“Black lives matter” is the rallying cry of the burgeoning movement against police killings. The Associated Press, covering that movement, has produced a perfect example of what journalism looks like when black lives don’t matter.
Politicians go out of their way to denounce whistleblowers and “leakers” whose revelations of classified data, they claim, have harmed national security. But it’s always worth pointing out that the outrage is selective.
Why does AP still let Calvin Woodward “factcheck” political speeches? Does no one at the news service know what actual factchecking looks like? (If you’re coming in late, see FAIR Blog, 10/30/08, 2/25/09, 4/30/09, 1/28/10, 8/31/12.) Woodward’s latest venture (1/29/14) into the factcheck genre, following President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech, produced yet more illustrations of what not to do when gauging the accuracy of political speech. Take this item: OBAMA: “We’ll need Congress to protect more than 3 million jobs by finishing transportation and waterways bills this summer. But I will act on my own to slash […]
It’s hard to remember a better time for politicians to talk about the issue of income inequality. But according to the Associated Press (1/24/14), Barack Obama’s State of the Union address will attempt to shift away that issue–too divisive, apparently–and opt instead for some discussion of economic opportunity. As Jim Kuhnhenn writes: The adjustment reflects an awareness that Obama’s earlier language put him at risk of being perceived as divisive and exposed him to criticism that his rhetoric was exploiting the gap between haves and have-nots. He also noted: Obama’s December speech was well received by Democrats and liberals, but […]
Which account of the mass deaths in Syria should be given more credence: the U.S. government version introduced by Secretary of State John Kerry, or the article published by the Minnesota-based news site Mint Press? The government account expresses “high confidence that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack.” The Mint report bore the headline “Syrians in Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack.”
One would hope that the lessons of Iraq might inform more of the coverage of Syria. But that’s not always the case. Over the course of the past week, the White House and various officials have been adamant that they have evidence that shows the Syrian government was responsible for the horrific attack last week that likely killed hundreds, and very well could have been a chemical or gas attack of some sort. But too many journalists were treating what the government said it knew as if it was already actual evidence. On NBC Nightly News (8/27/13), Andrea Mitchell reported […]
Private Chelsea Manning will be serving out a 35-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth prison for revealing classified information to WikiLeaks. Are you confused by that sentence? Not sure what case we’re talking about here? Maybe there were two Private Mannings who are now tied for the record of longest prison sentence in the history of this country for whistleblowing? It’s hard to imagine that, more than 24 hours after Manning made her gender identity public through a written statement read on the Today show (8/22/13), any reader or viewer would not figure out pretty quickly who the news was talking […]