When Barack Obama decided to reject public financing in the general election, corporate media and Republican partisans made an identical attack, claiming that Obama broke a promise to take public funding. Unfortunately, this claim was demonstrably untrue: Obama hadn't made an unconditional promise to take public financing. The New York Times (6/20/08) referred to Obama's "decision to break an earlier pledge to take public money." NPR (All Things Considered, 6/19/08) reported, "Earlier, Obama had said he would participate in public financing if his Republican rival, Arizona Sen. John McCain, did the same." NPR's Weekend Edition host Scott Simon (6/21/08) went […]
Search Results for: John K. Wilson
Misrepresenting Obama's public financing promise
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Barack Obama flip-flops on public financing. The media was in an uproar over the Democratic presidential candidate's decision to forego public funding for the general election—a sign to many pundits that Obama's reformer rhetoric is an illusion. But was it actually a flip-flop? Writer John K. Wilson doesn't think so. He'll join us to explain. Also on CounterSpin today, some in the press corps say that the new surveillance law making its way through Congress is a good deal, not just for the telecom companies that it lets off the hook for helping the […]
What media eulogies remember--and forget
NBC's Meet the Press anchor and Washington bureau chief Tim Russert died of a heart attack on June 13. The outpouring from media and political elites only underscored Russert's status as one of most important figures in mainstream journalism. But amidst all of the accolades, critical assessments about Russert's record were scarce. It would be difficult to imagine anyone more admired by fellow journalists. "He was the preeminent political journalist in America," declared pundit Al Hunt (6/15/08). "He was an American character right from Mark Twain," offered NBC colleague Chris Matthews (6/15/08). "He had an authority and insight in covering […]
Paper reprises one-sided panel to discuss "Mission Accomplished" The New York Times' May 4 Week in Review section featured a discussion of the state of the Iraq War with advocates of that war—-the same advocates who prompted a FAIR action alert on March 17. The following letter was sent to New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt, Op-Ed page editor David Shipley and Week in Review editor Sam Tanenhaus. Their contact information is listed below, as is FAIR's earlier alert. Clark Hoyt, public editor Sam Tanenhaus, Week in Review editor David Shipley, Op-ed page editor Dear Sirs: On March 16, […]
Look back at Iraq features nine hawkish 'experts'
The New York Times offered a look back at the Iraq War in its March 16 "Week In Review" section that leaned heavily towards pro-war voices. The Times explained to readers: "To mark this week's fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, the Op-Ed page asked nine experts on military and foreign affairs to reflect on their attitudes in the spring of 2003 and to comment on the one aspect of the war that most surprised them or that they wished they had considered in the prewar debate." The "experts" who were asked to weigh in all more or less […]
NewsHour panel skews against public opinion
(NOTE: Please see the Activism Update regarding this alert.) With public opinion running heavily against the White House's planned escalation of the Iraq War, one might think a debate on the issue on public television's flagship newscast might reflect public sentiment. But the discussion on the January 8 edition of the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer skewed in favor of supporters of the Iraq War, only allowing space for muted criticism of the White House's troop "surge." The show featured Iraq War hawks Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas), both of whom support sending additional troops to Iraq—a position […]
For better or worse
FAIR was founded on the belief that journalism matters—that getting out the truth can improve the world, while news that distorts or denies reality can have terrible consequences. To illustrate this conviction, we've compiled a list of 20 news stories published since FAIR's 1986 debut that had a major impact on society—for good or for ill. The list is not meant to be a comprehensive collection of the most momentous stories of the past 20 years, but rather to be illustrative of the power of media. Stories that should have led to serious changes, but were underplayed by corporate media, […]
Why can’t John Gibson make the big time at Fox?
While talking heads chattered about the Joe Wilson/Karl Rove “Plamegate” scandal (Extra!, 9—10/05), one cable news host staked out a firm position (7/12/05): “I say give Karl Rove a medal. . . . Valerie Plame should have been outed by somebody. And nobody else has the cojones to do it.” The host claimed—inaccurately—that Wilson’s “little wifey” sent him on the fact-finding trip to Niger, only to add days later (7/15/05) that Valerie Plame Wilson “acts like a political hack.” Meet John Gibson, host of Fox News Channel’s afternoon program The Big Story. While some of Fox News Channel’s less strident […]