FAIR in the News

FAIR in the News

As part of our outreach work, FAIR spokespersons discuss and debate media issues on national TV and radio programs, and on local shows across the U.S. Below are a few highlights from recent coverage of FAIR's work.


Zogby-O'Leary Poll:

  • ConWebBlog, (10/27/09)

    We've previously detailed how WorldNetDaily author Brad O'Leary uses slanted polling by Zogby to peddle his right-wing attacks on President Obama. Well, O'Leary has outdone himself. As Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting noted, the latest Zogby-O'Leary poll includes the following question:

    Federal Communications Commission Chief Diversity Czar Mark Lloyd wants the FCC to force good white people in positions of power in the broadcast industry to step down to make room for more African-Americans and gays to fill those positions. Do you agree or disagree that this presents a threat to free speech?

New Orleans Eclipsed by Balloon Boy:

  • Louisiana Politics and Government, (10/16/09)

Hopes that President Barack Obama's visit to New Orleans on Thursday would refocus national attention on the region's recovery ended up being deflated by an unlikely series of events...

"We were bumped by 'balloon boy,' " Cao spokeswoman Princella Smith said. "We weren't happy."

Jim Naureckas is the editor of Extra!, the publication of Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, which has documented the dramatic tail off in national coverage of the Katrina recovery.

"Reporters like Anderson Cooper who did do some follow-up on the story were almost forced to apologize for paying attention to the story after it was deemed to be history, " he said.

Naureckas said the decision by the Obama administration to make his visit a modest one may have been informed, at least in part, by concern that the first black president not been seen as paying undue attention to a city and an event that, he said, is still seen in racial terms by many Americans. There are, he said, no end of voices on the right who are "primed to use New Orleans in racial terms" if the president gave them an opening.

"There may be some understanding in the Obama camp that it would be used that way, " Naureckas said.

Rush Limbaugh:

  • Chicago Daily Herald, (10/16/09)

    "He's been on the radar for a long time," says Jim Naureckas, who grew up in Libertyville and is a co-author of the 1995 book, "The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error."

Paying attention to Limbaugh, the media and race is part of Naureckas' duty in his job as editor of Extra!, a media criticism journal produced by the national watchdog group FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting at www.fair.org).

"The white resentment of the civil rights movement has been major fuel for the conservative movement going on for half a century now," Naureckas says. But the heat that forced Limbaugh out of a group planning to buy an NFL team wasn't a conservative/liberal statement.

"Politics are one thing, and insulting an ethnic group is another thing," Naureckas says. During his long and successful career, Limbaugh once told a black caller to "take that bone out of your nose," asserted that "all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson," and referred to President Barack Obama as "the little black man-child."

"When you use language like that, it's not about Barack Obama, or about Democratic and Republican policies," Naureckas notes.

You should also go to http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=2549 to find corroboration for the charge that Limbaugh says things on the air which often have little to do with reality or are simply prejudicial utterances, bigoted bon mots. While such mocking, derisive comments will undoubtedly please his audience of true believers, others in his peripheral field of rhetoric may be less responsive and will await a chance to later impale him on such words. The St. Louis Rams gambit is apparently such a time.

Healthcare Debate:

  • New York Times, (10/11/09)

    The Times has focused its coverage on proposals that editors and reporters judge to be politically feasible, which means that tort reform, popular with conservatives, and single-payer health coverage, popular with liberals, have received relatively scant attention. Anger boiled over recently, when an article on Medicare-for-all, a version of single-payer, explained all the reasons it was dead, and arguments against it, without going into arguments for it. Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, a liberal media watchdog, urged followers to object, and I received roughly 1,000 messages.

Katharine Seelye, the reporter, said she was trying to explain why Medicare-for-all was not going anywhere and provided links online to arguments for it. “I thought the substance of it had been dealt with elsewhere many times,” she said. But The Times had not seriously explored the issue during the current debate, and I thought FAIR had a point.

New York Times on Chavez:

  • Daily Times (Pakistan), (10/8/09)

    In a staggering display of amorality, his illegally-appointed successor was immediately recognised by the US, but after a couple of days, Chavez, the democratically-elected president, was reinstated by popular demand.

