Apr
22
2009

The Exception That Proves the Rule

Brad Jacobson has a new Media Bloodhound post (4/21/09) lauding CNN anchor Anderson Cooper for his "refreshing" refusal of "a generic phony Devil's advocate stance" when scholar Mark Danner "torpedoed" CNN analyst David Gergen's claim that the number of people who were interrogated [by U.S. personnel] with these harsh and, I think, torturous techniques was fairly limited. It was, of the thousands of people who were captured, it was about some 30 or 35 whom these techniques were used. Instead, Cooper "actually set up Danner's response to Gergen's allegations with…facts and context": Cooper: Do we know how many people died […]

Apr
20
2009

Media Discover 'Obscure' Latin American Book

When Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gave U.S. President Barack Obama a copy of Eduardo Galeano's book The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent at last weekend's Summit of the Americas, the corporate media appeared to be caught off guard. In its initial report, CNN (Newsroom, 4/18/09) appeared to be completely unaware of Galeano's classic 1971 treatise on the history of European and U.S. imperialism in Latin America, failing to correct Obama's initial mistaken belief that the book was penned by Chavez himself. Both CNN (CNN Newsroom, 4/18/09) and AP (4/19/09) contrasted the immediate […]

Apr
15
2009

Tea Parties and False Balance

With Fox News Channel relentlessly promoting–and MSNBC mostly mocking– the right-wing "tea party" demonstrations around the country today, middle-of-the-road media critics are making a typically middle-of-the-road complaint: Yes, Fox shouldn't be sponsoring such events, but the rest of the corporate media shouldn't just ignore these allegedly newsworthy events. As Howard Kurtz put it in the Washington Post today: Some Fox News hosts have been pushing the tea party protests slated for hundreds of cities today, almost to the point that they seem to be the ringmasters of the event. "It's now my great duty to promote the tea parties. Here […]

Mar
31
2009

More Jokes From Howard Kurtz

Quoting Washington Post/CNN media "critic" Howard Kurtz slamming Headline News for "talking about this constantly on cable for more than a week" and "feasting on this terrible situation," Brad Jacobson (Media Bloodhound, 3/30/09) also cites Kurtz railing against media obsession with octuplet mother Nadya Suleman on CNN: "The media were demonizing her….all the while capitalizing on America's latest soap opera." But, lo and behold, a "Crossfire-like vapid shouting match" couldn't be resisted: Kurtz dedicated an entire segment of this past Sunday's Reliable Sources to a gratuitous pie fight between two players involved in Nadya "Octomom" Suleman's never-ending nationally televised freak […]

Mar
27
2009

Howard Kurtz: Media Critic and Comedian

Salon's Glenn Greenwald has an explanation (3/23/09, ad-viewing required) for why he thinks that Howard Kurtz's belief that the image of corporate reporters as "just a bunch of cozy Washington insiders" is not "that big a deal"–because "there's such a built-in adversarial relationship between the press and the pols"–constitutes "an extremely funny joke today, showing why he is the 'media critic' for both the Washington Post and CNN": That is some very penetrating media criticism there. The media and political leaders are at each other's throats so viciously, they have such sharply conflicting interests, that it's a wonder they can […]

Mar
24
2009

The Wheels Come Off Dobbs' Hate Vehicle

The Southern Poverty Law Center's Mark Potok has the latest (HateWatch, 3/19/09) on CNN's "Lou Dobbs, the insult-spewing Latino-basher": Dobbs, of course, is known for regularly pushing defamatory falsehoods about undocumented immigrants–they fill one third of American prison and jail cells, they're part of a secret Mexican plan to "reconquer" the American Southwest, they are largely responsible for a spate of 7,000 recent leprosy cases…. Even when Dobbs isn't hosting his own show, his fill-in hosts spew such racist propaganda as the lie about subprime housing loans going to 5 million "illegal aliens." But Dobbs may have outdone himself on […]

Mar
16
2009

Fox Host Mixes Up Enemy Chavezes

On this morning's Fox & Friends, the hosts were having a laugh about Mauricio Funes, the new president of El Salvador. Funes won as the candidate of the FMLN, the political party of the former guerrilla group–and he was once a freelancer for CNN. Ergo, Fox couldmake jokes aboutCNN's "communist" ties. One of the hosts (a substitute) tried to show that this was actually no laughing matter, since the FMLN "allegedly has ties to strongman Cesar Chavez." It takes the other hosts a little while to figure out that he means Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez–not the labor organizer regular host […]

Mar
13
2009

On Sanjay Gupta's 'Breathless' Gullibility

Stating that "a lot of funny things can happen when the media translate science for the public," science writer Chris Mooney (Nation, 3/6/09) looks over more evidence that the U.S. public got really lucky when CNN's Sanjay Gupta was not made Obama's surgeon general. Mooney's list of Gupta "approaching medical coverage through 'one the one hand, on the other hand' equivocation, the selling of medical entertainment, following the pack or simply getting it wrong" clearly illustrates "what always made Gupta's nomination worrisome": Consider a few of Gupta's journalistic missteps. In late December 2002–a slow news week after Christmas–an outfit named […]

Mar
12
2009

CNN's Resident Drug Pusher

Los Angeles Times reporter Mike Dorning has some important information (3/6/09) absent from coverage of Dr. Sanjay Gupta's recent surgeon general candidacy–"For several years, Gupta has been co-anchor of a CNN-produced healthcare show distributed monthly via flat-screen TVs provided free to doctor's offices": The show is sponsored by healthcare, consumer and pharmaceutical companies that want to get their message directly to patients, according to the website of AccentHealth, a privately held company that distributes the programs and sells them to advertisers. Dr. Quentin Young–who heads Physicians for a National Health Program, a group that advocates for single-payer, Canadian-style national health […]

Mar
12
2009

Action Alert: CNN Marginalizes Single-Payer

Claiming that "you don't hear" about the single-payer healthcare plan "as much as you used to," CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen says that "more people are on the same page" about healthcare reform than they were in 1993. A new FAIR Action Alert debunks these and other assertions by Cohen that have the effect of pushing the idea of universal government-financed health insurance to the margins of the healthcare debate. You can post copies of your letters to Cohen in the comments section below. Please remember that letters that maintain a civil tone are most effective.

Dec
21
2008

CNN Can't Tell 'Weather' from 'Climate'

For a change of pace from his incessant immigrant bashing, CNN's Lou Dobbs recently exclaimed over "unusual storms" and snow in Las Vegas, Southern California and Arizona's mountains. This "unbelievable" evidence has Dobbs wondering: "So what are those folks talking about global warming?" Posting at Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog (12/19/08), Steve Benen describes how, "to 'discuss' the subject, Dobbs invited CNN meteorologist Chad Myers and Heartland Institute science director Jay Lehr onto the show": Not surprisingly, Lehr told Dobbs what he wanted to hear, starting with an anecdote about Lehr's sky diving hobby. LEHR: I have jumped out of […]

Nov
27
2008

CNN Loses Battle With Unionized Workers

This news comes from an AFL-CIO blog (via Adam Serwer at TAPPED): This report likely wonâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢t be on CNN's Headline News, but after five years, former workers at CNN have finally gained justice. In a decision made public today, an administrative law judge ordered the network to rehire 110 workers who were fired because they were union members. CNN also was ordered to recognize the workers' unions, National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians-CWA (NABET-CWA) locals 31 and 11. JudgeArthur Amchanfound that CNN violated the rights of more than 250 employees at the networkâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s bureaus in Washington, D.C., and New […]