Sep
24
2013

Iran Nuclear Weapons Claims Still Need Correcting

Hassan Rouhani

Yesterday in USA Today (9/22/13), Aamer Madhani wrote this about the challenges facing Barack Obama: The president is also trying to take advantage of a diplomatic opening–created by the installation of a new, more moderate president in Iran–to persuade Tehran to abandon its nuclear weapons program. As you might know by now, this is misleading; Iran is suspected by some governments of having a nuclear weapons program, but there is no solid intelligence that such a program exists. USA Today made a similar claim a few months ago; when FAIR activists wrote to the paper, it eventually got around to […]

Sep
18
2013

Should Poor People Eat? Let's Hear From Both Sides!

USAT-foodstamps

OK, so maybe this headline is slightly unfair, but it seemed like a good way to capture the essence of a USA Today story (9/18/13) about the fight over food stamps. As you may already know, House Republicans are looking to cut some $40 billion from the SNAP program, otherwise known as food stamps, over the next 10 years.   It's not unusual for politicians to disagree; one would hope that journalism might intervene on the side of the facts. But here's how USA Today's Paul Singer presented the issue:  The cost of the federal food stamp program has exploded […]

Sep
16
2013

Who's Getting the Tax Breaks? You Are, Says USA Today

usatoday-taxes

The front page of USA Today touts an article intended to send what it supposed to be a counter-intuitive message: The big corporations aren't the ones gaming the system–it's YOU.

Sep
11
2013

USA Today Covers NYC Elections–Unfortunately

usatoday-nyc

USA Today tries to explain what the Democratic primary elections in New York City, using some of corporate media's favorite electoral tropes: mandating a move to the right, misleading on stop-and-frisk, and finding "ambivalence" when voters line up on the wrong side.

Aug
27
2013

Heading to War With Syria

USAT-Syria

Providing convincing evidence that chemical attacks actually were the work of the Syrian government should be the first order of business. But it's hard not reach the conclusion that some in the media have already made up their minds.

Jul
25
2013

The Rolling Stone Cover and the 'New Ideological Threat'

The cover of Rolling Stone (8/13), featuring a self-portrait of Dzhokhar Tsaernav taken weeks before the Boston bombing, has fueled a strong backlash. Discussing the cover, Fox News' Lisa Daftari (7/18/13) said: In the aftermath of 9/11, if you look back over a decade ago, this country had an awakening, an understanding, that we have a new ideological threat that is on our soil. People became aware. But we've since gone very far from that, almost gone too far from that. We are almost becoming overcompensating, for fear of being Islamophobic. Political correctness is leading us to put a terrorist […]

Jun
21
2013

Action Alert: Iran Misinformation From MSNBC, USA Today

The latest FAIR Action Alert asks readers to contact MSNBC and USA Today for corrections of misreporting in their coverage of Iran. Read the alert here and, if you send the outlets a letter, please share it in the comments section below.

Jun
07
2013

Pointless Partisanship on Surveillance

Susan Page

"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 […]

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
31
2013

Two Churches Make an Anti-Gay Trend at USA Today

Boy Scout Eric Klein at DC rally (cc photo: mar is sea Y)

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, […]

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
10
2013

Benghazi Bias on One Page

usat-benghazi

The controversy over the attacks at a diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, is a great test of the right's tired claim that the corporate media have a liberal bias. If that were true, then this "scandal" would exist almost entirely on Fox News Channel and conservative talk radio.

Apr
26
2013

Reporting 'Says' Rather Than 'Says It Believes' Could Make a War of Difference

New York Times, April 26, 2013

The front page of the New York Times had a very definitive headline on Syria and chemical weapons–but when you read the actual story, a much more ambiguous picture emerged.