The organization Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting observed that “the New York Times triumphantly declared that Chavez’s ‘resignation’ meant that ‘Venezuelan democracy is no longer threatened by a would-be dictator.” Conspicuously avoiding the word ‘coup,’ the [New York]Times explained that Chavez stepped down after the military intervened and handed power to a respected business leader.’

Lou Dobbs:

  • Capital Times, (10/7/09)

    Dobbs is a darling of FAIR, Federation for American Immigration Reform, but another FAIR -- Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting -- has been reporting on Dobbs' alarmist schtick take for years.

Corporate Media:

  • Atlantic Free Press, (10/5/09)

    FAIR's Peter Hart writes about how the global economic crisis has impacted corporate newsrooms and the media overall as "owners who gambled on debt-financed expansions" have been hammered by shrinking advertising and subscriber revenues, with no light at the end of the tunnel in sight.

Surveys show that large majorities of broadcast and print journalists say financial pressures have increased, and about one-fourth cite considerable owner and advertiser influence in their newsrooms.

Consider Fox News, for example. A summer 2001 Seth Ackerman FAIR article cited its "extraordinary right-wing tilt (as) The Most Biased Name in News." Its founder and president, Roger Ailes, was described by former GHW Bush aide Lee Atwater as operating on "two speeds - attack and destroy." Reputedly, he only hires on-air staff who assure him they're Republicans, yet Fox insists its reporting is "fair and balanced."

Think Tank Press:

  • The American Prospect: Tapped, (9/29/09)

    Earlier this month, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting released their list of the 25 most-cited Think Tanks in media last year. Predictably, the Brookings Institution took top billing with more than 2,000 mentions - at least double the amount of anyone else on the list. American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation rounded out the top three. Though citations were down for the fourth consecutive year, left-leaning institutions increased their share to 21 percent, up from 17 percent during 2007. In comparison, centrist groups held steady at 48 percent, while right-leaning groups saw a 5 percent decline to 31 percent

    .

  • Congressional Quarterly Weekly, (9/20/09)

    For Washington think tanks, being quoted in the press translates to prestige and influence, and for the past 13 years, the liberal-leaning media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, or FAIR, has been tracking those citations. It found that last year, for the first time, there was a significant increase in citations for liberal policy centers and a decrease for conservatives. Centrist think tanks maintained their plurality.

Media Biases:

  • Digital Journal, (9/6/09)

    Trevor Coleman [of the Detroit Free Press] takes strong opposition against some members of the media who tend to pick out African American figures in the news for racially-biased reporting...Coleman uses the group Fairness & Accuracy In Reportingto buttress his arguments. The group A group by the name of Media Tenor conducted a study for FAIR , studying ABC, CBS and NBC nightly news programs. Results of the study made last year showed that 92 percent of all U.S. sources interviewed on matters of race and politics were white, 85 percent were male and, where party affiliation was identifiable, 75 percent were Republican. Media Tenor found specifically one third of the US public is portrayed negatively, and these are immigrants, blacks and other minorities.

Islamophobe at ALA Conference:

  • Iran Times International, (8/21/09)

    The group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), an independent national media watch group, called [Robert]Spencer one of "America's leading Islamophobes" who "spread[s] fear, bigotry, and misinformation."

GE's stifling of MSNBC host Olbermann:

  • New York Times, (8/7/09):


    The advocacy group Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting asked its supporters on Friday to contact GE, urging it to renounce the agreement with Fox.

    Jeff Cohen, the founder of the group, said the deal between the two networks’ parent companies was a reason to be wary of corporate-owned TV news.

"It should remind news consumers of who calls the tune and pays the bills--and that TV reporters and even loud-mouthed commentators have corporate bosses whose interests are often not about unbridled journalism," Mr. Cohen said.

Healthcare Debate:

  • L.A. Times (7/29/09):


    Wendell Potter, a former CIGNA healthcare spokesman-turned-consumer advocate, told Lieberman that reporters routinely fail to assess the huge "costs to society and the economy if reform is not enacted."

