Mar
28
2013

USA Today Covers 'Lonely Battle' of Equality Opponents

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone

"Outspent and lately out-hustled by highly organized gay rights organizations," USA Today reports, "opponents have struggled to get their story out." That's a curious premise, given that "their story" is the law of the land, and that's why we're talking about it in the first place.

Mar
20
2013

Two Peoples, Two Pictures

Photos of Palestinians and Israelis reacting to Obama visit from USA Today

There was a pair of pictures on the front page of USA Today today, meant to illustrate a story about President Barack Obama's visit to Israel and the Occupied Territories. It actually illustrated the very different ways Israelis and Palestinians are depicted in U.S. media.

Feb
19
2013

Friendly Oil–Not the Venezuelan Kind

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With the Keystone climate protests in Washington bringing climate change back into the media, we're hearing a lot about how the Keystone pipeline will, at the very least, mean that we'll be getting our oil from a nice country.

Jan
25
2013

'Divided' on Abortion Rights?

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USA Today's point in covering this weekend's anti-choice "March for Life" is is to note that, 40 years after the Roe v. Wade decision, the country is divided on abortion rights. That's an odd way of describing a 24-point spread in public opinion

Dec
17
2012

What if Children Mattered No Matter Where They Lived–and Died?

usat-bales

When we draw comparisons between a particular event and other similar tragedies, it is not to say that they all matter equally, but to remind ourselves that we're conditioned to feel that some matter quite a bit more than others.

Dec
17
2012

Does the Public Really Oppose Gun Restrictions?

Gun store sign near Phoenix, Arizona. (photo: Xomiele)

One issue that comes up in much of the coverage of the Newtown massacre is the notion that the public's view on gun control has shifted towards the "pro-gun" side in recent years. It's important to look at that assumption.

Dec
05
2012

Poverty on the Front Page…Along With Other News

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USA Today's cover story today is a moving piece by Marisol Bello headlined, "For the Poor, 'Recovery' Is a Mirage." And then, right beneath this story, another bit of front-page news: a glimpse of an entirely different world.

Nov
30
2012

FAIR TV: NYT Counts Drone Victims, CBS=CEOs, AP's Iran Nukes Hoax

The new episode of FAIR TV is here!  CBS tells us what CEOs think about the "fiscal cliff" and the New York Times counts drone victims– but not very many of them. And did the Associated Press fall for a hoax with their latest "exclusive" on Iran and nuclear weapons? Check it out– and share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter:

Nov
29
2012

AP's Iran Bomb Drawing Hoax

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Crack open USA Today (11/28/12) and you saw this headline: Diagram Suggests Iran Working on Bomb The story was short–short enough for a careful reader to see that it in no way lived up to that alarmist headline. But the piece still tried really hard to frighten people. Here's the lead:  Iranian scientists have run computer simulations for a nuclear weapon that would produce more than triple the explosive force of the World War II bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, according to a diagram obtained by the Associated Press. The diagram was leaked by officials from a country critical of Iran's atomic program […]

Nov
14
2012

Fiscal Cliff Not a Cliff? Tell That to USA Today

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Some commentators and journalists have pointed out the metaphor for the impending tax increases and spending cuts in 2013–the "fiscal cliff"–is highly misleading, and probably intentionally so. There is no way to reverse course when you fall off a cliff; you are plummeting towards the ground, making a terrible mess upon impact. Thus the brakes must be applied before the end of the year. In reality, this isn't true; Congress and the White House can actually go past the "cliff" deadline, and strike a deal early next year, without the supposedly dire consequences. The numbers thrown around in the press […]

Nov
13
2012

David Gregory: Obama's Failure to Embrace CEOs

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Post-election lessons are everywhere in the media, as pundits either try to explain how Mitt Romney lost or what Obama must do in his second term. My favorite example of this came on the front page of USA Today (11/8/12): If you think it's somewhat odd that Obama would need to "soothe Wall Street," then you'll never make it in big media. On Sunday, NBC Meet the Press host David Gregory (11/11/12) was offering similar advice alongside CNBC host Jim Cramer (the one whose prediction of a massive Obama landslide doesn't prevent him from being a political pundit): GREGORY: Jim, […]

Oct
19
2012

Every Green Energy Failure Is News

Photovoltaic panels, Germany. Photograph by Bernd Sieker.

USA Today (10/17/12) ran a story about a battery manufacturer filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. But the story might as well have been a press release from the Mitt Romney campaign. "Another Blow for Green Energy" read the headline. Wendy Koch's piece led off with this: An electric vehicle battery maker that was awarded $249 million in federal stimulus funds filed for Chapter 11 reorganization on Tuesday, giving GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney potential ammunition to attack President Obama's green-energy subsidies. It's a short article, but it's hard to avoid the central theme: This is good news for the […]

May
08
2012

Hillary Clinton's Iran Weapons Lie Is 'Tough Talk'

Covering Hillary Clinton's trip to India, USA Today's Richard Wolf writes (5/8/12): Fielding rapid-fire questions at a town-hall-style event in Kolkata, she denounced Iran's nuclear arms program and urged India to reduce its Iranian oil imports further. "We appreciate what has been done, and of course we want to keep the pressure on Iran," she said. When I read that I thought, "Here we go again, another outlet misstating the basic facts about the Iran debate." Then I checked the transcript of the Clinton's town hall, and that is indeed what she said, in response to a question about U.S. […]