Pundits Bemoan Failure to Cut Social Security


Media comments after the Obama administration backed off attempts to cut Social Security benefits exhibited a curious notion about where the "middle" is and what "majority support" means.


To Milbank, Ending NPR and Afghan War Are Both 'Trivial Pursuits'

Washington Post Dana Milbank (3/19/11) skewers the Republicans for their "emergency meeting" to defund NPR: This particular emergency involved the lower end of the FM radio dial. Republicans, in an urgent budget-cutting maneuver, were voting to cut off funding for National Public Radio. All $5 million of it–or one ten-thousandth of 1 percent of the federal budget. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office ran the numbers and calculated the impact this emergency measure would have on government spending: "No effect." One of the rules of corporate media balanceisthat if you criticize Republicans, you have to findan example of similarbuffoonery on the […]


Facts Are 'Fair Game' for WPost's Axe-Grinding Editorialists

A Washington Post editorial (12/3/10) on the film Fair Game complains that "the film's reception illustrates a more troubling trend of political debates in Washington in which established facts are willfully ignored." Talk about lack of self-awareness. The film dramatizes the story of Joseph Wilson, a former ambassador who blew the whistle on the Bush administration's intelligence manipulation, and his spouse Valerie Plame Wilson, who was outed by the administration as a covert CIA officer in retaliation for her husband's criticism. The Post editorialists have been grinding their axes on the Wilsons' case for a long time now, and the […]


WaPo Editor Wants a War Debate–Somewhere Else

Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt wrote a piece today (5/24/10) headlined, "In the Absence of Debate, Iraq and Afghanistan Go Unnoticed." Hiatt laments the silence surrounding U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and ponders whether "the absence of debate reflects not full-bodied consensus but a wishful averting of eyes." Fair enough. But what kind of debate does Hiatt wish the country to have, anyway? His job gives him a chance to affect the national discussionabout these wars, and the evidence suggests that he's done little to provide a forum for dissenting views. As FAIR's Steve Rendall wrote in […]


Why I Couldn't Say What Dan Froomkin Said Reporters Should Do

I wrote a short item on Dan Froomkin's firing for FAIR's radio show CounterSpin today: One of the bright spots at the Washington Post media enterprise was Dan Froomkin's column, "White House Watch," for WashingtonPost.com. It often struck us that Froomkin had a whole different attitude–skeptical of those in power, and critical of their journalistic enablers–than most of his colleagues at the Post Co. So it was perhaps not too surprising to hear that Froomkin, one of the Post's most popular online writers, had been fired–not long after his column was placed under the authority of editorial page editor Fred […]


On Pundits' 'Unhinged Notion' of the U.S. as 'Human Rights Arbiter'

In his regular Salon feature (3/10/09, ad-viewing required), Glenn Greenwald is having a hard time stomaching corporate media pundits' righteous "lectures to other countries": The Washington Post's Fred Hiatt today condemns the Obama administration generally and Hillary Clinton specifically for "continu[ing] to devalue and undermine the U.S. diplomatic tradition of human rights advocacy." Hiatt is angry that on her trips to China, Egypt and Turkey, Clinton failed to issue sufficiently stern and condemning lectures about those countries' human rights abuses. The depths of the fantasy world in which our political elite reside–and their complete lack of self-awareness–borders on pathological. While […]


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 […]