    ...

    That would go a long way toward putting the current debate in Congress in perspective. But it would still leave a gaping hole in much of the media coverage -- caused by the failure to investigate practices around the rest of the world, particularly European-style, single-payer programs.

    The liberal media watchdog group Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting and a group of progressive activists delivered a petition Tuesday to ABC News in New York ... to demand broader reporting, including an assessment of government-managed health systems.

  • Democracy Now! (7/29/09):
    FAIR Communications Director Isabel Macdonald said the exclusion of single payer extends across the major corporate networks.

    Isabel Macdonald: “Fifty-nine percent of Americans and 59 percent of physicians support a Medicare for All-type program, or single payer. ABC has not had a single advocate of that system on air this year. So we’re delivering a petition to both ABC and we’re also sending a message to the other TV networks, demanding that they cover single-payer healthcare and stop silencing single-payer advocates.”

The petition’s 11,000 signatories include filmmaker Michael Moore, former MSNBC host Phil Donahue, Doctor Quentin Young and actors Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon.

Right-Wing Blogger Error:

  • The Capital Times, (7/6/09)

    The national organization called Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) keeps giving right-wing commentators fits.

The latest example occurred last week when Forbes.com headlined a story "Obama's Doctor Knocks ObamaCare," which was quickly picked up the Drudge Report and, in turn, many conservative bloggers, to show that not even the president's own doctor supports his "socialized" health care plans.

Popular right-wing blogger Mark Hemingway on National Review Online posted three paragraphs from the Forbes report and, according to FAIR, followed with a triumphant, one word "Ouch."

But, FAIR noted, it might have helped if Hemingway and the others had actually read the Forbes report.

For Dr. David Scheiner of Chicago wasn't criticizing Obama's plans for being socialistic, but was criticizing them for not going far enough...When this was pointed out to Hemingway, he posted an update.

"I didn't intend to present this as one-sided. I quickly cut and pasted the first three grafs. Suffice to say, you should keep in mind the Hyde Park doc is criticizing ObamaCare from the left. Either way, that people close to the president feel free to express these kinds of opinions doesn't seem to bode well for health care reform politically," he wrote.

Strange, as FAIR noted: "Beyond Hemingway's odd suggestion that it's a bad thing for a president to know people who openly disagree with him, it seems somewhat unlikely that he, as an NRO blogger, would have approvingly quoted a single-payer advocate's criticism of the president -- that is, if he knew the critic was a single-payer supporter."

Iraq War Coverage:

  • Voice of America News, (6/15/09)

    Goodman says the mainstream media often simply reinforce - rather than challenge - the status quo, and that can have serious consequences.

Goodman cites a study by the national media watchdog group Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, or FAIR, which tracked the four major nightly newscasts in the two weeks surrounding then-U.S. opposed to war. This is no longer a mainstream media. This is an extreme beating the drums for war."Secretary of State's Colin Powell's speech to the United Nations [on] February 5th, 2003, advocating war with Iraq.

"There were 393 interviews done around war [during that time], but only three were done with antiwar leaders," says Goodman. "That's three of almost 400 at a time when half the population was opposed to war. This is no longer a mainstream media. This is an extreme beating the drums for war."

Sotomayor nomination:

  • San Francisco Bay Guardian (6/2/09):


    It's always helpful to read how FAIR analyzes how the mainstream media cover a major story.

Immigration Debate:

  • Uprising Radio (6/1/09)


    KFFA interviews Aura Bogado, the author of the report "Arpaio vs. Immigrants:

    Those most affected left out of debate" that was published in the June issue of FAIR's magazine Extra! (Click here for MP3 file)

Congo:

  • Uprising Radio (5/11/09):
    FAIR's Julie Hollar interviewed on KPFA (Click here for MP3 file).

