Media like to dismiss the partisan "blame game," but in cases like this placing blame is something that journalism ought to do.
A look at USA Today's Iran coverage over time suggests a pattern of putting Iran in a bad light, sometimes at the expense of the truth.
Yesterday in USA Today (9/22/13), Aamer Madhani wrote this about the challenges facing Barack Obama: The president is also trying to take advantage of a diplomatic opening–created by the installation of a new, more moderate president in Iran–to persuade Tehran to abandon its nuclear weapons program. As you might know by now, this is misleading; Iran is suspected by some governments of having a nuclear weapons program, but there is no solid intelligence that such a program exists. USA Today made a similar claim a few months ago; when FAIR activists wrote to the paper, it eventually got around to […]
OK, so maybe this headline is slightly unfair, but it seemed like a good way to capture the essence of a USA Today story (9/18/13) about the fight over food stamps. As you may already know, House Republicans are looking to cut some $40 billion from the SNAP program, otherwise known as food stamps, over the next 10 years. It's not unusual for politicians to disagree; one would hope that journalism might intervene on the side of the facts. But here's how USA Today's Paul Singer presented the issue: The cost of the federal food stamp program has exploded […]
The cover of Rolling Stone (8/13), featuring a self-portrait of Dzhokhar Tsaernav taken weeks before the Boston bombing, has fueled a strong backlash. Discussing the cover, Fox News' Lisa Daftari (7/18/13) said: In the aftermath of 9/11, if you look back over a decade ago, this country had an awakening, an understanding, that we have a new ideological threat that is on our soil. People became aware. But we've since gone very far from that, almost gone too far from that. We are almost becoming overcompensating, for fear of being Islamophobic. Political correctness is leading us to put a terrorist […]
The latest FAIR Action Alert asks readers to contact MSNBC and USA Today for corrections of misreporting in their coverage of Iran. Read the alert here and, if you send the outlets a letter, please share it in the comments section below.
"Democrats on one side, Republicans on the other" is the way conventional Beltway reporters seem to see the world–and it's reflected in their reporting on political events. On the front page of USA Today (6/7/13), Susan Page has a piece wondering if the unfolding scandals surrounding the White House and surveillance will threaten the president's "agenda." That's a strange concern for the moment, but we'll put that aside. The most unusual part of the piece is the very premise: That Obama's actions have verified Republican criticisms of his presidency. As Page puts it, the current story is especially problematic for […]
USA Today's front-page headline (5/31/13): Churches Sever Scout Sponsorship The online headline, over Bob Smietana's piece on the reaction of church groups that sponsor Boy Scout troops to the Scouts' announced plan to accept gay Scouts was longer but no less sweeping: Religious Regretfully Sever Scout Sponsorships That's bad news for the Scouts, since as the article points out, "about 70 percent of Scout troops are chartered by a faith-based group." Must be tough, losing seven out of 10 sponsors all at once. Except the article doesn't report what the headlines claim at all. The article quotes one church leader, […]
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?