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.
Take my word for it. Diane Sawyer, ABC World News (6/21/12): And now to the ongoing master class in letting your hair down, by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.These past few months, we've been watching her swig a beer, brandish a scrunchie without apology, and makeup free and telling everybody she doesn't care what they think. And today, donning wing-tipped purple glasses at the swearing in of a new assistant secretary whose favorite color just happens to be purple. Proof that nobody does unplugged quite like the secretary of state, who is leaving office by the end of the year. [...]
Parliamentary elections in Greece saw the conservative-leaning New Democracy party win a narrow victory over the left-wing anti-austerity Syriza coalition. This was good news for an array of major players who prefer Greece to stick to the current punishing bailout plan arranged by European countries. ABC World News showed which angle mattered most when anchor Diane Sawyer led a report (6/18/12) on the election results this way: And now we move on to your money and the momentary sigh of relief for every American with a 401(k). The voters of Greece this weekend decided to stay the course in Europe, [...]
If you watch TV news you're bound to see a lot of commercials for oil companies. As Miranda Spencer reported in Extra! (2/12), there are far more commercials about energy companies and natural gas than there are actual news reports about controversial industry practices like hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." But then there are the news segments that might as well be commercials. Last night's ABC World News broadcast (5/10/12) featured a report on the oil boom in the Midwest that looked more like an ad than anything else. "A rising number of Americans are finding a windfall right where they [...]
ABC World News was responsible for a flagrantly propagandistic report about Iran on January 31. They're still at it. At the top of the March 5 report, anchor Diane Sawyer announced that Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were talking about "the growing nuclear threat from Iran." Sawyer warned that it might be the "last chance" for the two to meet face to face before a possible Israeli attack. The two agreed, as Jake Tapper put it, that Iran "cannot be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon." And what if they did? Jake Tapper asks, "What might result?" [...]
Last year New York Times columnist Paul Krugman (7/8/11) wrote a sharp critique of those who argue that the federal government's budget should be compared to a family. He called it one of the "right's favorite economic fallacies," pointing out: No, the government shouldn't budget the way families do; on the contrary, trying to balance the budget in times of economic distress is a recipe for deepening the slump. He expanded upon it again this year (1/1/12), calling the government-as-family trick "a really bad analogy," and explained how governments don't pay off debts the way a family does–"all they need [...]
Three moments, actually: –NBC's Chuck Todd yesterday on Meet the Press (12/10/11), commenting on Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich: Well, first of all, those are a couple of nimble debaters. They are pretty good. I think we have seen it. This is the final two. I'm old enough to remember when Todd had the campaign narrowed down to a Top Three, way back in August: "We have a top tier. It is Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann." –ABC host Diane Sawyer, asked to describe (This Week, 12/11/11) the most revealing lesson she learned about the candidates after she [...]
Much of the media coverage of the riots in England dwells on the issue of police restraint. There is a "public backlash against police restraint," the Washington Post explained (8/11/11), with some wanting "a tougher response to the rash of disturbances that has sullied Britain's image." The problem is the "seemingly halting, even timorous, policing," according to one New York Times story (8/12/11). Another Times piece added: A former senior riot police officer with knowledge of current operations, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that the most recent riots were allowed to rage, in part, because police officers [...]
Afghan president Hamid Karzai denounced once again U.S./NATO airstrikes that killed civilians. In this recent incident, 14 were killed, including 11 children. This prompted ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer (5/31/11) to call in ABC reporters to sort things out, leading to this exchange with Pentagon reporter Martha Raddatz: SAWYER: He's talking to the Afghan people. But Martha, he put restrictions on what U.S. troops can do, what the NATO troops can do. How onerous are these? RADDATZ: Well, he's trying to put restrictions on. I mean they simply have to carry out air strikes over there. It's a very [...]
Salon.com's Justin Elliot has a good piece about media adoration for the Navy SEALs, focusing on an NBC report. Lest anyone think that report is a weird outlier, here are some quotes from the May 3 broadcast of ABC World News (you can watch it here, if you must): DIANE SAWYER: Tonight, details are surfacing about that super-human force that took down bin Laden, the Navy SEALs known as Team Six. A force so elite you cannot apply to join their ranks, you are just silently recruited. ** CHRIS CUOMO: You know, Diane, as impressive as the details of the [...]
On the October 22 broadcast of ABC World News With Diane Sawyer,the anchorweighed in on the WikiLeaks Iraq Wardocumentsby noting, "Arab television is already trumpeting the revelations." Not exactly a promising start, but the correspondent Martha Raddatz did a pretty good job of conveying the findings:hundreds of Iraqi civilians killed at checkpoints, thousands of unreported civilian deaths andtorture of detainees. Then the report went back to Sawyer for a follow-up question: "I know there's a lot of outrage about this again tonight, Martha. But tell me, anything more about prosecuting the WikiLeaks group?"
ABC's Diane Sawyer claimed (CNN, 6/22/09) the network's June 24 forum on President Barack Obama's healthcare plan would feature "questions from every single vantage point." Yet, ignoring calls from FAIR (Action Alert, 6/22/09) and advocacy groups such as Health Care Now!, the special did not include a single question from an advocate of single-payer national health insurance–despite the fact that the single-payer option polls well with the public (New York Times/CBS, 1/11-15/09) and is seen by many experts as the best way of expanding coverage to the uninsured while also controlling costs. In the wake of well-publicized flak ABC received [...]