  • Richard Prince's Journal-isms (5/9/09):
    quote symbolAlthough the war in Congo is officially over, an estimated 45,000 people are dying each month from conflict-related causes, primarily hunger and disease, "nearly the same shocking rate as during the war itself," Julie Hollar wrote for Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting. Why is it not getting the media attention of the Darfur genocide?

    quote symbol

Economic Coverage:

  • Stamford Advocate 3/18/09
  • Colorado Daily 3/18/09
  • Miami Herald 3/16/09:
    A report in FAIR's magazine Extra! on the news media's disproportionate attention to the "deserving" newly poor, and the media's ongoing neglect of the millions of Americans who were poor before the current economic crisis, inspires a nationally syndicated column, "The News Media Meet the Poor."
  • FOX Business Channel 3/4/09:
    Jim Naureckas, the editor-in-chief of FAIR's magazine Extra!, debates Fox Business host Neil Cavuto.

FAIR Study: Media Blackout on Single-Payer Healthcare

  • Bloomberg 3/11/09:
    quote symbolObama has said he would keep an open mind on health-care solutions. Yet when asked on March 5 about why he was against single-payer medicine, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs replied: "The president doesn't believe that's the best way to achieve the goal of cutting costs and increasing access."

    The mainstream media have similarly been sheepish about touching the subject.

    Most media outlets covering last week's summit didn't even mention the idea of a single-payer proposal, according to Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a New York-based group.

    quote symbol

  • Seattle Post-Intelligencer 3/11/09:
    quote symbolA study released by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a watchdog group, found that in the week before Obama's health care summit, of the hundreds of stories that appeared in newspapers and on the networks, "only five included the views of advocates of single-payer - none of which appeared on television." Most columns that mentioned single-payer were written by opponents.quote symbol

image of TVDemocracy Now 3/11/09, 3/6/09:

quote symbolFairness and Accuracy in Reporting found the views of advocates of single payer have only been aired five times in the hundreds of major newspaper, broadcasts and cable stories about healthcare reform over the past week. No single-payer advocate has appeared on a major TV broadcast or cable network to talk about the policy during that period.quote symbol

Rush Limbaugh

  • Chicago Tribune 3/10/09
  • Miami Herald 3/8/09
  • Sacramento Bee 3/6/09
  • Seattle Times 3/6/09:
    quote symbolAccording to the media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, he once advised a black caller to his radio show: "Take that bone out of your nose and call me back."quote symbol

The Economy:

  • Your World with Cavuto, (3/4/09)

    Here to connect the dots is Jim Naureckas of Fair, a national media watch organization. Trickling in, more -- more connecting the dots, saying this guy's prescription isn't winning over Wall Street guys. Not a lot. What do you think?

JIM NAURECKAS, FAIRNESS AND ACCURACY IN REPORTING: Well, I think there is a common mistake in the media to look at Wall Street as a kind of opinion poll. And it's not. These are business people who are looking at stocks, and trying to figure out how much they're worth, which means how much other people will pay for them.

CAVUTO: But usually it's always about confidence, right? If they're confident in the environment they're in, they tend to buy and when they're not, they tend not to, right?

NAURECKAS: The confidence -- to run the economy on sort of optimism or pessimism, I think, is probably what we've been doing for the past decade or so.

CAVUTO: Wouldn't you want win Wall Street over?

NAURECKAS: I think that Wall Street is looking more at what those businesses are doing and what they're likely to be doing in the near term, in terms of profits than they are...I think there is a level of anxiety that you see among TV hosts about what the stock market is doing. And you do see a real disconnect between the poll numbers that Obama is getting on handling of the economy, and the attitudes that you see on from some of the talking heads.

Think Tank Press:

  • Politico.com, (2/3/09)

    Fueled by tax-deductible donations and an explosion in philanthropic assets, think tanks have dramatically grown in size and influence during the past 100 years. According to the Government Research Service, U.S. think tanks increased in number from eight in 1910 to 98 in 1960 and 1,106 in 2006. According to Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, the top 25 think tanks were cited 14,790 times during 2007 in major media

Palestine-Israel

  • Inter Press Service, (1/31/09)

    Given the United States' long history of supporting Israel, the slanted media attention does not surprise many close followers of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"The coverage is what you would expect," said Peter Hart, activism director at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). "There is a lot of pressure from pro-Israeli groups on media outlets."

