CNN Attempts Actual Journalism–But Reverts to Embedded Reporting

CNN's Jake Tapper in Ferguson, Missouri

Watching coverage of the unrest in Ferguson on CNN last night (8/18/14), I was struck at the actual journalism I was treated to by CNN's Jake Tapper. It's not every day corporate media is awestruck by the heavy-handedness of a militarized attack on civilians on US soil. But such was the case for Tapper, who was nearly hit by a tear gas canister fired by police. Things escalated to the point where Tapper began to legitimately question the police's actions. His assertion that the over-the-top show of force by Ferguson police " doesn't make any sense" was a reasonable assessment¬† […]


Wait–Chris Christie Might Be a Vindictive Bully?!

Chris Christie

Some of the recent coverage of Republican New Jersey governor seems genuinely surprised that the bullying, partisan politician might be… well, bullying and partisan.


Media Lean Left, Say Journalists Who Don't Really Say That


When establishment journalists were asked about whether media leaned left, so little in their responses addressed what would seem to be the fundamental question: Does what is actually in the media suggest a liberal bias?


ABC Misses Real Difference Between Romney, Obama Tapes

From last night's ABC World News (9/18/12): DIANE SAWYER: But we do remember four years ago the president, then candidate, was at a fundraiser, it was during the primary, but he too was caught on tape. JAKE TAPPER: That's right, he was talking about the difficulty of reaching small-town Pennsylvanians and how, because of tough economic circumstances, they get bitter, they cling to religion and guns and xenophobia. But here is the key difference between what then-Senator Obama said four years and this Mitt Romney tape. What Obama said then, that was seven months before the election. He had time […]


ABC: Social Security Running Out of Money?

Part of ABC's This Week show (8/19/12) was devoted to the idea that, as host Jake Tapper put it, the U.S. economy is at a potentially defining moment: The great debate: Can we restore the nation's finances, or is the U.S. headed toward bankruptcy–an issue at the forefront of the presidential debate, especially since Mitt Romney's selection of Congressman Paul Ryan. Setting aside the notion of "bankruptcy," it's worth pointing out that despite Ryan's professed interest in taming the debt, his budget plans don't actually do much of that. The "all-star panel of experts" was going to tackle this weighty […]


It's Hard to Change the Discussion of Poverty on Sunday Morning

FAIR's recent study of the Sunday morning network shows documented a distinct right-wing bias in the guestlists. Republicans and conservatives were everywhere; progressives and people of color, not so much. Since the study was released, there left-leaning commentator/TV host Tavis Smiley has been on two shows, CBS's Face the Nation (4/22/12) and ABC's This Week (5/6/12) The latter showed how a guest like Smiley can broaden the discussion– at one point he invoked Martin Luther King's critique of militarism to talk about current U.S. policy. And he talked about poverty: I think we have to all agree here, though, that […]


ABC and the (Still) Growing Iran Threat

ABC World News was responsible for a flagrantly propagandistic report about Iran on January 31. They're still at it. At the top of the March 5 report, anchor Diane Sawyer announced that Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were talking about "the growing nuclear threat from Iran." Sawyer warned that it might be the "last chance" for the two to meet face to face before a possible Israeli attack. The two agreed, as Jake Tapper put it, that Iran "cannot be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon." And what if they did? Jake Tapper asks, "What might result?" […]


ABC and the 'Family Budget' Fallacy

Last year New York Times columnist Paul Krugman (7/8/11) wrote a sharp critique of those who argue that the federal government's budget should be compared to a family. He called it one of the "right's favorite economic fallacies," pointing out: No, the government shouldn't budget the way families do; on the contrary, trying to balance the budget in times of economic distress is a recipe for deepening the slump. He expanded upon it again this year (1/1/12), calling the government-as-family trick "a really bad analogy," and explained how governments don't pay off debts the way a family does–"all they need […]


GE Avoids Reporting on GE Avoiding Taxes

You may have heard about the New York Times report (3/25/11) explaining that General Electric made $14 billion in worldwide profits in 2010–and paid the federal government exactly nothing in taxes. The Times explained this is"based on an aggressive strategy that mixes fierce lobbying for tax breaks and innovative accounting that enables it to concentrate its profits offshore." Despite the Comcast purchase, GE is still apart owner of NBC and MSNBC–the latter conventionally thought to be a liberal-leaning outlet. So did they say much about a giant corporation keeping profits offshore in order to avoid paying taxes? Not really; Paul […]


Factchecking: At NBC, That's a Job for the Viewer

In his stint as interim host of ABC's This Week, Jake Tapper has arranged for the fact-checkers at Politifact to review what the guests say on the ABC Sunday morning show.An idea worth applauding, it came to Tapper via NYU's Jay Rosen. The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz asked NBC Meet the Press anchor David Gregory if he'd consider a similar arrangement for his show: An "interesting idea," Gregory allows, but not one the NBC show will be emulating. "People can factcheck Meet the Press every week on their own terms."


Media Echo U.S. Gov't Attacks on Chavez

Images of the U.S. media's longtime foe, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, with Obama at last weekend's Summit of the Americas in Trinidad prompted some corporate reporters to take the unusual step of questioning the political motivations behind an official photo-op. On ABC's World News, Jake Tapper referred to Chavez's gift of The Open Veins of Latin America to Obama as a "stunt" (video available here). George Stephanopoulos questioned whether Chavez was not just posing with Obama in order to take advantage of Obama's popularity. "You have to wonder who would win a popular vote between Obama and Chavez in Venezuela […]