Search Results for: Roger Bybee

Nov 1 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 […]

Sep 1 2008

Media Push an Unpopular Trade ‘Centrism’

Contradictory counsel for Obama

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/BorderExplorer

As America heads toward a critical presidential election, “free trade” advocate Robert Reich, who as Bill Clinton’s labor secretary in 1993 fought hard for passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), glumly admitted that the constituency for “free trade” has severely eroded. “I’m still a free trader, although I will tell you . . . there are fewer and fewer of us,” he told MSNBC host Chris Matthews wanly (Hardball, 10/8/07). “It’s a very unpopular position.” Unpopular with the public, but certainly not the media. Leading pundits and editorial writers for corporate media have persisted in counseling Democratic […]

Jul 1 2008

Fareed Zakaria, Spokesperson for the Global Elite

Newsweek pundit presents pro-corporate views as the poor’s perspective

Fareed Zakaria (cc photo: James Willamor)

Fareed Zakaria, now the highly influential editor of Newsweek International, author of The Post-American World, and host of Fareed Zakaria GPS, constructed a landmark of unintended irony when he regally pronounced that “the downtrodden beg to differ” with protesters of corporate globalization (Foreign Affairs, 12/13/99). Those who demonstrated against the World Trade Organization at the famous “battle of Seattle” in 1999, he asserted, were displaying the hubris of the “rich and privileged,” who were delivering “a familiar plea for the downtrodden of the world” by challenging the WTO’s promotion of sweatshops and environmental degradation in the impoverished Third World. In […]

Jun 1 2008

Media Miss Bigger Picture in Healthcare Debate

Ignoring ‘mandate’ plans’ record of failure

In the 2008 Democratic primary campaign between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, each is offering a slightly different variant of individual mandate-based healthcare plans relying on the private insurance industry. Media coverage has magnified the slight variations while almost entirely ignoring the big picture: Both health plans are based on a model that has consistently failed to get off the ground in numerous states. Most media analysis has focused on the political advantage provided by each proposal, rather than on the evidence that either plan would actually deliver quality, affordable care to all Americans. Obama proposes that parents be mandated […]

Jul 1 2007

Disposable People

The ‘upside’ to natural and unnatural disasters

As Hurricane Katrina tore off roofs and exposed the destroyed interiors of homes, it also peeled back the genteel veneer on elite media opinion about New Orleans—revealing that some pundits and reporters viewed the majority of its residents to be essentially irrelevant, if not an outright impediment, to the restructuring of the city’s devastated economy. Whether urban social devastation results from corporate decisions to relocate jobs or a nature-triggered catastrophe, major U.S. media seem to view cities as first and foremost engines of economic growth and profit, with the local population’s needs and culture viewed as barely worthy of mention […]

May 1 2004

NAFTA’s Hung Jury

After ten years, an honest verdict is hard to find

A decade ago, major U.S. media joined corporate and political elites in steamrolling the public’s overwhelming 64 percent opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement (Gallup, 8/8/93), and NAFTA was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. Major U.S. media almost uniformly dismissed NAFTA’s opponents as backward-looking “protectionists.” Mean-while, editorial writers and pundits almost unanimously predicted substantial economic and social gains in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Even news articles reflected this heavy-handed bias; one study found the New York Times and Washington Post quoted more than three times as many pro-NAFTA sources as critics (Extra! Update, 10/93). Ironically, […]

Nov 1 1996

Sweatshops Are the Workers’ Friend

And Labor Activists Their Enemy—According to the New York Times

If the Robin Hood story were set in today’s new global economy, would Robin be portrayed as an enemy of the poor because his activities discouraged investment in Sherwood Forest? And would the Sheriff of Nottingham be praised by the media for a tough-love approach to economic development that is gradually winning the appreciation of the low-paid serfs grateful for the work he provides? If one believes recent New York Times news articles about global economic controversies, Robin and the sheriff have indeed reversed their traditional roles. In several recent Times news stories, transnational corporations are depicted as doing their […]