This week on FAIR TV: Is Syria Iraq all over again? Plus a look at the CNN "debate" over military strikes that didn't have much debate, and the Wall Street Journal sees a big Tea Party "comeback."
On the new FAIR TV: The Washington Post says France had better slash wages and benefits in order to be more like Spain. Why would they want to do that? The New York Times erases a headline referring to the occupation of the West Bank. And when the Wall Street Journal wanted to show what the new tax deal meant for "you"–who exactly did they have in mind?
Alarmist corporate media coverage of the "threat" from Iran is everywhere, thanks to a Senate appearance yesterday by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. But Clapper said very little in his remarks that would justify the propagandistic coverage we're seeing. His main point was that Iran could launch attacks if it felt threatened. It is hard to see how this is particularly surprising. Clapper pointed to the alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador in Washington D.C. as evidence that Iran seems more eager to assert itself, perhaps even inside the United States. But there were many people who […]
Barack Obama did something yesterday that government leaders tend not to do: He talked about the CIA drone war in Pakistan. This admission–which, it should be pointed out, happened in a Google-sponsored Q & A with the public, not a session with reporters–made it into the papers. The New York Times (1/31/12) flagged civilian deaths as the most newsworthy aspect, headlining a report by Mark Lander "Civilian Deaths Due to Drones Are Not Many, Obama Says." Lander writes: Mr. Obama, in an unusually candid public discussion of the Central Intelligence Agency's covert program, said the drone strikes had not inflicted […]
The country is on the brink of bankruptcy, Fox host Bill O'Reilly warned last night–all because Barack Obama is spending too much money. Drastic cuts are required, but "the far-left loons want to spend more." And he's got the number to prove it: In 2007, during the Bush administration, federal deficit spending was $161 billion, despite the Iraq and Afghan wars. Four years later under President Obama, the deficit spending is $1.3 trillion, eight times as much. To be fair, the economy collapsed on Bush's watch, and both Republicans and Democrats committed almost a trillion dollars to prop up the […]
The speculation about whether Texas Gov. Rick Perry will jump into the Republican presidential race boils down to one word: Jobs. Perry's state has been generating jobs at an impressive rate–which Perry likes to think is due to low taxes and lax regulations. Some of the coverage points to important caveats–the booming oil economy, for instance, and rapid population growth both make Texas fairly unrepresentative. Today the Wall Street Journal has an excellent piece by Ana Campoy and Sara Murray about the Texas miracle. The papers shows that many of these jobs are in the public sector; a million total […]
In the wake of the News Corp scandal and the resignation of their own paper's publisher/CEO, the editors of the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal came out swinging today (7/18/11) against critics who would question the Journal's own standards and even "perhaps injure press freedom in general." Today's editorial first goes for deflection: Scotland Yard's failure to stop the hacking is "more troubling than the hacking itself," and "it is also worth noting the irony of so much moral outrage devoted to a single media company, when British tabloids have been known for decades for buying scoops and digging up dirt […]
The end of a Wall Street Journal article (7/14/11) on a new report on Afghan deaths highlights the peculiarity of their culture: Of civilian casualties, 2 percent were caused by night raids, slightly down from last year, with 30 fatalities, the report says. Night raids have been a contentious issue between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and U.S. military officers and civilian leaders. The raids are sensitive in Afghanistan, because foreign soldiers burst into civilian homes, where strangers are unwelcome in the country's conservative Islamic traditions. What a strange place. I guess in a civilized society, when a foreign soldier bursts […]
Two elections, different outcomes, different headlines at the Wall Street Journal (6/6/11). When the left loses: Portugal Decisively Ends Leftist Rule Portugal on Sunday voted decisively to end six years of leftist rule, electing the country's main conservative party and boosting prospects for austerity measures tied to a $114 billion aid package from the EU and IMF. But when the left wins: Peru Votes in Divisive Runoff for President Voters in one of the world's most dynamic economies went to the polls Sunday to choose between two divisive presidential candidates. The latter piece included this: "Financial markets, which have been […]
On the Wall Street Journal op-ed page, conservative pundit Shelby Steele lays out the argument that Barack Obama's blackness is a unique asset that makes him difficult to beat in 2012. The argument–which, on some level, is worth taking seriously–is that "his presidency flatters America to a degree that no white Republican can hope to compete with. He literally validates the American democratic experiment, if not the broader Enlightenment that gave birth to it." You can see how this might be true for a segment of the American population–I wrote in 2007 about pundits who made such arguments–but it's unclear […]
A recent Wall Street Journal editorial (3/11/11) defended the Peter King hearings on Islamist terrorism against "our friends on the left [who] are busy portraying them as the McCarthy hearings and Palmer Raids rolled into one." The editors argued that in fact, the focus on Muslims is justified based on the facts: Since 9/11, there have been more than 50 known cases, involving about 130 individuals, in which terrorist plots were hatched on American soil. These include plots to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, an office tower in Dallas, a federal court house in Illinois, the Washington, […]
The documentary Gasland was up for an Academy Award last night. Director Josh Fox has been writing about the gas industry's campaign against the film, which is a critical look at hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." That controversy found its way to the Wall Street Journal on Friday, where a story byBenCasselman was posted that included an interesting admission. As Press Action noted: In the original version of the article, Casselman, who has covered the energy industry at the Journal for several years, quoted Range Resources-Appalachia director of public affairs Matt Pitzarella as saying: "We have to stop blaming documentaries and […]