Jul
17
2013

Bradley Manning Is Not a Royal Baby

nbc-sharknado

"With a Royal Baby Due, News Outlets Are on High Alert" reported the New York Times (7/14/13) in a piece detailing the extensive planning that TV networks have done in order to cover the any-day-now arrival of the child of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The Times said it "will be a spectacle unlike any other in the modern media age"; the ABC website has a special section ("sponsored by NestlĂ©"), while "NBC News has a site called RoyalBabyGuess.com, asking for predictions about name, birth time and weight. To make it more fun, the people whose guesses come closest might […]

Oct
25
2011

ABC to Affiliates: Don't Interview That Movie Star–Yet!

No matter where you live, local TV newscasts tend to be pretty awful: a mash-up of crime, spectacle and celebrity–along with sports and weather. According to an item in the Hollywood Reporter, though, ABC has told its local affiliates not to cover one celebrity in particular: actor Johnny Depp. The actor is doing interviews to promote a new film called The Rum Diary, based on a book by Hunter S. Thompson. But according to the Reporter, Disney-owned ABC seems to think interviewing him about a movie that isn't part of the Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean franchise would be bad […]

Feb
23
2011

ABC's Lopsided Debate on Deficits and Austerity

This is how ABC This Week host Christiane Amanpourintroduced the roundtable pundit line-up on Sunday's show: With pitched battles going on right now here in Washington and in statehouses from Florida to Wisconsin to California, with me now, our roundtable: George Will, Congressman Steve Southerland, a Republican freshman from Florida– he was elected to public office for the very first time last November and sent here to Washington on a mission to cut spending. Also with us, ABC senior political correspondent Jonathan Karl and political strategist Donna Brazile, who calls herself a labor Democrat. So the right wing Will, a […]

Oct
06
2009

John Stossel, Free at Last

Rupert Murdoch's latest hire John Stossel, speaking at a Michigan college: I quit ABC a couple weeks ago partly because they didn't like what I was doing. They viewed it as too biased. Yes, ABC promoted Stossel to 20/20 anchor, gave him regular "Give Me a Break" commentary segments and one-hour, factually challenged primetime specials…all because they didn't like him. It's scary to think what the network would have done if they did like him.

Sep
16
2009

Real Journalism Still Exists — Outside of ABC

While within the power-friendly environs of the corporate-funded Newseum, congressmembers John D. Rockefeller IV, Tim Pawlenty and Mary L. Landrieu probably felt pretty good about their ability to field such softballs from ABC's George Stephanopoulos as "What's the problem with the public health option?" But upon leaving corporate TV's criticism-free zone, where such lies as Rockefeller's statement that "Medicare is gonna start going broke in 2017, which is like the day after tomorrow," pass completely unchallenged, they each were questioned by real-life journalist Sam Husseini of WashingtonStakeout.com (9/15/09). Compare the treatment described above with Husseini's calm but determined questioning of […]

Aug
17
2009

The Way They See the World

The big news in the health reform debate is that the White House seems to be willing to give up on the "public option," a government insurance program that would compete with private insurers. Everyone sees this as a big story, but there's something revealing about the way the Washington Post's Ceci Conollyled her piece: Racing to regain control of the health-care debate, two top administration officials signaled Sunday that the White House may be willing to jettison a controversial government-run insurance plan favored by liberals. In Beltway mediaspeak, "regain control" must mean doing something that right-wing Democrats and Republicans […]

Jul
29
2009

LA Times Acknowledges Gaping Hole in Media's Healthcare Debate

An LA Times column today cited FAIR's petition demanding that the TV networks include single-payer in their coverage of the healthcare reform debate, acknowledging that there is a "gaping hole in much of the media coverage–caused by the failure to investigate practices around the rest of the world, particularly European-style, single-payer programs." The Times' James Rainey concluded his column, "TV Needs To Deepen Coverage of Healthcare Reform," with a report on the delivery of FAIR's petition at ABC–the network that disinvited Obama's longtime physician Dr. David Scheiner, a single-payer advocate, from its June 24 "Prescription for America" program: The liberal […]

Jul
24
2009

Sands of Healthcare Truth Beneath 'Oceans of Media'

Noticing that "days ago, buried in a chart under the headline "How the Health Care Bills Compare," the New York Times provided some cogent yet cryptic information," Norman Solomon (Guernica, 7/23/09) has done some valuable decoding of a Senate committee bill's "public plan that would 'compete with private insurers,'" as "the Times chart explained on July 18": The public plan "would provide 'only the essential health benefits,' as defined by the bill, 'except in states that offer additional benefits.'" Meanwhile, the newspaper noted, "Democrats from three House committees are working on a single plan." Under that plan, "Different levels of […]

Apr
24
2009

Media Echo U.S. Gov't Attacks on Chavez

Images of the U.S. media's longtime foe, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, with Obama at last weekend's Summit of the Americas in Trinidad prompted some corporate reporters to take the unusual step of questioning the political motivations behind an official photo-op. On ABC's World News, Jake Tapper referred to Chavez's gift of The Open Veins of Latin America to Obama as a "stunt" (video available here). George Stephanopoulos questioned whether Chavez was not just posing with Obama in order to take advantage of Obama's popularity. "You have to wonder who would win a popular vote between Obama and Chavez in Venezuela […]

Apr
20
2009

ABC's 2007 Pro-Waterboarding Propaganda

Today the New York Times is reporting that waterboarding was used far more often than we have been told–almost 300 times on two prisoners, including Abu Zubaydah.This stands in rather stark contrast to what we heard about the instant, positive effects of waterboarding–as the Times notes: A former CIA officer, John Kiriakou, told ABC News and other news media organizations in 2007 that Abu Zubaydah had undergone waterboarding for only 35 seconds before agreeing to tell everything he knew. Of course, someone who relented in "35 seconds" would not need to be waterboarded 83 times. And as been several accounts […]

Apr
03
2009

Structural Racism Not on ABC's Agenda

ABC's Good Morning America did a special 3-part series on race this week, "Black and White Now," to "look at race relations in America." All three parts revisited old experiments or news stories. The first (3/31/09) was a repeat of an experiment with children playing with black and white dolls, showing that now kids don't tend to think that the black doll is mean and the white doll nice, like they did in the '40s–although some black girls still say the black doll is ugly and the white doll pretty. The report cited William Julius Wilson saying "there's still work […]

Feb
26
2009

ABC Finds Funny Animals, Foodstuffs in Spending Bill

You'd think that reporting on federal budget bills costing billions of dollars would be difficult. But it's easy, really: All you have to do is remember that budget items involving animals or unusual foods are funny. ABC's Jonathan Karl has mastered the genre. Reporting on the ominous spending bill (World News, 2/24/09), he declared: "The bill is supposed to fund government operations, but it includes things like more than $1 million for so-called 'Mormon crickets' in Utah, $200,000 for tattoo removal in Los Angeles and $443,000 to control beavers in Mississippi." Hee hee! Bugs are funny, as are government efforts […]

Dec
05
2008

ABC Distorts Auto Worker Pay

FAIR has a new Action Alert up about ABC's gross exaggeration of auto worker compensation. Feel free to post messages sent to ABC here–or any responses you get from the network.