Oct
14
2014

ISIS in Texas?! ABC Fails an Easy Factcheck

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ABC This Week mangles an easy fact check, after a Republican politician claims that ISIS fighters have been caught at the Texas border.

Aug
29
2014

FAIR TV: August 29, 2014

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On the show this week: On the day of his funeral, the New York Times declared that Michael Brown was "no angel." We look at that and other shoddy reporting from Ferguson. Plus Newsweek spreads farfetched fear about Ebola and African immigrants, and we look at how often union leaders appear on the Sunday chat shows. (Brace yourself.)

Jul
14
2014

All They Will Call You Will Be Detainees

Homicides per 100,000 People, Central America (Vox)

One of corporate journalism's bad habits is framing international stories on the premise that news is what happens to the US. There is no better recent example of this than the story of tens of thousands of children fleeing Central America.

Jan
24
2014

Beck: Media Shocked to Find He Isn't 'Anti-Gay, Racist Nutjob'

Glenn Beck (cc photo: Gage Skidmore

"I played a role…in helping tear the country apart," Glenn Beck says. Indeed–not just from his time at Fox, but from years of talk radio broadcasts, and a stint at CNN's Headline News–not to mention his work at his current outlet, The Blaze.

May
14
2013

Heritage Immigration Scandal Proof That…Both Sides Do It?

Bill Keller

The controversy over Heritage's dubious immigration report led Bill Keller of the New York Times to write a column about the big lessons of this scandal. And the first lesson? Think tanks on "both sides" are up to no good.

May
10
2013

FAIR TV: CBS 'Covers' Immigration, Joe Klein's Angry Middle, Dangerously Anti-War Public

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This week on FAIR TV: CBS Evening News looked like it was covering an immigrant rights rally– but it was merely a set up to talk about chaos at the border. Time's Joe Klein goes after the "gun lobby" by saying… both sides are at fault? And Cokie Roberts hears the public doesn't want to start a war with Syria. Why does she think that's "dangerous"?

Apr
04
2013

AP Ditches 'Illegal' Label

"No One Is Illegal" banner (cc photo: Vertigogen)

The Associated Press announced a change in their style guide: The wire service will no longer refer to "illegal immigrants," except in direct quotes. The change is a victory for activists who have called for years for journalists to stop using the term.

Dec
06
2011

Fox News Goes to the Middle (and Other Fantasies)

Is Fox News Channel going soft? In an election year? Some media figures seem to think the hard-right channel is going to the "middle," but this seems to be a figment of the centrist imagination. New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman has a short piece trying to make this case. His first bit of evidence is that Fox granted backstage access at its recent Republican debate to a New York Times reporter–as Sherman put it, "Fox's decision to allowTimes scribe Jim Rutenberg into the building to confront the candidates in person." That sounds rather aggressive, and Sherman sees this as some […]

Jul
15
2011

USA Today Debunks Once Again the Myth of the Bloody Border

USA Today published a useful investigation today (7/15/11) finding that "rates of violent crime along the U.S./Mexico border have been falling for years," that U.S. border cities are "statistically safer on average than other cities in their states" and "border cities, big and small, have maintained lower crime rates than the national average, which itself has been falling." The USA Today report is not the first to dispel what it calls the "bloody" picture of the U.S. border with Mexico. But while it cites politicians, including Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, for spreading the myth, the piece lets right-wing media, including […]

Jul
13
2011

NYT Says: No All-Star Game Immigration Protests. And Reality Says. . .

The headline in today's New York Times (7/13/11): Plenty of Action Before the Game, but No Immigration Law Protests The Paper of Record reported that the much-discussed protests against Arizona's SB 1070 law fizzled: In the end, commerce trumped conscience. It was no mystery why the fervor over the immigration law was as flat as a half-full can of soda left in the 100-degree heat. Meanwhile, back in reality (Think Progress, 7/13/11):

Jul
13
2011

NYT's Immigrant Name-Calling

As we pointed out here and Monica Novoa pointed out here, Jose Antonio Vargas came out in the pages of the New York Times Magazine as an undocumented immigrant. In that piece and in some follow-ups, he seems to be aware of the distinction between "undocumented" and "illegal." His Times piece was headlined, "My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant." That is the term he used in the article. It is completely inexplicable, then, that the magazine chose this headline for the Vargas letters this weekend: I, Illegal Immigrant

Jul
05
2011

Jose Antonio Vargas and the 'I Word'

Reporter Jose Antonio Vargas wrote a moving piece for the New York Times magazine about his status as an undocumented immigrant. One hope is that his story might improve the tone and substance of media coverage of immigration; Vargas has suggested as much, at one point tweeting this message: Undocumented Immigrant trending. So let's drop "Illegal" and "Alien." No person is illegal or an alien. His story has received a tremendous amount of media attention. But as Monica Novoa pointed out at ColorLines, too much coverage has dwelt on Vargas' "illegal" status: Vargas' story has drawn enormous media attention and […]

Apr
18
2011

NYT Critical Spotlight on Tanton Gives His Anti-Immigrant Groups a Pass

The Sunday New York Times (4/17/11) ran a big front-page piece on John Tanton, founder of the anti-immigration organizations Federation for American Immigration Reform and Center for Immigration Studies. I guess it's positive that someone in corporate media is finally paying attention to Tanton's racism (long documented here at FAIR–1/1/93–and by groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center–Winter/08), and reporter Jason DeParle does include a good deal of damning information about Tanton and some of his own racist words. But he also manages to interview almost exclusively people currently or formerly affiliated with Tanton's groups (six of these people in […]