Search Results for: Mark Crispin Miller

Nov
01
2008

'Voter Fraud' Claims Unchecked by Media

Restrictive laws spread based on scant evidence

Among Republicans, it has been an “article of religious faith that voter fraud is causing us to lose elections,” declared Royal Masset, the former political director of the Republican Party of Texas (Houston Chronicle, 5/17/07). This religious faith in widespread voter fraud—or illegal voting—even in the absence of any persuasive evidence, has translated into successful campaigns in 25 states to pass restrictive voter identification laws (e.g., requiring photo ID at the polling place), with other states looking to follow suit. (Masset, a rare dissenter from this Republican creed, is an outspoken foe of what he calls “racist” and “barbaric laws”—Burnt […]

Mar
19
2007

Iraq and the Media

A Critical Timeline

Bush speaks about Iraq invasion--Photo Credit: War Made Easy/Media Education Foundation

It's hardly controversial to suggest that the mainstream media's performance in the lead-up to the Iraq War was a disaster. In retrospect, many journalists and pundits wish they had been more skeptical of the White House's claims about Iraq, particularly its allegations about weapons of mass destruction. At the same time, though, media apologists suggest that the press could not have done much better, since "everyone" was in agreement on the intelligence regarding Iraq's weapons threat. This was never the case. Critical journalists and analysts raised serious questions at the time about what the White House was saying. Often, however, […]

May
01
2004

A 'Glitch' in Democracy

Coverage of computer voting problems too little, too late?

If mainstream media outlets had devoted as much ink and airtime to electronic voting machines as they had to O.J. Simpson, Monicagate or even Janet Jackson's breast, the outcome of our next presidential election might not depend on machines that can be programmed to favor one candidate over another without anyone ever knowing. As it is, nearly one-third of the American electorate will cast their votes on one of the more than 150,000 electronic voting machines whose integrity is in doubt. The manufacturers of touch-screen computerized voting machines—specifically, direct recording electronic (DRE) voting machines—claim to be able to "do the […]

Dec
26
2002

Media Year 2002, R.I.P.

It's impossible to adequately sum up any year, and 2002 is probably more difficult than most to grasp. Bursts of militaristic fervor bracketed the 12 months, which began in the terrible aftermath of 9/11 with the United States waging a fierce war in Afghanistan. Now, an even larger war against Iraq seems about to begin. We can try to remember the nonstop avalanche of media that came between New Year's Day and late December, but most of it is forgettable — if we're lucky. This is a more or less constant problem in our lives as we avail ourselves of […]

May
01
2002

From Bozo to Churchill

Book Excerpt

Countless leaders have been deified by national emergency, but few have been remade as quickly and completely as George W. Bush. In many cases, those who had misread him as a simple tool, braying automatically at his most trivial mistakes, now automatically revered him. Such converts suddenly agreed with those who had seen Bush’s flaws as signs of latent greatness--thitherto the notion only of a large plurality, but now the common wisdom. And so, before you knew it, the seeming bozo was our savior. Not only were his famous foibles magically erased, but Bush’s entire political pre-history also slipped right […]

Oct
18
2001

The Televised Greatness Of George W. Bush

President Bush's upward spike of popularity owes a lot to his presence on television — a medium that has not always been so kind. At times, under pressure, he has earned many comparisons to a deer in headlights. But after a wobbly performance on Sept. 11, Bush got into a groove of seizing the TV opportunity and making the most of it. Today's television environment is, more than ever, warmly hospitable to simple — and simplistic — declarative statements. That's just as well for Bush, who has shown a distinct tendency to get entangled in a morass of fragmentary linguistic […]

Feb
06
2001

Support Grows for Dissenting Pacifica Board Members

Amid a crisis that threatens the future of the Pacifica Radio Network, more than 80 prominent progressives have rallied in support of the six dissidents on the Pacifica Foundation's board. These board members want Pacifica's national leadership to reverse course on its takeover of WBAI, and to "build democratic decision-making structures throughout Pacifica." A statement supporting the dissenting board members (below) was signed by the Local Advisory Board chairs of four of Pacifica's five stations and by former Pacifica staffers and board members, as well as by political figures, community leaders, journalists, artists and academics. These include Dennis Brutus, Noam […]

Sep
09
1999

Big Media Applaud Big Media Merger

When the story about Viacom and CBS broke, news accounts quickly depicted a match made in corporate heaven — at more than $37 billion, the largest media merger in history. With the public kept outside the frame, it was a rosy picture. "Analysts hailed the deal as a good fit between two complementary companies," the Associated Press reported flatly. The news service went on to quote "a media analyst" who proclaimed: "It's a good deal for everybody." "Everybody"? Well, everybody who counts in the mass-media calculus. For instance, the media analyst quoted by AP was from the PaineWebber investment firm. […]