Dec
01
2013

The Other Education Crisis

Panic over testing feeds drop in creativity

Students boycotting standardized testing at Garfield High School in Washington state.

The monomania for testing rests on a belief, ingrained in the media, that American education is “in crisis” and the surest way to catch up with international competitors is to listen to big data.

Dec
01
2013

‘The Real Story Is It’s Incredibly Hard to Qualify’

Rebecca Vallas on 60 Minutes and disability insurance

Steve Croft on 60 Minutes

CounterSpin Interview   We’re used to media scaremongering over Social Security retirement insurance, claiming that benefits must be cut because the program is about to run out of money (Extra!, 10/10). But lately media have pushed a different Social Security story, claiming that there has been an alarming and suspicious explosion in the number of people getting Social Security disability benefits. After that message was sent loud and clear by a recent CBS 60 Minutes broadcast (10/6/13), CounterSpin’s Peter Hart spoke about the reality of disability insurance with Rebecca Vallas, deputy director of government affairs at the National Organization of […]

Dec
01
2013

Nursing a Grudge Over Giap

Vietnamese general’s obit recalls imperial grievances

General Vo Nguyen Giap

During the 1968 presidential campaign, Richard Nixon persuaded South Vietnam through back channels to withdraw from peace negotiations just as a breakthrough was imminent. Under a Nixon presidency, “they would get a much better deal,” he secretly promised through a campaign adviser (BBC, 3/22/13). With the peace process stymied, Nixon narrowly defeated Vice President Hubert Humphrey. He then expanded the conflict throughout the region via secret, illegal carpet bombings over Laos and Cambodia, overseen by National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger. Nixon presided over four more years of war and the deaths of over 20,000 US soldiers—more than a third of […]

Dec
01
2013

Certain Science, Dubious Reporting

IPCC report misread as a green light for false balance

IPCC Report

It is hardly a surprise when conservative media deny climate change, humanity’s responsibility for it or the feasibility of stopping it. But even media that accept what science tells them are failing to effectively communicate that reality to the public.

Nov
19
2013

When Life Gives You Lemons...

Don Lemon’s message to black America

CNN's Don Lemon endorses Bill O'Reilly's critique of black "street culture."

This is far from the first time corporate media legitimized the indictment of black culture for issues like black unemployment and community violence.

Nov
01
2013

The Rise of Establishment Reporting

How a crisis in journalism led to the cult of balance

Pulitzer

To fend off a serious threat to their survival, major newspaper owners promoted a new sense of journalism, one that still dominates the news industry today.

Nov
01
2013

COUNTERSPIN INTERVIEW: ‘The People Who Saw Their Dreams Exploding Are Blamed for This Crisis’

Laura Gottesdiener on Foreclosures

Anti-foreclosure activism, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. (cc photo: Michael Premo)

CounterSpin’s Janine Jackson talked to Laura Gottesdiener, author of A Dream Foreclosed: Black America and the Fight for a Place to Call Home, a new book that brings the foreclosure crisis into vivid focus.

Nov
01
2013

When the World’s Richest Billionaire Owns Your Paper

The New York Times covers Carlos Slim—carefully

Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim costs his country an estimated $32 billion a year

Carlos Slim is the world’s richest person. His father, Julién Slim Haddad, immigrated to Mexico from Lebanon as a teenager, and by the time Carlos was born, the family was well-off, having acquired a number of businesses and real estate in Mexico City. Slim took his father’s financial lessons to heart, starting a stock brokerage that slowly grew to a corporate empire. Today he owns, among other things, América Móvil, Latin America’s largest wireless services provider. In 2007, the estimated value of the companies he ran was a whopping $150 billion. In that year, Mexico’s GDP was just over $1 […]