Remembering Alexander Cockburn

Alexander Cockburn with his niece Laura Flanders.

The July 27 CounterSpin noted the passing of one of media criticism’s greatest writers: FAIR was saddened to hear of the death of radical journalist Alexander Cockburn. He was one of the writers to whom FAIR is most indebted, inspiring a revival of hard-hitting political media criticism with the Press Clips column in the Village Voice, which he launched in 1973, and then with Beat the Devil in the Nation, starting in 1983. Part of his appeal was simply how well he wrote: He had a voice that could not be imitated–effortlessly stylish, boundlessly informed, savagely funny and unapologetically left. […]


NYT’s Retro Rape Reporting Returns to Victim-Blaming Ways

I wrote a letter to the New York Times in 1991 after they ran a piece by Fox Butterfield (4/17/91) that invaded the privacy (literally peering into her daughter’s bedroom window) and scrutinized the personal life of a woman who accused a member of the Kennedy family of raping her. Clearly some people inside the paper were outraged as well, because they don’t usually print letters that are this critical (4/21/91): I read with growing disbelief the “profile” of the alleged victim in the Palm Beach, Florida, rape case. It seems you are borrowing not only your policies on naming […]


Big Media’s ‘Right’ Minds Pretend Away Discrimination

In wonderment that, as “Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is making the rounds of the Capitol this week,” corporate pundit “jackasses are still saying she has to explain her ‘wise Latina’ comment,” Laura Flanders (Women In Media & News, 6/4/09) remarks that “the money-media have spent the week making the comment ‘controversial’ (and then calling it that).” After citing FAIR’s debunking of this media tempest by actually contextualizing Sotomayor’s 2001 hope that “a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life,” […]