May
01
2013

How Dare Hamid Karzai Take Our Money!

nbc-karzai

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams had a most peculiar reaction to revelations that Afghan president Hamid Karzai receives regular deliveries of cash from the Central Intelligence Agency.

Feb
05
2013

Where Are They Now? The Reporters Who Got Iraq So Wrong

Colin Powell at the UN

Ten years ago today, Colin Powell made the Bush administration's case for going to war against Iraq, and much of what he said was false. Most of the journalists who promoted his justifications for the war paid no price for their failures.

Jan
25
2013

'Divided' on Abortion Rights?

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USA Today's point in covering this weekend's anti-choice "March for Life" is is to note that, 40 years after the Roe v. Wade decision, the country is divided on abortion rights. That's an odd way of describing a 24-point spread in public opinion

Dec
07
2012

This Time, Trust Anonymous WMD Claims–They've Got 'Specific Intelligence'

NBCNN-Syira

The theatrics of WMD claims about Syria–satellite images, anonymous sources and so on–are obviously reminiscent of the lead up to the Iraq War. But media stress that this time–it's different.

Nov
13
2012

Corporate Media Lose Their Favorite 'Warrior Scholar'

saveiraq

There's no doubt that the sex scandal that prompted CIA director David Petraeus's sudden resignation late last week is a big story. New details–verified or not–seem to arrive almost by the hour. But the reason it seems to have shaken so many media figures is because Petraeus was uniquely beloved by many in the corporate media, who considered him both an accessible source and a war hero. NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams called him (11/9/12) a "a man of such sterling reputation," and confided on the air to one guest that "it is impossible to be a member of […]

Feb
01
2012

Iran: This Is What Propaganda Looks Like

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 […]

Sep
09
2011

What Do You Call a Guy Like Rick Perry?

Frontrunner-of-the-moment Rick Perry is getting a lot of press for his performance at the recent Republican debate–especially because he's standing by his belief that Social Security is a "monstrous lie" and a Ponzi scheme, and that climate change is an untested theory advanced by corrupt, discredited scientists. You can call such ideas a lot of things. "False" or "untrue," for example, would work. But a lot of reporters characterized Perry's performance in positive terms. In today's New York Times (9/9/11), Michael Shear writes that Perry made clear in his first national appearance that he would campaign as an unabashed Southern […]

Aug
19
2011

Rick Perry's Jobs 'Swagger'

On NBC Nightly News (8/16/11): ANDREA MITCHELL: Perry's Texas swagger is his calling card, bred of a hardscrabble boyhood on the family farm and Aggie roots at Texas A&M. Perry's chief claim to challenging President Obama is the Texas jobs record. Perry says his state produced 40 percent of all the jobs created across America in the last two years, with an unemployment rate at 8.2 percent, well below the national average, partly because of the oil and gas boom, partly because of growing trade with Mexico and federal defense spending in Texas. Since Perry's campaign is based almost entirely […]

Aug
02
2011

Debt Ceilings and the 'Balance' Bias

There's been plenty written about how reporters skew reality by treating "both sides" as equally intransigent or inflexible when it comes to the budget deficit battle. Another example, from the L.A. Times today (8/2/11): For Republicans, it was preventing any tax increase to upper-income families. For Democrats, it was ensuring no cuts to Social Security, Medicaid and a handful of other programs that aid the elderly and the poor. And for Obama, it was getting a deal that would end the threat of an economy-shaking default until after the 2012 presidential election. None of the key players was willing to […]

Dec
13
2010

Obama's Best Week Ever?

On yesterday's Chris Matthews show on NBC, the assembled journalists all seem to agree that Barack Obama's decision to cut a tax deal with Republicans and come out swinging against the left was great news. Time's Mike Duffy: "These liberals may scream, but they've been screaming about Barack Obama since the beginning. This isn't anything new." Chris Matthews and NBC's Andrea Mitchell went back and forth about whether this was an actual "Sister Souljah moment" or a "mini moment." But Helene Cooper of the New York Times summed up the conventional wisdom best: I think President Obama just had a […]