Sep
13
2013

FAIR TV: Striking Syria, War on Your 401K, 'Redskins' on the Radio

redskins

This week: War on Syria has been called off, at least for now, and that seemed to bother a lot of pundits. ABC looked at how the war would have affected your 401(k), assuming you have one. And a radio station rejects an ad criticizing the "Washington Redskins" for using an ethnic slur as a team name–maybe because the station is owned by the same guy who owns the team. Watch:

Jul
24
2013

Maddow Tells the Story of ALEC and Gun Laws–But Leaves Out One Character

Rachel Maddow asks why corporations would want to be associated with the promotion of Stand Your Ground gun laws–but fails to mention that her employer is one company that doesn't seem embarrassed by the connection.

Apr
04
2013

AP Ditches 'Illegal' Label

"No One Is Illegal" banner (cc photo: Vertigogen)

The Associated Press announced a change in their style guide: The wire service will no longer refer to "illegal immigrants," except in direct quotes. The change is a victory for activists who have called for years for journalists to stop using the term.

Mar
28
2013

USA Today Covers 'Lonely Battle' of Equality Opponents

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone

"Outspent and lately out-hustled by highly organized gay rights organizations," USA Today reports, "opponents have struggled to get their story out." That's a curious premise, given that "their story" is the law of the land, and that's why we're talking about it in the first place.

Mar
28
2013

For NPR, Fracking Fight Is Between Farmers & Movie Stars

Dairy farmer (cc photo by Dennis Jarvis)

Who stands between the hard-working people of Upstate New York and money and jobs coming out of the ground? Why, it’s actor Mark Ruffalo.

Dec
04
2012

Think We Live in a Colorblind Era? Welcome to Wet Seal

Wet Seal logo

When pundits wax rhapsodic about the "colorblind" era we live in–or fulminate against affirmative action policies as interfering with that "post-racial" state–some of us think of cases like Wet Seal.

Oct
16
2012

Sympathy for Pakistani Girl Shows Limits of Concern

Malala Yousafzai

U.S. media have shown great, and warranted, interest in Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old Pakistani girl shot in the head October 9 by members of a Taliban faction for her outspoken promotion of education for women. The attack "has horrified people across the South Asian country and abroad," reports the Washington Post, and "has also sparked hope that the Pakistani government will respond by intensifying its fight against the Taliban and its allies." In recalling conversations with Yousafzai, the Christian Science Monitor's Owais Tohid noted her sources of inspiration: The first time I met Malala, a couple of years ago, I […]

May
15
2012

New Evidence of Stop-and-Frisk Abuses Prompts NYT to Call for More Evidence

 The New York Times editorially decried the New York City police department's stop-and-frisk practices ("Injustices of Stop and Frisk," 5/13/12), noting that the criterion of "furtive movements" most often used for stopping disproportionately black and brown people is "so vague as to be meaningless," that people of color are treated more violently than white people when stopped, and that the excuse that stop-and-frisk keeps guns off the street is not supported. The paper's conclusion: "The mounting evidence reveals a pattern of abusive policing that warrants the attention of the Justice Department, which should be using its broad authority to investigate […]

Oct
13
2011

Bait-and-Switch Boosterism on Trade Pacts

Corporate media's incredibly uncritical boosterism of so-called "free trade" deals has been remarked on many times, and continues to be remarkable. What else but blind faith would allow a story to carry a line like one in the October 12 New York Times, about textile industry opposition to the new deal with South Korea: "The production of shirts and sheets has shifted steadily from the United States to countries with lower-cost labor. Economists argue that this process strengthens the economy as companies and workers shift to more productive and lucrative kinds of work." Of course, if the Times has evidence […]

Oct
07
2011

You Can't Take Politics Out of the Public Broadcasting Debate

In the When Will They Learn? department, incoming National Public Radio president Gary Knell seems to suffer from the same misunderstanding that has plagued public broadcasting executives for years. NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik reports that Knell says he hopes to "calm the waters a bit" at NPR after recent political controversies, and to "depoliticize" debate over the future of public radio. Knell is quoted saying, "It's not about liberal or conservative; it's about fairness…. We've got to make the case we're delivering a fair service." Sigh. It's as if he doesn't see the road behind him strewn with efforts […]

May
06
2011

Disability Rights Activists Are Even Invisible Getting Arrested on Capitol Hill

Elite media's selective disdain for public activism is well known. Still, you'd think some things would garner a word or two. Like 300 disability rights activists, a couple hundred in wheelchairs, occupying the rotunda of the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C. The May 2 demonstration was organized by the rights group ADAPT to protest Republican budget plans for Medicaid. Ninety-one people were arrested and carted off by Capitol police. Yet days after the rotunda protest, and another action the next day in which 300 demonstrators gathered outside the Longworth House Office Building, many getting inside to Rep. Paul […]

Apr
28
2011

WashPost Touts KIPP's 'Extra Edge'–Which Turns Out to Be Money and Dropouts

Is the Washington Post hoping readers only read headlines? At a glance, "Study: KIPP Charter Schools Have Extra Edge" (3/31/11) would seem to be just another in the Washington Post Co.'s toutings of charter schools in general and KIPP schools in particular (Extra!, 9/10) Readers who actually click through though, might be surprised to learn what the "edge" consists of: A study by researchers at Western Michigan University found that the KIPP network "benefits from significant private funding and student attrition." Students receive more than $5,000 a year per pupil through private donations on top of regular sources of public […]

Nov
29
2010

For NYT, Okinawan Public Opinion a 'Wrench,' a 'Thorn' and a 'Headache'

Today's New York Times piece (11/29/10) on the re-election of a governor of Okinawa who opposes the U.S. military base there seems to treat the views of the People Who Live There as one thing to maybe think about, and an annoying, in-the-way thing at that, with residents' resistance described, variously, as a "wrench," a "thorn" and a "headache". (Overall, the piece reads a bit like the reaction of the Japanese national government to Hirokazu Nakaima's re-election as "one manifestation of public opinion." Yes, elections are that.) Majority local opposition to the base is noted second, after the Japanese prime […]