Apr
07
2014

Kristol's Funny Obamacare Numbers

Bill Kristol

Since he left Fox News Channel in 2013, conservative pundit Bill Kristol now gets to play TV expert on a range of outlets. On April 6, he showed up on ABC's This Week to misinform viewers about healthcare.

Apr
01
2014

'Straight Shooter' Chris Christie and the Occupied Territories

Fox host Chris Wallace

What happened when Republican 'straight shooter" Chris Christie accurately called the West Bank occupied territory? He apologized.

Nov
01
2013

Whose Obamacare Stories Are Worth Telling?

NBC-insurance

Stories about individuals losing their insurance policies are making the national news. But how often do those gaining insurance through the Affordable Care Act make the news?

Jun
10
2013

What Did Samantha Power Say About Iraq Invasion?

Samantha Power on Democracy Now!

The New York Times says that UN Ambassador-nominee Samantha Power "criticized the American invasion of Iraq because it lacked the council's stamp, among other reasons." But what did Power actually say about the Iraq War before it happened?

May
10
2013

L.A. Times' Distorted Report on USAID

Evo Morales in the L.A. Times

"USAID Develops a Bad Reputation Among Some Foreign Leaders," read a May 7 Los Angeles Times headline, followed by the subhead: The U.S. Agency for International Development doesn't just offer aid to the poor, it also promotes democracy, which is seen as meddlesome or even subversive. Fighting poverty and spreading democracy–what's not to like? And so, the report seems to suggest, there's something a little off about foreign leaders, nine in recent years, who've expelled the agency.  Why else would Bolivian President Evo Morales expel an anti-poverty group from his "impoverished" country, if he wasn't just a little bit crazy? […]

Dec
04
2012

Think We Live in a Colorblind Era? Welcome to Wet Seal

Wet Seal logo

When pundits wax rhapsodic about the "colorblind" era we live in–or fulminate against affirmative action policies as interfering with that "post-racial" state–some of us think of cases like Wet Seal.

Nov
06
2012

FCC Wants to End Persecution of Media Moguls

Orson Welles in Citizen Kane

The L.A. Times (11/6/12) reports that following the election, the Federal Communications Commission appears likely to ease cross-ownership rules–because supposedly nobody cares about that stuff anymore. The article by reporter Jim Puzzanghera tries to work up sympathy for media moguls: Paul Boyle, senior vice president for public policy at the Newspaper Association of America, said the rules make it difficult for investors who have as little as a 5 percent ownership in a broadcast company to buy a newspaper in the same market. Pity the poor billionaire who owns a mere 5 percent of Disney or Time Warner–and still they're […]

Aug
23
2012

Missing From LAT Report on Romney's Energy Plan: Journalism

"Mitt Romney Sees Path to Energy Independence," an L.A. Times piece by Seema Mehta (8/22/12), doesn't mention climate change at all. It also doesn't mention tar sands, the Canadian oil deposits whose extraction would devastate the environment, even though that's what Romney's talking about when he says that approving the Keystone pipeline will be one of the keys to energy independence for "North America." Nor does it mention the ongoing ecological disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, even though that's surely relevant to Romney touting offshore drilling as the other major piece of his energy plan. The story also leads […]

Jul
02
2012

Do You Change the Weather When You Change the Climate? Yes

Illinois Drought

FAIR has noted the tendency of corporate media to play down the connection of extreme weather to climate change. (See Neil deMause's piece in Extra!, 8/11.) This summer, as the country is beset by another devastating wave of drought and fires, the approach seems to be to acknowledge climate change–in the 10th paragraph–but end up by concluding that it's impossible to say whether there's any connection between climate change and any particular weather phenomenon. As in this L.A. Times piece (7/2/12): Since 2000, it has not been uncommon for wildfire seasons to end with a tally of 7 million to […]

Feb
08
2012

LAT: Where's the Drone Deaths Coverage?

A Los Angeles Times editorial (2/7/12) begins: When the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism released a report Sunday claiming that U.S. drone strikes have killed dozens of civilian rescuers and mourners in Pakistan, the American media scarcely noticed. It's a good point.The Bureau's report got remarkably little media attention. A New York Times story (which included an anonymous U.S. official smearing the researchers as Al-Qaeda sympathizers) might be the only story in the mainstream media; the only stories coming up in the Nexis news database are from Antiwar.com (2/5/12) and papers in Pakistan. The report was covered on Democracy Now! […]

Sep
21
2011

We Can't Talk About Class Because We Can't Talk About Why We Can't Talk About Class

In the L.A. Times today (9/21/11), media reporter James Rainey asks a very important question: In a week that saw the number of people in poverty hit a half-century high and President Obama propose a tax increase on those with million-dollar incomes, will America and the American media finally dig in for a serious conversation about class? And his evaluation of the media's performance on wealth-and-poverty issues accords with what FAIR has found when we've looked at the coverage (Extra!, 9-10/07, 6/10). Here's Rainey's take: Even though economists say the gap between haves and have-nots has been building for three […]

Aug
02
2011

Debt Ceilings and the 'Balance' Bias

There's been plenty written about how reporters skew reality by treating "both sides" as equally intransigent or inflexible when it comes to the budget deficit battle. Another example, from the L.A. Times today (8/2/11): For Republicans, it was preventing any tax increase to upper-income families. For Democrats, it was ensuring no cuts to Social Security, Medicaid and a handful of other programs that aid the elderly and the poor. And for Obama, it was getting a deal that would end the threat of an economy-shaking default until after the 2012 presidential election. None of the key players was willing to […]

Jun
15
2011

Tea Party: Anti-Corporate Corruption Fighters?

Some in the press still seem to have trouble defining whatever it is that motivates the Tea Party movement. I noticed this in an L.A. Times piece last week (6/5/11): Americans possess a long-standing wariness of power and its potential as a corrupting influence, especially in the hands of large institutions. That instinct bred our government system of checks and balances and, more recently, led members of the "tea party" to embrace the nation's founders (repackaged as a band of small-government crusaders) as the guiding lights of their movement. So "wariness of power" and the "corrupting influence" of "large institutions" […]