The national media watch group
Updated: 2 hours 7 min ago
It's no secret that U.S. media loathed the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Much of that was purely political; sure, Chavez could have given shorter speeches and been nicer to his political opponents–but it's hard to imagine that would have mattered much to, say, the Washington Post editorial board. One thing that turned up constantly in Chavez coverage over the years was his suspicion that the United States government was looking to undermine his rule. As a Washington Post news article (1/10/13) put it: A central ideological pillar of Chavez's rule over 14 years has been to oppose Republican and [...]
The compelling interest in the public knowing that a high-ranking public official has taken part in highly controversial and perhaps even illegal actions, in the view of these news outlets, is apparently outweighed by their duty, as they see it, to keep the government's secrets.
This week on FAIR TV: A look at some of the media panic over North Korea, how the press is spinning the gun debate and why USA Today's front page headline about how "we" are all "feeling rich" might not not actually apply to us all of us.
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.
The Associated Press announced a change in their style guide: The wire service will no longer refer to "illegal immigrants," except in direct quotes. The change is a victory for activists who have called for years for journalists to stop using the term.
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."
Reporting positive polling for the Keystone XL pipeline, USA Today reports, "The numbers come amid continuing efforts to clean up a major new oil spill in Arkansas." But "come amid" is another way of saying "entirely unrelated to."
An Israeli airstrike on Gaza yesterday is being reported as a breach of the cease-fire agreement that was reached after violence last November between the Israeli military and Hamas forces. But the new accounts are misleading: They give the impression that Israel hasn't regularly violated the agreement already.
Household wealth is on the rebound, USA Today reports--but mostly because of the stock market. Which means it means next to nothing to the vast majority of us.
Former Reagan budget director David Stockman is outraged–outraged I tell you!–by the Federal Reserve increasing the money supply. In a lengthy op-ed on the front page of the New York Times Sunday Review (3/31/13), he condemns "the mad money printers at the Federal Reserve" with their "egregious flood of phony money" and "a radical, uncharted spree of money printing." The Fed's "panic-stricken melee of…money-printing," he writes, is part of "the single most shameful chapter in American financial history." For all this moral indignation, however, he never gets around to explaining what exactly is wrong about "printing money." It's certainly possible [...]
On two Sunday shows this weekend, the hosts made the same point about the White House's plan for modest gun control efforts: The public isn't going along. Oddly, they both ignored their own networks' polling that would have undermined their argument.
In an article that should go down in the annals of improbable news analyses, Peter Baker argues in the New York Times (3/28/13) that the Chief Justice might be in favor of gay rights if they weren't so popular: Momentum in the political world for gay rights could actually limit momentum in the legal world. While the court may throw out a federal law defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, the justices signaled over two days of arguments that they might not feel compelled to intervene further, since the democratic process seems to be playing [...]
"Outspent and lately out-hustled by highly organized gay rights organizations," USA Today reports, "opponents have struggled to get their story out." That's a curious premise, given that "their story" is the law of the land, and that's why we're talking about it in the first place.
Who stands between the hard-working people of Upstate New York and money and jobs coming out of the ground? Why, it’s actor Mark Ruffalo.
The journalists amazed by Mark Sanford's comeback make the mistake of assuming that since the GOP spends so much time preaching "family values" and "social conservatism," Republican pols who violate these preachments must pay a greater price than less moralistic Democrats.
On the 102nd anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, Janine Jackson's article in the last issue of Extra! (3/13) is a sobering reminder that not that much has changed in the last century as far as worker safety is concerned: What should be done to prevent incidents like the January 26 fire at the Smart Fashion Export factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in which at least seven garment workers (three of them teenage girls) were killed, their escape impeded by a blocked exit and the absence of the most rudimentary fire safety equipment? The answer for many would be: whatever is [...]
The headline on a story by Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi is "On Iraq, Journalists Didn't Fail. They Just Didn’t Succeed." To make that case, though, he has to redefine "failure" so far down that it's hardly possible to avoid failing.
Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, claiming victory in the "War on Christmas," declares that the new battle is the "War on Easter." In Bill O'Reilly's conspiracy theory, Barack Obama's election has emboldened "Secular Progressives" to ban the Easter Bunny because he stands in the way of jailing people who "criticize minorities."
This week on FAIR TV: Joe Scarborough remembers some things about the Iraq War--but forgets the things he said back then. We'll take a look at the CNN Steubenville coverage that had so many critics outraged. And the Washington Post presented two takes on drone deaths in Pakistan.
The new issue of Time has a pretty interesting piece on the debate over Obama's drone program. One way to measure the shift in official opinion is to consider that a little more than a year ago, the magazine hardly seemed to think there was any debate at all.