May
30
2014

Brian Williams Frantically Tries to Prove He's No Glenn Greenwald

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Before NBC aired its Edward Snowden special, its evening newscast presented a lengthy report presenting the case against the NSA whistleblower.

Mar
07
2014

FAIR TV: Ukraine Hysteria, US Hypocrisy, Keystone Protest

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This week: US media go into overdrive over Russia/Ukraine, painting the conflict as proof that Barack Obama isn't feared enough. Plus pundits laugh at Putin's delusion–but what about John Kerry's? And a big anti-Keystone XL rally at the White House hardly makes the news.  Watch:

Mar
05
2014

Putin's 'Delusions' and Double Standards

John Kerry on CBS

Media are suggesting that Russian leader Vladimir Putin's defense of his actions in Ukraine suggests he is delusional. But what do they call it when US leaders appear unable to remember US invasions of other countries?

Nov
26
2013

CNN's Parade of Iran Hawks

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CNN's Sunday show offered a very one-sided discussion of the Iran nuclear deal–and some misinformation from host Candy Crowley.

Sep
17
2013

UN Report Provides Information, Not 'Intelligence'

Rocket engine depicted in UN report.

The contrast between the two reports is striking: While Kerry's report avoided providing specific details to back up its claims–"in order to protect sources and methods," Kerry said–the UN report strove for maximum transparency.

Sep
04
2013

Asking Kerry Questions–but Which Ones?

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John Kerry appeared on all of the Sunday talkshows. But he was mostly not asked about the case for war with Syria. Instead, the questioning was overwhelmingly concerned with Barack Obama's decision to seek congressional approval for an attack on Syria.

Sep
03
2013

John Kerry's Very Precise Death Toll: Where Does It Come From?

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Media reports emphasize the number John Kerry gives for the number of Syrians killed in the apparent chemical attack. But where does that number come from–and why is substantially higher than other estimates?

Sep
01
2013

Which Syrian Chemical Attack Account Is More Credible?

Secretary of State John Kerry making the case that Damascus has used chemical weapons (US State Department)

Which account of the mass deaths in Syria should be given more credence: the U.S. government version introduced by Secretary of State John Kerry, or the article published by the Minnesota-based news site Mint Press? The government account expresses "high confidence that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack." The Mint report bore the headline "Syrians in Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack."

Aug
30
2013

On Syria, Intelligence and Evidence

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One would hope that the lessons of Iraq might inform more of the coverage of Syria. But that's not always the case. Over the course of the past week, the White House and various officials have been adamant that they have evidence that shows the Syrian government was responsible for the horrific attack last week that likely killed hundreds, and very well could have been a chemical or gas attack of some sort. But too many journalists were treating what the government said it knew as if it was already actual evidence. On NBC Nightly News (8/27/13), Andrea Mitchell reported […]

Jan
09
2013

A Cabinet of Peaceniks?

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It goes to show you how limited the debate over warmaking is when politicians whose records are mostly pro-war can be portrayed as war skeptics. That's what is happening with Barack Obama's new cabinet picks: Sen. John Kerry for secretary of State and former Sen. Chuck Hagel as Defense secretary.

Jul
17
2012

Mitt Romney Swift Boats Himself

The criticism of Mitt Romney's time at Bain Capital doesn't appear to be leaving the headlines.  And thus some political reporters are, as Jamison Foser notes, drawing an unusual comparison: Romney is being Swift Boated. The latest example comes from Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen (7/17/12): In a sense, Romney deserves the Swift Boating he's now getting from the Obama campaign and the president himself. In case you missed the 2004 campaign: The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth was formed to cast doubt on John Kerry's Vietnam War record. TV commercials were cooked up to expose Kerry as a fraud […]

Aug
10
2011

WaPo Misleads on Dem's 'Super Committee' Picks

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has named his picks to the "super committee" charged with making deficit reduction recommendations. Reid named Washington Sen. Patty Murray and center-right Max Baucus, who the Post's Rosalind Helderman today (8/10/11) calls a "natural choice," given that he chairs the Finance Committee. The New York Times is a little more helpful, pointing out that Baucus broke with other Democrats and supported tax cuts enacted in 2001 under President George W. Bush. He also worked with Republicans in 2003 to pass legislation that added a prescription drug benefit to Medicare. This is important for anyone who […]

Mar
08
2011

Hawks vs. Hawks: Debating U.S. Military Intervention in Libya

The New York Times has a piece today (3/7/11) about the debate over U.S. military intervention in Libya. The paper reports that there are persistent voices–in Congress and even inside the administration–arguing that Mr. Obama is moving too slowly. Reporters David Sanger and Thom Shanker contend that there is too much concern about perceptions, and that the White House is too squeamish because of Iraq. And who are those persistent voices? The most vocal camp, led by senators John McCain, the 2008 Republican nominee for president, and Joseph I. Lieberman, the Connecticut independent and another hawk on Libyan intervention, say […]