Mar
07
2014

Denying the Far-Right Role in the Ukrainian Revolution

Flags of the Ukrainian Nationalist Congress (cc photo: Antanana/Wikimedia)

To maintain a simple good vs. evil framework, the fact that Ukraine's neo-fascist movement had a significant role in the opposition to Yanukovych–and the government that replaced him–was downplayed or even outright denied.

Feb
22
2012

Media's Weird Ethics: Pretending to Be Someone Else Is Worse Than Facilitating Global Catastrophe

There's a popular verb in headlines about climate researcher Peter Gleick's admission that he used trickery to get damning documents out of the climate change-denialist group the Heartland Institute: "Activist Says He Lied to Obtain Climate Papers" (New York Times, 2/21/12); "Scientist Peter Gleick Admits He Lied to Get Climate Documents" (L.A. Times, 2/21/12); "Climate Researcher Says He Lied to Obtain Heartland Documents" (WashingtonPost.com, 2/21/12). What you wouldn't gather from all these pants-on-fire condemnations is that there is a long and honorable tradition, from Nellie Bly feigning madness to expose mistreatment of the mentally ill to the Chicago Sun-Times' Mirage […]

Dec
07
2009

Forbes Publishes Fiction on Climate Change Debate

Forbes.com has an article up called "The Fiction of Climate Science" (12/4/09). Thanks no doubt to a link from Drudge, it's currently one of the website's "top rated," "most popular" and "most emailed" items. "Fiction" is a polite word for what the author, Gary Sutton, does with evidence. Sutton grinds the already well-worn denialist ax about "global cooling"–scientists were predicting an imminent ice age in the 1970s, the argument goes, so why listen to those eggheads now about global warming? See FAIR's Action Alert from last February 18 for a debunking of this myth. But wait! Sutton provides a quote: […]

Jun
23
2009

Conservative Media Confused by Obama Doctor Story

After the conservative site Forbes.com published a story headlined "Obama's Doctor Knocks ObamaCare," it was quickly picked up by the right-wing Drudge Report, where, presumably because of its conservative pedigree, right-wing commentators ran with it as if it were a point scored by the right against the White House. Some conservative blogs suggested that the story showed that Obamaâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s own doctor opposed "socialized" healthcare, (e.g., here and here). On the popular right-wing site National Review Online (NRO), blogger Mark Hemingway joined in, posting three paragraphs of the Forbes report, followed by the triumphant, one-word commentary: "Ouch." Had Hemingway and his […]

Jun
23
2009

MSM Has 'Personality Bias, Not a Liberal Bias'

Dirk Smillie's Forbes interview (6/18/09) with veteran news analyst Andrew Tyndall includes the observation that "mainstream press–network newscasts in particular–have been criticized for overly favorable coverage of the Obama administration." Tyndall takes the opportunity to make some important distinctions about this common allegation: There may be a personality bias, not a liberal bias. Since the inauguration, Obama has completely dominated the news agenda. He's a ratings getter. Compare that with George W. Bush's early days in the White House. There was very little news until September 11. It's certainly true that there has been favoritism toward Obama, but only in […]

Jan
24
2009

25 Most Influential (or Not) Liberals (or Not)

Leave it to Forbes to get someone from the Hoover Institution to do an "in-depth" feature on "The 25 Most Influential Liberals in the U.S. Media" (1/22/09). The results are about as bogus as you might imagine, including a number of people who are not only not liberals, but who are actively loathed by the actual left end of the media spectrum–and the feeling is generally mutual: folks like Fred Hiatt, Thomas Friedman, Fareed Zakaria, Christopher Hitchens (did their Nation sub lapse in 1998?), Maureen Dowd, Chris Matthews and Andrew Sullivan. Then there are some corporate journalists whose "liberalism" seems […]