Jul
17
2014

NYT Rewrites Gaza Headline: Was It Too Accurate?

NYT-Gaza-headline

The New York Times rewrote a headline about Palestinian kids being killed on a beach to remove the fact that they were killed.

Jun
20
2014

The Iraq Surge 'Worked' All Over Again

NBC-Engel-surge

Treating "the US troop surge worked" argument as a fact, as Engel is doing, is very dangerous–since it logically suggests that it is only the presence of US troops that can keep Iraq safe.

Mar
04
2014

The Good Kind of Protesters–and the Bad Kind

Good protesters.

The complex anti-government protest movements in both Venezuela and Ukraine were boiled down by US corporate media to send a clear message to their domestic audience: These are the good guys.

Jan
06
2014

Forgetting Fallujah

US airstrike, Fallujah, February 2006 (cc photo: James Gordon)

More than a decade later, US media still see Fallujah primarily as a place where US forces suffered–and died–perhaps "in vain." Then and now, the hundreds of Iraqis who died in Fallujah hardly register at all.

Aug
19
2013

Richard Engel and U.S. Aid to Egypt

egypt-engel

Since Engel's point was that things must stay as they are, it's not likely that the NBC reporter's words will cause much controversy–certainly things would be different if he'd have given an equally impassioned rationale for cutting off aid to Egypt's military government.

Apr
05
2013

North Korea's Attack Plan: Apocalypse Never Mind

cnn-nk

It didn't take long for TV coverage of North Korea to enter the "Retired General Sketches Out War Games on a Big Map" phase. But a recent example of the genre on CNN demonstrated only the alarmism seems to be the order of the day.

Apr
03
2013

North Korea 'Rattles Sabres'; Meanwhile, U.S. Pretends to Drop Nuclear Bombs on Them

NBC's Brian Williams

To hear U.S. corporate media tell it, there are "exercises" right next door, conducted by the world's most powerful military, which possesses thousands of nuclear weapons–and then there's menacing "saber-rattling."

Feb
04
2013

When 'Confirmed' Means 'An Official Told Me So'

sa17

NBC's Richard Engel report that "what we've been able to confirm" is that a Syrian convoy attacked by Israel "was packed with fairly sophisticated Russian anti-aircraft missiles." It is highly doubtful that Engel could "confirm" any such thing–unless by "confirm" he means that NBC is confirming that government sources are claiming what they are claiming.

Nov
21
2012

Precise Weapons Kill Civilians Too

Photo: PCHR

As a general rule, it'd be better if media accounts of war did not stress the surgical precision of the weapons being used. It's a fixture of U.S. reporting on U.S. wars, but the same rhetoric is used when U.S. allies are dropping bombs.   According to Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen (11/19/12):  Israel has gone out of its way to avoid civilian casualties. Its air force has used new, highly accurate ammunition aiming for rocket-launching sites and government installations. For the most part, it has succeeded. Aron Heller of the Associated Press (11/17/12) had this description of the Israeli military: Israel, […]

Nov
09
2012

Obama's Imaginary Embrace of the Arab Spring

Young protester in Tahrir Square (photo: Ryan McGovern)

Surveying international reaction to Barack Obama's re-election, NBC Nightly News correspondent Richard Engel declared (11/7/12): In the Middle East, there is hope that President Obama will embrace the Israeli/Palestinian peace process in second term the way he embraced the Arab Spring in his first. This would be a surprising reaction to find among people in the Middle East, given that Obama did not really "embrace" the Arab Spring. Consider Egypt, arguably the most high-profile uprising; the original White House response was to stand by dictator Hosni Mubarak. The White House continues to support the regime in Bahrain. And it's likely […]

Oct
26
2011

Iraq, Finally Learning to Ride Its Bike

Richard Engel on NBC Nightly News (10/21/11), speaking about the end of the Iraq War: The training wheels off, Iraq will have to succeed or fail without American troops on the ground to guide the way. That's quite a metaphor–invading and occupying a country for eight years as "training wheels." Engel's report includes this reference to the death toll: Iraqi deaths, almost 150,000, but many Iraqis believe it's a million. Of course it's not just Iraqis who believe this–the British polling firm Opinion Research Business (ORB), which has worked for the BBC, the British Conservative Party and the International Republican […]

Feb
01
2011

Richard Engel, Tear Gas and the 'Egyptian Perspective'

NBC Nightly News reporter Richard Engel held up a tear gas canister on the air to show that it was stamped "Made in the USA." But something else he said on the January 28, 2011 newscast struck me: But what's scattered on the streets of Cairo right now are these little canisters. These were the tear gas canisters that were fired by all those riot police today. And if you look at them closely, they say clearly in English, "Made in the USA." Egyptians have been picking them up, they've been looking them over. And from an Egyptian perspective, it […]

Oct
13
2009

Is Engel Too Opinionated–or Does He Have the Wrong Opinion?

When NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Richard Engel recently returned from Afghanistan, he told MSNBC's Morning Joe, "I honestly think it's probably time to start leaving the country." Engel added, "I really don't see how this is going to end in anything but tears." Engel's comments caused Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz (10/12/09) to raise an eyebrow at a reporter stating an opinion: "That sounds awfully opinionated for a working reporter," wrote Kurtz. But we had to wonder if what really attracted Kurtz's scrutiny was Engel's stating of an opinion, or the opinion itself? After all, for years FAIR […]