  • Jordan Times, (1/14/09)
    Despite campaigning by the Foreign Press Association and an Israeli supreme court ruling allowing 12 journalists to enter the besieged strip, journalists are still barred from entering Gaza by the Israeli defence ministry, according to the association and Reporters Without Borders (RWB).

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) has expressed concern about the coverage of the military offensive in US media outlets, which it said present the conflict as "Palestinians are attacking, Israel is retaliating."

The "straightforward recitation of events is rarely heard in much of the rest of the media coverage of the violence in Gaza... since Israel began its full-scale assault," FAIR said.

  • The Daily Star, (1/9/09)

    Consumed by coverage of the November 4 th presidential election, US mainstream media ignored a key Israeli military attack on a Hamas target that many observers argue marked the effective end of the cease-fire between the two sides and set the stage for the current round of bloodletting...

"That November 4 raid, in very real sense, hardly exists in the mainstream media's collective memory," said Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) activism director Peter Hart, noting that Israel may have been aware that the election would drown out coverage of its raid.

"It does not take much effort to go back and find it," he said, "but reporting contextual information that would undermine Israel's rationale for these attacks is not exactly the kind of thing the US corporate media do very often. The fact that there are only a handful of exceptions is telling - the dominant narrative in the press is unsurprisingly one that supports the Israeli position."

  • The Washington Report on Middle-East Affairs, (Jan/Feb 2009)

    Because of such flawed and biased reporting, Weir said, few Americans understand the Israel-Palestine conflict or their own government's role in it. The former reporter and newspaper editor noted that her organization's findings regarding biased media coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict are supported by a similar 2001 study by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)'s Seth Ackerman entitled "The Illusion of Balance."

Chavez

  • The Palestine Chronical, (1/28/09)

    In November/December 2006, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting's (FAIR) Steve Rendall explained that "Hugo Chavez never had a chance with the US press." It's been a constant since his December 1998 election, and hasn't let up to this day, with language all too familiar: a "would-be-dictator; an autocratic demagogue; a modern caudillo; a divisive and demagogic leader; a communist...

FAIR's new blog

Whether bloggers know it or not, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting is the grandfather of most of the progressive bloggosphere. FAIR, which was founded in 1986, was the first place to do progressive media criticism in a sustained, systematic way. Their influence has been enormous—so much so that it's often hard to see, like a movie that changed movies afterwards so much that when you finally see the original, you can't tell what the big deal was.

So it's great that FAIR now has a blug of its own. I urge you to visit early and often.

--A Tiny Revolution (10/25/08)

On media ignoring third-party and independent candidates

FAIR raises another argument that deserves even greater consideration -- that elections should be about ideas, and Barr and Nader would have injected some. The intellectual exhaustion of Barack Obama and John McCain was painfully obvious during their three televised debates. McCain is against waste in the Defense Department! (As if Obama favors it.) Obama wants to kill Osama bin Laden! (As if McCain doesn't.) They're both against Wall Street greed! (But Main Street, where all those homebuyers thought they could get houses for no money down and low monthly payments, is Virtue itself.)

Whether or not you believe in the abrupt and unilateral withdrawal of American troops from Iraq (as both Barr and Nader do), or the abolition of the Federal Reserve (as Barr does) or allowing the public to write laws through national referendums (as Nader does), these are ideas that would sharpen the focus of the campaign. As Obama and McCain argued about who supposedly squawked about Freddie and Fannie first, or who could offer more subsidies to failing banks, wouldn't it have been nice to hear from two candidates who were against spending a single nickle on the bailout?

"By ignoring independent and third party candidates," the FAIR study concludes, "the corporate media are also helping keep a range of policy options about key issues that are not espoused by either major party candidate off the table -- including single payer healthcare, a full withdrawal from Iraq, ending the war in Afghanistan and ending the death penalty."

--Miami Herald (10/21/08)

Election coverage

The always-thorough folks at FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting) have compiled the “Top Troubling Tropes of Campaign ’08,” a handy (if alarming) roundup of eleven misleading, factually bankrupt themes that have dominated election coverage.

