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.

Apr
22
2013

Al Neuharth's Front-Page Sexism

USAT-Neuharth

Seeing a photograph of USA Today founder Al Neuharth above the fold in the edition of his newspaper that reported his death calls to mind a rather famous story about Neuharth's outburst at a 1983 USA Today editorial meeting.

Apr
16
2013

'Terror Returns'–but When Did It Go Away?

TERROR RETURNS: USA Today front page, April 16, 2013

"TERROR RETURNS" ran across USA Today's front page (4/16/13) in inch-high letters. Below, the story it referred to had a smaller headline: "That Post-9/11 Quiet? It's Over." Rick Hampson and Chuck Raasch's story began: The blasts on Boylston Street were felt across the nation, shaking and sometimes shattering a fragile hope–formed slowly in the years since 2001–that maybe it won’t happen here. Not again. Then it did. But what happened in Boston that hasn't happened since September 11? All we really can say with confidence so far is that somebody tried to kill a large group of people; as USA […]

Apr
16
2013

USA Today: Venezuelans Voted for High Unemployment and Food Shortages

hugo-chavez-portrait-with-maduro

If USA Today is presenting an objective record of the Chavez years, how on Earth did he win so many elections? By that score, Venezuela must also have an especially ill-informed populace–or maybe Venezuelans know a different reality.

Apr
03
2013

Keystone Polling and an Oil Spill Time Machine

usat-keystone

Reporting positive polling for the Keystone XL pipeline, USA Today reports, "The numbers come amid continuing efforts to clean up a major new oil spill in Arkansas." But "come amid" is another way of saying "entirely unrelated to."

Apr
01
2013

Everyone's Rich Again–Problem Solved!

Household wealth is on the rebound, USA Today reports–but mostly because of the stock market. Which means it means next to nothing to the vast majority of us.