Search Results for: Jon Whiten

Sep 1 2013

‘This Is a Problem That Goes Back 150 Years’

Robin D. G. Kelley on the Zimmerman trial

CounterSpin Interview The George Zimmerman not-guilty verdict was upsetting to those who campaigned for justice for Trayvon Martin, but it wasn’t necessarily surprising to those who have seen many examples of similar killings of young people of color go unpunished. UCLA history professor and author Robin D. G. Kelley (Huffington Post, 7/15/13) wrote, “Justice was always going to elude Trayvon Martin, not because the system failed, but because it worked.” Counter-Spin’s Peter Hart spoke to Kelley for our July 19 show. CounterSpin: The acquittal of George Zimmerman for shooting and killing Trayvon Martin was, like the trial itself, big news. […]

Jun 1 2008

Fair Study: TV’s Low-Cal Campaign Coverage

How 385 stories can tell you next to nothing about whom to vote for

The second-tier candidates, they get angry. They think that the press doesn’t focus on them, spends too much time talking about the front-runners in the debates, in the coverage day by day. But we say to them, “Well, make your mark. Start showing some growth. Start showing some resonance with the populace and you’ll get the same kind of coverage.” They’ll say: “Wait a minute. How do we get resonance if we’re not covered?” It’s an important issue that we have to keep examining, our own behavior.—Tim Russert (NBC Nightly News, 1/3/08) Coverage in the early phase of a presidential […]

Nov 1 2007

Enabling False Convictions

Exoneration coverage overlooks media role

“The science of DNA on Monday cleared the 200th person wrongfully convicted of a crime in the United States, a record that demands that the criminal justice system fix its serious flaws,” editorialized the Philadelphia Inquirer (4/25/07), after Jerry Miller of Illinois became an American exoneration milestone. As milestones often do, Miller’s exoneration gave the press an easy “news peg” to report on DNA testing and the troubled U.S. criminal justice system. And report they did. Most major news organizations filed at least one piece on Miller’s exoneration, with some editorializing for significant reform and others raising specific questions about […]

Mar 1 2007


How loving Barack Obama helps pundits love themselves

The day after he formally announced he was a candidate for the 2008 presidential race, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) took a shot at the media. Alluding to the perception that he avoids taking strong positions on important political issues, Obama told reporters (Washington Post, 2/12/07): “The problem is that that’s not what you guys have been reporting on. You’ve been reporting on how I look in a swimsuit.” It’s not often that politicians complain that they get coverage they deem too “soft,” but Obama could make the charge with a straight face. In a sense, Obama’s complaint and the press […]

Aug 1 2006

Subverting, Not Preserving, Democracy

Marginalizing vote fraud 'conspiracy theories'

As the 2006 mid-term elections near, it is worth looking at the way the press handled the important claims of vote fraud in the last election. Extra! examined the 2004 post-election coverage of major news outlets, focusing on the New York Times, Washington Post and USA Today, along with network TV news coverage on ABC, CBS and NBC. Extra! looked at this coverage in light of allegations detailed in Rep. John Conyers’ report, “Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio.” On January 5, 2005, the Democratic staff of the House Judiciary Committee, led by Conyers of Michigan, issued a report […]

Aug 1 2006

The ‘Cheat Sheets’

[Note: This piece is a sidebar to “Subverting, Not Preserving, Democracy.”]   One of the many issues raised in Rep. John Conyers’ report on the 2004 Ohio election but not tackled in the press was the accusation that the electronic voting company Triad had provided a “cheat sheet” for election officials participating in the Ohio recount, with the intent of artificially jibing results to avoid further scrutiny. In a sworn affidavit, Sherole Eaton, who in 2004 was the deputy director of the Board of Elections in Hocking County, Ohio, claimed that a representative from Triad had come to assist her […]

Aug 1 2005

Does Size Really Matter?

Analyzing the press’s protest coverage

On March 19, the two-year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, tens of thousands of people across the country, and still more worldwide, turned out to protest the ongoing war. The protests had multiple goals, but given the general numbing of the population to the war, one objective was undoubtedly to keep the fact that human beings are being killed on a daily basis in the forefront of the average American’s brain. Unfortunately, if coverage in leading newspaper and television outlets is any gauge, this goal remains largely unmet. The New York Times (3/20/05) teased its coverage on the front […]

Mar 1 2005

‘The World Little Noted’

CBS scandal eclipses missing WMDs

There was much journalistic hand-wringing and finger-pointing during the week of January 10, after CBS News’ official report on its dubious story on George W. Bush’s Vietnam-era service record. (See Extra! Update, 2/05.) But another story released that week suggests that media self-criticism has its limits—especially when the press’s failures involve being too credulous rather than too critical. The final announcement that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq came on January 12, two days after the CBS report was released. The official evaporation of the Bush administration’s chief rationale for a war that has killed more than […]