CBS Libya ‘Factcheck’ Will Live in Infamy

Franklin Roosevelt signing the declaration of war against Japan (National Archives)

CBS Evening News (10/17/12) provides another example of corporate media’s through-the-looking-glassĀ  media “factchecking” of the Libya exchange at the second Obama/Romney debate (FAIR Media Advisory, 10/18/12). CBS‘s Jan Crawford set up the issue this way: For weeks, Republicans have said the president’s reluctance to call the attacks terrorism is a sign his administration doesn’t have a competent national security policy. Last night, the president said he did call it an act of terror within 24 hours of the attacks. That is a new explanation, and it triggered a clash between the president, Romney and the debate moderator. Note how the […]


Richard Cohen: Even the Dow Jones Can’t Make Obama Cry

There are plenty of thoughtful pieces–Drew Westen’s in the New York Times over the weekend being the most recent one–that try to figure out what’s going on with Barack Obama. Then there’s Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen today (8/9/11), who begins by retelling a story about FDR: In her autobiography, Helen Gahagan Douglas recalled telling President Franklin D. Roosevelt about her visits to the camps of migrant workers. She was especially poignant about the children and their lack of Christmas toys when the president tried to stop her. “Don’t tell me any more, Helen,” FDR told the woman who is […]


Media Welcome for ‘Baroque Conspiracy Theories’ Not Unprecedented

What “surprises” Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik (8/30/09) more than this summer’s news full of “baroque conspiracy theories” and “weepy hysteria” is “the idea that these are somehow unprecedented.” Hiltzik looks back to an earlier era of supposed presidential “socialism” in the U.S. to see such current claims as “merely the latest examples of a phenomenon that might be called Wirtism”–a label Hiltzik “just coined… to honor the memory of William A. Wirt”: Wirt’s day in the sun came back in 1934, when the obscure Midwestern blowhard placed himself at the center of a political maelstrom by “discovering” a […]