Apr
01
2014

On Homeland, Islam Means Terror

TV’s one major Muslim character is a secret Al-Qaeda agent

Kundnani

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.

Apr
01
2014

Soundbites April 2014

Volume 27, Number 4

SoBitesb

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

Apr
01
2014

The War on Poor Women of Color

Abortion coverage slump matches class & ethnic shift

Unpacking the structural inequalities underlying the abortion gap.

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.

Apr
01
2014

Sunday Morning Snow Job

Beltway talk shows’ flaky climate coverage

ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, L. A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, ABC business correspondent Rebecca Jarvis and Climate Central climatologist Dr. Heidi Cullen.

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.

Apr
01
2014

Leading Papers’ Sources Tilt Toward TPP

Sparse, slanted coverage of corporate-friendly deal

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 […]

Apr
01
2014

Cable Monopoly’s Gain Is Community Media’s Loss

Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger threatens local voices

Stop the Merger

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.

Apr
01
2014

With Marijuana, the Obvious Is Incendiary

It’s hard to argue pot is riskier than alcohol—but many pundits did

Barack & the Weed Talk

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

Mar
25
2014

SoundBites March 2014

Pete Seeger, 1919–2014 Q: Does the media do its job? A: Of course not. It’s hard for me to talk about the media without getting angry. Because if the United States or the world goes down in disaster, I would blame the media first of all, because the people running it are intelligent people. They know very well how evil they are. And when they say, “Oh, I’m just giving the people what they want.” Sure—so do the drug pushers. —Musician and activist Pete Seeger, interviewed by public radio (WAMC, 4/01) Chris Christie, a Bully? No Way Under the headline […]