Feb
13
2012

Do TV Networks 'Practice' for War?

Alexander Cockburn's latest piece at CounterPunch (2/10/12) included this from a tipster: I was visiting ABC News the other day to see a friend who works on graphics. When I went to his room, he showed me all the graphics he was making in anticipation of the Israeli attack on Iran; not just maps, but flight patterns, trajectories and 3-D models of U.S. aircraft carrier fleets. But what was most disturbing–was that ABC, and presumably other networks, have been rehearsing these scenarios for over two weeks, with newscasters and retired generals in front of maps talking about missiles and delivery […]

Jun
30
2009

CNN: 'Making Blacks Look Bad' So 'Whites Feel Good'

Ishmael Reed's contextualization (CounterPunch, 6/29/09) of the epic demonization of Michael Jackson within historical U.S. media racism also takes a swipe at CNN's Black in America program, "an exercise meant to boost ratings by making whites feel good by making blacks look bad, the marketing strategy of the mass media since the 1830s": In preparing for a sequel to the first Black in America, which boosted the networks ratings (the O. J. trial saved CNN!), CNN rolled out the usual stereotypes about black Americans. Unmarried black mothers were exhibited, without mentioning that births to unmarried black women have plunged since […]

Jun
29
2009

Mexico Electoral Fraud 'in the Dust of History' at NYT

Veteran independent Mexico reporter John Ross (CounterPunch.com, 6/28/09) wants to know which countries come to mind when thinking about "a stolen election by an entrenched regime," "demands for a recount to which election officials respond by offering to recount just 10 percent of the vote," or even "a regime-controlled media that exalts the incumbent's victory and demonizes the loser"? Are you thinking "Iran 2009? Yes!" or "Mexico 2006? Yes and no." Toward showing that "the stealing of the Mexican presidential election by the right-wing oligarchy stirred little indignation anywhere outside of Mexico," Ross finds that "a comparison of coverage extended […]

May
23
2009

MSM Hungry for the Blood of Somali Pirates

Political science professors Sonia Cardenas and Andrew Flibbert survey the bloodthirsty media reaction to African pirates for CounterPunch (5/22/09): Across countless blogs and media outlets, here and abroad, thousands of people have called unequivocally–often in blunt, colorful language–for killing Somali pirates. "Kill the Pirates" was the headline of a Washington Post op-ed on April 13 by Fred Iklé, a defense expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. As Jonah Goldberg wrote in the Los Angeles Times, "Shoot the pirates, problem solved." The mainstream media has described today's pirates as savage enemies of humankind, with pundits even saying that […]

May
17
2009

On the Depths of Rupert Murdoch's 'Crass' Roots

Taking down "Michael Wolff's fat masterpiece of sycophancy about Rupert Murdoch, The Man Who Owns the News," Murdoch Archipelago co-author Bruce Page (CounterPunch, 5/15/09) counters Wolff's "astigmatic lens of gossip" with "a true outline" of Fox/Wall Street Journal mogul Murdoch's roots: Rupert's father, Sir Keith, founded the dynasty during World War I as a dirty-tricks minion for "Billy" Hughes, probably Australia's nastiest prime minister. His cover myth as a heroic war reporter has been so thoroughly dismantled that now it impresses none but family retainers and–of course–Mr. Wolff. At Versailles, Keith was Billy's ever-present aide in striving to make the […]

Mar
31
2009

S.F. Columnist Protests Protesters

Writing under the pen name Jami Tarn (CounterPunch, 3/27/09), one San Francisco lawyer is rallying against "a hate-filled column in the San Francisco Chronicle." Chronicle commentator Debra J. Saunders "insinuated that Tristan Anderson, still lingering in a coma in Tel Aviv after taking an Israeli tear gas canister to the face, costing him part of his frontal lobe and possibly his right eye, deserves this comeuppance for daring to join Palestinians in protest against Israel's illegal Apartheid wall." Saunders, Tarn wrote, reduced such suffering to the snarky "love-it-or-leave-it Amer'kuh" line that Anderson now has "found out in the worst way […]

Mar
18
2009

Crony Capitalist Props Up NYT

Writing that "an astonishing number of North American dailies are gasping their last," veteran Mexico journalist John Ross (CounterPunch, 3/18/09) cites "a recent survey by the New York Times, itself on its last legs," that "lists 75 daily newspapers of being at risk from sea to stinking sea," and singles out how San Francisco Chronicle owner "Will Hearst threatens to close down the Chron if he can't break the unions and turn the Comical into a scab rag." Ross also looks at how "the New York Times has persuaded a Mexican billionaire to bail it out of impending shipwreck": Well, […]