Not only do journalists organize the election story around the question—not terribly helpful to voters—of who's up and who's down, they largely base their evaluation of the race on shallow image-based narratives that the media construct themselves: Barack Obama is an "elitist" who might not "get the way we live" (Extra!, 8/08), while John McCain is a straight-talking "maverick" (Extra!, 6/08).

The FAIR report goes well beyond deconstructing the “maverick” and “elitist” labels (Troubling Tropes #1 and 2), using extensively sourced analysis to rebut the claim that the so-called liberal media has “smeared” vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin (#3) and contesting the media’s treatment of John McCain as a “national security pro” (#4).

--Utne Reader (10/24/08)

Islamophobia in the media

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), a non-profit national media watch group launched in 1986, recently started documenting 'public writings and appearances of Islamophobic activists and pundits who intentionally and regularly spread fear, bigotry and misinformation in the media' on a newly commissioned website smearcasting.com.

--Seattle Post-Intelligencer (10/26/08)

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Watch/Listen to Democracy Now! segment on FAIR's report "Smearcasting: How Islamophobes Spread Fear, Bigotry and Misinformation" (10/17/08)

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...our report is not just a matter of talking about how the media sometimes miss the ball on this. It’s also talking about how the media often abet this Islamophobia.

We have, for instance, in the last couple of years, Bruce Bawer’s book, While Europe Slept was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award. Now, two members of the board protested that nomination of an explicitly Islamophobic, bigoted book smearing an entire religious group.

In the last couple of years, Mark Steyn had an explicitly Islamophobic book on The New York Times bestseller list and Robert Spencer had two. So we have this rising tide of Islamophobia, and very little being done to confront it on the part of journalists.

--FAIR senior analyst Steve Rendall, NPR's On The Media (10/10/08)

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Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting released a report documenting the 12 Islamophobes in US media. The all-star list includes (unsurprisingly): Bill O’Reilly, David Horowitz, Michelle Malkin, and Sean Hannity.

--Washington City Paper, (10/13/08)

On The Washington Post's poll that found Americans split on McCain and Obama's Iraq positions due to a poll question that misrepresented McCain's Iraq stance as a position on "withdrawal:"

Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, the liberal media watchdogs, argue that the question did not correctly describe McCain's position. And if you look at Iraq polling generally you'll see that a large majority of the public wants most if not all of our troops out very soon indeed.

--Washington Post.com, (7/18/08)

Election Coverage

Listen to Extra! editor Jim Naureckas discuss media coverage of John McCain's claims that Obama is "playing the race card" on KPFK's Uprising show.

--KPFK, (8/7/08)

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FAIR Communications Director Isabel Macdonald discusses the future of print journalism and the best and worst of the week on GritTV's weekly Media Roundtable.

--GritTV, (8/5/08)

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During the Democratic primary season, Sen. Hillary Clinton was accused of using racial code when she said that Obama's support among "hardworking Americans, white Americans," was weakening. The inference, critics said, is that only white Americans work hard.

The media played a role in promoting that concept, said Steve Rendall, senior analyst at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a liberal media watchdog group. The biggest coded message, he said, was when pundits turned "working-class voters," into "white working-class voters."

..."We hear code words all the time in talk radio. It's a constant drumbeat," said Rendall, who also co-hosts FAIR's national radio show, "CounterSpin." "Code word bigotry is a secret code, a secret handshake between the listening audience and the host.

"Either conscious or unconscious, there is sometimes a mispronunciation of [Obama's] name or dwelling on his middle name [Hussein], suggesting that he is some covert Muslim. It is not overt racism but it is xenophobic."

--Chicago Tribune (6/30/08)

Conservative columnist George Will

Will has also acknowledged reviewing possible questions with George W. Bush before the then-Texas governor and presidential candidate appeared on "This Week" in 2000. A Will column recently included allegations, repeated by Vice President Dick Cheney, that China was drilling for oil off the coast of Florida. Cheney and Will have since acknowledged the information was wrong.

