for whistleblowing? It's hard to imagine that, more than 24 hours after Manning made her gender identity public through a written statement read on the Today show (8/22/13), any reader or viewer would not figure out pretty quickly who the news was talking […]

Aug
07
2013

NSA Defenders Take to the Airwaves

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After intelligence reports about a possible Al-Qaeda attack , the Sunday chat shows were packed with politicians claiming that this meant that the NSA had been vindicated.