Jul
25
2011

Diallo Speaks: Are There Holes in the 'DSK Case Crumbles' Narrative?

Nafissatou Diallo, the hotel maid who has accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn, is now speaking out publicly–weeks after press coverage took a turn against her, based on the notion that something about her made her allegations less credible. "Strauss-Kahn Prosecution Said to Be Near Collapse" was the July 1 New York Times headline. One of the strongest bits of evidence was the claim that Diallo spoke to a friend, in prison on a drug charge, about Strauss-Kahn's wealth–the implication was that she and a criminal associate were plotting out how to profit from the assault. Newsweek's cover story this week is based […]

Jul
18
2011

Puffing Petraeus

Newsweek (7/17/11) begins a piece on David Petraeus becoming CIA director with an account of how he got the "short-term job done" after he was named commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan: Now, after 13 months, the 58-year-old Petraeus is coming home to head the Central Intelligence Agency. Since that day in the Oval Office, hopeful signs have begun appearing that he may have performed the seemingly impossible task of stabilizing the Afghan battlefield. The article, by reporter John Barry, doesn't provide much detail on what these "hopeful signs" are, but Afghan civilian deaths are up 15 percent in the […]

Jul
13
2011

Newsweek Touts Palin's Wonky Insights on the Price of Slim Jims

Will the outrages ever stop? Newsweek's "I Can Win" cover story about Sarah Palin is awful. But Palin fans will have a hard time trying to figure out how to square this puff piece with the notion that the mainstream media is out to get Palin. The premise is that Palin could run for president–and win. Because, well, that's what she says. That's sort of the theme for the whole article, as it is full of quotes and observations from Palin family members and associates who are trying to 'set the record straight' about her political career. Like how she […]

Jul
11
2011

Newsweek Covers Egyptian Election…Via Israel

Here's the headline and subhead in a Newsweek piece (7/10/11) about the Egyptian presidential election: Egypt's Rising Power Player Amr Moussa is on track to succeed Mubarak. And that spells danger for Israel. Reporter Dan Ephron characterizes Moussa like this: "long and vocal history of anti-Israel diatribes" "his anger against Israel" "one of Israel's most relentless detractors in Egypt" "He confronted Israelis at conferences and attacked them in television interviews" "His tirades even made him the subject of a hit song" "his longstanding dislike of Israel" "anger at Israel is genuine" This would be a lot more convincing if there […]

Jun
13
2011

Newsweek's Nostalgia for Arab Dictatorships

If you feel like there hasn't been enough attention paid to the fact that the democratic movements in the Arab world are undermining the power of U.S. elites to have troublemakers tortured and/or killed, rest assured that Newsweek's Christopher Dickey has you covered this week (6/12/11): Among American spies there's more than a little nostalgia for the bad old days. You know, back before dictators started toppling in the Middle East; back when suspected bad guys could be snatched off a street somewhere and delivered to the not-so-tender mercies of interrogators in their home countries; back when thuggish tyrants, however […]

May
31
2011

It CAN Happen Here–But Newsweek Doesn't Notice

Newsweek has a new piece wondering why it is that the United States doesn't seem to muster protest movements like we're seeing in Europe and in a number of Arab countries. The headline and image on their website: If you read that caption you see that protest happened on March 12* May 12– one of several mass mobilizations that have attracted almost no corporate media attention–a subject we discussed on CounterSpin last week with journalist Allison Kilkenny, who's been covering them for a variety of independent outlets. Yes, there could certainly be a sensible discussion about why the political system […]

May
10
2011

Newsweek, Like Time, Clutching at Straws to Cheer for Torture

The argument that the finding and killing of Osama bin Laden shows that George W. Bush's torture policies were justified got another rehearsal in Newsweek fromYale professorStephen Carter (5/5/11): In the end, we were able to track bin Laden because he communicated only through two couriers believed to be brothers. And what was the source of this vital clue? The intelligence apparently came from detainees imprisoned in secret facilities overseas and subjected to what has been euphemistically called "enhanced" interrogation…. So the information from the detainees was crucial, and we face an uncomfortable irony, both political and ethical. The finest […]

Apr
21
2011

Newsweek Bravely Highlights the Plight of the Beached White Male

Newsweek's cover story this week is on the plight of college-educated white men aged 35-64. The magazine laments that "this hitherto privileged demo isn't just on its knees, it's flat on on its face." The subhead of the piece asks, "Can manhood survive the lost decade?" Now, I have much sympathy for all who are struggling with unemployment. But are middle-aged, college-educated white males flat on their face and worthy of a trend cover story? It's hard to square that with the piece's own admission that their jobless rate is just above 5 percent. Most demographic groups would give anything […]

Mar
15
2011

The 'New' Newsweek's Nuclear Power Puffery

There was a lot of chatter about editor Tina Brown and the "new" Newsweek, which debuted last week. None of it struck me as all that interesting–a column up front from Leslie Gelb warning about the threat of Arab democracy and an anti-Social Security harangue from Robert Samuelson made it feel very much like the "old" Newsweek. One other piece stood out, and only more so this week–a warm profile of the executive in charge of France's nuclear power company, Areva. The subhead was "France's Most Powerful Businesswoman Believes Now Is the Time for the Next Atomic Boom." And the […]

Feb
16
2011

Action Alert: Newsweek Downplays Critics of Drone Assassinations

A Newsweek report (2/21/11) looks at the CIA's aerial drone assassination program through the agency's eyes–leaving questions about civilian deaths and the effort's dubious legality for a couple of brief paragraphs at the end. To encourage Newsweek to take critics of the drone program seriously, see FAIR's new Action Alert. Please leave copies of your messages–or comments on the alert–in the comments thread here.

Jan
04
2011

Propaganda and the Saddam Statue 'Conspiracy'

Remember the toppling of that Saddam Hussein statue in Baghdad (4/9/03) that signified the "end" of the Iraq War? At the time, there were critics who pointed out that the extensively televised images of a jubilant crowd of Iraqis were misleading.The sense of media excitement was unmistakable; as FAIR pointed out, the Los Angeles Times ran a headline the next day, "Iraq Is All but Won; Now What?" The incident is rehashed and examined in the New Yorker this week by Peter Maass, who was reporting from the scene that day.He states early on that both sides of the war […]

Jan
03
2011

Newsweek: Obama=Bush on War, and That's a Good Thing

Stephen L. Carter has a piece over atNewsweek that points out that Barack Obama hardly differs from George W. Bush when it comes to war; as the subhead explains: "How does Barack Obama differ as a commander in chief from his swaggering predecessor? A lot less than you might think." Now that'ssomethingyou don't hearvery often in the corporate media. But Carter meansthis more as a compliment than a criticism, explaining that there were people on the left and right alike who thought that America had elected an antiwar president, but that simply turned out not to be true. Rather, the […]

Dec
08
2010

Evan Thomas: Only People Like Me Can Save America From the Internet's Lies

Newsweek's Evan Thomas visited Germany recently, and came away thinking the United States is headed for some serious trouble. The country is falling apart–polarized, susceptible to populist demagoguery and so on. Forces on both sides are to blame;they're not all bad ("I think the Tea Partiers, despite their contradictions, are not all wrong about Big Government," he writes), but some should be singled out for criticism: Cable-TV and talk-radio personalities and bloggers have risen up to speak for the people. But as they pander for clicks and ratings, their standards of factual accuracy are often low. This is not by […]