Search Results for: Edward S. Herman

Oct 01 2009

Lockerbie in the Propaganda System

Release of Al-Megrahi evokes selective history

Pan Am 103 memorial garden--Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

When Abdelbasset Al-Megrahi, after serving 10 years of a life sentence for allegedly blowing up the Pan Am 103 airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, was granted compassionate release due to terminal illness, the ensuing controversy was loud and indignant. Al-Megrahi, a former Libyan intelligence officer, returned home to what was angrily described in U.S. media as a “hero’s welcome.” Recalling the bombing, which killed 270 people, many U.S. family members, political leaders and journalists felt that the decade in prison was not enough. But the media’s simplistic tale of villainy and impunity requires a very selective reading of history. […]

Aug 28 2009

Spencer Ackerman on CIA torture documents, Ed Herman on Lockerbie


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: A few months ago it seemed like Dick Cheney wouldn’t get off your television screen, insisting that secret CIA documents would prove that Bush torture policies saved the United States from further terrorist attacks. Well those documents have surfaced, along with a 2004 CIA inspector general’s report. So what’s in these documents? And has Cheney been vindicated? We’ll speak with reporter Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent about that. Also on CounterSpin today, “Outrageous and disgusting” is how White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs described scenes in Tripoli where Abdel al-Megrahi was greeted on his […]

Feb 01 2009

FAIR Study: Human Rights Coverage Serving Washington’s Needs

FAIR finds editors downplaying Colombia’s abuses, amplifying Venezuela’s


Click here to download pdf. Any evenhanded comparison of the Colombian and Venezuelan governments’ human rights records would have to note that, though Venezuela’s record is far from perfect, that country is by every measure a safer place than Colombia to live, vote, organize unions and political groups, speak out against the government or practice journalism. But a new survey by FAIR shows that, over the past 10 years, editors at four leading U.S. newspapers have focused more on purported human rights abuses in Venezuela than in Colombia, and their commentary would suggest that Venezuela’s government has a worse human […]

Aug 01 2008

Dubious Debates

How media moderators lowered the level of Election ’08

Brian Williams--Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/Peabody Awards

Given the early start and lengthy run of Election 2008’s presidential primaries, the full slates of candidates in both the Democratic and Republican parties, and voters’ concerns with pressing issues, it is not surprising that the media featured a large number of debates. Roughly 40 were held between April 2007 and May 2008 (depending upon whether so-called “forums” and an interactive “mashup” online debate created by Yahoo! and the Huffington Post are included). The volume at times seemed overwhelming, as in January 2008, when six debates (one called a forum) were held. Despite the potential for voter exhaustion, we might […]

Apr 01 2006

‘Capote’ vs. Capote

History, Hollywood and the mainstream media

About a year ago, in anticipation of the 40th anniversary of the publication of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, his journalistic account of a murder and its aftermath that he called a “non-fiction novel,” I began to do some research on the book and its author. I read just about everything published on Capote’s life and work, talked to some of the participants in the saga of the Clutter family murder and even visited the Holcomb, Kansas area, the scene of the crime. Initially, I had no idea that not one but two motion pictures about In Cold Blood were […]

Jan 01 2006


‘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 […]

Nov 27 2003

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 […]

Dec 05 2002

A Call for Media Democracy

FCC Ready to Roll Back Limits on Media Consolidation

A range of media scholars and public interest, media and community groups from across the country have joined FAIR in issuing a Call for Media Democracy in response to the FCC’s current “review” of the rules that govern big media. FAIR encourages everyone concerned with this issue to act now. Some suggestions of how you can take action to strengthen media diversity are included below. A Call for Media Democracy As the country reels from some of the biggest business scandals in U.S. history, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is getting ready to give big media a big gift– the […]