May
07
2012

It's Hard to Change the Discussion of Poverty on Sunday Morning

FAIR's recent study of the Sunday morning network shows documented a distinct right-wing bias in the guestlists. Republicans and conservatives were everywhere; progressives and people of color, not so much. Since the study was released, there left-leaning commentator/TV host Tavis Smiley has been on two shows, CBS's Face the Nation (4/22/12) and ABC's This Week (5/6/12) The latter showed how a guest like Smiley can broaden the discussion– at one point he invoked Martin Luther King's critique of militarism to talk about current U.S. policy. And he talked about poverty: I think we have to all agree here, though, that […]

Aug
10
2011

Poverty Tour Meets Poor-Bashing CNN Host

Radio hosts author/social activists Tavis Smiley and Cornel West are on anti-poverty tour, trying to draw attention to issues that are neglected in most political discussions–and all but absent in corporate media. The good news, in theory, is that they're getting some national TV attention. But this is one of those cases where you start off wishing there was more media coverage–until you see what kind of coverage you get. Then you're wishing for something else. Appearing on CNN's American Morning (8/8/11), host Carol Costello got off on the wrong foot, quoting from a letter from a CNN viewer: This […]

May
17
2011

Bill Moyers and Tavis Smiley on Public TV's Elite Bias

Bill Moyers on the Tavis Smiley Show (5/13/11), talking about the elite bias in the media: Television, including public television, rarely gives a venue to people who have refused to buy into the ruling ideology of Washington. The ruling ideology of Washington is we have two parties, they do their job, they do their job pretty well. The differences between them limit the terms of the debate. But we know that real change comes from outside the consensus. Real change comes from people making history, challenging history, dissenting, protesting, agitating, organizing. Those voices that challenge the ruling ideology–two parties, the […]