If the United States derived its might primarily from its economic power, the Washington Post would enjoy the same degree of international influence as, say, the Xinhua newspaper of Beijing. The two countries have roughly comparable outputs, with China’s GDP being about 80 percent the size of the US economy when adjusted for purchasing power, according to the IMF. But a large part of what makes the United States a unique superpower is its role as the world’s military hegemon, reflected in part by its roughly 1,000 overseas bases. (China has none.) It is this added power emanating from the […]
Search Results for: Norman Solomon
Washington Post’s prestige based on proximity to power
Little scrutiny of resolution that greenlighted 'War on Terror'
Early this spring—in a five-page spread headlined “So, Who Can We Kill?”—Time (4/1/13) reported on pressures putting “Obama and his drone war on the defensive.” Notably, much of the article focused on the Authorization for Use of Military Force that zipped through Congress three days after 9/11. During more than a decade of Washington’s wars, AUMF has rarely undergone scrutiny from major media outlets. Very few mainstream U.S. journalists offered anything but praise when Congress passed the resolution, which declared that the president is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines […]
This week on CounterSpin: "Irrefutable" was the headline on the Washington Post editorial responding to Secretary of State Colin Powell's UN presentation making the case for war on Iraq. That was ten years ago this week; we'll talk with author and activist Norman Solomon, co-founder of RootsAction.org about how much difference there is between then and now.
Also on the show: Reading the eulogies for late New York City mayor Ed Koch, you'd think he was a universally loved figure. But for the not so adoring, Koch is remembered as an antagonist of ethnic minorities who presided over massive corruption and failed to adequately confront the emerging HIV/AIDS pandemic. We'll explore how Koch dealt with the pandemic with Nation editor Richard Kim.
Opera show dropped by NPR to punish host's political activism
On Friday NPR decided it would no longer distribute an opera program because of the political activism of the program's host--who does not work for NPR. Together we can send a message to NPR about this appalling decision. A controversy erupted over freelance radio host Lisa Simeone's participation with an activist group occupying a park in Washington, D.C. Simeone was promptly fired as host of the documentary program Soundprint (AP, 10/20/11), which cited NPR ethics guidelines. NPR claims it had nothing to do with that firing (Poynter.org, 10/20/11). On Thursday, North Carolina station WDAV, which produces World of Opera, announced […]
The Bigger Picture on West Bank Death Alex Kane’s analysis of American media coverage of Jawaher Abu Rahmah’s killing by Israeli forces (Extra!, 4/11) was excellent, and I thank him for it. However, Mr. Kane did not point out a major logical flaw in the coverage: Even assuming IDF claims about a pre-existing illness were true, the IDF is still responsible for killing Ms. Abu Rahmah. The point is obvious enough, but just to illustrate: Suppose I assault a man on the street so that I can steal his wallet, and in the course of that crime hit him over […]
Downplaying deadly dangers in Japan and at home
Ever since the start of nuclear technology, those behind it have made heavy use of deception, obfuscation and denial—with the complicity of most of the media. New York Times reporter William Laurence, working at the same time with the Manhattan Project, wrote a widely published press release covering up the first nuclear test in New Mexico in 1945, claiming it was nothing more than an ammunition dump explosion. The Times and Laurence went on to boost nuclear power for years to come (Beverly Deepe Keever, News Zero: The New York Times and The Bomb). A central concern of nuclear promoters, […]
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: One war is ending, while the other is the subject of a major PR blitz. Right on schedule, we're told, Operation Iraqi Freedom is winding down, with live TV coverage relaying the images of the final U.S. combat brigades leaving the country. The caveats to the story of the "end" of the war are abundant—tens of thousands of troops and private contractors remain, and some are already suggesting they'll be there longer than we've been told. So how does a war that isn't really ending actually end? Hannah Gurman wrote about the Orwellian state […]
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Corporate media chatter about the Republican Senate victory in Massachusetts reflects participants’ priorities: which means you're unlikely to hear advice offered to Democrats other than that they should act more like Republicans. Is that the takeaway? We'll get another angle from journalist and activist Norman Solomon. Also on the show: Anonymous news sources are a journalistic scourge, abetting some of the worst policies of our times, and allowing the powerful to escape accountability. But are they simply an occasional problem in reporting, or central to the way corporate journalism operates? We'll talk to Salon's […]