"You do have to have some standards for your pundits," says Peter Hart, an analyst for Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, a media watchdog organization that has often criticized Will. "Our beefs with him over the years haven't been about his ideology, but about accuracy."

--Associated Press (6/29/08)

FAIR's work

The work of media reformers starts with challenging big media when it misinforms the American people. FAIR does that.

--John Nichols, writing in Madison Capital Times (6/19/08)

US government-funded foreign media

Below the radar, another journalism scandal is brewing: the U.S. government is secretly funding foreign news outlets and journalists...

Isabel MacDonald, communications director at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), a New York-based media watchdog nonprofit, is also critical. “This is a system that, despite its professed adherence to norms of objectivity, has often worked against real democracy,” she says, “by stifling dissent and helping the U.S. government spread misinformation serviceable to U.S. foreign policy goals.”

--In These Times (6/1/08)

Campaign coverage

FAIR's Peter Hart interviewed on Air America's Lionel Show.

--Lionel Show (5/12/08)

Pentagon Pundits

FAIR's Peter Hart discusses the significance of the media's reliance on military analysts who were being fed talking points by the Pentagon.

--Democracy Now (4/22/08)

Race & Gender In the Elections Coverage

"Race and gender are part of the race every day. Hillary Clinton can't stop being a woman, and Barack Obama can't stop being black. The media traffic in these kinds of stereotypes."

--FAIR Activism Director Peter Hart, in New Jersey Star Leger (4/20/08)

Coverage of Affirmative Action

According to a Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting study, not only does mainstream media consistently describe affirmative- action policies as preferential and discriminatory, it rarely mentions women as beneficiaries of the policies or discusses the exclusionary barriers affirmative action is designed to dismantle.

--Ms.Magazine (Winter 2008)

Media Coverage of Iraq

Isabel Macdonald, communications director of the liberal media watchdog group Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), also noted The Washington Post's Winter Soldier coverage to substantiate her view of The Post's pro-war journalism. "Across the national media we have seen a near black-out of that event," she said. "The Washington Post covered it as a local event. Interestingly, this story was reported by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as a top global news story this week, but it has not been treated even as national news by The Washington Post. "I would say The Washington Post is substantially more pro-war than the American public," Macdonald said.

--CNSNews.com (3/20/08)


"Over the past few months, the Iraq War has been all but eclipsed from the news agenda.

...To hear many in the mainstream media tell it, the Iraq War is simply of diminishing importance to American voters. But a glance back to the end of ‘07, when journalists identified a shift in the electorate’s interest, suggests that journalists and pundits are really the ones who would rather not talk about Iraq as we head into an election year.

--Op Ed by FAIR Activism Director Peter Hart, KC Community News, (3/5/08)

FAIR communications director Isabel Macdonald debates the National Journal's Neil Munro on the media, the Iraq War and the US presidential elections.

--Al Jazeera's Inside Iraq (2/8/08)

On Propaganda Against Iran

Peter Hart interviewed on KPFK's The Lawyers Guild

--KPFK (1/17/08)

On Elections Coverage

Peter Hart interviewed the role of media in anointing candidates, and giving some candidates easier treatment than others.

--Air America's Lionel Show (2/11/08)

Isabel Macdonald interviewed on KPFK's Beneath the Surface with Jerry Quickley

--KPFK (1/17/08))

On Racist Talk Radio Host Bob Grant

Radio & Records reportedly decided to drop the award after receiving e-mails chronicling on-air remarks Mr. Grant made in the 1990s. The list of remarks, compiled by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, was sent to members of the publication's staff by a person not affiliated with FAIR, according to Steve Rendall, a senior analyst with the liberal media-watchdog group.

A 1995 FAIR article by Jim Naureckas, titled "50,000 Watts of Hate," quoted Mr. Grant as referring to Haitian refugees as "maggots" and calling for policemen with machine guns to show up at a gay pride parade. Mr. Rendall said staff members transcribed the comments from tapes of Mr. Grant's show.

"It seems to me that Radio & Records is doing the right thing," Mr. Rendall said. "Without the bigotry, there isn't that much left of Grant."

--Washington Times (1/17/08)