How Did TV News Talk About Torture in Coverage of the Torture Report?

CIA's secret prisons

A new FAIR study (Media Advisory, 1/7/15) finds that torture supporters outnumbered critics of torture nearly 2-to-1 in TV news coverage of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA torture. While those who authorized and carried out torture were well-represented, like George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and several CIA officials, victims of torture were entirely missing and their advocates barely heard from. But beyond who got a chance to speak, how were these discussions conducted and what was said? Human Rights Take a Back Seat to Partisan Bickering In analyzing the transcripts of these shows, the most glaring […]


And Now, to Discuss Police Killings: Rush Limbaugh?


“Rush Limbaugh talks race relations.” You know, that Rush Limbaugh–the guy who once quipped, “Have you ever noticed how all newspaper composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?”


‘Straight Shooter’ Chris Christie and the Occupied Territories

Fox host Chris Wallace

What happened when Republican ‘straight shooter” Chris Christie accurately called the West Bank occupied territory? He apologized.


Asking Kerry Questions–but Which Ones?


John Kerry appeared on all of the Sunday talkshows. But he was mostly not asked about the case for war with Syria. Instead, the questioning was overwhelmingly concerned with Barack Obama’s decision to seek congressional approval for an attack on Syria.


Dick Cheney’s Ho-Hum About Liberal Media Bias

When Dick Cheney appeared on the Today show, at the conclusion of the interview a camera that shows the crowd outside the studio picked up this image: That sign probably represented the harshest take on Cheney’s record that TV viewers saw during the PR campaign for his book. Unsurprisingly, it caught someone’s attention over at Fox News, and on Sunday host Chris Wallace decided to use it in a question about liberal media bias. That’s not surprising. Cheney’s response, though, is worth a look: WALLACE: What do you make of that? I mean, I somehow doubt that if Hillary Clinton […]


Strange Questions, Strange Journalism

Steve Benen of Political Animal points out a couple of strange questions posed by corporate journalists–one to each of last year’s major presidential candidates. In this post, Benen quotes an unnamed New York Times reporter (apparently either Sheryl Gay Stolberg or Steven Lee Meyers) basically red-baiting Barack Obama: “The first six weeks have given people a glimpse of your spending priorities. Are you a socialist as some people have suggested?” The same reporter, or maybe a different one–I guess they were speaking ex cathedra–later pressed Obama: “If you’re not a socialist, are you a liberal?” In a later post, Benen […]


Chris Wallace and Why Watergate Worked

At a screening of the film Frost/Nixon, Fox News Channel‘s Chris Wallace defends George W. Bush against the assertion–which doesn’t seem to have been made by anyone present–that Bush’s crimes were worse than Richard Nixon’s (Salon, 12/2/08): It trivializes Nixon’s crimes and completely misrepresents what George W. Bush did. Whatever George W. Bush did was after the savage attack of 9/11, in which 3,000 Americans were killed, it was done in service of trying to protect this country. I’m not saying that you have to agree with everything he did, but it was all done in the service of trying […]