Pundits attack NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Rachel Maddow makes false claims about Iran and nuclear weapons. And the Washington Post's new "Sponsored Views" feature will let let corporations and organizations post "responses" to the paper's op-ed pieces–for a price.
"Democrats on one side, Republicans on the other" is the way conventional Beltway reporters seem to see the world–and it's reflected in their reporting on political events. On the front page of USA Today (6/7/13), Susan Page has a piece wondering if the unfolding scandals surrounding the White House and surveillance will threaten the president's "agenda." That's a strange concern for the moment, but we'll put that aside. The most unusual part of the piece is the very premise: That Obama's actions have verified Republican criticisms of his presidency. As Page puts it, the current story is especially problematic for [...]
USA Today's front-page headline (5/31/13): Churches Sever Scout Sponsorship The online headline, over Bob Smietana's piece on the reaction of church groups that sponsor Boy Scout troops to the Scouts' announced plan to accept gay Scouts was longer but no less sweeping: Religious Regretfully Sever Scout Sponsorships That's bad news for the Scouts, since as the article points out, "about 70 percent of Scout troops are chartered by a faith-based group." Must be tough, losing seven out of 10 sponsors all at once. Except the article doesn't report what the headlines claim at all. The article quotes one church leader, [...]
The Washington Post's Wonkblog has a hopeful headline (5/28/13): The Economy Is Holding Up Surprisingly Well in a Year of Austerity And a version of this piece landed on the front page of the Post's print edition, under the headline "Economy Shows Some Endurance." And here's the good news in a nutshell: Americans with higher incomes are wealthier thanks to the stock market's 16 percent rise so far in 2013. Middle-income earners, whose assets are disproportionately tied up in their homes, are becoming wealthier thanks to higher housing prices–up 10.2 percent in 20 major cities in the year that ended [...]
This week: PBS won't be showing us the documentary Citizen Koch–for some very dubious reasons. Also: The New York Times points out that the U.S. role in supporting genocide in Guatemala was hardly discussed at the trial; the same goes for U.S. media coverage of that trial. And Donald Rumsfeld goes on Meet the Press to talk about accountability. No, it's not what you think.