Mar
18
2014

And Now, an Expert on America's Schools: Bill Gates

Bill Gates, schools expert

A rare segment on network news about education policy–and the only guest is a billionaire on one side of the fight.

Nov
11
2013

Who's an Iran Expert? The Hawks Have Their Say

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The Iran nuclear negotiations had the Sunday shows talking–but who are they talking to? And do they know what they're talking about?

Aug
20
2013

Frisking Bill Kristol

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Neocon pundit Bill Kristol was wrong every which way about the Iraq War. So why's he on ABC talking about stop and frisk?

Jul
09
2012

The Future of the Planet? Get Over It

You would think–or maybe hope–that journalists who have to appear alongside climate change deniers would find it a bit awkward. It used to be that media were faulted for creating false "balance" in coverage of climate change–quoting reality-based scientists in roughly equal measure with non-scientists who either don't think there's a problem or don't think human activity has anything to do with it. That doesn't seem to be as much of a problem anymore (though it made a comeback after "Climategate"). But ABC has a built-in climate problem: The network's Sunday morning show regularly includes right-wing climate denier George Will, […]

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 […]

Apr
24
2012

Prostitution Scandal Is the Big Government Story You Were Waiting For

The Beltway press is remarkably fixated on two stories: A "scandal" over an $800,000 General Services Administration (GSA) conference in Las Vegas, and the unfolding saga involving prostitutes and some Secret Service and military officers in Colombia. The White House thinks both are bad, of course, but not worth the amount of coverage they're getting. Beltway journalists think otherwise, and seem to want to believe that by paying so much attention to these stories they are a) standing up to the government by exposing wrongdoing; and b) not really talking about prostitutes at all, but telling a larger quasi-morality tale […]

Dec
21
2011

ABC's Bogus Big Government Debate

On Sunday (12/18/11), ABC's This Week presented an installment of what it's calling "The Great American Debates." What it really was, though, was a perfect example of how corporate media adopt right-wing assumptions when framing a discussion. In this case, it was a debate over Big Government. The show's opening sounded like a Tea Party rally: CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: This week, a special program on the defining issue of 2012. Has Uncle Sam become too big, too powerful? A bailout bonanza, a welfare state? A tax-and-spend Goliath crushing the entrepreneurial spirit when America can't afford to fall behind? That's the rallying […]

Nov
07
2011

Another Sunday Morning, Liberal Media Style

ABC This Week host Christiane Amanpour (11/6/11) kicked the show off with a pretty funny joke: Clash of the titans in Texas last night, as Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich met for the first of a series of one-on-one Lincoln/Douglas-style debates. Less funny was the show's very imbalanced roundtable discussion: So let's bring in our roundtable: George Will, the Huffington Post's Arianna Huffington, former George W. Bush strategist Matthew Dowd, and historian and Newsweek columnist Niall Ferguson, author of the new book Civilization: The West and the Rest. Three conservatives and the left-liberal Huffington. But if anything, ABC's panel was […]

Oct
11
2011

ABC Interviews OWS Activist–and Media Critic

ABC's This Week (10/10/11) had a normally tilted panel on Sunday talking about, among other things, Occupy Wall Street. The show had three different types of conservatives (former Bush adviser Matthew Dowd, fixture George Will and columnist Peggy Noonan) along with Democratic pundit Donna Brazile. But then host Christiane Amanpour actually interviewed someone involved with Occupy Wall Street–DailyKos blogger Jesse LaGreca. He is perhaps best know as the guy who was interviewed by Fox News Channel at the protest–and took the chance to bash Fox News Channel. And he did media criticism on This Week too: LAGRECA: I mean, the […]

Sep
26
2011

GOP Reality TV Show Needs New Contestant

ABC This Week (9/25/11): CHRISTINE AMANPOUR: And coming up, Rick Perry on the ropes. PERRY: Yep, there may be slicker candidates and there may be smoother debaters, but I know what I believe in, and I'm going to stand on that belief every day. I will guide this country with a deep, deep rudder. AMANPOUR: Can the new frontrunner come back from a shaky debate performance? Or is Chris Christie waiting in the wings to steal his thunder? New York Times (9/26/11): After Perry's Debate Showing, Eyes Turn Toward Christie Washington Post (9/26/11): Texas Gov. Rick Perry's recent stumbles–his rambling […]

Jul
05
2011

Jose Antonio Vargas and the 'I Word'

Reporter Jose Antonio Vargas wrote a moving piece for the New York Times magazine about his status as an undocumented immigrant. One hope is that his story might improve the tone and substance of media coverage of immigration; Vargas has suggested as much, at one point tweeting this message: Undocumented Immigrant trending. So let's drop "Illegal" and "Alien." No person is illegal or an alien. His story has received a tremendous amount of media attention. But as Monica Novoa pointed out at ColorLines, too much coverage has dwelt on Vargas' "illegal" status: Vargas' story has drawn enormous media attention and […]

Jun
20
2011

Meet the Press–But Skip the Libya Debate

There is growing Congressional opposition to the Libya war. Two House votes this month sought to challenge the White House policy– one of which passed by a wide margin. On Saturday (6/18/11) Charlie Savage reported in the New York Times that the Office of Legal Counsel's advice to Obama was that he needed to comply with the War Powers Act. Obama rejected their advice, which as Savage reported is "extraordinarily rare." Congress will be taking up more Libya debates this week, with a potential vote scheduled to stop the funding of the war. And the recent Republican presidential debate showed […]

Apr
04
2011

Only Hotheads Talk About the Effects of Budget Cuts

Corporate media's preference for"centrism" canoftentranslate intoreporting that casts two sides of a debate as equally belligerent or unwilling to compromise. ABC reporter Jonathan Karl's report yesterday on This Week (4/3/11) offers a perfect example of the absurdity of this worldview. His focuses was on the battle over the federal budget. On one side are Tea Party activists who want deeper spending cuts. Karl notes that this createssome frictionbetween the activists and GOP leaders. Then there's the other side of the debate: KARL: Democrats have their hot heads, too. One Obama administration official said the Republican bill, which cuts $5 billion […]