Search Results for: John F. Sugg

Dec
01
2014

SoundBites December 2014

Paul Ryan, Judy Woodruff, PBS NewsHour

At NewsHour, Insulating Facts with Fog PBS NewsHour (10/1/14) brought on Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) to explain how deep spending cuts on social programs combined with tax breaks for the wealthy can be an “anti-poverty” program. It helps, of course, when his proposals are described in vague, euphemistic language that obscures rather than reveals, as when a NewsHour segment (8/13/12) described Ryan’s idea of slashing Medicare benefits as a plan to “impose changes for future Medicare recipients to hold down costs.” The NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff epitomized this obfuscatory approach to journalism in her question to Ryan: You talk about the […]

Sep
01
2014

At Elite Media, ‘Scientific’ Racists Fit in Fine

Nicholas Wade’s NYT science writing thrilled white supremacists

Farmers in Ghana

Nicholas Wade’s embrace of the pseudoscience of eugenics raises questions about his tenure at the New York Times, and about corporate media vigilance when it comes to racism.

Sep
01
2014

A Shared Culture of Conflict of Interest

Elite media don’t see Human Rights Watch’s closeness to power as a problem

Kenneth Roth

Human Rights Watch's conflicts of interest contribute to a culture of normalizing and accommodating the extreme power that the United States arrogates to itself.

Nov
01
2013

The Illusion of Debate Over Striking Syria

Despite antiwar public—and put-downs of Obama—media back war as usual

There was little support for war on Syria—except on US broadcast news, where most of the debates and discussions still tilted in favor of a military attack.

Oct
01
2013

On Syria, Another Shortage of Skepticism

A second secretary of State's claims go unchallenged

John Kerry presenting his speech

In the days after a suspected chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, media coverage was on a familiar war footing. Television screen graphics diagrammed likely attack scenarios, and the question was when, not if, the United States would attack. “Tonight the clock is ticking on US military action in Syria,” ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer (8/27/13) told viewers. “The White House says a decision is near and US warships are in position.” On NBC Nightly News (8/28/13), Andrea Mitchell announced: “The warships are ready. The targets are chosen, limited cruise missile strikes against airfields, artillery, and […]

Aug
01
2013

After Ahmadinejad, Alarmism Still Reigns

Spinning Iranian election results to maintain an official enemy

ABC's Dan Harris and Jonathan Karl parrot AIPAC on "pro-nuclear Iran."

With the surprise election (CNN, 6/15/13) of moderate pragmatist Hassan Rouhani as the next president of Iran, and the attendant departure of the West’s favorite bogeyman, outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, from the political stage, U.S. elite media have had to rapidly adapt the collective narrative in order to maintain their alarmist depiction of the Islamic Republic. For the past eight years, references to what is perceived as Ahmadinejad’s bombastic rhetoric abounded in political speeches and were readily parroted by the press (Extra!, 6/12). He was routinely presented as a megalomaniacal, apocalyptic madman, hell-bent on developing nuclear weapons in order to […]

Apr
01
2013

Joe Biden, Aesthetic Populist

A track record of screwing the little guy

Biden breaking from Secret Service to shake NBC's Al Roker's hand during the 2013 inaugural parade.--Photo Credit: NBC

Joe Biden’s popularity stems from his perception of “folksiness.” In reality, though, Biden’s record is anything but working class–friendly.

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 […]