Aug
19
2013

Richard Engel and U.S. Aid to Egypt

egypt-engel

Since Engel's point was that things must stay as they are, it's not likely that the NBC reporter's words will cause much controversy–certainly things would be different if he'd have given an equally impassioned rationale for cutting off aid to Egypt's military government.

May
28
2013

Bob Schieffer Is Tired of Booking Bad Guests on His Show

schieffer

Mainstream reporters are speaking openly about the chilling effect of the Obama White House's investigations into leaks of classified material. But this willingness to talk about how the White House operates can lead some journalists to make some rather strange arguments.

May
17
2013

Is There Really a 'Scandal Trifecta'?

Benghazi, the Justice Department seizing AP phone records, and the IRS targeting Tea Party groups: Much of the Beltway press corps–which has pushed the Benghazi story for months–is seeing the Obama presidency in a state of near free-fall. But what's actually happening?

May
14
2013

Bursting Benghazi's Bubble–Only to Boost Bush

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Benghazi isn't the scandal that Obama's critics make it out to be, the Washington Post's Jackson Diehl writes. But the real point of his column is to protect the legacy of the Bush White House's Iraq claims.

May
10
2013

Benghazi Bias on One Page

usat-benghazi

The controversy over the attacks at a diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, is a great test of the right's tired claim that the corporate media have a liberal bias. If that were true, then this "scandal" would exist almost entirely on Fox News Channel and conservative talk radio.

May
10
2013

When Libyans Die From NATO Airstrikes, It's Not Benghazi

NATOmajer-custom3

There's another Libya story that should be getting attention. It's not, and never really has, because the dead are Libyan civilians, killed by U.S./NATO airstrikes.

Apr
19
2013

Bill O'Reilly Gets Angry Because He Proved David Sirota's Point

oreilly-sirota

O'Reilly was outraged by Sirota's point that the government's response would be very different–more costly, potentially more violent–if the perpetrators fit a certain profile. This is ironic, because O'Reilly had, the night of the attacks, basically made Sirota's point.

Mar
01
2013

Republican Pals and Their 'National Security' Passion

mccain-graham

Time magazine has a profile this week of Senate Republican buddies John McCain and Lindsey Graham, and one passage really stands out–not for what it reveals about them, really, but about the media. Michael Crowley writes: Graham and McCain have been friends for more than a decade, a partnership born of their shared passion for national security (McCain was a Navy pilot, Graham is still an Air Force Reserve lawyer), a willingness to poke their party's base in the eye and an uncanny knack for attracting the media's attention. More surprising and quotable than bland party leaders like Mitch McConnell […]

Jan
02
2013

Some Cluster Bombs More Newsworthy Than Others

photo from Amnesty International.

The use of cluster bombs against civilians is newsworthy depending on who is using them. If it's an enemy state, like Syria or Qaddafi's Libya, you can expect to read about it, and in clear language on the front page. And an article like this will mention, almost in passing, that our own government does the same.

Nov
27
2012

NYT Waves Goodbye to Three Amigos of Militarism

John McCain and Joe Lieberman (photo: Talk Radio News Service)

Not every politician gets a warm and fuzzy retirement profile in the New York Times. But not every politician is Joe Lieberman.  Jennifer Steinhauer's piece (11/27/12) is a tribute mostly to Lieberman's close bond with Republicans John McCain and Lindsey Graham. The "Three Amigos" traveled the world together, advocating for one hawkish foreign policy idea after another: Their hawkish world views often placed them at odds with their respective parties, but together they secured a place at the center of every major foreign policy debate. That's mostly true of Lieberman, but it's hard to figure how McCain and Graham much […]

Nov
19
2012

The People Have Spoken: Benghazi, Not Afghanistan

Martha Raddatz (photo: Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne)

At the end of ABC's This Week (11/18/12), Martha Raddatz presented a brief viewer-mail segment: And finally, "Your Voice This Week." Today's question comes from Cheryl Robinson, who writes, "What happened in Benghazi was terribly tragic, and now we're hearing of another Middle Eastern war on the brick. Let us and you, the media, not forget about the war that our own kids are fighting for us in Afghanistan. Why is there so little coverage?" Well, because, unfortunately, very few people feel the way you do, Cheryl. There is a war-weariness with the public, and outside of campaign season, the […]

Oct
19
2012

CBS Libya 'Factcheck' Will Live in Infamy

Franklin Roosevelt signing the declaration of war against Japan (National Archives)

CBS Evening News (10/17/12) provides another example of corporate media's through-the-looking-glass  media "factchecking" of the Libya exchange at the second Obama/Romney debate (FAIR Media Advisory, 10/18/12). CBS's Jan Crawford set up the issue this way: For weeks, Republicans have said the president's reluctance to call the attacks terrorism is a sign his administration doesn't have a competent national security policy. Last night, the president said he did call it an act of terror within 24 hours of the attacks. That is a new explanation, and it triggered a clash between the president, Romney and the debate moderator. Note how the […]

Oct
17
2012

Noise and Nonsense on Benghazi Attack

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Over the past few weeks of the presidential campaign we've been hearing a lot–maybe too much–about the September 11, 2012, attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. It's been turned into a campaign issue by the Romney team, which has used the incident to charges that the Obama administration is unable to manage foreign affairs and so forth.  The intensity of the Republican pushback has made this into a major story. It was the lead issue in the vice presidential debate, and has been a regular subject on the Sunday […]