Jeff Cohen on Media Missing the Costs of Militarism

Protester: I Want Education Not War (United for Justice With Peace)

“Today there’s an elephant in the room: a huge, yet ignored, issue that largely explains why Social Security is now on the chopping block…. That problem is U.S. militarism and perpetual war.”


Olbermann and the Cult of Objectivity

I agree with Keith Olbermann (11/15/10) about the dubious value of “objectivity” as a journalistic value; he makes a telling point about how journalistic icons like Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow are most honored for the moments when they reached conclusions and asserted values. And I think he’s right that the U.S. media establishment’s failure to see through the lies that sold the Iraq War is a singular failure of our journalistic system–one that does indeed suggest that we need an entirely different system that better serves our democracy. Olbermann’s MSNBC forerunner, Phil Donahue, was fired in the run […]


Political Donations Are OK for Executives, Who Don’t Influence News…on Some Other Planet

MSNBC host Keith Olbermann’s indefinite suspension for violating network policies regarding political donations lasted all of two work days. On his Wednesday show (11/10/10), Olbermann brought up the point that FAIR made in our alert–the difficulty of squaring such a policy with MSNBC parent General Electric‘s political giving and multi-million dollar lobbying. Olbermann was joined by Nation blogger Greg Mitchell and Howard Kurtz of CNN/Daily Beast. Olbermann asked Kurtz: Howard, how far up the tree does it go? If you and I and Greg can’t donate, can our bosses donate? Can our bosses’ boss donate? Can Rupert Murdoch donate? Because […]


Chris Matthews’ Role in MSNBC’s Donahue Firing

Gabriel Sherman’s piece in New York magazine (10/3/10) on the cable news wars includes a bit of history on MSNBC‘s firing of progressive host Phil Donahue in 2003; an internal memo at the timeworried that the showwould be “a home for the liberal anti-war agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity.” Sherman focuses on MSNBC personality Chris Matthews–who sometimes claimshe was opposed to the Iraq War–and his desire to get Donahue fired: Donahue’s problems only increased when Chris Matthews let it be known that he wanted Donahue off the air. Matthews was […]


MSNBC’s Anti-War Censorship: A Reminder

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, doing press for his new TV show on “conspiracy theories,” made got some attention from (among others) Eric Roper at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Roper alludes toa “curious comment Ventura made in the Los Angeles Times this weekend”– that MSNBC canceled his short-lived show when they found out that he opposed the Iraq War: I was basically silenced. When I came out of office, I was the hottest commodity out there. There was a bidding war between CNN, Fox and MSNBC to get my services. MSNBC ultimately won. I was being groomed for a five-day-a-week TV […]