Sep
10
2010

Militarization of State Dept. Stirs Little Media Interest

When Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies appeared on FAIR's radio show CounterSpin last week, she challenged Barack Obama's assertions that U.S. combat in Iraq was ending and that the last combat brigade was leaving the country, describing the plans the U.S. actually has in store for Iraq: The policy has not changed. It is true that the number of troops are significantly lower than they were at their height of 165,000; it's now down to about 50,000. That's a good thing. Reduction in troops is a good thing. But the notion that this troop reduction somehow means […]

Aug
12
2010

Jeffrey Goldberg Pushes for War With Iraq–er, Make That Iran

Former Israeli soldier and current writer for the Atlantic Jeffrey Goldberg has a long cover story (9/10) on the "better than 50 percent chance" that Israel will launch air strikes against Iran by next July, with the aim of taking out the alleged nuclear threat from the Islamic Republic. Based on roughly 40 interviews with American, Arab and Israeli officials–some of them anonymously–Goldberg meanders from describing the worst-case scenario for what will happen after Israel attacks Iran to relaying dubious Israeli claims about how Iran is the new Nazi Germany to an analysis of Netanyahu's relationship with his right-wing 100-year-old […]

Jul
08
2010

What Gets You Fired From CNN

Octavia Nasr has been a Mideast correspondent for CNN for 20 years, and was their senior editor of Mideast affairs. Until yesterday. On hearing of the death of a Hezbollah leader, she posted the following on her Twitter feed: Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah. One of Hezbollah's giants I respect a lot. This expression of sympathy offended some, who were outraged that a journalist would say anything likethat about anyone associated with Hezbollah. Nasr explained in a follow-up on CNN's website: I used the words "respect" and "sad" because to me, as a Middle […]

Jun
28
2010

Journalistic Standards Plunging, Say Anonymous Name-Calling Friends

Salon's Glenn Greenwald has an illuminating post (6/27/10) that argues that the Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg, with his "self-praising, desperately insecure need to tout his own wisdom, knowledge and expertise, while demeaning those who are not admitted to his Special Club…is a perfectly illustrative face of the American establishment media." Responding to Goldberg's assertion (Atlantic, 6/25/10) that the resignation of Washington Post blogger Dave Weigel after making anti-conservative comments in what he thought was a private forum reflected "a lack of adult supervision, and…the proper amount of toilet-training," Greenwald wrote: In his first post arguing that Weigel's hiring evinced the Post's […]

Jun
15
2010

The Real Ed Henry

NPR's Brooke Gladstone (On the Media, 6/11/10) interviewed CNN's Ed Henry about thesquirt-gun party at the vice president's mansion that Henry giddily tweeted about: BROOKE GLADSTONE: If these events don't influence coverage, why do you think the White House throws them? Do they just want to shoot you with a super-soaker? ED HENRY: Maybe they wanna actually get to know us as people sometimes. And Glenn Greenwald (Salon, 2/15/10) comments: Marc Ambinder disclosed that it was the DNC that paid for the party.But Ed Henry thinks that they do that because Rahm Emanuel and Joe Biden and the other White […]

Feb
23
2010

To the NYT, Advocates of Killing More Civilians Are Something to Seek Out

Salon's Glenn Greenwald has had a couple of posts (2/18/10, 2/22/10) on a New York Times op-ed (2/18/10) that urged the U.S. to not worry so much about killing civilians in Afghanistan. The piece was written by Lara M. Dadkhah, who is vaguely identified as an "intelligence analyst" and who notes that she is "employed by a defense consulting company." Greenwald's second post reports that Dadkhah actually works for Booz Hamilton, a very well-connected military and intelligence contractor. Greenwald quotes from a response that media critic Charles Kaiser got from Times op-ed editor David Shipley when he asked about Dadkhah's […]

Jan
13
2010

Nameless Sources and the Crisis of Accountability

Glenn Greenwald (Salon, 1/12/10) makes an excellent point about the corrosive effect of the widespread use of anonymous sourcing by the most powerful U.S. news outlets. After listing a number of false stories that got prominent coverage in U.S. media, Greenwald writes: Unjustified anonymity–especially when mindlessly repeating what shielded government sources claim in secret–is the single greatest enabler of false and deceitful"reporting."… None of the falsehoods documented here will ever lead to any accountability, because the identity of the falsehood-producers will be shielded by their loyal journalist-servants, and the journalists themselves will simply claim that they wrote what they did […]

