Extra! August 2013

    Scorned or Celebrated, 'Breadwinner Moms' Are Misrepresented

    An analysis showing women as the sole or primary source of income in 40 percent of American homes—up from 11 percent in 1960—garnered considerable attention from the establishment press. But partisan bickering over “traditional” gender roles meant that the alarming disparities among working mothers went largely unreported.


    The Alteration of Alt Weeklies

    The demise of the Columbus alternative press wasn’t due to dried-up print advertising revenue, Craigslist or stiff competition from the hyper-local blogosphere, progressives say. Instead, the papers were deliberately silenced or lobotomized.


    This American Life on Guatemalan Genocide

    On the evening of December 4, 1982, President Ronald Reagan informed reporters assembled at an Air Force base in Honduras that he had just engaged in a “useful exchange of ideas” with Efraín Rios Montt. The Guatemalan military general was the most recent in a succession of U.S.-backed dictators who had been governing the country since the CIA first toppled its democratically elected president, Jacobo Arbenz, in 1954. “I know that President Rios Montt is a man of great personal integrity and commitment,” Reagan continued. “I know he wants to improve the quality of life for all Guatemalans and to ...


    A Media Microscope on Islam-Linked Violence

    Is Islam, as Kristof, Maher and O’Reilly suggest, really particularly violent? It’s a curious argument to make from the vantage point of the United States, which has in recent years launched wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and lesser military strikes in at least a half-a-dozen other nations—violence that has cost at least hundreds of thousands of lives over the past decade.


    Letters to the Editor August 2013

    Always Getting Disability Facts Wrong Big thanks to both Neil de Mause (“Disabled Are New Targets for Charges of Cheating,” 6/13; CounterSpin, 6/7/13) and Janine Jackson (“Media Offer Limited Roles for People With Disabilities: ‘Inspiration’ or Invisible,” 11/12). I had not read Kristof’s piece, so thank you, Neil. The media gets disability facts wrong ALL THE TIME!!! I know from working for a law firm (the Hawkins Center in Richmond, Calif.) that aids people both in securing Social Security benefits and challenging denials that it is not easy to qualify for Social Security disability. As deMause points out, the media ...


    Michael Hastings (1980-2013)

    You can tell what kind of reporter Michael Hastings was by the kind of reporter who hated him. “I think it’s very unfortunate that it has impacted, and will impact so adversely, on what had been pretty good military/media relations,” the New York Times’ John Burns told right-wing talkshow host Hugh Hewitt (FAIR Blog, 7/16/10). Burns was discussing Hastings’ Rolling Stone profile (6/22/10) of Stanley McChrystal that ended up costing the general his job running the occupation of Afghanistan—mainly because Hastings left in all the impolitic comments that McChrystal and his underlings assumed would be discreetly ignored. Burns expected that ...


    After Ahmadinejad, Alarmism Still Reigns

    With the surprise election (CNN, 6/15/13) of moderate pragmatist Hassan Rouhani as the next president of Iran, and the attendant departure of the West’s favorite bogeyman, outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, from the political stage, U.S. elite media have had to rapidly adapt the collective narrative in order to maintain their alarmist depiction of the Islamic Republic. For the past eight years, references to what is perceived as Ahmadinejad’s bombastic rhetoric abounded in political speeches and were readily parroted by the press (Extra!, 6/12). He was routinely presented as a megalomaniacal, apocalyptic madman, hell-bent on developing nuclear weapons in order to ...


    SoundBites August 2013

    Defining George W. as a Non-Bush Jon Meacham in Time (7/1/13) tried to refurbish the Bush “brand name” in preparation for a possible presidential run by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush: Jeb long ago internalized and then lived out his family’s guiding precepts. Bushes move to new parts of the country; they work hard; they learn from their mistakes, particularly from failed campaigns; and they never, ever give up. Of course, almost none of this applies to the most famous Bush, Jeb’s brother George W. He did move from Connecticut to Texas—when he was two years old. But he famously ...


    The Snowden Psychiatric Smear

    Attacking Edward Snowden’s character with an amateur understanding of mental health medicine not only distracts from the the secret mass surveillance of U.S. citizens, it also further marginalizes an already highly stigmatized portion of our society.