Oct
30
2013

Music as a Weapon? It's No Joke

Britney Spears; Somali Pirates (FoxNews.com)

Joking about pop music that's so bad it's painful helps obscure the all-too-serious use of sound as a weapon that causes actual pain.

Oct
18
2013

FAIR TV: Hearing Malala's Message, Zakaria's CEO Panel, Networks Do Self-Promotion

Malala Yousafzai (cc photo: GPE/Sarah Beeching)

US media ignore one part of Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai's message. CNN's Fareed Zakaria talks about inequality and Occupy Wall Street with….three CEOs? And corporations view the news networks they own as vehicles to promote their other properties.

Oct
15
2013

Occupy and Inequality: Zakaria Listens to CEOs

FireShot Screen Capture #634 - 'On GPS_ Blankfein on debt ceiling' - www_cnn_com_video_data_2_0_video_bestoftv_2013_10_09_exp-gps-blankfein-debt-ceiling_cnn_html

CNN host Fareed Zakaria dedicated a portion of his October 13 CNN show to a discussion of income inequality and the second anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. The guests? Goldman Sachs' Lloyd Blankfein and two other CEOs.

Jan
04
2013

Phony Occupy Link to Weapons Cache

cbs-ows

It's bad enough to treat a unsubstantiated claim by a partisan news outlet, with a record of sensational misinformation on the same subject, as a relevant fact in a story. But how do you justify using this junk journalism as a chance to let a source give free rein to his fantasies of how Occupy might take a turn towards violence?

Sep
18
2012

NYT Buries Occupy Wall Street

oocupy-fizzle

The Paper of Record has spoken: We didn't think much of Occupy before, and now what we think is that it's over. The day before Occupy activists were gathering to mark the movement's one-year anniversary, Times columnist Joe Nocera wrote (9/16/12): "For all intents and purposes, the Occupy movement is dead." Before the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Nocera explains, there was complacency. It was easy to believe that housing prices could only go up and that we could always rely on debt to maintain our standard of living. We shrugged as manufacturing jobs disappeared–5.8 million just since 2000–and good middle-class […]

Aug
17
2012

At NPR, You Can Take Money From Banks–Just Don't Protest Them

Even if you're not be an expert in media ethics, you'd probably agree that a show about finance and business exclusively sponsored by one giant bank has an obvious conflict. The fact that the show is on public radio might make such an arrangement all the more curious. And the fact that the host of the show also makes money giving speeches to the financial institutions he covers…. Well, now, that's not how things are supposed to work. But that's precisely how things work for Adam Davidson, the host of NPR's Planet Money. His program's exclusive underwriter is Ally Bank, […]

Jul
12
2012

The Broken Link Between OWS and a Murder

NY Post: "OWS Murder Link"

"OWS MURDER LINK." That's how the New York Post's front page (7/11/12)  announced a report that DNA from a 2004 crime scene had supposedly been matched with DNA from a chain used to hold open a subway gate in an Occupy Wall Street protest. Inside, under the headline "OWS Link to '04 Gal Slay," the paper had 37 paragraphs on the story, along with three large photographs with a caption asserting that "DNA from a March Occupy protest (above) has been linked to the murder" of Juilliard student Sarah Fox. The New York Daily News, for its part, had "OWS […]

May
02
2012

May Day Media

With Occupy Wall Street making its May Day comeback, what did the corporate media have to say? Take a look at the New York Times story (5/2/12), which was stuffed in the Metro section and focused on… well, take a look at the headline: About half of the article is focused on arrests, "occasionally bloody clashes" and the like. Before the protests even started, there were warnings about what was to come. On ABC's Good Morning America (5/1/12), Josh Elliot warned viewers: We're gonna begin with what's shaping up to be a potentially brutal morning commute, particularly in major cities […]

Apr
03
2012

No Protests From the Left–According to Progressive TV Guest

Here's something you don't see very often–a progressive person of color on a Sunday morning chat show. There was Van Jones on ABC's This Week on April 1. Also there? Right-wing firebrand Ann Coulter. Huh. But it was something that Jones said that caught my attention. Well, you know, I think that probably the majority of people who are in the Democratic Party, progressive independents or what I would call post-hope Democrats–we're Democrats, we did the vote and hope. And when we–what happened was, we sat back and we let the Tea Party crowd dominate the protests world in the […]

Feb
15
2012

Bizarre Record of Fox's Rape-to-Be-Expected Pundit

Liz Trotta, a Fox News contributor and former Washington Times editor, drew attention this week (2/12/12) when she suggested that women serving in the U.S. military should expect to be sexually assaulted by their male counterparts: But while all of this is going on, just a few weeks ago, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta commented on a new Pentagon report on sexual abuse in the military. I think they have actually discovered there is a difference between men and women. And the sexual abuse report says that there has been, since 2006, a 64 percent increase in violent sexual assaults. Now, […]

Feb
02
2012

'Bard of the 1 Percent' Sings the Same Tune

New York Times columnist David Brooks, who's been called the "bard of the 1 percent" for his writings in defense of the economic elite, is at it again–telling people not to worry about the concentration of wealth at the very top of the income scale. Brooks writes in his January 31 column that the claim that "America is threatened by the financial elite, who hog society's resources" is a "distraction." Brooks argues: The real social gap is between the top 20 percent and the lower 30 percent. The liberal members of the upper tribe latch onto this top 1 percent […]

Dec
14
2011

Driving Out Politics From Privately Owned Public Space

Battery Park City's Winter Garden (photo: Jim Naureckas)

The Winter Garden is one of New York City's largest and most beautiful indoor public spaces. Graced by giant palm trees that would look impressive on Sunset Boulevard and a vast skylight that provides year-round balmy sunlight, this crossroads of Manhattan's Battery Park City became a symbol of Downtown's rebirth when it was reconstructed after being devastated in the September 11 attacks. Yet this crucial community gathering space–which provides a much-needed public square that's hospitable throughout the year–is actually privately owned by Brookfield Office Properties, a multinational real-estate developer that owns the World Financial Center that the Winter Garden is […]

Dec
07
2011

Covering OWS, With Expert Commentary by Andrew Breitbart

USA Today's Rick Hampson has a piece today (12/7/11) on Occupy Wall Street's Occupy Our Homes actions, which include efforts to move families into vacant housing. This coverage is a good sign if you think there is still something happening with this movement after the evictions in New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere. But why does the article include commentary from right-wing scam artist Andrew Breitbart? The paper reports: Conservative online publisher and commentator Andrew Breitbart said the movement's new focus demonstrates that Occupy Wall Street is not "an authentic grassroots movement" but a political maneuver backed by organized labor […]