May
01
2014

Kids of Color as Props in Charter School Drama

Two white public figures square off in managed debate

Education NYC

This microcosm of the national conversation over public education displayed media’s predictably narrow parameters of debate, between a corporate reformer and a moderate (but still charter-friendly) liberal.

May
01
2014

Flunking the Revised SATs

The real story is how rich kids are gaming the system

Standardized test (cc photo: Josh Davis)

For much of the US media the SAT changes served mostly as an opportunity to beat the drum of “Is our children learning?”

May
01
2014

Whose Recovery Is It, Anyway?

‘The market’ is doing fine—but homebuyers are still hurting

The housing crisis is reported to be over - but that doesn't mean people can afford homes.

Like much of the reporting on the rest of the economy, coverage of housing is coverage of housing markets, rather than of the circumstances that all too many people still face.

May
01
2014

They’ll Be Watching You

Mass surveillance uses new media to track every move you make

Martin Luther King at the March on Washington (Wikimedia)

Today’s digital and mobile technologies give us the tools to stay connected, but in exchange, the companies that own that infrastructure have made a business of manipulating the data we are creating.

May
01
2014

Media Still Fawn Over Paul Ryan’s ‘Big Ideas’

But proposals to put people back to work are met with yawns

Paul Ryan at CPAC

Perhaps media aren’t driven to challenge Ryan’s bona fides as a “big-ideas guy” because they share those big ideas.

Apr
01
2014

Letters April 2014

Volume 27, Number 4

Extra! in the Texas Gulag Greetings from the Texas gulag. I’m in superseg and without resources, so I hope you’ll excuse my means of writing. You have generously been sending me Extra! for several years now, and I want you to know you guys are my heroes and sheroes for the priceless work you do. Genuine democracy is impossible without a well-informed constituency (it’s also impossible in a society comprised of different classes, but we won’t go there!); you guys do all in your power to inform the public by shedding light on our institutionalized manufactured consent. As I mentioned, […]

Apr
01
2014

Good Protesters—and the Bad Kind

When Molotov cocktails are just a ‘boy’s adventure’

ABC News (2/23/14) suggests you should be against Venezuelan protesters if you are opposed to a better life.

The complex anti-government protest movements in both Venezuela and Ukraine were boiled down by US corporate media to send a clear message to their domestic audience: These are the good guys.

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.