May
01
2009

The Sham That Is 'Objective' Corporate Journalism

In a Consortium News rejoinder (4/30/09) to how "mainstream U.S. news media often laments the decline of objective journalism, pointing disapprovingly at the more subjective news that comes from the Internet or from ideological programming," Robert Parry writes that one could argue that the U.S. mainstream press has inflicted the severest damage to the concept of objective journalism by routinely ignoring those principles, which demand that a reporter set aside personal prejudices (as best one can) and approach each story with a common standard of fairness. The truth is that powerful mainstream news organizations have their own sacred cows and […]

Apr
20
2009

MSM: Pioneers in Selective Memory

Norman Solomon is unable to resist the irony (Huffington Post, 4/11/09) of a lead New York Times article titled "Brain Researchers Open Door to Editing Memory," inverting the futuristic character of news that scientists possibly "could erase certain memories by tinkering with a single substance in the brain" to look back on how "American media outlets have been pulling off such feats for a long time": The scientists trying to learn how to wipe out "specific types of memory" are lagging way behind. Don't need to remember the vast quantities of napalm, Agent Orange and cluster bombs that the U.S. […]

Feb
17
2009

Self-Censorship Trumps Official Censorship

FAIR associate Norman Solomon (Creators Syndicate, 2/14/09) tells why he's concerned the potential lifting of the government ban on press photography of war casualties' coffins isn't "particularly good news": I wrote in my book War Made Easy that ambiguity is part of the process that we bring to the media-consuming table: "Visual images may be among the most powerful messages we receive about war, but those graphic messages still leave it to us to assign them meaning. And we, in turn, assess meaning not so much because of what's in front of our eyes as because of what's behind them–our […]

Feb
05
2009

Joan Didion and the 'War to End Peace'

Norman Solomon's latest column (Creators Syndicate, 1/31/09) looks over a decade in which "the false truism of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction led to the horrors of the Iraq invasion and occupation," and "in the wake of 9/11, overall, the main journalistic outlets of the United States fed us falsehoods, hysteria, self-righteousness and endless permutations on rationales for waging war in Afghanistan and Iraq." Luckily Solomon noticed that "sometimes the best journalism is something else" that might not "pass the muster for soundbites or long-form televised discourse as historic events unfold": During the second year of the "war on […]

Jan
26
2009

Pundits 'Nod Sagely' at Madness of War

A January 23 New York Times column by Bob Herbert distilled the message of Barack Obama's nascent administration as "No more crazy wars." FAIR associate Norman Solomon's reaction (AfterDowningStreet.org, 1/26/09): "I wish." Lamenting the current "narrowness of political vision–while news outlets are reporting that the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan is expected to 'as much as double this year to 60,000 troops'"–Solomon recalls the Lyndon Baines Johnson inaugural speech that "foreshadowed the massive slaughtering of people in Vietnam": Pundits and congressional leadership nodded sagely as the president cited the threat of Communism and proceeded to boost U.S. troop levels […]

Jan
19
2009

The 'Wide-Ranging Discourse' of All-White NPR

Finding it "more than ironic" and even "disturbing and more than a little sad," Norman Solomon (Creators Syndicate, 1/17/09) points out that "at the same time that the United States is inaugurating a new presidency that marks the crashing of a racial barrier at the White House," the African-American-centric News & Notes–a show "actually staffed by African-Americans"–is being canned by National Public Radio: One of the ironies is that NPR, an outfit which many people regard as a bastion of wide-ranging discourse, has an internal atmosphere so corporate that many journalists there are afraid to talk publicly–to journalists! Check this […]

Dec
21
2008

Chris Matthews: 'Stinker' of the Year?

FAIR founder Jeff Cohen and longtime FAIR associate Norman Solomon have compiled their 17th annual list of "P.U.-litzer Prizes" (OpEd News, 12/18/08). Among this year's "stinkiest media performances": HOT FOR OBAMA PRIZE — MSNBC's Chris Matthews This award sparked fierce competition, but the cinch came on the day Obama swept the Potomac Primary in February–when Chris Matthews spoke of "the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama's speech. My, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don't have that too often." BEYOND PARODY PRIZE–Fox News In August, a FoxNews.com teaser for the O'Reilly Factor […]

Dec
09
2008

Media's 'Axiomatic' Warmongering

Recalling that "during the mid-1960s, the conventional wisdom was what everyone with a modicum of smarts kept saying: higher U.S. troop levels in Vietnam were absolutely necessary," FAIR associate Norman Solomon is distressed to find (AntiWar.com, 12/9/08) that "today, the conventional wisdom is that higher U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan are absolutely necessary." Responding to news that "'the Pentagon is planning to add more than 20,000 troops to Afghanistan' within the next 18 months," Solomon writes that right now, the basic ingredients of further Afghan disasters are in place–including, pivotally, a dire lack of wide-ranging debate over Washington's options. In […]

Oct
15
2008

The $700 Billion Media 'Stampede'

FAIR associate Norman Solomon pens (Columbus Free Press, 10/13/08) a "Requiem for the Bailout Storyline": More recent events should not be allowed to obscure the reality that the news media played a pivotal role in stampeding the country into a bailout that was unwise and unjust….

Sep
29
2008

The 'Abrogation of Journalism'

FAIR associate Norman Solomon tells Real News viewers (9/29/08) of lessons to be drawn from corporate U.S. media's non-coverage of what was big news overseas during the run up to war on Iraqâ┚¬”U.S. spies used the U.N. arms inspection process to identify future bombing targets and track Saddam Hussein's movements