Extra! April 2014

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    Letters April 2014

    Extra! in the Texas Gulag Greetings from the Texas gulag. I’m in superseg and without resources, so I hope you’ll excuse my means of writing. You have generously been sending me Extra! for several years now, and I want you to know you guys are my heroes and sheroes for the priceless work you do. Genuine democracy is impossible without a well-informed constituency (it’s also impossible in a society comprised of different classes, but we won’t go there!); you guys do all in your power to inform the public by shedding light on our institutionalized manufactured consent. As I mentioned, …

    Good Protesters—and the Bad Kind

    The complex anti-government protest movements in both Venezuela and Ukraine were boiled down by US corporate media to send a clear message to their domestic audience: These are the good guys.

    On Homeland, Islam Means Terror

    Homeland’s key plot themes are the infiltration of the US administration by Muslim extremists (a nod to Islamophobic conspiracy theories); suspicion of ordinary Muslim Americans, especially converts; and the psychological turmoil of the leading Muslim character, who is caught between his all-American family and the pull of extremist indoctrination.

    Soundbites April 2014

    USA Today’s Cracked Crystal Ball…. Bob Schieffer Is Tired of Your Fancy Talk…. Future Asks: Why Didn’t You Drown Us Quicker?

    The War on Poor Women of Color

    A colossal wave of abortion restrictions have battered reproductive rights across the nation, leaving in its wake the greatest threat to choice in recent memory. Nevertheless, the corporate media have responded with a collective yawn, suggesting a deep-seated indifference toward the people these anti-choice provisions will harm the most—poor women of color.

    Sunday Morning Snow Job

    On February 16, 2014, all three Sunday morning programs featured the climate change topic prominently. Unfortunately, quality didn’t match quantity, reflecting the “balance as bias” framework of years past, with scientists debating nonscientists and facts vying with opinions and political platforms—sometimes to the point of incoherence.

    Leading Papers’ Sources Tilt Toward TPP

    Critics call it a corporate coup, an assault on the public interest and a threat to democratic sovereignty. It’s the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a commercial treaty currently being negotiated in secret between the US, NAFTA partners Mexico and Canada, and nine more Pacific Rim countries: Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Though it sounds like a big story, it’s not—at least for US corporate media. Last month, Extra! (3/14) revealed that national TV news on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox News simply ignored the story. MSNBC’s Ed Show, hosted by Ed Schultz, was …

    Cable Monopoly’s Gain Is Community Media’s Loss

    Critics have rightly argued that if the merger is approved, customers will experience less choice and higher cable bills as a result of increasing media monopolization. What tends to fly under the radar in this debate are further dangers that disproportionately impact underserved communities.

    With Marijuana, the Obvious Is Incendiary

    American society devotes significant resources to a punitive approach to one substance, while fully legalizing and normalizing other far more dangerous and addictive substances.

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The War on Poor Women of Color
Abortion coverage slump matches class & ethnic shift
by Rania Khalek

Sunday Morning Snow Job
Beltway talk shows’ flaky climate coverage
by Miranda C. Spencer

Leading Papers’ Sources Tilt Toward TPP
Sparse, slanted coverage of corporate-friendly deal
by Steve Rendall and Melanie Nakashian

Good Protesters—and the Bad Kind
When Molotov cocktails are just a ‘boy’s adventure’
by Peter Hart

On Homeland, Islam Means Terror
TV’s one major Muslim character is a secret Al-Qaeda agent
by Arun Kundnani