Claims about a Russian buildup on Ukraine's border are being made based on intelligence that very few people have likely seen. NBC correspondent Jim Maceda went to the border area to check out the claims of Russian troop presence and couldn't turn up much.
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 […]
One theme of the coverage of the NATO bombing of Libya is that the Libyan government is lousy at propaganda. It was somewhat jarring, though, to see all of these headlines in the space of two days this week. It's worth pointing out– as some of these stories (and others) do– that the NATO bombing has intensified over the past few days, making these 'no dead civilians here' pieces seem curiously timed. I guess this could be seen as a message to the Libyan government: This is how the professionals do it. New York Times (6/7/11): "Libya Stokes Its Machine […]
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 […]