Search Results for: John F. Sugg

Oct
01
2012

Skepticism Essential in Syria Reporting

Real atrocities, dubious sources

Syria's Flag--Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/Freedom House

As I.F. Stone taught us, all governments are liars, and the Syrian government is a particularly good example, refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of a homegrown opposition and denying the overwhelming evidence (CBS News, 2/4/12) that it has shelled civilian neighborhoods (Human Rights Watch, 2/9/12).By nearly all accounts, the Syrian government is responsible for a lion's share of the killing in that nation's civil war. It has also been accused of purposely killing journalists (Reporters Without Borders, 5/7/12). Because the Syrian government allows journalists almost no independent access, and perhaps in part because of the pro-opposition sympathies of much of […]

Aug
30
2012

FAIR in the News

FAIR in the News On Coverage of Iraq ...concerns about efforts by mainstream news media organizations to downplay public interest in the crises in the Middle East and the war in Iraq in particular are well founded according to Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), the nation’s most prominent media watchdog group. A FAIR Media Advisory dated 12/19/07 is titled “War Is Over--Say the Pundits: But it's media, not voters, who seem to have lost interest in Iraq.” FAIR reports that, “To hear many in the mainstream media tell it, the Iraq War is of diminishing importance to American voters. […]

Aug
30
2012

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 […]

Jul
01
2012

Fantasy Economies

Enforcing neoliberalism through myth

Money--lots of it.

When reality fails to confirm the “truths” held by the international financial establishment, the corporate media can be relied on to concoct more cooperative scenarios. In the real world, Argentina’s economy has been one of the most robust in the world for the past decade. But in the world of corporate journalism, Argentina is an economic rogue on the road to ruin. When its economy is discussed in U.S. corporate media, it’s largely to portray it as an example of national leaders making bad economic choices, a model of what not to do. This is what happened when Argentina recently […]

May
01
2012

Discounting Expertise

How journalism embraces right-wing anti-intellectualism

James Inhofe--Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/Ars Skeptica

From the Scopes trial’s crackdown on Darwinism to William F. Buckley’s famous preference for government by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book over the 2,000 members of the Harvard faculty, from columnists George Will (Washington Post, 11/28/10) and Jonah Goldberg (L.A. Times, 8/30/11) lashing out at the “cult of expertise” to Rick Santorum’s rants against universities as “indoctrination centers for the left” (AP, 2/28/12), the American right regularly expresses contempt for expertise, education and other manifestations of “book learnin’.” As if that’s not damaging enough to public discourse, corporate media outlets often seem to embrace the same […]

Oct
01
2011

Closer to Home, 'Digital Democracy' Loses Appeal

From Egypt to San Francisco, officials dislike protesters’ use of social media

Photo Credit: BART

When Bay Area Rapid Transit authorities shut off cell phone service to deter protests against police violence, the backlash went viral. And despite the stifling of social media in San Francisco-area stations and trains, dissenters may have gotten the last word with old-fashioned ink scrawled on a handmade sign: “Mu-BART-Ak?” The quip highlighted the double-speak behind the political establishment’s attitude toward subversive applications of social media. A few months earlier, the “Twitter Revolution” was all the rage in Washington; establishment figures like Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (BusinessWeek, 1/27/11) and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman (6/5/11) praised the uprising […]

Aug
18
2011

Libyan Deaths, Media Silence

Were Dozens Killed in Majer NATO Airstrikes?

Allegations of Libyan civilian deaths as a result of NATO bombing have often been covered in the corporate media as an opportunity to scoff at the Gadhafi regime's unconvincing propaganda (FAIR Blog, 6/9/11). But dramatic new allegations that dozens of civilians were killed in Majer after NATO airstrikes on August 8 have been met with near-total media silence. According to Libyan officials, 85 civilians were killed in Majer--a town south of Zliten, a site of frequent clashes and NATO airstrikes. There is no reason journalists should take this claim at face value. But reports from the scene suggest that something […]

Jul
25
2011

Seeing 'Islamic Terror' in Norway

Learning no lessons from Oklahoma City mistakes

Right-wing terror suspect Anders Behring Breivik reportedly killed 76 people in Norway on Friday, by all accounts driven by far-right anti-immigrant politics and fervent Islamophobia. But many early media accounts assumed that the perpetrator of the attacks was Muslim. On news of the first round of attacks--the bombs in Oslo--CNN's Tom Lister (7/22/11) didn't know who did it, but knew they were Muslims: "It could be a whole range of groups. But the point is that Al-Qaeda is not so much an organization now. It's more a spirit for these people. It's a mobilizing factor." And he speculated confidently about […]