Extra! September/October 1997

    Life Without Father

    In July, the anti-feminist Independent Women’s Forum scored a double win worthy of the Women’s National Basketball Association: IWF representatives published op-ed articles in the New York Times (7/10/97) and the Wall Street Journal (7/11/97) on consecutive days with the very same message. And the message was repeated a third time on CBS Evening News (7/13/97), where Laura Ingraham, an IWF founder, has a regular soapbox slot to “comment,” unchallenged, on the news. (Ingraham is now misleadingly identified by the New York Times as a “news analyst.” CBS tags her as a “commentator,” airing no feminist to “comment” back.) The …

    Broken Promises

    The benefits of the North American Free Trade Agreement were obvious to mainstream U.S. media back in 1992-93. The New York Times (7/21/92) said NAFTA promised “jobs, wealth and economic activity throughout the continent.” The Washington Post declared (9/14/93) that “the list of new opportunities and advantages is a long one,” while insisting (5/11/93) that “opposition to the agreement is rooted in dark forebodings almost comically out of proportion to any possible results.” The Wall Street Journal (8/7/92) predicted “lower prices on a wide variety of goods,” which Time (8/10/92) pointed out would especially help “low-income households.” As criticism of …

    What’s in a Name?

    “The forces of terrorism are in a coalition, engaged in an information warfare campaign against Israel, a campaign in which the American news media is serving as the witting or unwitting ally of Arafat.” So House speaker Newt Gingrich (R.-Ga.) told the cheering audience at AIPAC’s (American-Israeli Political Action Committee) national convention (C-SPAN, 4/8/97). Democrats like Vice President Al Gore and House minority leader Richard Gephardt (D.-Mo.) had both given pro-Israeli convention speeches, but it was Gingrich who thrilled the crowd with his attack on the media. Virtually the only example given by Gingrich with any basis in reality was …

    Elections in Europe

    In February (2/11/97), as the French election campaign approached, the New York Times ran a front-page “special report” from France. Entitled “Liberty, Equality, Anxiety,” the report by Roger Cohen was accompanied by a menacing photograph of a rally for far-right nationalist Jean-Marie LePen’s National Front party, featuring a giant poster of a grinning LePen. “France stands at a crossroads,” Cohen wrote. “Real market reform–privatization, private pension funds, a shareholding culture–or preservation of a highly centralized, state-heavy French welfare model?” The consequences of a wrong turn in the upcoming June elections would be dire, Cohen made clear, and were apparently evident …

    The Right of the Story

    ABC probably doesn’t want people to think it’s in the business of passing off urban folklore stories as real news, or altering the facts of stories to fit a conservative spin. But that’s what one of its most listened to broadcasters does–six days a week. Paul Harvey is regarded as a broadcasting icon. An institution. His radio show, distributed by the ABC Radio Networks, is carried on more than 1,200 radio stations and, according to his own press releases, is heard by 23 million listeners six days a week. Even if you make allowances for self-promotion, his audience exceeds that …

Articles in the print edition

Life Without Father

Adrienne Rich on Art, Politics & Media

“Mr. Smith” Goes to Washington

Reporters on Wall Street

Strategic Publicity & Media Activism