It seems inadequate for U.S. media outlets to critique the level of free expression in the country where NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is seeking asylum without comparing it to the level of free expression in the country he is seeking asylum from. While the United States has on paper some of the best guarantees of the right to speak in the world, its practice is considerably more chilling.
This week on FAIR TV: Obama's big speech on U.S. anti-terrorism policies was treated as a big shift, a pivot away from war. Was it? Activists around the world rallied against Monsanto–which wasn't considered big news here. And Bob Schieffer complains that the White House makes it hard to get good guests for his Sunday chat show. There's an easy fix for that, isn't there?
It's bad enough to treat a unsubstantiated claim by a partisan news outlet, with a record of sensational misinformation on the same subject, as a relevant fact in a story. But how do you justify using this junk journalism as a chance to let a source give free rein to his fantasies of how Occupy might take a turn towards violence?
The Paper of Record has spoken: We didn't think much of Occupy before, and now what we think is that it's over. The day before Occupy activists were gathering to mark the movement's one-year anniversary, Times columnist Joe Nocera wrote (9/16/12): "For all intents and purposes, the Occupy movement is dead." Before the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Nocera explains, there was complacency. It was easy to believe that housing prices could only go up and that we could always rely on debt to maintain our standard of living. We shrugged as manufacturing jobs disappeared–5.8 million just since 2000–and good middle-class […]
In his farewell column (8/26/12), New York Times ombud Arthur Brisbane writes: Across the paper's many departments, though, so many share a kind of political and cultural progressivism–for lack of a better term–that this worldview virtually bleeds through the fabric of the Times. Well, maybe we need a better term. Brisbane provides two examples of this supposed progressive bleeding: As a result, developments like the Occupy movement and gay marriage seem almost to erupt in the Times, overloved and undermanaged, more like causes than news subjects. The Occupy Wall Street movement "seem[ed] almost to erupt in the Times"? Actually, when […]
Even if you're not be an expert in media ethics, you'd probably agree that a show about finance and business exclusively sponsored by one giant bank has an obvious conflict. The fact that the show is on public radio might make such an arrangement all the more curious. And the fact that the host of the show also makes money giving speeches to the financial institutions he covers…. Well, now, that's not how things are supposed to work. But that's precisely how things work for Adam Davidson, the host of NPR's Planet Money. His program's exclusive underwriter is Ally Bank, […]
"OWS MURDER LINK." That's how the New York Post's front page (7/11/12) announced a report that DNA from a 2004 crime scene had supposedly been matched with DNA from a chain used to hold open a subway gate in an Occupy Wall Street protest. Inside, under the headline "OWS Link to '04 Gal Slay," the paper had 37 paragraphs on the story, along with three large photographs with a caption asserting that "DNA from a March Occupy protest (above) has been linked to the murder" of Juilliard student Sarah Fox. The New York Daily News, for its part, had "OWS […]
On New York City Fox station WNYW, Good Day New York celebrated May Day by attempting to link the Occupy Wall Street movement to the mailing of letters containing white powder and the greeting "Happy May Day." On a segment where Good Day hosts Greg Kelly and Rosanna Scotto were joined by NYPD commission Ray Kelly–Greg Kelly's father, and a frequent guest on his son's show–the younger Kelly all but concluded that Occupy was behind the frightening mailing that saw seven letters delivered to six banks and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Greg Kelly noted that the powder had been identified […]
With Occupy Wall Street making its May Day comeback, what did the corporate media have to say? Take a look at the New York Times story (5/2/12), which was stuffed in the Metro section and focused on… well, take a look at the headline: About half of the article is focused on arrests, "occasionally bloody clashes" and the like. Before the protests even started, there were warnings about what was to come. On ABC's Good Morning America (5/1/12), Josh Elliot warned viewers: We're gonna begin with what's shaping up to be a potentially brutal morning commute, particularly in major cities […]
Here's something you don't see very often–a progressive person of color on a Sunday morning chat show. There was Van Jones on ABC's This Week on April 1. Also there? Right-wing firebrand Ann Coulter. Huh. But it was something that Jones said that caught my attention. Well, you know, I think that probably the majority of people who are in the Democratic Party, progressive independents or what I would call post-hope Democrats–we're Democrats, we did the vote and hope. And when we–what happened was, we sat back and we let the Tea Party crowd dominate the protests world in the […]
The fact that Time magazine named "The Protester" its Person of the Year was maybe a little surprising. Totally unsurprising, though, was the choice of a runners-up: Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, a hero to many in the corporate media for his bold calls to slash government spending on the poor. It's hard to know where to start with reporter David Von Drehle's tribute. But let's try here: Through a combination of hard work, good timing and possibly suicidal guts, the Wisconsin Republican managed to harness his party to a dramatic plan for dealing with America's rapidly rising public debt. Dealing […]
The Winter Garden is one of New York City's largest and most beautiful indoor public spaces. Graced by giant palm trees that would look impressive on Sunset Boulevard and a vast skylight that provides year-round balmy sunlight, this crossroads of Manhattan's Battery Park City became a symbol of Downtown's rebirth when it was reconstructed after being devastated in the September 11 attacks. Yet this crucial community gathering space–which provides a much-needed public square that's hospitable throughout the year–is actually privately owned by Brookfield Office Properties, a multinational real-estate developer that owns the World Financial Center that the Winter Garden is […]
USA Today's Rick Hampson has a piece today (12/7/11) on Occupy Wall Street's Occupy Our Homes actions, which include efforts to move families into vacant housing. This coverage is a good sign if you think there is still something happening with this movement after the evictions in New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere. But why does the article include commentary from right-wing scam artist Andrew Breitbart? The paper reports: Conservative online publisher and commentator Andrew Breitbart said the movement's new focus demonstrates that Occupy Wall Street is not "an authentic grassroots movement" but a political maneuver backed by organized labor […]