Jan
27
2012

Pentagon Budgets and Fuzzy Math

By the tone of some of the media coverage, you might have thought Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced a plan to slash military spending yesterday. On the front page of USA Today (1/27/12), under the headline "Panetta Backs Far Leaner Military," readers learn in the first paragraph: The Pentagon's new plan to cut Defense spending means a reduction of 100,000 troops, the retiring of ships and planes and closing of bases–moves that the Defense secretary said would not compromise security. The piece quotes critics of the cuts like Sen. Joe Lieberman and an analyst at the right-wing American Enterprise Institute. […]

Sep
03
2009

Big Media Shares Insurers' 'Corrupting Influence'

Having on its debut dethroned Glenn Beck from Amazon's bestseller rankings to become "the No. 1 nonfiction book in all categories," David Swanson's Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union title looks to "how we can reform the systemic weaknesses in our representative government that deny us healthcare and many other things we want." One main "corrupting influence" named by Swanson (Prosperity Agenda, 9/2/09) is corporate media, which had always whited out single-payer and eagerly aired lies and distortions about the public option, moving the center of the debate somewhere to the right of that proposal. […]

Aug
20
2009

The Disproportionate Compassions of Corporate Media

Seeing all the press attention given to pitbull-fighter and NFL star Michael Vick's return to football, David Swanson (AfterDowningStreet.org, 8/19/09) can't help but think that Vick should have tortured humans instead of dogs. Then we would have been told to overlook it for the sake of moving forward. Better yet, he should have killed humans rather than only torturing them. Then we would have been told next to nothing about it at all. It might have been reported, but it wouldn't have become a hot topic, an echo-chambered story to be dismissed only after a great deal of hand-wringing. It […]

Jul
24
2009

Healthcare One of 'Two Human Rights We Lack'

David Swanson (OpEd News, 7/22/09) has "another name for 'what's called a single-payer system'"–namely: "healthcare as a human right, not a commodity to be purchased. Many humans have this right. They just aren't Americans." Of Barack Obama's July 22 news conference "mention of single-payer in passing, as something that would be better than anything else, but something that mysteriously lies out of reach," Swanson notes that the same view "is typical of the very few mentions of single-payer healthcare in the U.S. corporate media": I just did some searches in the Lexis Nexis databases of major U.S. and world publications, […]

Jul
23
2009

Big Media 'Worth More Than a Warm Bucket of Spit?'

Having recently "published a report on 1,200 photos of U.S. torture that I have examined but the public at large has not seen," activist David Swanson (AfterDowningStreet.org, 7/21/09) now relates how he talked about the photos on a few progressive radio shows. I received calls from some advocacy groups that have been trying for years to get hold of these photos. But I received not one single inquiry from the corporate media. Even most good blogs ignored this story, despite a handful of prominent blogs promoting it. This started me thinking and fantasizing: What would the world look like if […]

Jun
28
2009

Political Prosecutions Bumped by Death, Sex

Addressing Bush-era Department of Justice investigations, David Swanson (6/26/09) is asking OpEd News readers the provocative question, "Did you know the United States has in recent years prosecuted hundreds of people for political reasons?" This is a crime, or rather a crime wave, that has thus far been addressed primarily by ignoring it. You can read a lot about it from bloggers like Larisa Alexandrovna or Scott Horton. But you won't hear the president mention it on TV. In an attempt to convince the corporate media that this issue ranked right up there with governors' sex lives and celebrities' deaths, […]

Jun
24
2009

Healthcare Deficit: Bad; War Deficit: Good

Activist David Swanson (AfterDowningStreet.org, 6/24/09) has some problems with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer's and Congressmember Tom Perriello's recent visit "generating a story and big color photo on page 1 of the Charlottesville Daily Progress" under the headline "In UVa Visit, Democrats Call Deficit Reckless": The newspaper reported on Congressman Perriello warning that he could not vote for healthcare without a way to pay for it. There was no mention of the fact that the previous week, the day before Hoyer introduced his bill to fight deficits, both of these gentlemen had voted to spend another $97 billion on wars […]

May
09
2009

As Good as It Gets on Corporate TV

It is quite telling that, even considering how in Ed Schultz's May 7 MSNBC interview of Physician for a National Health Program Margaret Flowers and Sen. Debbie Stabenow, he "slaps a gratuitous insult on the heroines of Code Pink" and "says he's against protesting and "getting arrested" as a rule but thinks it's OK if doctors in suits and 'educated professional people' do it" and even "pretends to believe (or actually believes) that President Obama favors considering the possibility of creating single-payer healthcare," activist and author David Swanson (OpEd News, 5/7/09) "can't recall a better corporate news video segment in […]

Apr
26
2009

Bush Lie Lives On as Pro-Torture Spin Point

David Swanson has noted (Consortium News, 4/23/09) that, as "much of elite U.S. punditry is backing away from torture," the Boston Globe's Jeff Jacoby is bucking that trend with an April 22 column in which "he both opposes torture under all circumstances and excuses it given the current circumstances." Jacoby's main justification for U.S. torture tactics are "the successes with which they have been credited"–such as "the foiling of Al-Qaeda's planned 'Second Wave'–a 9/11-like plot to crash a hijacked airliner into a Los Angeles skyscraper." Swanson gives the lie to this zombie resurrected from the graveyard of Bush administration propaganda: […]

Oct
28
2008

Breaking Media's Military Budget 'Taboo'

David Swanson comments (OpEd News, 10/27/08) on Rep. Barney Frank "having just blurted out the obvious but taboo fact that the U.S. military budget must be cut": When a Congress member steps forward and courageously articulates a forbidden truth that is absolutely necessary for our survival and well-being (and by "our" I mean our species, not just our nation), he must be praised…. Frank has already been attacked by the only presidential candidate who, during each of the three debates, suggested cutting military spending: John McCain. Rather than pointing out this flip-flop, the corporate media can be expected to pile […]