Jul
19
2013

What It Takes to Get a Reporter to Correct An Error

cnn-barnes

When Jeremy Scahill called out a CNN reporter for an error, she eventually corrected her mistake on the air. That's good– and more outlets should be doing the same. Unfortunately the "non-correction correction" is more typical–or, as in the case of MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, a media figure will simply ignore the issue.

Jul
15
2013

CBS Gives Iran Nuclear Fearmongering a Voice

ftn-netanyahu

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been sounding alarms over Iran's nuclear program for two decades. On Sunday CBS Face the Nation gave him yet another chance to make dubious claims about the threats posed by their supposed weapons.

Nov
01
2010

David Broder's Economic Rx: War With Iran

Washington Post columnist David Broder sees one way for Barack Obama to demonstrate leadership after the midterms–push for war with Iran. Lest one be accused of misrepresenting his argument, this is what he wrote in his October 31 column, which starts out talking about the how a president can influence the economy: What else might affect the economy? The answer is obvious, but its implications are frightening. War and peace influence the economy. Look back at FDR and the Great Depression. What finally resolved that economic crisis? World War II. Here is where Obama is likely to prevail. With strong […]

Jan
14
2010

MSNBC Goes to a Suspect Source on Iranian Scientist's Killing

Various forces have been accused of being behind the January 12 killing of Iranian nuclear scientist Massoud Ali Mohammadi–including the Iranian government, the Iranian opposition, the United States and Israel. To sort through this murky subject, MSNBC (1/12/10) turned to Democratic congressmember Jane Harman, who confidently told Andrea Mitchell: I think the logic here is that the Iranian government or some group associated with them took this guy out. I mean, it's a sign of desperation to start killing your own nuclear scientists. So who is Harman, that we should trust her sense of what the "logic" behind Middle East […]

Oct
01
2009

'Top Things You Think You Know About Iran That Are Not True'

As negotiations begin in Geneva between Iran, Germany and the U.N. Security Council permanent members, Juan Cole debunks the prevailing myths about Iran. Myths that could not endure if U.S. news outlets took journalism seriously and challenged U.S. officialdom on Iran.

Jul
25
2009

Lessons From 'the Abyss of Yesterday's News'

Realizing that "by now, talk of the Iranian elections will have traversed into the abyss of yesterdayâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s news," Warehouse magazine contributing writer Mohsen al Attar (7/10/09) still thinks "the events narrate a highly educational tale about the role of media in present-day society": Few would question the media machine's efficiency. Once a major media outlet decides to run with a story–as was done with the Iranian election protests–there is little to arrest its circulation or to challenge the implications the particular telling makes. Of the Iranians and non-Iranians supporting the protests–and they are numerous in Canada alone–an important distinction can […]

Jul
13
2009

John Pilger's 'Historic Opportunity' to Change Media

Independent investigative journalist John Pilger recently (7/6/09) gave Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman his view of the broad media landscape, informed by the fact that "we have many alternative sources of information now, not least of all your own program, though I wouldn't call that alternative": But for most people, the primary source of their information is the mainstream. It is mainly television. Even the Internet, for all its subversiveness, is still a very large component of the mainstream. And that means we're getting still this singular message about wars, about the economy, about all those things that touch our lives. […]

Jun
30
2009

A Look at Iranian Voting Turns Up Bad News for U.S. Democracy

Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research had one of the most informative pieces I've seen on the Iranian election, published on WashingtonPost.com (6/26/09). Weisbrot examines the actual Iranian vote-counting procedures, and concludes that in Iran, "large-scale fraud is extremely difficult, if not impossible, without creating an extensive trail of evidence." Since votes are supposed to be counted at individual polling places in the presence of 14-18 witnesses, Weisbrot points out that "if this election was stolen, there must be tens of thousands of witnesses–or perhaps hundreds of thousands–to the theft. Yet there are no media accounts […]

Jun
29
2009

'Catch Phrase' vs. Reality in Iran

Knowing how much "we reporters love a catch phrase," Iran writer Reese Erlich (ZNet, 6/28/09) wants you to know that, despite "Twitter being all a flutter in the west," current reporting is "highly misleading" in that "Iran is not undergoing a Twitter Revolution. The term simultaneously mischaracterizes and trivializes the important mass movement developing in Iran." After tracing the concept's origins back to self-obsessed Western media–"desperate to find ways to show the large demonstrations…reporters were getting most of their information from Tweets and YouTube video clips"–Erlich gives us the reality of the situation: First of all the vast majority of […]

Jun
29
2009

Mexico Electoral Fraud 'in the Dust of History' at NYT

Veteran independent Mexico reporter John Ross (CounterPunch.com, 6/28/09) wants to know which countries come to mind when thinking about "a stolen election by an entrenched regime," "demands for a recount to which election officials respond by offering to recount just 10 percent of the vote," or even "a regime-controlled media that exalts the incumbent's victory and demonizes the loser"? Are you thinking "Iran 2009? Yes!" or "Mexico 2006? Yes and no." Toward showing that "the stealing of the Mexican presidential election by the right-wing oligarchy stirred little indignation anywhere outside of Mexico," Ross finds that "a comparison of coverage extended […]

Jun
27
2009

CNN Covering for U.S. Coup That Even Obama Acknowledges

Proving his memory better (or at least less selective) than that of the institution of corporate journalism, Media Bloodhound blogger Brad Jacobson (6/24/09) is proposing that "It might be more difficult for Republicans to bash President Obama for being 'timid' in his comments about the Iranian government's violence against protesters if the U.S. media didn't consistently censor U.S./Iranian history": Take CNN's recent Iran timeline, titled "A Brief Look at Iran's History." According to the timeline, which begins in 1979, Iran has "been at odds with the West and some of its neighbors" since the overthrow of the Shah of Iran, […]

Jun
03
2009

U.S. Media Complicit in U.S. Intimidation of Media

Discussing (5/31/09) the "story on the two U.S. journalists detained in North Korea," NPR Check's Mytwords states clearly that it "deserves coverage, as did some coverage of [Roxana] Saberi's arrest in Iran (though not the wall to wall attention given by NPR)." But a reader's link to the L.A. Times' May 24 "article on another irregular (illegal?) detention of a journalist" sheds light on a glaring double standard: In this case the journalist was seized by U.S. forces and its allies. The reader noted the lack of NPR coverage on the abduction/detention of Ibrahim Jassam, complaining that NPR has voiced […]

May
26
2009

Press Freedom 'Lip Service' vs. 'de Facto U.S. Policy'

Reporting that "the Obama administration has recently paid a lot of lip service to freedom of the press, particularly around the case of Iranian-American journalist Roxanna Saberi, who was released May 11 from an Iranian prison," Jeremy Scahill asks (Rebel Reports, 5/26/09) the simple question, "If Iran Freed Roxanna Saberi, Why Won't the U.S. Release Journalist Ibrahim Jassam?" Part of the answer might lie in a media environment heeding former Col. Ralph Peters' recent "essay for a leading neocon group calling for future U.S. military attacks on media outlets and journalists" along with "censorship" and "news blackouts." Of course, Scahill […]