Dramatic weather-related disasters are ready made for TV news. But what's not on the screen? The human-made climate change that is affecting, and in some cases exacerbating, that extreme weather.
One-sided report excludes agency critics
The National Security Agency has been the source of major controversy, thanks to the journalists writing critical stories based on files shared by whistleblower Edward Snowden. But the agency got a very different media reception from CBS correspondent John Miller, whose lengthy December 15 60 Minutes report looked more like PR than journalism. Miller explained at the top of the segment: "Full disclosure, I once worked in the office of the Director of National Intelligence, where I saw firsthand how secretly the NSA operates." (As with most "full disclosures," this is hardly full; Miller has spent much of his career […]
This week on CounterSpin: Since his death, Nelson Mandela has been portrayed in the media largely as a beloved, almost saintly figure. But Mandela was once feared and despised by some US elites, and the press mirrored that. What changed? We’ll speak with UCLA professor Robin D.G. Kelley about Mandela.
Also on the show: Detroit asked for bankruptcy, because it's $18 billion in debt, due largely to bloated public sector pensions. That might be the basic shape of the story you've heard; listeners won't be surprised to hear that every part of it is wrong. We'll talk with economist Dean Baker about the causes of Detroit's problems and the problems with the solutions.
Agency's role in Mandela capture still mostly not news
fter a 2009 coup removed left wing president Manuel Zelaya, many were watching the elections in Honduras to get a sense of where the country—and US policy—might be heading. The early results said the elections were relatively clean, and the leading conservative candidate won the vote. But is that the whole story? Azadeh Shahshahani from the National Lawyers Guild will fill us in.
Also on CounterSpin today, Marissa Alexander is free on bond. But the Florida woman sentenced to 20 years for firing a warning shot in an altercation with her abusive husband still faces a retrial next year. How far has our legal system, and our society, really advanced in understanding domestic violence cases and are media helping? We'll talk with journalist Esther Armah about that.
TV news seldom connects extreme weather and global warming
Television news thrives on drama. Stories that can blend danger and dramatic footage are much more likely to be considered “newsworthy.” So it’s no surprise that extreme weather plays a major role in the network evening news broadcasts. “As we come on the air this Friday night, millions of people are trying to drive home on sheets of ice,” ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer (2/22/13) announced at the beginning of one broadcast. But for the TV networks, weather events are most often discussed in isolation: A new FAIR study shows that even when covering weather events that scientists suggest […]
Reporting needed on present-day impacts of global warming
This week on CounterSpin: The COP 19 climate talks in Warsaw were filled with intrigue, secret memos and walkouts by green groups and delegations from developing nations. What was accomplished at the summit? We'll talk with Michael K. Dorsey, the director of the Joint Center’s Energy & Environment Program.
Also on CounterSpin: Is big business breaking up with the Tea Party? Some political observers and pundits seem to think so, seeing a growing divide between the Republican Party and its corporate backers. But historian and journalist Rick Perlstein suggests this storyline isn't all that it's cracked up to be.