Apr
30
2013

Syria and the 'Red Line' Nonsense

Red line (cc photo: Michael Lusk)

The pundits' message on Barack Obama's talk of a "red line" on Syria is that they are concerned about the credibility of the president's threats of violence–much more so than about the credibility of his evidence.

Apr
26
2013

Texas Fertilizer Plant Disaster: Little Coverage, Much of It Wrong

West Fertilizer Co. plant

The West Fertilizer Co. explosion last week was largely obscured by blanket coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing. More than that, says legendary EPA whistleblower Hugh Kaufman, a guest on this week's CounterSpin, what coverage there was often obscured the real story.

Apr
23
2013

George W. Bush Is a Swell Guy, Just Ask His Friends

natl-journal-good-man

The opening of the George W. Bush library is generating coverage about the state of the Bush legacy. But if the journalists who were far too generous in their coverage of Bush's presidency are the same ones writing about how that presidency should be viewed now, he's in safe hands.

Apr
22
2013

Don't Quote Me by Name, But My Friends the Koch Brothers Respect the Hell Out of Press Freedom

LA_TImes-Koch.fw

The New York Times finds anonymous sources to assure us that the Koch brothers are not trying to buy the Tribune newspapers in order to "destroy the other side." But Mother Jones finds an actual person who explains how the Kochs actually treat media outlets whose reporting they don't like.

Apr
12
2013

North Korea Has Deliverable Nuclear Warhead! Or Maybe Not!

washpost-nk

The panicky style of reporting on North Korea doesn't seem to be changing much, if you glance at the front pages of the Washington Post and New York Times this morning. But both pieces, if read carefully, undermine the alarmism–and make you wonder why the stories are on the front page.

Apr
04
2013

AP Ditches 'Illegal' Label

"No One Is Illegal" banner (cc photo: Vertigogen)

The Associated Press announced a change in their style guide: The wire service will no longer refer to "illegal immigrants," except in direct quotes. The change is a victory for activists who have called for years for journalists to stop using the term.

Apr
03
2013

Misreporting Israel/Gaza Cease-Fire

Wreckage from Israeli bombing of Gaza, November 2012 (cc photo: Norsk Folkehjelp)

An Israeli airstrike on Gaza yesterday is being reported as a breach of the cease-fire agreement that was reached after violence last November between the Israeli military and Hamas forces. But the new accounts are misleading: They give the impression that Israel hasn't regularly violated the agreement already.

Mar
25
2013

102 Years After Triangle Fire, Media Still Wonder How Workers Keep Dying

Child workers, Bangladesh (Photo: Global Labour Rights)

On the 102nd anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, Janine Jackson's article in the last issue of Extra! (3/13) is a sobering reminder that not that much has changed in the last century as far as worker  safety is concerned: What should be done to prevent incidents like the January 26 fire at the Smart Fashion Export factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in which at least seven garment workers (three of them teenage girls) were killed, their escape impeded by a blocked exit and the absence of the most rudimentary fire safety equipment? The answer for many would be: whatever is […]

Mar
15
2013

The Pope and Politics

weigel-nbc

Argentine cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was chosen as the new pope this week. But coverage often glossed over the most intense political controversies about him.

Mar
06
2013

AP: Chavez Wasted His Money on Healthcare When He Could Have Built Gigantic Skyscrapers

Venezuelan Poverty

Chavez squandered his nation's oil money on healthcare, education and nutrition when he could have been building the world's tallest building or his own branch of the Louvre. What kind of monster has priorities like that?

Feb
12
2013

AP Decides Your Husband or Wife Might Not Be

Wedding kiss, by Ben Salter

AP's intention was presumably to remain neutral on the issue of marriage equality–but its initial policy did take a position, indicating that no matter what their state government says, AP was not going to consider legally married same-sex couples to be really married.

Feb
05
2013

Where Are They Now? The Reporters Who Got Iraq So Wrong

Colin Powell at the UN

Ten years ago today, Colin Powell made the Bush administration's case for going to war against Iraq, and much of what he said was false. Most of the journalists who promoted his justifications for the war paid no price for their failures.

Jan
29
2013

Iranian Meddling in Yemen, Says Unnamed Official From Meddling Country

Sanaa, Yemen (photo: Ammar Abd Rabbo)

The country that has invaded and occupied two countries in the region, and is currently waging a drone war in Yemen–not to mention the occasional cluster bomb attack–is granted anonymity to call out another country's alleged "meddling" there.