Nov 19 2015

Death-Squad Organizer Is NYT’s Source on Ben Carson’s Lack of Foreign Policy Smarts

Duane Clarridge (photo: Mike Wintroath/AP)

In its effort to vet one of the leading GOP presidential candidates, Dr. Ben Carson, the New York Times didn’t properly vet its primary source in this vetting, former CIA officer Duane Clarridge—an indicted liar and overseer of Contra death squads in Central America.

Nov 18 2015

Coverage of Russian Plane Bombing Shows What a Difference an Enemy Makes

Vladimir Putin (photo: Alexei Nikolsky via AP/US News)

Because Russia’s government is considered an enemy of Washington, US media express skepticism about its interest in increasing its powers, suspecting it might have its own self-interest rather than the safety of its citizens foremost in mind.

Nov 18 2015

‘We Are in a Whole New Struggle Over the Right to Vote Now’

CounterSpin interview with Ari Berman on Voting Rights

Ari Berman (image: New America)

“In a democracy, we are better off when more people participate and it’s the responsibility of the state, of the government, to get more people involved.”

Nov 17 2015

It’s True, Media Did Cover Beirut Bombings–About 1/40th as Much as They Covered Paris Attacks

Funeral attendee, Beirut (photo: Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty)

The much-retweeted Twitter complaint that “no media has covered” the Beirut bombing is wrong. But Max Fisher’s argument—that it’s wrong to blame media for the fact that “the world truly does care more about France”—is equally absurd.

Nov 16 2015

Context-Free Coverage of Terror Helps Perpetuate Its Causes

NYT video: Mourning in Paris

Just as the question of Al-Qaeda’s motives in 2001 provoked more self-congratulation than serious inquiry, coverage of Paris in 2015 tended to skirt over political realities.

Nov 13 2015

Media Turn Civilian ISIS Victims in Beirut Into Hezbollah Human Shields

New York Times headline for Beirut bombing--corrected

Two ISIS suicide bombers killed at least 43 people in a heavily Shia Muslim community in Beirut on November 12. The vast majority of the victims were civilians, not armed militants—but many media headlines obscured that fact.

Nov 13 2015

Holly Sklar on Minimum Wage Economics, Nicholas Kusnetz on State Government Transparency

Pro-minimum wage business owner

Media usually present the minimum wage issue as workers vs. business, but we’ll get a different angle from Holly Sklar of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. Plus: What journalists can do about transparency and accountability in state government.

Nov 12 2015

Corporations and Governments Are Still the Real Threats to Free Speech–Not Campus Activists

Protester and journalist at University of Missouri (photo: Daniel Brenner/NYT)

Not to diminish the challenges to free speech that campus controversies pose, but the notion that that they are far more common and threatening than what governments or corporations do is risible.