Some journalists have written excellent, thoughtful articles, and some have wasted wood pulp and bandwidth. Most early reporting sat between those extremes.
Search Results for: Chip Berlet
An underexamined belief system that links aggressive fanatics of all stripes
Video of the bombings in Boston on April 15, 2013, revealed a scene of apocalyptic carnage. Soon after the bombing suspects were identified, the Internet seethed with posts about the Tsarnaev brothers, identified by authorities as the perpetrators. One revelation was that the YouTube playlist of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the brother who was killed before being captured, featured a long video concerning the “Black Flags from Khorasan,” a marginal and disputed Islamic end-time prophecy. Mother Jones’ Adam Serwer (4/19/13) reported on the significance of the video shortly after the Tsarnaev brothers were identified as suspects. Tamerlan Tsarnaev also collected publications from […]
Parallels among bigotries reflect the conspiratorial mindset
Republican hopeful Mitt Romney is portrayed by online bigots as a Manchurian Candidate for a secretive cabal of Mormon elites—echoing anti-Catholic conspiracy theories about John F. Kennedy being a wind-up toy for the Vatican. Meanwhile, a chain letter currently being circulated warns that the “American Government is under the command and control of…the Freemasons and Leadership of the Catholic Church.” There are right-wing websites and blogs warning that if President Barack Obama is re-elected, hordes of scheming fanatic Muslims plan to impose Sharia law and turn America into a totalitarian socialist/Nazi theocratic state. Other websites and blogs warn that Obama […]
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: What do we know about alleged Tucson killer Jared Lee Loughner’s world view, which has been described as rambling, incoherent and non political in various news media reports? And what of the right-wing backlash attacking anyone who even suggests that vitriolic right-wing rhetoric has gotten out of hand? We’ll talk with right watcher Chip Berlet of the Political Research Associates. Also on CounterSpin today: The national debate in the aftermath of the Tucscon shootings is touching on violent rhetoric and mental health services, but some media are sending the message that gun policy isn’t […]
At last a citizen movement corporate media can love
In the first year of the Obama administration, the corporate media suddenly overcame their general aversion to citizen movements that criticize government policies, granting the staunchly conservative Tea Party activists enormous coverage—a decision that seems likely to impact politics for the foreseeable future. Citizen movements are hardly ever front-page news, even when they have clearly identifiable political agendas and broad public support. But the Tea Party movement—an amorphous, politically incoherent umbrella designation for various strands of opposition to Obama, much of it beset with racism and backed by less-than-grassroots deep-pocket Beltway lobbying groups—has managed to buck that trend, getting the […]
WMD found—in Texas, so media yawn
In his interview with Tim Russert (Meet the Press, 2/8/04), George W. Bush said, “See, free societies are societies that don’t develop weapons of mass terror.” Putting aside the U.S. government’s enormous stocks of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons—which Bush would presumably insist are not intended for terror—the statement also overlooks the fact that the U.S. also produces freelance domestic terrorists bent on creating weapons of mass destruction. Russert might have reminded Bush of recent events in his home state of Texas, where William Krar was indicted in May 2003 for, among other things, possession of a weapon of mass […]
Why is a journalist pushing questionable stories from behind the scenes?
Did self-styled anti-terrorism expert Steven Emerson help push the world toward nuclear war? On Sunday, June 28, a sensational story appeared in the British newspaper the Observer: “Pakistan was planning nuclear first strike on India.” The stunning revelation that South Asia was on the brink of thermonuclear war was credited to an unnamed “senior Pakistani weapons scientist who has defected.” The next day, papers on the Indian subcontinent were full of the news. Shock spread and distrust mounted. “The scenario is frightening,” stated the Times of India (6/29/98). On Wednesday, July 1, a USA Today report by Barbara Slavin named […]