Mar
15
2013

Washington Post's Austerity Backer, Still Trying

swiffer+unemployment+blackhole

The Washington Post's Howard Schneider asks, "In Europe's grand battle over growth vs. austerity, has Ireland proved that austerity works?" If so, keeping unemployment more than 10 percentage points above pre-recession levels is an odd sort of "working."

Feb
27
2013

CNN's Recipe for Italy: Austerity–No Matter What

Newsweek's Barbie Nadeau

CNN.com had an odd piece of analysis of the Italian election results, arguing that austerity "is necessary by any calculation to actually start moving Italy out of the recession." That's not the calculation of Paul Krugman, who for what its worth is a Nobel Prize-winning economist.

Feb
26
2013

Heard the One About Lazy French Workers?

The Washington Post brings us the story of a right-wing U.S. businessman who is in a very public fight over the work habits of the French. Yes, we all know the folklore about the lazy French. What would be helpful here is some dose of reality–that's what journalism can be good for.

Jan
18
2013

FAIR TV: France vs. Spain, NYT Erases West Bank Occupation, Wall Street Journal's Tax Graphic

On the new FAIR TV: The Washington Post says France had better slash wages and benefits in order to be more like Spain. Why would they want to do that? The New York Times erases a headline referring to the occupation of the West Bank. And when the Wall Street Journal wanted to show¬† what the new tax deal meant for "you"–who exactly did they have in mind?

Jan
16
2013

The Cure for French Malaise: Cut Worker Pay

spain-protest_2351260b

With an unemployment rate at just over 26 percent and regular street protests against government austerity policies, it's hard to imagine anyone holding up Spain as a model. But Howard Schneider, writing in the Washington Post, does just that–warning France that it had better shape up and be more like Spain:

Sep
07
2012

FAIR TV: Iran Misreporting, Labor Day and CNN's Unbelievable Romney

The new episode of FAIR TV is here, featuring misreporting on Iran's nuclear energy program, NewsHour lecturing labor leaders on Labor Day, and some of the most embarrassing biographical puffery for a presidential candidate you're likely to ever hear. Please share it with your friends, and let us know what you think in comments below.

Jun
21
2012

ABC: European Elections Matter, Mostly to American 401(k)s

Parliamentary elections in Greece saw the conservative-leaning New Democracy party win a narrow victory over the left-wing anti-austerity Syriza coalition. This was good news for an array of major players who prefer Greece to stick to the current punishing bailout plan arranged by European countries. ABC World News showed which angle mattered most when anchor Diane Sawyer led a report (6/18/12) on the election results this way: And now we move on to your money and the momentary sigh of relief for every American with a 401(k). The voters of Greece this weekend decided to stay the course in Europe, […]

May
08
2012

Media, Austerity and Bad Medicine

The election results in Greece and France sent a clearer message about austerity: Voters don't like it. That sentiment isn't hard to fathom; massive spending cuts and pay cuts aren't fixing the problems in their economies–they're making things worse. Media coverage seems to be clearer these days about what the public thinks of austerity. But the assumption that austerity is mostly "good" still seems firmly in place. Like this Washington Post lead (5/7/12): Voters in France and Greece redrew Europe's political map Sunday in a powerful backlash against the German-led cure for the region's debt crisis: painful austerity. It's not […]

Feb
22
2012

James Traub Bids a Fond Farewell to an Era of Constant Warfare

James Traub seemed a little bummed in a Sunday New York Times op-ed ("The End of American Intervention?," 2/18/10), that military cuts and changing priorities will mean fewer humanitarian interventions in America's future. So we must accept, if uneasily, the future which now seems to lie before us: We will do less good in the world, but also less harm. A leading advocate of "humanitarian intervention," Traub doesn't waste many words on the "harm" produced the by two decades of them, but he seems pretty sure about the "good." For instance, he writes that the post-Cold War period "raised the […]

Jan
27
2012

When Experts' Bitter Medicine Is Really Snake Oil

Niall Ferguson is undoubtedly an expert. As the bio on his Newsweek column points out, he's "a professor of history at Harvard University. He is also a senior research fellow at Jesus College, Oxford University, and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution." His latest column (1/23/12) is about the need to sell the public on the policies recommended by experts: To the kind of people who spend their careers inside elite institutions, the technocratic turn is welcome. Decisions about economic policy, they reason, are too difficult to be entrusted to the people's elected representatives…. But there's a catch. The […]

Nov
02
2011

It's All Greek to Them

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou's call for a referendum on the EU bailout package seems to have prompted media outlets to rummage through their store of Greek cliches. The Washington Post's editorial against "Mr. Papandreou's ill-advised announcement of a referendum" led with a classical reference: Not since the night when soldiers emerged from the belly of a giant wooden horse in ancient Troy has Greece engineered a more stunning surprise. On the CBS Evening News (11/1/11), Mark Phillips weighed in with a culinary metaphor: This was supposed to be the week that world leaders gathered in France to chart the […]

Aug
02
2011

PBS in the UK?

There was an interesting piece in the New York Times yesterday (8/1/11) by Elizabeth Jensen about plans to ship PBS programming across the pond. It's a hard concept to get your head around, especially if you're under the impression that Britain's public broadcasting system is superior to our own. That might not be the strangest part, though: W. David Lyons, chairman and chief executive of the Orca Exploration Group, which operates a Tanzanian natural gas field, is backing the PBS UK project financially. PBS described him as "a Canadian-born entrepreneur and venture philanthropist" who "grew up on PBS programming and […]

Jul
26
2011

For Beck, Norway Shooter Wasn't Right-Wing–Though His Victims Were 'Hitler Youth'

Glenn Beck (7/25/11, via Mediaite, 7/25/11) explains on his radio show why the right-wing Norway terror suspect is what we call left-wing here in America: This was one of the episodes where I showed the railroad tracks that were different than America. In America, the left railroad track is gigantic government–it could be Communist or Fascist, it doesn't matter, it's giant government. The other side of the track is anarchy or very, very small government. So that's the left and right here in America. The Left and Right in Europe, because, once they got rid of the kings, they didn't […]