Search Results for: Edward S. Herman



'A Hell of a Time Getting Published' "After reading your May issue on the Persian Gulf War coverage [Extra!, 5/91], I thought you might be interested in the attached. My editor and I had a hell of a time getting this published in our own newspaper and as far as I know, only the Seattle Times and a paper in Huntsville, Ala. picked it up. The great irony of this story, of course, is that at the same time George Bush was whipping the public into a love-fest for The Troops, his lawyers were going to court to screw their […]


Pew Poll on 'Trade' Doesn't Pass the Sniff Test

Drawing on poll numbers gathered last year, the influential Pew Research Center for the People and the Press waited until the recent trade summit in Miami to put out a report under headlines that proclaimed “Support for Free Trade” and “Miami Protests Do Not Reflect Popular Views.” But a much more fitting headline would have been: “Report Conclusions Do Not Reflect Actual Data.” The first sentence of the Nov. 20 report claimed direct relevance to current disputes over proposals for a Free Trade Area of the Americas: “The anti-globalization protesters who have clogged the streets of Miami voicing opposition to […]


Noam Chomsky--Saying What Media Don't Want Us To Hear

"If liberty means anything at all," George Orwell wrote, "it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." From all indications, the gatekeepers for big media in the United States don't want to hear what Noam Chomsky has to say — and they'd prefer that we not hear him either. Mainstream journalists in other nations often interview Chomsky. Based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he's a world-renowned analyst of propaganda and global politics. But the chances are slim that you'll ever find him on a large network here at home. Chomsky is ill-suited to […]


Support Grows for Dissenting Pacifica Board Members

Amid a crisis that threatens the future of the Pacifica Radio Network, more than 80 prominent progressives have rallied in support of the six dissidents on the Pacifica Foundation's board. These board members want Pacifica's national leadership to reverse course on its takeover of WBAI, and to "build democratic decision-making structures throughout Pacifica." A statement supporting the dissenting board members (below) was signed by the Local Advisory Board chairs of four of Pacifica's five stations and by former Pacifica staffers and board members, as well as by political figures, community leaders, journalists, artists and academics. These include Dennis Brutus, Noam […]


Hometown Hostility

The Philadelphia Inquirer vs. Mumia Abu-Jamal

Antioch College's commencement for the class of 2000 featured a taped speech by death-row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted in a highly questionable 1981 trial of murdering a Philadelphia police officer. (See Extra!, 11-12/95.) The Ohio college's graduation events also included a teach-in by supporters of Abu-Jamal and an organized police protest. Although the selection of a condemned prisoner as speaker was surely the most notable and unusual feature of the event, the Philadelphia Inquirer's coverage focused on the police protest, with the front-page article (4/30/00) headlined "Speech Met with Silent Protests" and an accompanying picture of Maureen Faulkner, widow of […]


Shams and Triumphs

The New York Times follows the official line on international elections

In an editorial on "Election Risks in Cambodia" (11/28/97), the New York Times warned that "flawed elections are worse than none," and that "the international community must proceed cautiously, lest a rigged election give Mr. Hun Sen a veneer of legitimacy." Similarly, in writing on "Kenya's Flawed Election" (12/31/97), the Times' editors noted that "holding elections is not enough to assure demo­cratic government," pointing specifical­ly to the need for "an independent elec­toral commission less bound to political parties" and "independent broadcast media, allowing opposition voices to be heard outside election periods." These are very good points, but regrettably the New […]


The Global Media Giants

We are the world

Time Warner offices with Rochester skyline/Photo: Thomas Belknap

A specter now haunts the world: a global commercial media system dominated by a small number of superpowerful, mostly U.S.-based transnational media corporations. It is a system that works to advance the cause of the global market and promote commercial values, while denigrating journalism and culture not conducive to the immediate bottom line or long-run corporate interests. It is a disaster for anything but the most superficial notion of democracy--a democracy where, to paraphrase John Jay's maxim, those who own the world ought to govern it. The global commercial system is a very recent development. Until the 1980s, media systems […]


James Reston:

The Insider's Journalist in the Service of Empire

The death of long-time New York Times reporter, editor and columnist James Reston on Dec. 6, 1995 was followed by an outpouring of accolades to the "influential," "respected," "giant" and "non-pareil" journalist. Even in the accolades, however, there was repeated mention of his exceptional connections to the powerful. R.W. Apple, in the New York Times (12/8/95), noted that "Mr. Reston was forgiving of the frailties of soldiers, statesmen and party hacks--too forgiving, some of his critics said, because he was too close to them." Burt Barnes, writing in the Washington Post (12/8/95), stated that "Mr. Reston's work was required reading […]