May
10
2013

Benghazi Bias on One Page

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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

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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

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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.

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

Exhibition-on-the-tar-san-005

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.