Jan
08
2013

Venezuelans Continue to Defy Washington Post

washpost-chavez

The Washington Post has never been fond of left-wing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. As serious questions mount about the state of Chavez's health, the paper's editorial page found it a good time to take another swipe.

Dec
04
2012

Julian Assange, Erin Burnett and the Battle Over Press Freedom

burnett-assange

There seems to be an expectation in the Assange case that a dissident must take refuge with a government with a sterling human rights record. This message is conveyed by journalists whose own country has detained, harassed and killed their journalistic colleagues.

Oct
12
2012

FAIR TV: Chavez vs. Corporate Media, Greening Fracking, NYT's Mideast Time Machine

FAIR TV takes a look at how the U.S. media handled the Venezuelan election, how the Washington Post "greened" fracking and how the New York Times used a time machine to "fix" a headline about Israel/Palestine. Watch it, share it with your friends and please leave a comment below.  

Oct
10
2012

CNN Exposes 'Villain' Chavez's Dastardly Plot to House the Poor

Venezuelan GDP per capita (PPP) (US$)

Corporate media's depiction of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is often cartoonish, but the lead from David Frum's piece from CNN.com (10/9/12) takes the cake: Venezuela's authoritarian president Hugo Chavez is a villain out of a Batman movie: buffoonish and sinister in equal measure. You want to be careful about throwing around words like "buffoonish," though, when you're making arguments like "Hugo Chavez has laid Venezuela's economy to waste." Here's a chart of Venezuela's per capita GDP since 1999, when Chavez was first elected; since 2003, when Chavez took control of the national oil company from its self-enriching management, the purchasing […]

Oct
10
2012

ABC's Very Efficient Anti-Chavez Propaganda

abc-chavez

If you're listening to a report on an Official Enemy like Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, you expect to hear a litany of misdeeds, real or imagined, about the leader in question. Just check out ABC World News (10/7/12), where anchor David Muir started out with this: And a fierce enemy of the United States, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, faces the toughest election of his life tonight. It's hard to know what Chavez has done to earn that label, but moments later Muir put this question to correspondent Jorge Ramos: MUIR: We all know that President Chavez has almost made it […]

Oct
09
2012

What Are Enemies For?: Iran Sham Helps PBS Smear Chavez

chavez-iran

It's no secret that U.S. media outlets don't have much love for left-wing Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.  A PBS NewsHour segment (10/5/12) just ahead of the recent election  showed just how far you could go. Correspondent Ray Suarez opened by calling the election "a watershed moment for the world's second-largest oil-producing nation and a critical supplier of crude oil to the U.S"–I guess we know what makes Venezuela important to the United States. Chavez has "openly antagonizing the United States as he's cozied up to the world's most isolated regimes." And Suarez has an example: He's continued to thwart American efforts […]

Aug
13
2012

PBS Does 'Both Sides' on Bogus Romney Welfare Attack

Some campaign disputes can be tricky to sort out. Others are not. That's why media coverage that takes the both-sides-have-a-point approach can be so disappointing, if not dangerous. Take Mitt Romney's recent claim that the White House was "gutting" the work requirements in the  1996 welfare "reform" law. As a Romney TV ad put it: "Under Obama's plan, you wouldn't have to work and wouldn't have to train for a job. They just send you your welfare check." That charge earned a "Pants on Fire" from PolitiFact (8/7/12), which pointed out that the policy change that is supposedly at issue […]

Aug
01
2012

The Threat–Again–of Left-Wing Latin American Democracy

You can count on U.S. corporate media to express alarm about the threat posed by left-wing governments in Latin America. Sometimes it's military hype (think Soviet MiGs in Nicaragua), but more typically it takes the form of a generalized concern about certain governments' commitment to democratic ideals. But how do you sound the alarm about left-wing threats to democracy when actual elected left-wing leaders are being removed in anti-democratic coups? That's no easy feat, but some reporters are up to the challenge. In the Washington Post on July 22 (under the headline "Latin America's New Authoritarians"), reporter Juan Forero explains […]

May
21
2012

NYT and Honduras Killings, Take Two

On Friday (5/18/12) we noted that the New York Times and Washington Post had long pieces about a drug war shooting in Honduras that reportedly killed four innocent bystanders, including two pregnant women. The story got increased attention here in the U.S. because of the apparent involvement of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. Honduran officials and sources claimed the dead were civilians. The Times and Post, though, granted anonymity to U.S. officials to claim that the dead were maybe not civilians at all; in fact, according to some of these unnamed officials, the whole town where the shooting occurred was involved […]

May
18
2012

NYT, WaPo Let Unnamed U.S. Officials Spin Honduras Killings

The details are somewhat murky, but we know the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is heavily involved in counternarcotics in Honduras. A shooting incident last Friday reportedly left four innocent people dead–including two pregnant women. Questions are being raised about whether they were shot by DEA agents who were apparently going after a boat carrying drug smugglers. The story has become a scandal in Honduras, as the New York Times reports today (5/18/12) Residents of the isolated Mosquito Coast of Honduras have burned down government buildings and are demanding that American drug agents leave the area immediately With a story like […]

Apr
24
2012

Prostitution Scandal Is the Big Government Story You Were Waiting For

The Beltway press is remarkably fixated on two stories: A "scandal" over an $800,000 General Services Administration (GSA) conference in Las Vegas, and the unfolding saga involving prostitutes and some Secret Service and military officers in Colombia. The White House thinks both are bad, of course, but not worth the amount of coverage they're getting. Beltway journalists think otherwise, and seem to want to believe that by paying so much attention to these stories they are a) standing up to the government by exposing wrongdoing; and b) not really talking about prostitutes at all, but telling a larger quasi-morality tale […]

Mar
20
2012

U.S. Can't Win Afghan War Because We Aren't a Colonial Power

Now here's an anti-war argument I hadn't heard before, courtesy of conservative blogger/journalist Andrew Sullivan (on NBC's Chris Matthews Show, 3/18/12): SULLIVAN: Again, it just shows that America colonizes without any real colonial talent because this is a country built on escaping colonialism, not actually imposing it. MATTHEWS: Yeah. Well… SULLIVAN: You're doing something against the DNA of the United States. While the idea idea that the United States is not and has apparently never been a colonial power struck Matthews as a reasonable one, it might strike other people as rather odd. The Spanish-American War would seem to qualify […]

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 […]