Jul
01
2013

Press Latched On to Snowden's 'Dropout' Status

Megyn Kelly and Chris Stirewalt

Edward Snowden has been characterized as many things in recent weeks, but journalists' discounting him as a "high-school dropout" speaks volumes about media portrayals of education.

Jun
27
2013

Snowden Is Helping Terrorists (But Don't Quote Me on That)

ap-snowden-ways

It looks like we might be on to a new phase in the Edward Snowden saga: anonymous government officials going to compliant media outlets to complain that his revelations have made it easier for terrorists to evade capture.

Jun
18
2013

Spinning Surveillance via Discredited NSA Talking Points

Barack Obama on Charlie Rose

What might it say about the depth of NSA's record of success stories that, even after its prime exhibit is debunked, the White House is still retailing the story, the second time around with muddled language?

Jun
17
2013

Syria and Sarin: Skepticism Still Warranted

David Gregory (cc photo: CSIS)

When it comes to Syria, corporate media typically betray a lack of skepticism when it comes to government claims about the WMDs of "enemy" countries. But there are notable exceptions.

Jun
05
2013

After a Massacre, a 'Glimmer of Hope'?

CBS's Elizabeth Palmer in Afghanistan.

In a courtroom base near Tacoma, Washington, Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales will plead guilty today to killing 16 civilians–most of them women and children–in an Afghan village on March 11, 2012. A little more than a year later, U.S. media seem to have not much interest left in the Bales case.

May
28
2013

Did Obama's Speech Really 'Narrow' the War?

p052313ps-0324_1

If you followed the coverage of President Barack Obama's May 23 speech at the National Defense University, you would think something big happened to the "war on terror." That was probably the message the White House wanted the press to send. But is true?

May
17
2013

Is There Really a 'Scandal Trifecta'?

Benghazi, the Justice Department seizing AP phone records, and the IRS targeting Tea Party groups: Much of the Beltway press corps–which has pushed the Benghazi story for months–is seeing the Obama presidency in a state of near free-fall. But what's actually happening?

May
16
2013

The Supreme Court Is an Ass

The government attacking press freedom.

From Free Press's helpful explainer of the AP phone records scandal, noting the legal background: Smith v. Maryland — In this 1979 decision, the Supreme Court found that people have no expectation of privacy when it comes to the numbers they call because they understand it has to be transmitted through a third party (telephone company). Thus, the [Digital Media Law Project] notes,  "the government can obtain that information simply by issuing a subpoena to a telephone company or other third party." As Mr. Bumble says, "If the law supposes that, the law is a ass–a idiot." Everyone who wouldn't […]

May
06
2013

What's the Standard on Reporting Israeli Airstrikes?

nyt-iran-syria-missiles

The claims made about Israeli airstrikes against Syria could be true, or not. What is certain is that the assessments of the airstrikes are being shared anonymously by governments involved in carrying them out, a scenario that cries out for more skepticism.

Apr
30
2013

Syria and the 'Red Line' Nonsense

Red line (cc photo: Michael Lusk)

The pundits' message on Barack Obama's talk of a "red line" on Syria is that they are concerned about the credibility of the president's threats of violence–much more so than about the credibility of his evidence.

Apr
26
2013

Texas Fertilizer Plant Disaster: Little Coverage, Much of It Wrong

West Fertilizer Co. plant

The West Fertilizer Co. explosion last week was largely obscured by blanket coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing. More than that, says legendary EPA whistleblower Hugh Kaufman, a guest on this week's CounterSpin, what coverage there was often obscured the real story.

Apr
23
2013

George W. Bush Is a Swell Guy, Just Ask His Friends

natl-journal-good-man

The opening of the George W. Bush library is generating coverage about the state of the Bush legacy. But if the journalists who were far too generous in their coverage of Bush's presidency are the same ones writing about how that presidency should be viewed now, he's in safe hands.

Apr
22
2013

Don't Quote Me by Name, But My Friends the Koch Brothers Respect the Hell Out of Press Freedom

LA_TImes-Koch.fw

The New York Times finds anonymous sources to assure us that the Koch brothers are not trying to buy the Tribune newspapers in order to "destroy the other side." But Mother Jones finds an actual person who explains how the Kochs actually treat media outlets whose reporting they don't like.