Aug
26
2014

WaPo Bemoans a Climate Debate It Helped 'Devolve'

Sarah Palin (cc photo: David Shankman)

The paper's editorial page has a new focus on fighting climate change. But will it keep publishing climate nonsense?

Nov
22
2013

With Filibuster Flip-Flops, George Will Displays His (Groucho) Marxist Tendencies

George Will may be the dean of conservative punditry with a reputation for sober consistency, but when it comes to intellectual honesty and principle–well, a person could get whiplash trying to follow his opportunistic and hypocritical positions over the years. On Thursday's Special Report on Fox News (1/21/13), George Will was sad that the Democrats had invoked the "nuclear option," preventing Senate minorities from using the filibuster to block presidential appointments, other than Supreme Court nominees. "It was a melancholy day for American life," said Will: It diminishes minority rights, which are always at threat in a democracy, where majorities […]

Aug
06
2013

Covering Weiner

abc-weiner

"We shouldn't even be wasting our time talking about Anthony Weiner," the pundits say– and then they continue to talk about him anyway.

Mar
18
2013

George Will & Theoretical Liberal Media Bias

FireShot Screen Capture #396 - ''This Week' Roundtable I_ This Week in Politics I Video - ABC News' - abcnews_go_com_ThisWeek_video_week-roundtable-week-politics-18749268

George Will offers imaginary headline to prove his point about liberal media bias. Real headlines, unfortunately, don't back up his case.

Mar
01
2013

FAIR TV: Sequester Spin, Iranian vs. U.S. Propaganda, Stop & Frisk Factcheck

Janine Jackson on FAIR TV

This week we take a look at how the Washington Post challenges some sequester spin. And CBS pokes fun at Iranian claims about Argo–but are the Iranians right that Argo is fiction? Plus George Will has some thoughts about stop-and-frisk policing.

Feb
25
2013

George Will's Stop & Frisk Factcheck

gwill2

The ABC Sunday show This Week had not one but two roundtables this weekend. Right-winger George Will appeared on both of them, because… well, he knows a lot of stuff.

Aug
08
2012

Harry Reid, the New Joe McCarthy

Senator Harry Reid started a whole lot of trouble on the campaign trail when he told some Huffington Post reporters that he'd heard that Mitt Romney paid no taxes. As in zero. For an entire decade. Now there are reasons to be skeptical of Reid's account. As Dana Milbank pointed out, Reid's record does not inspire confidence. He says he got this scoop in a phone call with a Bain Capital investor. There is no other documentation or information to substantiate the allegation. Of course, Romney could settle the issue by releasing his tax returns– which is presumably why Reid […]

Jul
09
2012

The Future of the Planet? Get Over It

You would think–or maybe hope–that journalists who have to appear alongside climate change deniers would find it a bit awkward. It used to be that media were faulted for creating false "balance" in coverage of climate change–quoting reality-based scientists in roughly equal measure with non-scientists who either don't think there's a problem or don't think human activity has anything to do with it. That doesn't seem to be as much of a problem anymore (though it made a comeback after "Climategate"). But ABC has a built-in climate problem: The network's Sunday morning show regularly includes right-wing climate denier George Will, […]

Jun
01
2012

George Will, Grasping at Something

If you tuned in to ABC's This Week (5/27/12) to hear the panel of pundits discussing the economy, you may have George Will say this about Barack Obama: He's made clear what the choice is this fall, and it really became clear, I think, this week. The president wants capitalism without casualties. He wants dynamism but no dislocations. Now, remember, this is the president who says that ATMs and airport ticket kiosks cause unemployment. That gives you his grasp of the economy. ATMs and ticket machines–what's George Will talking about? it turns out there's some back story here–none of which […]

May
07
2012

It's Hard to Change the Discussion of Poverty on Sunday Morning

FAIR's recent study of the Sunday morning network shows documented a distinct right-wing bias in the guestlists. Republicans and conservatives were everywhere; progressives and people of color, not so much. Since the study was released, there left-leaning commentator/TV host Tavis Smiley has been on two shows, CBS's Face the Nation (4/22/12) and ABC's This Week (5/6/12) The latter showed how a guest like Smiley can broaden the discussion– at one point he invoked Martin Luther King's critique of militarism to talk about current U.S. policy. And he talked about poverty: I think we have to all agree here, though, that […]

Apr
17
2012

Richard Cohen on Candidate Lying Is Half-Baked–and Half Cribbed

Richard Cohen says he envies people who are persuasive liars. He really ought to envy people who are persuasive writers. His column today (4/17/12) is ostensibly about how Mitt Romney is a big liar. It goes almost its entire length, though, before citing any compelling examples of Romney lying. (Cohen does say call Romney's claim "rubbish" that he doesn't watch the ads his Super PAC supporters make to attack his opponents–but is it really so hard to believe that a candidate might choose to remain strategically ignorant about such spots?) At the end, he points out that Romney claims Obama […]

Mar
05
2012

Rush and the Right: The 'Clown' GOP Leaders Fear

Rush Limbaugh's attack on Georgetown student Sandra Fluke–calling her, among other things, a "slut" for advocating for contraceptives coverage–has caused some stirrings on the right that are worth looking at. One outcome is the idea that Limbaugh's an outlier who sensible people repudiated. Kathleen Parker's Washington Post column on Saturday (3/2/12) cheered Limbaugh for uniting all decent people in opposition to his crude attacks: Who'd have thought that Rush Limbaugh would become the great uniter in this divisive political season? Indeed, he has united decent people of all stripes and persuasions with his vile remarks about a Georgetown University law […]

Jan
03
2012

Grading George Will on Student Loan Debt

George Will (cc photo: Keith Allison)

George Will's January 1 column in the Washington Post was a laundry list of familiar criticisms of progressives and Democrats–they worry too much about climate change, for instance. Another non-problem, in Will's world, is student loan debt: Political logic suggests that this year Obama will try to rekindle the love of young voters with some forgiveness of student debts. But one-third of students do not borrow to pay college tuition. The average debt for those who do borrow to attend a four-year public institution is $22,000, and the average difference between the per-year earnings of college graduates and those with […]