Jul
05
2012

Shamir Remembered–With Selective Amnesia

In death, the U.S. media remembered the late Yitzhak Shamir as "a political hard-liner who served two terms as Israeli prime minster" (CNN, 6/30/12), "the hawkish Israeli leader who balked at the idea of trading occupied land for peace with the Palestinians" (MSNBC, 6/30/12) and "a man of iron will and simple tastes" (Washington Post, 6/30/12) who prided himself on his hard-line views, his relentless determination to hang onto every square inch of what he considered the Land of Israel, and his championing of Jewish settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, defying the demands of Israel's most […]

Mar
26
2012

CNN Pushing Alarmist Tales of Hezbollah Sleeper Agents

With discussions of a military attack on Iran circulating among U.S. and Israeli political elites, CNN has added fuel to the fire with a series of alarmist reports about supposedly Iranian-linked terrorist operatives inside the United States who are ready to strike. On the March 21 broadcast of the Situation Room, anchor Wolf Blitzer announced that there could be "a terrifying new reason for all of us to be potentially very worried about U.S. tensions with Iran." What's the terrifying potential worry? Some U.S. officials apparently claim: Iran has a large terrorist-trained force right here in the United States right […]

Jul
18
2011

Murdoch's Journal Defends Bosses on News Corp Scandal

In the wake of the News Corp scandal and the resignation of their own paper's publisher/CEO, the editors of the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal came out swinging today (7/18/11) against critics who would question the Journal's own standards and even "perhaps injure press freedom in general." Today's editorial first goes for deflection: Scotland Yard's failure to stop the hacking is "more troubling than the hacking itself," and "it is also worth noting the irony of so much moral outrage devoted to a single media company, when British tabloids have been known for decades for buying scoops and digging up dirt […]

Apr
29
2010

Obama's DOJ vs. the First Amendment

The Obama Justice Department–or at least one of its top prosecutors–is cracking down on investigative reporting without regard for the First Amendment. The first disturbing development was the indictment of NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, whose leaks to the Baltimore Sun helped expose how the NSA's warrantless spying program deliberately failed to protect the privacy of U.S. citizens. Now the same prosecutor who indicted Drake–William Welch, who stepped down from a prior post as head of the Justice Department's public integrity unit after botching the prosecution of Sen. Ted Stevens (R.-Alaska)–has opened a new front against freedom of the press. Welch […]

Jul
16
2009

When Reporters Are Present, Yet 'Fail to Bear Witness'

Arianna Huffington's latest column (Huffington Post, 7/13/09) presents a compelling portrayal of the power of new democratic media–versus the self-preserving corporate model of news gathering–in the Chinese government response to major riots last week: "It choked off the Internet and mobile phone service, blocked Twitter and Fanfou (its Chinese equivalent), deleted updates and videos from social networking sites, and scrubbed search engines of links to coverage of the unrest." But here's the rub: "At the same time, it invited foreign journalists to take a tour of the area": That's right, it slammed the door in the face of new media–and […]

Jul
10
2009

NYT's 'Blatant Lie' Now 'Embedded Fact… as Intended'

Salon's Glenn Greenwald (7/9/09, ad-viewing required) is extolling "The Significance of McClatchy's Act of Journalism" when reporting that recently released six-year Guantanamo prisoner Haji Sahib Rohullah Wakil–one of many who supposedly "returned to or are suspected of returning to terrorism after their release"–"far from being in hiding, operates openly among officials of Afghanistan's U.S.-allied government." Labeling Nancy Youssef's piece "a consummate example of excellent journalism," Greenwald also wants us to note the central role the New York Times played–yet again–in spreading and given credence to pure government propaganda. And the method used to accomplish that is exactly what led them […]

Jun
14
2009

Inverting Reality at 'Recidivist' NY Times

Finding the May 21 New York Times article on unconvicted (often even uncharged) former Guantanamo prisoners supposedly "rejoining" terrorist groups "especially troubling" in that "it turns the truth upside-down," Dan Kennedy (UTV, 6/9/09) explains how reporter Elisabeth "Bumiller's story played into the darkest fears promoted by Cheney and his fellow conservatives by making it appear that terrorists captured on the battlefield and sent to Guantanamo would resume their jihadist ways upon being released." In reality, "the far more disturbing truth, borne out by the Pentagon's own figures, is that we are creating terrorists at Guantanamo." Yet it has to be […]

Oct
20
2008

Fox, Beyond Parody

What happens after your credulous reporting helps sell the public argument on the case for the Iraq invasion, and your name becomes more or less synonymous with the broad media failures on the war? You get hired by Fox News, according to today's Washington Post. Fox's John Moody's comments are worth a special note: "She has a very impressive résumé…. We've all had stories that didn't come out exactly as we had hoped…. She has explained herself and she has nothing to apologize for." Fox News is expected to announce today the hiring of a new contributor, a veteran national […]