Feb
26
2013

Iranians and Their Clunky Propaganda!

Iran-oscars

I suppose we might ignore that the first lady of a country appeared at an awards show, flanked by members of the military, to present a prize to a film about the heroism of U.S. intelligence. No, the real problem is Iran's Photoshopping.

Jan
11
2013

Hugo Chavez: Why Does He Hate Us?

washpost-chavez

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez might be excused for harboring some hard feelings towards a government that helped to try to overthrow your own. Which may be why U.S. reports rarely bring up the 2002 coup attempt–and when they do, treat Washington's involvement in it as another nutty Chavez conspiracy theory.

Dec
07
2012

This Time, Trust Anonymous WMD Claims–They've Got 'Specific Intelligence'

NBCNN-Syira

The theatrics of WMD claims about Syria–satellite images, anonymous sources and so on–are obviously reminiscent of the lead up to the Iraq War. But media stress that this time–it's different.

Nov
21
2012

What's Missing from CBS's Gaza History?

Gaza after Operation Cast Lead (Photo: Physicians for Human Rights)

Giving viewers a quick sense of context and history is important in any story, but especially in the Israel/Palestine conflict. Doing a bad job of it is perhaps worse than not doing it at all. CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley gave this summary on November 19: We wanted to remind you tonight of what Gaza is and how it came to be. The Gaza Strip was laid out in 1949 after the war that created Israel. It's home to Palestinians displaced in that war and to the generations that followed. Only 25 miles long, roughly ten miles wide, Gaza's population is 1.7 […]

Nov
20
2012

You Think You're Getting Social Security But You're Not, Says Multimillionaire Banker

Lloyd Blankfein (photo: Stuart Isett)

What should the U.S. do about the so-called "fiscal cliff"? Who better to ask than Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, "one of the world's most influential bankers"? That's what CBS Evening News must have been thinking, anyway, when they did a segment last night (11/19/12) all about Blankfein's opinions. CBS's Scott Pelley began: "When we asked Blankfein how to reduce the federal budget deficit, he went straight for the subject that politicians don't want to talk about." BLANKFEIN: You're going to have to undoubtedly do something to lower people's expectations. The entitlements, and what people think that they're going to […]

May
08
2012

Media, Austerity and Bad Medicine

The election results in Greece and France sent a clearer message about austerity: Voters don't like it. That sentiment isn't hard to fathom; massive spending cuts and pay cuts aren't fixing the problems in their economies–they're making things worse. Media coverage seems to be clearer these days about what the public thinks of austerity. But the assumption that austerity is mostly "good" still seems firmly in place. Like this Washington Post lead (5/7/12): Voters in France and Greece redrew Europe's political map Sunday in a powerful backlash against the German-led cure for the region's debt crisis: painful austerity. It's not […]

Feb
28
2012

No Fracking Way, CBS Evening News

The February 23 CBS Evening News segment on hydraulic fracturing gas drilling, better known as fracking, revealed how journalists can cover a highly controversial subject by removing the controversy. The report started off with references to high gasoline prices; the implication, then, is that domestic gas drilling will help solve that problem. As anchor Scott Pelley kicked things off: President after president has called for energy independence for America, but somehow it never seems to happen. But Anna Werner talked to an oil man today who is predicting that it's coming, and in just a few years. That oil man […]

Dec
21
2011

CBS, Panetta and (Hypothetical) Iranian Nukes

The Monday broadcast of CBS Evening News (12/19/11) began with big news, with anchor Scott Pelley announcing: The secretary of Defense says tonight that the United States will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. In an interview with CBS News, Leon Panetta says that despite efforts to disrupt their nuclear program, the Iranians have reached a point where they can assemble a bomb in a year or potentially less. To ratchet up the drama, Pelley told viewers that Panetta was aboard "the jet nicknamed the Doomsday Plane. This is the command post where he and the president would […]