Jun
19
2013

Michael Hastings, Bridge-Burning Journalist (1980-2013)

Michael Hastings

What Tim Dickinson called Hastings' "enthusiastic breaches of the conventions of access journalism" were what enabled him to report the unguarded assessments of the officers running the occupation of Afghanistan.

Jun
07
2013

How Many Iraqis Died in the Iraq War?

Map of Iraqi Civilian Casualties

How many Iraqis died in the Iraq War? Public responses to that question are disheartening because they reflect a very distorted public perception of the war. But they are indicative of an even bigger problem: corporate media's inadequate coverage of the human costs of U.S.-led wars.

May
31
2013

FAIR TV: Obama's Terror 'Pivot,' Monsanto March, Schieffer's Lament

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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?    

May
08
2013

Iron Man 3 and the Art of Missing the Point

Iron Patriot from Iron Man 3

Hollywood's latest superhero movie has a political message that's not particularly hard to decipher. Yet fail to decipher it New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis evidently did.

Apr
30
2013

Cutting the Military Budget Is a Problem…for the Left?

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The Washington Post presents a "paradox" wrapped in a "conundrum" inside a "quandary"–all on top of a big heaping of right-wing policy advice for the left.

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
12
2013

Jeff Cohen on Media Missing the Costs of Militarism

Protester: I Want Education Not War (United for Justice With Peace)

"Today there's an elephant in the room: a huge, yet ignored, issue that largely explains why Social Security is now on the chopping block…. That problem is U.S. militarism and perpetual war."

Apr
05
2013

North Korea's Attack Plan: Apocalypse Never Mind

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It didn't take long for TV coverage of North Korea to enter the "Retired General Sketches Out War Games on a Big Map" phase. But a recent example of the genre on CNN demonstrated only the alarmism seems to be the order of the day.

Mar
22
2013

Time's Rethink on Drones

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The new issue of Time has a pretty interesting piece on the debate over Obama's drone program. One way to measure the shift in official opinion is to consider that a little more than a year ago, the magazine hardly seemed to think there was any debate at all.

Mar
20
2013

Looking Back at Iraq With…Michael Gordon?

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Ten years ago, a front-page New York Times story helped mislead us into war with the idea that Iraq was trying to procure special aluminum tubes for its nuclear weapons program. Last night, one of the PBS NewsHour's two expert journalists to look back on Iraq was the guy who co-authored that piece.

Mar
18
2013

Howard Fineman Looks Back on Iraq

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Howard Fineman–formerly at Newsweek, now at Huffington Post–tries to come to terms with his Iraq War failures, seemingly with good intentions. But he falls short of addressing a record that shows a remarkable level of enthusiasm for the job of advocating for Bush's "eyes-on-the-prize decisiveness."

Mar
15
2013

NYT: Odd Memories of Iran-Contra, Obama First Term

Reagan image made of jelly beans, Reagan Presidential Library (Photo: Ryan Dickey)

The New York Times' Michael Shear suggests that Rep. Rand Paul's criticism of Obama's drone attacks are nothing out of the ordinary–but he takes a strange trip down memory lane to make the case.

Mar
12
2013

Killing a Citizen: NYT, Awlaki and 'Muddying the Moral Clarity'

Anwar Al-Awlaki (Al-Malahem Media/screenshot: Magharebia)

The Obama administration has not wanted to explain in any great detail how it justified killing an American citizen in Yemen. But there were apparently plenty of current and former officials willing to explain their case to the New York Times.