Extra! Update October 2008

    SoundBites

    Associated With Whom? “Obama Spares Details: Keeps Up Attacks.” —AP headline on Barack Obama’s acceptance speech (8/28/08) “McCain Makes Bipartisan Pitch as Leader for All.” —AP headline on John McCain’s acceptance speech (9/5/08) Having It Neither Way The Washington Post (8/10/08) ran a story headlined, “Obama Tax Plan Would Balloon Deficit, Analysis Finds.” Actually, though, the analysis in question, by the Tax Policy Center (7/23/08), found that Obama’s proposals would bring in $80 billion more a year in taxes compared to current tax policies—that’s not exactly “ballooning” the deficit. However, if you instead base your comparison on the future changes ...


    Blurring the Lines on Iraq

    Corporate media outlets seem intent on blurring the lines between the Iraq policies of John McCain and Barack Obama. “Campaigns’ Iraq Stances Seem to Hit a Middle Ground” was the headline of an August 1 Washington Post article by Karen DeYoung that reported that the candidates’ “debate over the future of U.S. troops in Iraq seems to have entered a broad new middle ground, in which the question is not whether to withdraw but rather the speed and circumstances of departure.” USA Today reported (8/4/08) that McCain and Obama’s Iraq War positions “seem to be drawing closer together.” To back ...


    Cold War on Their Minds

    When Russia and Georgia clashed in August over Georgia’s separatist enclaves, U.S. corporate media frequently evoked the Cold War as a key to understanding the conflict—and they themselves certainly played their Cold War part, generally placing white hats on Washington’s allies and black hats on Moscow’s. On August 11, NBC Nightly News reporter Jim Maceda announced: “The powerful Russian war machine is moving ever deeper into Georgia, and teaching all of us really a lesson about what makes Russia tick.” Maceda then gave what became the standard media template for describing the conflict: It started as a gamble by Georgia, ...


    Playing the Racism Card

    Corporate media were absurdly receptive to the McCain campaign’s charge that Barack Obama “played the race card” by predicting that his opponents in the presidential race would try to use his race against him. The fact is that racialized attacks are a standard part of the Republican playbook—and John McCain has brought on key advisers who have employed that strategy in the past. The “race card” controversy started when Obama, responding to a McCain ad equating Obama with celebrities Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, predicted that Republicans would say of him, “He’s got a funny name and he doesn’t look ...