Sep
04
2009

Big Media Ponder Source of Right's 'Media Firestorms'

One of the items enumerated in Glenn Greenwald's round-up of "Various Matters" for Salon (9/4/09, ad-viewing required) addresses how NBC's "Chuck Todd this week noted the series of petty scandals the right has been manufacturing and remarked: 'The ability of some conservatives to create media firestorms is still much greater than liberals these days'"–which viewpoint Greenwald calls out as really reflective of one of the more irritating media syndromes: their tendency to talk about media coverage as though they have nothing to do with it and can't exert any influence over it; media coverage is just something that happens to […]

Aug
28
2009

'Meaningful Change' at the New Republic

Glenn Greenwald (8/27/09, ad-viewing required) of Salon's series of New Republic quotes morphing from condemning a perceived "anti-Lieberman jihad" to calling for "knocking off Democrats like Conrad and Joe Lieberman" charts the outlet's "rapid and total reversal–one effectuated without the slightest acknowledgment that it even occurred." Calling the change "just the accountability-free nature of Beltway punditry," Greenwald also spies "a more important point highlighted here": namely, it is a sign of how dysfunctional the Democratic Party is–and how meaningless is their glorious super-majority–that even the New Republic, which long prided itself on safeguarding the party from nefarious left-wing influences, is […]

Aug
24
2009

Chuck Todd, Meet Jeremy Scahill

Scahill and Todd on Bill Maher

Independent journalist Jeremy Scahill (The Nation, Democracy Now!) appeared on HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher alongside NBC White House correspondent Chuck Todd. Because Jeremy isn't the type to let such an opportunity to go to waste, he used some of his time to castigate the corporate media for failing to question the White House about the reliance on private contracting firms like Blackwater in Iraq and Afghanistan. And he also brought up Todd's opinion that investigating Bush-era abuses would be a distraction. Scahill shared with Salon.com's Glenn Greenwald what happened off camera: Right as we walked off stage, he […]

Aug
19
2009

Healthcare Debate as Lobbyist's Own 'Business Interests'

According to Salon blogger Glenn Greenwald (8/18/09, ad-viewing required), pro-coup lobbyist and frequent news show guest Lanny Davis is merely "masquerading as a 'political analyst' and Democratic media pundit," when really he "is unmoored from any discernible political beliefs other than: 'I agree with whoever pays me.'" Greenwald's present example is a new Politico and the Hill commentary in which Davis warns of "The Dangerous Joining of the Far Right and Far Left" and declares it "time for the vast center-left and center-right of this country to speak up and call them out" because "silence is no longer acceptable by […]

Aug
09
2009

Left's Non-Smears Worse Than Right's Nazi Talk?

Glenn Greenwald has responded via his regular Salon feature (8/6/09, ad-viewing required) to Rush Limbaugh, "speaking to his audience of 15 million, compar[ing] Barack Obama to Adolph Hitler and Nancy Pelosi to Nazi leaders," by asking you to instead compare (a) the way that a single anonymous person's comparison of Bush and Hitler swamped our political discourse and forever altered the image of MoveOn with (b) what the (non)-reaction will be to the identical comparison coming from the leader of the Republican Party who spouts his hate-mongering to an audience of 15 million people. Within that comparison one finds many […]

Jul
23
2009

Venerating — but Not Emulating — Journos of Yore

In a piece about current media "Celebrating Cronkite While Ignoring What He Did" by (belatedly) condemning the U.S. war on Vietnam, Salon blogger Glenn Greenwald (7/18/09, ad-viewing required) addresses another recently passed war reporter as well: When Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Halberstam died, media stars everywhere commemorated his death as though he were one of them–as though they do what he did–even though he had nothing but bottomless, intense disdain for everything they do. As he put it in a 2005 speech to students at the Columbia School of Journalism: "The better you do your job, often going against conventional […]