Search Results for: Bob Somerby

Jun 1 2006

Bush-Hating Nation

Anatomy of an epithet

Appearing on MSNBC’s Situation with Tucker Carlson (2/14/06), conservative talkshow host and film critic Michael Medved linked an Oscar nomination he disapproved of to a mental illness he called “Bush hatred”: This Bush hatred is a disease, and it’s completely obsessive. And it’s reached the extent that if you take a look at movies that are nominated for the Oscar this year, one of the frontrunners, in fact the frontrunner for best foreign language film, is a film made in the Palestinian Authority. “Bush-hater” has been a favorite epithet of Republican partisans since 2003. A Nexis search shows the term […]

Nov 1 2004

Meet the Stenographers

Press shirks duty to scrutinize official claims

A bizarre debate has emerged regarding whether journalists have a duty to investigate and assess the credibility of sources and their claims. Some highly placed journalists seem to say such judgments are not their job. Citing what they say are journalistic principles, they claim that investigating and reporting about the veracity of claims and the credibility of sources is just not what they do. In fact, it’s not only their job, it’s an essential task of journalism. The Society of Professional Journalists is very clear on the subject: At the top of the group’s Code of Ethics, under the heading […]

Sep 29 2004

Post-Debate Fact-Checking Is Media’s Main Job

September 29, 2004 Who “wins” the presidential debate on Thursday may well depend on how well media do their job on Friday. In past debates, post-debate commentary has frequently focused on the candidates’ style, body language and other cosmetic issues. The L.A. Times (9/29/04) suggested that these seemingly unimportant details can swing a campaign: “Who could have predicted that in 1992 the camera would catch an apparently unengaged President George H.W. Bush checking his watch during a debate with Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton? (Bush lost the election.) That in 2000, Gore would be remembered for inappropriately grimacing and sighing during […]

Mar 12 2004

Bob Somerby on Kerry coverage, Susan Moeller on WMD study

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: barring any major disruptions, John Kerry will be the Democratic nominee for president. Bush campaign officials are getting to work on him early in an effort to “define” Kerry for the voters. So how have the media handled the charges against Kerry so far? CounterSpin will ask Bob Somerby of the Daily Howler website. And a brand new study from the University of Maryland’s Center for International and Security Studies gives U.S. news coverage of weapons of mass destruction low marks. CounterSpin will talk to the study’s author, University of Maryland journalism professor Susan […]

Oct 1 2002

When Conservatives Smear, Pundits Duck

Why the Washington Times got away with an NEA hoax

A smear campaign against the National Education Association reveals the state of modern-day agit-prop, in which conservative groups feel free to spread ugly slanders, and an increasingly indolent mainstream press corps barely raise a finger to challenge ugly attacks. The smear began on August 19, with a front-page article in the Washington Times by that paper’s Ellen Sorokin. According to Sorokin, the NEA would soon post a website containing lesson plans about September 11 that would advise teachers to “take a decidedly blame-America approach;” she singled out a quote advising teachers to avoid “suggesting that any group was responsible” for […]

Mar 25 2001

Pitching Softballs

Why are journalists going easy on Bush?

Imagine that while Bill Clinton was president, Secret Service agents had gone to fetch Chelsea Clinton’s boyfriend from jail, where he’d been arrested for public drunkenness. One could imagine days of righteous indignation on talk radio and pundit television about misuse of the Secret Service and the lack of dignity surrounding the Clinton family. In fact, the Secret Service did go to the aid of a drunken friend of the first family, but it wasn’t big news– perhaps because it involved not the Clintons, but the family of George W. Bush. The incident occurred in Fort Worth a few weeks […]