Media remember Margaret Thatcher for turning around Britain's economy. But do the numbers tell a different story? Also: Barack Obama's plan to cut Social Security and Medicare is inexplicably deemed a move to the "center," and pundits are monitoring the 2016 election by paying close attention to… Hillary Clinton's haircut?
FAIR TV: Big Papers Withhold News, Curious 'Confirmation' of Israeli Gov't Claims, 60 Minutes Plays Softball
This week on FAIR TV we take a look at the the "informal arrangement" between several media outlets–including the New York Times and the Washington Post– to not report news about a CIA drone base.
We also talk about the curious standard for "confirming" news from Israeli government officials, and we take a look at the 60 Minutes softball interview with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
At the top of his 60 Minutes interview with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, Steve Kroft declares, "The White House offered us 30 minutes, barely enough time to scratch the surface of their complicated personal and professional relationship, let alone discuss their policies." Apparently what that meant was, "So I didn't bother to ask them about that policy stuff."
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. [...]
Covering Hillary Clinton's trip to India, USA Today's Richard Wolf writes (5/8/12): Fielding rapid-fire questions at a town-hall-style event in Kolkata, she denounced Iran's nuclear arms program and urged India to reduce its Iranian oil imports further. "We appreciate what has been done, and of course we want to keep the pressure on Iran," she said. When I read that I thought, "Here we go again, another outlet misstating the basic facts about the Iran debate." Then I checked the transcript of the Clinton's town hall, and that is indeed what she said, in response to a question about U.S. [...]
With all the chatter about the inevitability of Mitt Romney winning the Republican nomination, it might be useful to recall the last time the media were sending the same message about an early favorite, at least according to the national polls: Democratic Nomination Preferences Oct. 4-7, 2007 Gallup Poll Candidate % Support Hillary Clinton 47 Barack Obama 26 John Edwards 11 Bill Richardson 4 Joe Biden 2 Dennis Kucinich 1 Chris Dodd 1 Mike Gravel * Other 1 No opinion 5
I noticed a few stories in today's USA Today (6/13/11) about supposed Republican front-runner Mitt Romney. There will be plenty more of this to come–horserace commentary based on polling that's being done in order to give journalists a reason to talk about one candidate more than another, which candidate has "momentum" and so on. It's worth remembering that the polling at this stage of the race is useless. Actually, it's probably worse than that, since the political press corps obsesses over this trivia at the expense of doing any actually useful reporting about the candidates. I wanted to find a [...]
It's probably better for American political leadersthat we forgetthe U.S. bombing of Cambodia. "A massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. Anything that flies on anything that moves," was how Secretary of State Henry Kissinger put it in 1970 (NY Times, 5/27/04), reflecting Richard Nixon's concern that the large-scale aerial bombing wasn't doing enough damage. In 2000, President Bill Clinton released Air Force records on the U.S. bombing of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. As Taylor Owen and Ben Kiernan wrote (Walrus, 10/06): The still-incomplete database (it has several "dark" periods) reveals that from October 4, 1965, to August 15, 1973, the United [...]
Noticing that Democratic strategist Mark Penn "is the Wall Street Journal's 'Microtrend'-spotting columnist" and "also CEO of PR giant Burson-Marsteller," Gawker blogger Hamilton Nolan (8/26/09) posits that "only a scumbag would abuse the former to drum up business for the latter." Alas, "Scumbag spotted!" is Nolan's cry when writing that Penn's latest (old, and none too insightful) "Microtrend" column is about "glamping"–glamorous camping. It ran last weekend. By Monday, according to an internal email obtained by Gawker, Burson was already trying to recruit companies from the industry featured in the column as clients. Nolan goes on to remind us that [...]
The dominant story from Hillary Clinton's trip to Africa was not her comments about combating rape and sexual violence in Congo. No, the top story was Clinton's testy response to a question about what her husband thought of Chinese business interests in Kenya Congo. That exchange prompted a whole story in today's New York Times by Jeffrey Gettleman ("Clinton's Flash of Pique in Congo"). While that's already kind of sad, it turns out that the questioner misspoke; he actually meant to ask what Barack Obama thought of these deals. But either way, apparently, you get to psychoanalyze Hillary Clinton: After [...]
Guest Women In Media & News blogger Adele M. Stan (8/5/09) has some more to say about the WashingtonPost.com's "now-infamous 'Mad Bitch' video": Last Friday, Talking Points Memo's Brian Beutler shone a light on a video produced by the Washington Post that featured one of the two columnists hosting the piece suggesting that, at a future White House beer summit, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton be given a brew called "Mad Bitch." Then all hell broke loose. The Post apparently thought it could fix the problem by simply pulling the video. A note was posted above the hole where the [...]
Howard Kurtz recently offered fellow Washington Post reporters Dana Milbank and Chris Cillizza a chance to apologize for having, in an online Post feature, "implied Hillary Clinton was a 'bitch.'" But American Prospect's Tapped blogger Adam Serwer (8/5/09) has a question regarding Milbank's aside that "it's a brutal world out there in the blogosphere…. I'm often surprised by the ferocity out there, but I probably shouldn't be": What's the sound of a million hands facepalming? No one who goes around using obscenities to describe other reporters and administration officials should be complaining about the "ferocity" of blogs–if Milbank is bothered [...]
Corporate media outlets treat U.S. intelligence agencies with solemn reverence when those agencies are reinforcing official views about American enemies and friends. This is true even when the same media outlets are duped by intelligence agencies time and again. But stray from the nationalist straight and narrow, and these otherwise respected sources risk becoming invisible, perhaps even suspicious. That's what happened in the run up to the Iraq War. CIA director George Tenet was prominently quoted as he affirmed the White House's most dire fabrications, but when intelligence officials at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the State Department, the Department of [...]