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.
With Occupy Wall Street making its May Day comeback, what did the corporate media have to say? Take a look at the New York Times story (5/2/12), which was stuffed in the Metro section and focused on… well, take a look at the headline: About half of the article is focused on arrests, "occasionally bloody clashes" and the like. Before the protests even started, there were warnings about what was to come. On ABC's Good Morning America (5/1/12), Josh Elliot warned viewers: We're gonna begin with what's shaping up to be a potentially brutal morning commute, particularly in major cities […]
International efforts to ban cluster bombs fell apart late last week. If you were reading about this in the New York Times, you might have been led to believe that the United States was pushing to get rid of the weapons–instead of the opposite. Here's the lead sentence from a story in Saturday's paper (11/26/11): GENEVA — Despite last-minute attempts to broker a compromise, American-led efforts to conclude an international treaty restricting use of cluster munitions collapsed on Friday in the face of opposition from countries that said it did not address their humanitarian concerns and would undermine existing international […]
That might explain the piece the wire service ran today, under the headline, "Who's Behind the Wall Street Protests?" Reporters Mark Egan and Michelle Nichols suggest that Glenn Beck's demented chalkboard scribbles might have actually been on the right track; the protests "may have benefited indirectly from the largesse of one of the world's richest men"– George Soros. They write: One name that keeps coming up is investor George Soros, who in September debuted in the top 10 list of wealthiest Americans. Conservative critics contend the movement is a Trojan horse for a secret Soros agenda. Soros and the protesters […]
Will the unfolding crisis in Japan lead to a debate over the safety of nuclear power in the United States? Initial signs are not encouraging. NBC's Meet the Press(3/13/11)had an interview with Marvin Fertel of the Nuclear Energy Institute.Host Chuck Todd prefaced one question with, "Iunderstand that you represent the industry's interests in this…." Later on the show, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D.-N.Y.) was asked to weigh in–since he had been speaking out in favor of nuclear power, a position he doesn't appear to be abandoning: Well, we're going to have to see what happens here. Obviously, it's still, still things […]
Reuters editor-in-chief David Schlesinger sent a memo to staffers on July 8 with the subject line "How Social Media Impacts Your Professional Life," suggesting new rules for journalists' private expressions of opinion. So far, the memo seems to have only been discussed on a German language media blog (Ruhr Barone, 7/22/10). Jumping off from the cases of Dave Weigel and Octavia Nasr, who had to leave jobs at WashingtonPost.com and CNN, respectively, after their online communication became controversial, Schlesinger declares that " in a linked and searchable world, your online persona can reflect on how or even whether you can […]
Reuters (7/14/10) has a report today on the efforts by senators Blanche Lincoln (D.-Arkansas) and Jon Kyl (R.-Arizona) to greatly reduce the amount wealthy estates owe in federal taxes. Under current law, after a one-year suspension, the federal estate tax rate will return to its pre-2001 level of 55 percent, with the first $1 million exempt. Lincoln and Kyl's proposal would change the rate to 35 percent and exempt the first $5 million of an estate. This change would save millionaires $440 billion in its first decade, and add the same amount to the federal deficit. How does Reuters report […]
Voter turnout in last weekend's Haitian Senate elections was very low; observers cited in a Reuters report, "Haitians Largely Boycott Senate Election," estimated it at less than 10 percent, which an Al Jazeera report attributed in part to "resentment over the banning of a popular party"–Fanmi Lavalas–as well as disenchantment with the ruling government and poverty. A short Associated Press report published in the New York Times (4/20/09) about the vote had an odd spin on these issues: The success of Sunday's election was threatened by voter apathy and opposition from the Fanmi Lavalas Party of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. […]