Search Results for: Martin A. Lee

Feb
01
2013

BOOK EXCERPT: The Origins of Reefer Madness

Yellow journalism and the anti-cannabis crusade

'Smoke Signals' by Martin A. Lee--Photo Credit: smokesignalsthebook.com

On August 11, 1930, Harry Jacob Anslinger became the director of the newly formed Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) in Washington, D.C. He would run the FBN with an iron fist through six presidential administrations spanning more than three decades. An imposing, husky, bull-necked figure nearly six feet tall, he looked like a tough law-and-order drug buster. With a large square head, huge ears, a cleft chin, and glowering eyes, Anslinger took great pride in his role as the archnemesis of marijuana smokers. He was the godfather of America’s war on drugs, and his influence on public policy would be […]

Aug
30
2012

Recommended Reading

Note: FAIR encourages readers to support their local independent booksellers. However, if books mentioned on our site are not available in your area, we offer the ability to purchase some books online in association with the book's publisher, and Powell's Books. Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women By Susan Faludi (Crown, 1991) An in-depth, well-documented analysis of the media backlash against feminism. By Invitation Only: How the Media Limit Public DebateBy David Croteau and William Hoynes (Common Courage, 1994) Incorporates Croteau and Hoynes' classic studies of Nightline, the NewsHour and PBS that document the establishment bias of "prestige" television. […]

Feb
01
2006

The Secret Origins of FAIR

How police spies and media moles helped launch a movement

In 1997, the Soviet Union detonated thermonuclear weapons in the sky over the United States, shutting down the Pentagon’s computer systems and leaving the nation vulnerable to invasion and occupation. The U.N., dominated by East Bloc Communists, became the U.S.’s de facto government, forcing schoolchildren to pledge allegiance to the U.N. flag. The year 1997 never fit this profile in reality, but it did in Amerika, the 12-episode miniseries broadcast by ABC in 1987. To this day, Jeff Cohen won’t reveal the identity of the person who sent him an advance script of Amerika. But that anonymous person made Cohen […]

Aug
01
2005

The Military-Industrial-Media Complex

Why war is covered from the warriors’ perspective

After eight years in the White House, Dwight Eisenhower delivered his farewell address on January 17, 1961. The former general warned of “an immense military establishment and a large arms industry.” He added that “we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.” One way or another, a military-industrial complex now extends to much of corporate media. In the process, firms with military ties routinely advertise in news outlets. Often, media magnates and people on the boards of large media-related corporations enjoy close links—financial and social—with the military industry and Washington’s foreign-policy […]

Jul
25
2002

Will This Be an 'Official Scandal'--or Something More?

With huge financial scandals causing turmoil in the United States, this year has seen some vigorous reporting about high-level misdeeds and corporate manipulation. But many news stories just take the lead from top officials. In the months ahead, we'll find out how deep American media outlets are willing to go. Big scandals always generate plenty of headlines and lots of excitement. Important information can emerge. But frequently, key facts remain buried and crucial questions go unasked. If it's true that reporters produce a first draft of history, they often serve as conformist "jiffy historians" who do little more than recycle […]

Sep
01
2001

When a Media Mogul Runs the State

U.S. press unconcerned about fascist ties of Italy's Berlusconi

It's no great wonder that much of the Italian media did not report critically on the electoral campaign of multi-billionaire Silvio Berlusconi. After all, he owns Italy's three main private TV networks and other major media outlets. But what excuse does the U.S. press have for its flaccid coverage of Berlusconi, Italy's richest man, who is now prime minister of that country's 59th government since World War II? U.S. journalists repeatedly refer to the Italian TV tycoon as a "self-made" success story. George Will called the Italian TV tycoon a "gaudy self-creation" (Newsweek, 5/21/01) and a Scripps Howard editorial (5/15/01) […]

Sep
01
2000

The Real Ali Agca Connection

Media miss U.S. ties to Turkish terrorists

When would-be papal assassin Mehmet Ali Agca was pardoned by the Italian government and sent back to his native Turkey in June, a New York Times editorial (6/16/00) typified the prevailing U.S. media spin. The lead of the editorial described the commutation of Agca's life sentence for the May 1981 papal shooting as "a reminder that cold-war mysteries may still lie buried in the archives of the former Soviet Union and the East bloc." Over the years, the Times and other U.S. news outlets vigorously promoted the theory that the Soviet KGB, acting through its Bulgarian secret service proxy, was […]

Mar
01
2000

As Europe's Far Right Surged, U.S. Press Shrugged

Playing down the fascist ties of Austria's Haider

The electoral breakthrough of the extreme-right Austrian Freedom Party—which came in a close sec­ond with more than a quarter of the vote in that country's national elec­tions last October—generated front-page coverage in most European news­papers. Editorial commentary empha­sized the importance of keeping the Freedom Party, led by Jörg Haider, from joining a new governing coalition. (Despite threats of siplomatic sanc­tions, the Freedom Party did form a governing coalition with the Austrian People's Party in February.) The Times of London (10/4/99) warned that "Haider's result has thrown [Austrian] politics into turmoil, frightened investors and brought closer to power the largest and […]