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.


Zakaria: All U.S. Presidents Support Democracy (Except When They Don’t)

In the Washington Post (7/7/11), Fareed Zakaria tries to defend Barack Obama against the criticism that he needs a more consistent foreign policy. He writes: All American presidents have supported and should support the spread of democracy. The real question is: Should that support involve active measures to topple undemocratic regimes, especially military force? Since this is an important part of his argument, it is worth noting that “all American presidents” have no such passion for the spread of democracy. There is a fairly rich history of U.S. foreign policy taking “active measures” to support undemocratic regimes. It is unclear […]


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 […]


The Scott Sisters Are Free

The Scott sisters (Gladys and Jamie) were serving doublelife sentences in a Mississippi state prison over the supposed role they played in an armed robbery that amounted to $11. At the end of 2010 their sentences were suspended by Governor Haley Barbour, provided that Jamie receive a kidney donation from her sister. The sisters’ ordeal, as columnist Richard Prince wrote back in November,came tonationalattention thanks largely to a November 2008 piece in the Black Commentator by Nancy Lockhart, which then spread throughout black-oriented blogs andtalk radio, as well as the alternative media (Prince cites a piece by James Ridgewayof Mother […]


This Week on CounterSpin: Jemima Pierre on Haiti, Megan Tady on TV Wars

This week on CounterSpin: The network camera crews have mostly packed up and gone home, but the political fights over reconstruction and rebuilding in Haiti are only just getting started. University of Texas professor Jemima Pierre was part of a delegation that recently visited Haiti, and she wrote about what she saw for the Nation. She’ll join us to talk about what she found, and where the Haiti story is headed next. Also on the show: Media technology can put more control in consumers’ hands over the gathering and sharing of information and entertainment. But some folks, frankly, would rather […]


CounterSpin: Lynn Paltrow on Utah Miscarriage Law, Susan Linn on Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood

This week on CounterSpin: A new law in Utah says some women who miscarry should go to jail. You may have seen some coverage, but are journalists asking the right questions about the law’s implications, and is there a bigger story here that’s being missed? We’ll hear from Lynn Paltrow, executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women. Also on CounterSpin this week: With a name like the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, you’d expect such a group is going to upset some big corporations. And they have, including launching a very successful campaign against media giant Disney. Well, maybe […]


Why I Couldn’t Say What Dan Froomkin Said Reporters Should Do

I wrote a short item on Dan Froomkin’s firing for FAIR’s radio show CounterSpin today: One of the bright spots at the Washington Post media enterprise was Dan Froomkin’s column, “White House Watch,” for WashingtonPost.com. It often struck us that Froomkin had a whole different attitude–skeptical of those in power, and critical of their journalistic enablers–than most of his colleagues at the Post Co. So it was perhaps not too surprising to hear that Froomkin, one of the Post‘s most popular online writers, had been fired–not long after his column was placed under the authority of editorial page editor Fred […]